8 cool kaftans and dresses for all of your beach holiday needs

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Kitty McGee
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Cream kaftan beach model image ven store designer luxury investment classic resortwear

Elegant and elevated holidaywear is here in kaftan form. Here’s our edit of the very best beach cover-ups to take you from sun lounger to sun downers…

The mood at the Spring Summer shows was largely of a sophisticated and wearable elegance; championed by brands including Loewe, Burberry, The Row and Theory who showed elevated separates and dresses in a chic neutral colour palette of beige, caramel and cream, with several pieces including beautiful artisan details. This sophisticated mood has translated into the holiday collections of many designers and high street stores creating a wealth of beautiful beach cover-ups that are perfect for a capsule holiday wardrobe.

Classic and timeless, the new kaftan is oversized and understated; think cream linen, subtle stripes and loose silhouettes. Made to be worn with minimal accessories the modern kaftan looks best with leather flip flops, a canvas tote and undone hair.

Belted and button-down styles are perfect for summer in the city; just add some statement sunglasses, layered delicate gold jewellery and chunky leather sandals

Crisp cotton midi dresses will keep you just as cool and are more playful for daytime drinks in the park or on the beach; brighter colours or pretty prints make these pieces super special. Wear dresses with a basket bag, a handheld fan and dad sandals for a playful take on elegant dressing.

These simple but luxurious kaftans and dresses will make packing for your summer holiday easier than ever.

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  • Next Linen Blend Button Detail Midi Dress

    Next cream beige linen button down dress high street resortwear beachwear
    Best kaftans and dresses: Next linen blend button detail midi dress

    The colour palette of the summer is best worn head-to-toe; take note and wear this with a basket bag and tan leather sandals for an easy daytime look in the heat.

    Beige linen midi dress, £38, Next

  • John Lewis & Partners Cotton Voile Dress

    John Lewis teal cotton sundress
    Best kaftan’s and dresses: John Lewis & Partners cotton voile dress

    This loose-fitting maxi dress has adjustable tie straps and an elasticated back to give you the perfect fit you can easily slip on over swimwear. The tiered skirt adds to the dresses’ floaty feel and it falls at a chic, ankle-grazing length which is right on trend. Wear it with a straw hat and havaianas.

    Turquoise cotton midi dress, £59, John Lewis & Partners

  • Ven Store The Kaftan Stripe

    Ven Store blue cream striped kaftan designer investment resortwear luxury
    Best kaftans and dresses: Ven Store the kaftan stripe

    Simple and understated; the perfect holiday kaftan. Crafted from an Irish linen-blend and cut for an oversized fit. Featuring a V-neckline and flattering side splits it’s the perfect day to night holiday piece. 

    Striped kaftan, £170, Ven Store

  • Seafolly Boyfriend cotton beach shirt

    SEAFOLLY Boyfriend cotton beach shirt
    Best kaftans and dresses: Seafolly boyfriend cotton beach shirt

    This boyfriend-shirt-kaftan hybrid is the ultimate beach cover-up. Roll it up into your oversized basket bag while you’re sunbathing and wear it over high waisted denim shorts with dad sandals for early evening drinks by the beach. 

    Boyfriend shirt, £55, Seafolly (

  • Sleeper Belted striped linen-gauze robe

    Cream kaftan beach model image ven store designer luxury investment classic resortwear
    Best kaftans and dresses: Sleeper belted striped linen-gauze robe

    Finding minimal, understated summer daywear is no mean feat but this belted wrap dress from Sleeper is ticking all of our boxes; and as it’s still an emerging brand it won’t be on every third person on the tube this month. Bonus.

    Belted wrap dress, £185, Sleeper (

  • Les Reveries Strappy Floral Print Pleated Cotton Midi Dress

    Les Reveries Pink and White Strappy-floral-print-pleated cotton midi dress designer luxury investment beachwear
    Best kaftans and dresses: Les Reveries strappy floral print pleated cotton midi dress

    This versatile dress from brilliant new dress brand Les Reveries is a great high-summer investment; wear it with barely there heels and a headband for an effortless wedding look, or with sporty sandals for an easy day look on holiday.

    Pink and white floral print cotton midi dress, £163, Les Reveries (

  • Reserved Open back dress

    Best kaftans and dresses: Reserved open-back dress

    Te pretty design of this open-back, oversized dress makes it airy enough for the day and smart enough for evenings out too. Wear it with a heeled thong sandal and playful mini handbag.

    Raspberry cotton midi dress, £24.99, Reserved

  • H&M V-neck tunic

    H&M striped kaftan blue and white oversized beach cover up £24.99
    Best kaftans and dresses: H&M v-neck tunic

    This simple, straight-cut striped tunic is really easy for days at the beach and short enough to wear with cotton trousers or straight leg white jeans when you’re back the city.

    Striped blue and cream kaftan, £24.99, H&M

Opening image: Ven Store

Product imagery: courtesy of individual brands