LA Style Stories: Cabana Club & Kaftans

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LA Story: Cabana Club

There’s nothing like a great cabana stripe to evoke in me the same feeling I had the very first time I saw a photo of Madame Chanel strolling along the striped cabana clad beach in Deauville. I remember being very young, years before I’d been to France and being swept away to that place and time. There are a handful of fashion related images that do that to me. How about you? If I’m being honest, I would not gravitate towards this dress, Reformation. It’s got ruffles and frilly detailing – 2 things that are so not me BUT the periwinkle/white stripes and the flowy movement of the fabric transported me. I actually saw my entire look the moment I laid eyes on it. At a closer look you can see that the ruffles on the upper half of the dress are raw edge, so it takes down the frilliness. The striped fabric is so perfectly cut into a silhouette that makes even the shortest person, me, look 10 feet tall.

The wrap style dress allows me to create proportion and dimension. I can tie the waist, wherever I need it to be and for me it’s up high, so my body looks long. I want my upper body to appear broader, think T-shape, so I’m wearing the neckline as open as possible and showing as much skin as I can. I’m using only a few long strands of pearls, Amazon, to mimic the verticality of the stripes and give a nod to Madame. My straw hat, Lanzom Hats, and straw bag, Bohemia Marrakech, bring those French beachy feelings on an especially warm breezy day. I went with a creamy off-white platform sandal, Steve Madden, to show off the stripes and the movement of the dress. Likely, I’ll wear the dress mostly with cognac coloured flat t-strap sandals. I rarely talk about makeup, but red lipstick and bronzed skin is the only way to go!

style-tip: if you really understand “why” something looks good on your body, you’ll always make the right adjustments so almost anything works.

LA Story: Early Evening Cocktails

It’s hot sunny and windy in LA – perfect for an earthquake or a party in the hills…I choose the later. Kaftans, Amazon, are my go item for an evening like this because they’re easy lightweight and look incredibly chic. Like my stripe dress, they evoke a visceral feeling from my childhood growing up in the 70s. My parents had a large circle of friends and there was always a party, mostly at our house. I knew it was really Summer when the Tiki-torches came out to frame our backyard in fire. Flowing cocktails, great food, and awesome music roared through the neighborhood into the early hours of the morning.

Like the Tiki-torches, my mother and her friends got their Kaftans out and our backyard became a sea of swirling colorful movement. All I can say is these women had it going on. The men…are for another day. There are so many things to love about a Kaftan, for me it’s the drama and the ease. Heels or flats, a ton of jewelry or minimal, overweight, or skinny…You will ALWAYS look pulled together and chic in a Kaftan. I’m wearing mine with high black sandals, Sam Edelman, vintage jewelry, and a vintage opera bag that I’ve pinned a white flower, Chanel, onto. If you haven’t tried wearing a Kaftan, I urge you to – they are a game changer!

*please treat your wardrobe well. Many people worked very hard to get it to you.


  • Felicia Arlin

    Felicia Arlin’s work as a stylist and costume designer has been featured in print, tv, film and on the red carpet. As a 20+ year veteran designer/merchandiser in the LA/NY garment industry her work has graced the racks of every major department store and specialty chain in the country. She is passionate about helping women look and feel confident no matter their age, shape or socioeconomic status. Her hope is to empower other women by sharing some of the things she’s learned along the way to better cultivate and express their own individual and ageless style.

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