The most sophisticated traditional Moroccan female dress is the Caftan! The females of the Moroccan royal family all dress up in Caftans for tge special occasions. This proves how formal the Caftan is for the Moroccan ladies. We can even say that the official Moroccan female dress for celebrating is the Caftan. That’s not a surprise, given that the Moroccan Caftan represents a great product of very skilled, and artistically driven Maalems (tailors).

Every Caftan is special than the other. Just like a fingerprint, It’s rarely that you can see two similar Caftans. That’s because every woman or girl who wants to get her Caftan, helps design it with her Maalem to fit her own personal choices of aesthetics. To the foreign eye however, they might seem similar in terms of the general design, but for the Moroccan ladies the devil is in the details. All of this makes the experience of getting a Caftan something very special for the Moroccan ladies.

The next paragraphs are an exploration of the Moroccan Caftan:

The origin

Although the origins of the Caftans are said to be outside of Morocco and it wasn’t originally worn only by women, the Moroccan Caftan seems to be its own thing. No matter what were the original influences were, the Moroccan craftsmanship has taken the Caftan and they made it into what it is considered today.

The Caftan is believed to be first worn by only the royal family during the 13th century. After that it became more accessible to the general population especially the women during the 16th century onwards.

Anyway, clothing for women and men in Morocco consists of long robes with hoods and traditional slippers. These magnificent dresses have been worn since the ancient times of Moroccan history, and are being still used today.

Moroccan clothes long robe


Today Moroccan women still preserve this ancient tradition of the Caftan in even more beautiful, innovative and modern ways. You only have to go to a place where Moroccan women are celebrating to spot the majority of them dressed up in Caftans. The girls compete with each other who jas the most beautiful Caftan, and even the grown up ladies sometimes. This shows how much Moroccan ladies are critical about aesthetics.

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Fashion shows

Moreover, there are nowadays fashion shows that are specifically dedicated to the Moroccan Caftan. There they show exhibitions of the latest trends and the very fascinating works of very talented fashion designers. These people are taking the Caftan to a next level of artistic expression. Thanks to fashion shows like these the caftan is now a tradition that gets rooted more and more in the Moroccan culture and even the world culture. We don’t expect to see Caftans vanishing any soon. The opposite might be very true.

Famous ladies with Caftan

The Queen of Morocco Lalla Salma was considered by many magazines the most beautifully dressed lady who attended the British Royal Wedding, after she showed up dressed in a fascinating white Caftan.

Nowadays, we can see more and more famous ladies from all over the world showing up dressed in Caftans. These women are of course interested in the Caftan because of the aesthetics and the cultural background. Among the women who appeared in the red carpet dressed up in a Caftan are: Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian and her mom, Hillary Clinton, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez and many other beautiful popular ladies. They all looked amazing by the way.


The making

The making of a Caftan is a handmade process that takes great industry and skill, plus significant periods of time. At first the lady chooses the material, either cotton, silk or velvet and the color. The Maalem then takes measurements and he/she shows the client a catalogue of suggestions to help her make the best decisions. It’s a process whereby both the Maalem and the client share feedback before the end product that satisfies both of them.

moroccan haik

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Types of Caftans

There are a lot of Caftan variations, one could even say there’s an infinite number of possibilities for a Caftan to look like. For example if you take a look at a Caftans from the sixties and another one from 2019 you will see that designs of changed a lot throughout the years.

There are also casual Caftans that women wear for everyday use, especially during the summer. And of course there are the Caftans that are only used for very special occasions, these are fancier than the casual ones radically.

There are also differences in terms of regions. Each Moroccan region has its own choices of colors, sleeves shape and width, ans also the buttons of the middle.

There are also some modern designers who take foreign influences and blend them with the Caftan. The products are always amazing.

The usual Caftans are long robes. However, nowadays we can see short Caftans.


We should mention that there is a great distinction between the Caftan, Djellaba and Takchita for Moroccan women, although they might seem similar. The difference between Caftan and Djellaba is the hood, a Djellaba has one. However, the most important difference is the use. A Djellaba is used when women go outside.

The difference between Caftan and Takchita are in terms of how many pieces of clothes. The Takchita has two layers, one is simple the other is more aesthetic. The Takchita is allways worn with a beautifully designed, wide belts. Both the Caftan and the Takchita are used for special occasions.

The Moroccan Caftan is truly a cultural heritage that Morocco is really proud of. And for a good reason too, these dresses are truly fascinating.


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