If you follow us on Facebook or are part of The Mom Edit Insiders Facebook Group or even happened to see this post on Instagram, this article is going to feel long overdue. And that’s because, well…it is. A couple of months ago now (time flies when you’re going absolutely freaking nowhere…), I spied this Amazon caftan on Jess at The Golden Girl and decided it was too intriguing not to try out for myself. Based on pictures, alone, I wasn’t immediately sold on the style — and, as with many budget finds on Amazon, I was a little wary of the fabrication and, more than anything, the fit. But I was feeling some of the (more than 40!) classic bohemian prints, which immediately felt like many of the pieces in my mom’s unofficial collection of Vintage Clothing That I Want to Chastise Her for Hoarding But Also Might Want For Myself Someday (or these seriously gorgeous, sustainable Emerson Fry caftans Laura just covered). And the price point ($28, give or take, depending on the day) was definitely right up my alley.

#AmazonNightgown: A Review Of The Perfectly Priced Boho Midi Dress (aka Caftan)

And then, the same week that I placed my order for a couple of these babes, caftans became a hot topic on The Mom Edit Insiders Facebook Group and it was immediately decided that, when these arrived, it’d be 100% worth doing a review. We were all curious if they lived up to the hype. And boy, was there hype. In fact, just about as soon as I received the two caftans I had ordered, the style sold out completely. It seems I was not the only one interested in getting my hands on what was now becoming known as the #AmazonNightgown for myself. Over the next few weeks, a certain pattern would pop back into stock here or there, but generally speaking, the selection was pretty paltry. Most of the in-stock items shipped for a fee (no Prime!? how dare they…) and it just felt like releasing this review when the actual item was questionably available would be more frustrating than fruitful. So I sat on it. Until today, when it’s about as fully-stocked as I think it’s gonna get.

In case you still need convincing that this piece is worth a try (spoiler alert: it is), I styled it up a whole buncha ways below. But before we get into that, let’s review some of the details that I feared would be deal-breakers (spoiler alert 2.0: they’re not).

Note: By sheer coincidence, at the time of publishing, all but one of the shoes I’m linking up below — 7 different styles — are on super sale. Also, the blue light-blocking glasses worn throughout the post are these $17 guys. Can’t recommend them enough. Happy day!

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

The Fit, Part 1: The number one complaint that surfaces time and again in Amazon reviews is that the caftan is too tight in the chest, so here are my thoughts. I’m a 34C and sized up from my usual XS to a S in both colorways that I ordered, and it’s roomy enough that I imagine it fitting a more buxom person just fine. In fact, I’m almost certain I could have gotten away with my true size. Another complaint is that the little band of piping that defines the chest area of the dress cuts right across larger chests, and to that I say it probably depends on how high your girls ride. I honestly don’t have the highest boobs (well, one is quite high, the other is…less so #thankscancer), so I expected this to be an issue for me, and it wasn’t in the least. So, I think if you’re moderately- to large-chested with breasts that sit average to high (or if you’re willing to scoop those babes into a real bra), you’ll have no issue with this style, especially if you go up a size.

The Fit, Part 2: Of course, all that said, it’s worth mentioning that this style is very voluminous. There’s loads of fabric and very little definition. (Technically you could call this “empire waisted,” but even that suggests some fitted tailoring.) For a “dress” that earned the nickname of #AmazonNightgown, this should come as no surprise, but you’d be amazed at the reviews that state “there’s so much fabric!” and “it’s basically a mumu.” Why, yes, there is — and why, yes it is. But it’s more or less advertised as such. I played around with belting it and knotting it, below, and both options are quick ways to add definition and shape, but at the end of the day, if you’re looking for a trim, swishy dress with a true waist, this isn’t it. (This one, on the other hand, might be just about perfect for you.)

The Fabric: The description on Amazon says “60% cotton blend,” but I couldn’t tell you what the remaining 40% is. In fact, it feels like 100% rayon to me — soft, thin cotton that only gets softer with washing. It’s worth noting that the entire front panel from the shoulders down to the piping on the chest (see close-up pic, below) is lined with the same fabric, a detail that I wasn’t expecting — and one that provides enough coverage that you could, in fact, rock this without a bra if you felt so inclined (and perky-busted, I suppose). Based on the pattern you choose, the ties (there are four of them, total) are either made of twisted yarn that end in tassels (as with the purple dress in this post) or are made of the same fabric as the dress, ending with small beaded accents (as with the blue dress). I personally prefer the tassels — they feel a little more authentic to the style — but the fabric ties might arguably hold up better over time.

Oh, and speaking of the fabric: there are more than 40 patterns to choose from. Have we talked about that, yet? Yes? Oh. Well, now you can see why I felt the need to try at least two of them for myself.

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

The Washability: My main hesitation with this dress was how it would hold up with machine washing, especially with the lengthy ties, so here’s a tip: there are four ties total — gather up two in each hand and tie all four into a bow, pulling the loops as long as possible, right up to the tassels or beads; then tie the loops of the bow into a second bow, so that there are essentially no loose ends. Turn the dress inside out, tucking the bow bundle inside, and wash/dry as usual. I’ve done this a few times now, and while it takes maybe a minute to carefully untie the bows when you remove the garment from the dryer (yes, I machine dry it!), it’s worth it to prevent the inevitable tangle or damage that could result otherwise.

More than you ever wanted to know about a $28 dress, right? Cool. So let’s get onto the fun stuff.

How To Wear The #AmazonNightgown — 9 Ways

1. (No One Is Surprised…) Sneak Around

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above)
Left: Stan Smiths (on sale! size down half) | Center: Court Sneaks (TTS) | Backpack (on sale!) | Right: Adidas Sleek Sneaks (TTS, on sale!)

I’ve had this caftan for more than a month now, and sneakers are hands-down the most common pairing. (You can see from the three outfits above, which were snapped when I was wearing it in real life — read: #notstyled.) If this caftan were good for nothing more than pairing with sneakers, I’d still be sold. That said, this is only the tip of the ol’ iceberg.


2. Boho Midi Dress + A Wedge

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Platform Wedge (sold out; these have a similar vibe, on sale!)

You can’t tell from my serious case of RBF, but platform wedges are my summer bread n’ buttah. Once upon a time, I wanted them as sky-high as possible, but now that I’m momming oh-so-hard, a less severe angle is much more practical. Mine are sold out, but I’ve had my eye on these for a while now – love the gorgeous suede with the cork (and on sale!).


3. Boho Midi Dress + Classic Leather

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Jacket (size up one; more sizes here) | Mules (similar, on sale!)

I’ll be the first to admit the the styling is maybe a bit off on this one, but you get the idea. In the real world, I’d probably do either the mules OR the jacket — or if I did both, I’d knot the hem to show a little more leg so it doesn’t look so heavy. Bottom line: yet another excuse to wear your fave leather. (Speaking of which: mine is on super sale here, with a few sizes here, too — and Revolve has a price-match guarantee, so you should be able to get it for the ALLSAINTS price. I sized up from my usual 0-2 to a 4, so definitely go up at least one size.)


4. Boho Midi Dress + Cozy Neutrals

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Cardian (similar vibe, or this, or this) | Booties (TTS, on sale!)

You know how much I love me a loose, shapeless cardigan, and this one (from last year’s NSale — woof, that feels like lifetime ago!) is tops — slouchy and soft and just grandma-y enough. Here’s hoping it makes a return this coming season. Until then, this waffle knit one is deliciously long and light, and this luxe cashmere blend version from Splendid is undoubtedly soft.


5. Hip Hip, Chambray!

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Chambray (similar, or budget buy) | Booties (TTS, on sale!)

Not a lot to this one. Perfect little light layer when you want to break up all the pattern or just add a bit of visual interest. I like keeping the boots in play so it doesn’t end up looking too sloppy. And in my opinion, the perfect chambray shirt has two pockets and a light-to-medium wash. Mine is sold out, but this one is super similar, is available in Plus, Petite and Tall and has great reviews. (Dang, now I kinda want it.) And here’s a super budget-friendly version if you’re not married to the dual pockets.


6. Boot It Up (3 Ways)

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Boots (on super sale! size up one half-size)

These Frye Natalie Engineer Boots are the ideal rough and tumble, not-quite-grunge, not-quite-country combo. (True story: my mom first noticed my realtor wearing these boots, stalked them online for a year until she found them on super sale — and then tricked me into thinking she was buying them for herself when really she was hunting them down for me. Moms are the best, aren’t they?) They’re cute with skinnies, delightfully Euro with wide-legs or crops, and downright cool girl with cut-offs and a not-too-tight band tee. And they play nicely with the boho vibes of this dress. I feel like I should be hitchhiking to a music festival, and I kinda like it. Happily, these EXACT boots (which have long been out of stock almost everywhere) are on Zulily RIGHT NOW for more than $200 off retail — and fully stocked. I will admit the sizing is a bit off and it took two tries for me to get it right (on the first try, the vamp was SO tight I couldn’t even get my foot past the shaft of the boot,) but in the end going up one half size (from my usual 8 to an 8.5) worked like a charm.

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Booties (TTS, on sale!)

Ah! The elusive second pattern I ordered. Honestly, I didn’t snap many pictures in this one because I was only intending to keep one, but I did order two to compare the quality and sizing, and I found them to be consistent across both patterns. (And, of course, I returned it not realizing just how much I would wear the first one — so guess what’s in my cart again as we speak?) But I digress…

I’ve waxed poetic about these Lucky Brand booties in many a post — comfy, with a classic almond-shaped toe and a heel that’s just high enough. And so perfect year-round. Still on sale here, too, for right around $50 (also in Black and Red)! My true size felt short when I first tried them on, but after one wear, they were perfect.

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Snake Print Booties (TTS, on sale!)

Oh look, more booties. Are you getting the sense that pretty much ANY bootie would work with this dress? (Honestly, I even tried it on with a leopard print pair and it wasn’t awful…) The ones I’m wearing have gotten so much more wear than I would have guessed. The notched front is so flattering, and the snake print is pretty dang good — and seasonless. Chic back zip, western heel. Gorgeous. Bonus: they’re 50% off as we speak.


7. Knot A Shirt (Get It…?)

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Shorts (similar – budget buy) | Snake Print Booties (TTS, on sale!)

OK, here’s the part of the program where we start playing around with the dress to make it look…less like what it is. (Which, well…if this is your goal, maybe this isn’t the dress for you, but we’ll soldier on…) This is admittedly a LOT of volume to gather into a knot, but it works. Would I buy this dress solely for wearing as a blouse? Nah. But it works in a pinch.


8. Bring On The Belts

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above) | Rope Belt (similar) | Elastic Belt (similar vibe)

If you can’t bear the idea that the #AmazonNightgown has no waist, you can always belt that bad boy! I slapped it on with two belts, and I like the effect of both — but really, I’m quite smitten with the shapelessness of this piece, so a nipped in waist isn’t exactly what I’m after. That said, I don’t think it detracts from the style or looks overly forced. (And, in fact, I do have to admit that while it doesn’t feel as current with the belt, it may be more flattering…)


9. A Little Bit Knotty

Ahhh...The #AmazonNightgown is giving us all the hearteyes for the soft caftan/boho midi dress/housedress that it. 9 ways to wear it + a review.

Dress (TTS or size up – see sizing notes, above)
Left: Boots (on super sale! size up one half-size) | Center and Right: Booties (TTS, on sale!)

Guys, I laughed out loud when I saw my face in that third picture, because I did not mean to make that expression, and yet it sums up exactly how I feel about a knot that rides that high. (I feel like I would earn major street cred with Shana if I rocked it in public, though.) Point here is that knotting this dress is absolutely an option — and one of my favorite ways to add visual interest. The fabric is exactly the right weight for this type of thing. It drapes beautifully and doesn’t stretch out to the point where you’ll have a weird, lopsided hem when you take it out later. A not-too-high center or side knot works best for me, but I also kinda like the option in the middle where I made it a faux bubble hem by tucking the knot underneath. (A safety pin or a hair tie will ensure it stays that way.) And as a swimsuit coverup, I miiiight even rock the high knot. Time will tell…


Phew. So. Thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Willing to shell out $28 to decide for yourself? Personally, I’ve already worn this caftan 10x more than I ever expected to, and I’ve got the light blue version above back in my shopping cart (and the orange one, too, now — ugh, they’re multiplying!), so I think I’m officially sold on the #AmazonNightgown — though whether or not it deserves its own hashtag remains to be seen.

Happy shopping, pals!
xo,
Em

Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!

12 COMMENTS

  1. I have three of the amazon nightgown dresses: pink with purple, green and light blue. I agree with you about going up one size since it’s snug in the chest area (the sizing worked for all of my three dresses). They are great for practically every situation. I love to wear them at home and bringing them on vacations (throw it on for dining out/room service or as a cover up). I get cold easily so I appreciate the long sleeves for arctic air conditioning and I can push up the sleeves for when it’s warmer (the elastic stays put but doesn’t cut off blood circulation lol). I’m thinking of buying another in red or the navy blue.

  2. I also have the amazon nightgown, and have a few additional comments. Overall its a fun look, and my daughter is enchanted by it. For $29, its great. But I don’t really get the very deep neckline and how no one else seems to mention it. Even when I tie the tassels, it can show the cups of my bra (and if I didn’t wear a bra, I’d be flashing everyone). Am I the only one who is bothered by this? I don’t really notice it in Emily’s pics, so not sure if she has the tassels tied better. Or if each dress is a slightly different cut?
    I also think it looks much better with the sleeves pulled up, but I actually find the elastic pretty tight when its pushed up to my elbows.
    I’d love if one of the Mom Edit crew would do a review of the original Natalie Martin nightgowns.

  3. It would be great to see how this is styled on a contributor that isn’t a size XS. I am usually a 12-14 and feel like this would make me look to mumu y 🙂 Emily you look beautiful though!

    • I sure have! I noted the washing instructions I recommend in “The Washability” section above (specifically with regard to making sure the ties don’t get tangled), but I just realized I didn’t emphasize that I DO machine dry it, so thanks!

  4. You look great as always. What I really want to know though is how have you grown that gorgeous head of hair so quickly?? I’m trying to grow my hair out post-chemo and omg it’s so slow. And thin. And just overall bad. Do you have any tips or secrets?

    • Well thanks! And the hair…well, it’s a haul. My hair has never been super thick (I feign it by almost never washing or brushing it and letting it turn into a massive fluff ball, lol) but I did start taking biotin right at the end of chemo, which was in May 2017, and I still take it today. (This is the specific one I take.) So this is a full three years of growth. Wish I had a better secret to share, but it just takes time. Hang in there!

  5. Wow, I would never guess that your hair isn’t thick! I’m ordering that biotin! This gives me hope, I’ll just have to keep my patience pants on. Can’t wait for the day I can throw my hair up in a bun again. Thanks so much for the reply!

  6. Sarah, I have it and love it, too! I’m a size 12-14. If you wanted to see it, it’s on my Instagram from a few weeks ago. My name is just @elizabethrafter there. My sister liked it so much, she ordered one for herself, too!

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