For centuries kaftans have been the preferred mode of dress in very hot countries - a cool alternative in the intense heat.
Now, however, we think of kaftans as something else entirely. Floaty chiffon or cotton cover-ups for the beach which have crossed over into our everyday wardrobes to be worn on any occasion.
The bright colours and bold patterns will lift any outfit and the fabrics are usually fine enough for even the hottest summer day.
In the ’60s the hippies adopted kaftans almost as a uniform for their peace and love lifestyle.
This season’s silks and satins give the kaftan a more sophisticated feel - making them an ideal choice for eveningwear.
On the beach, the kaftan is still the perfect cover-up choice. And when you get back home again you can wear it with your jeans.
BACK TO BLACK: Coin and paisley kaftan, £30; skinny lurex scarf, £8; butterfly necklace, £10; gold and white butterfly necklace, £7; gold bangle, £5; leopard print bangle, £4; trapped leaf bangle, £7, summer flower ring, £12, all from Accessorize.
ANIMAL MAGIC: Zebra print kaftan, £25 from BHS.
IN THE PINK: Zandra Rhodes pink kaftan, £35 from Marks & Spencer.
STARS AND STRIPES: Striped kaftan, £25, and star appliqued swimsuit, £25 from Kaleidoscope.