The Kaftan Kid

May 02

Are you sick of hanging around the house during this pandemic looking like, as my mother used to say, the Wreck of the Hesperus? And no, I never knew what that meant, but I got the gist: I was a mess.

As I have been recently, during these daunting days of isolation.  Many of my clothes require dry cleaning (must remedy that in the future), and many cleaners are closed— or could be shut down,  right after I have given them my favorite garment. This can happen! Once, long ago when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together but had somehow managed to acquire two pairs of  Bruno Magli high heels, the shoemaker shop burned down. To the ground! With my shoes!

Since then, whenever I give anything to the shoemakers or cleaners I feel the same way I do at the airport as my luggage rolls away on that bumpy conveyor belt: I know in my heart that I may never see it see it again.

Of course, that’s no longer a problem since not only can I not travel, but I only wear that which can be washed. Saves a lot of money, but means that my wardrobe, such as it is, consisted for a while of my ancient black Lazy Girl pants (so old they’re almost grey, and Gap doesn’t  make them anymore), plus a rotating round of tee shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies.


The kaftan has to be the coolest piece of clothing ever invented. It’s easy and flowing, hides a multitude of sins, and makes you feel like the feminine goddess you know you are.

If you’re asking, why should I care how I look when I’m alone, then you have totally lost contact with your inner goddess. Give her a call, a tweet, or a text. Better yet, use FaceTime or Zoom. Or, simply get yourself a kaftan.

The first one I found came from the depths (and I mean depths) of my very own closet: you know, the stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of for years, but never have. It’s a pale peach floral thing, in some sort of a silky synthetic fabric that washes easily and dries quickly. It’s so old I can’t read the instructions on the label, but hey, it’s a Natori, which, I now know, is the Rolls Royce of kaftans.

The next one is in a nice animal print (a steal on Ebay for less than 20 bucks), is cotton, washable, my size, and guess what: also a Natori. It is not only very attractive, but gives me a chance to wear a necklace that has been buried in my jewelry box. Does it make me look like a Cougar? Don’t answer that.

The last (so far) is a pink floral number from Natori online, pictured at the top of this post with me and my requisite quarantini. It wasn’t a bargain, but it’s really pretty. It came, I saw, it conquered me. Great color, very flattering, washable even. And, like the other two, it doesn’t make me look like a wreck of any sort.

BTW, The Wreck of the Hesperus is a narrative poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow first published in 1842, the basis for a silent movie in 1928, and another film in 1948 featuring no one you’ve ever heard of. It involves a ship.

It is also the name of a doom metal band from Ireland. What exactly is a doom metal band? Funny you should ask: It is, according to Wikipedia, “an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much ‘thicker’ or ‘heavier’ sound than other heavy metal genres.” And, unlike the joy one can derive from the wearing of the kaftan, “the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom.”

The things you learn during a pandemic.




  1. OMG Pat, I have been wearing caftans since I started to teach my students to breathe. I’s pretty hard to take in deep breaths when your wearing a snug wristband…By the way you look… MARVELOUS DARLING…

    • Pat /

      Remember that slogan, “Everything Goes Better with Coke?” Substitute Caftan (or Kaftan: either is correct) and it’s even better.
      And looking marvelous DOES run in the family.

  2. Sharon /

    Now that my martini glasses have arrived via Amazon I can turn my thoughts to appropriate attire and yes, I think a caftan is just the thing. I will start shopping ( online of course) and keep my eye out for a Natori special.

    • Pat /

      Yes, Natori is sold in Saks, Neiman Marcus, etc. Try Ebay too. Some of the stuff is brand new. The one I got said “used” (never thought I’d do that, but desperate times . . . and all that.) I figured for the price I could take a chance. When it arrived, it looked new and after a wash was perfect.

  3. Clare Rakshys /

    Pat you look fabulous and comfortable at the same time. Great blog.

    • Pat /

      Why didn’t anyone tell us about this before? Oh wait, they did. We just weren’t listening. It took weeks of isolation to figure it out. Now I’m a convert trolling the internet looking for bargains.

  4. Dick /

    I loved it!
    Be well.

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