Worth It? Emerson Fry Caftans (Small-Batch & Sustainable)


Some of you may remember I reviewed these beautiful Emerson Fry block printed cotton caftans last year…but these lovelies always sell out…every year. (Not a bad thing though, because we love that EF does sustainable, small-batch productions.) BUT…there are a bunch of gorgeous options in stock right now so I thought I best get on it and talk about them again!

But are they worth it? (That’s the burning question always, isn’t it?)

Emerson Fry Caftans: The Perfect Summer Dress

Spoiler alert…yes. Yes, they are. I just really want them all, but I have to contain myself…and honestly, some are flattering on me and some are not. So, I ordered a couple of new-to-me options, in addition to the two I’d already tried last year. I lived in the Francina caftan last summer and wanted to see if there was another version I needed to add for this summer before the prints I love are gone.

The Emerson Caftan

So, let’s just not waste any time getting to my favorite one. And OMG. YES. Hellooooo summer. Come and knock on my door and I’ll be waiting for you…in THIS.

I tried it on and am now writing this post for you still swathed in its beauty. Haha. This fall-loving, blazer-loving, jeans-loving gal now feels like a legit sun goddess. While I don’t think I’m changing favorite seasons, I sure will be floating around in this for monthsssss.

This summer is all about comfort. That's why Emerson Fry Caftans are my hot weather go to. Beautiful patterns + sustainable practices makes these a 10/10

Caftan | Sandals

Emerson Color Options: Cerulean Organic (above), Ink Organic (below) and Butterfly Organic (red and blue print).

Fit & Fabric Notes: It’s too cold to wear this out of the house today and I’m super bummed because I don’t want to take it off. I was worried this lighter color would be see-thru, but while I can see my ill-planned black bra through it, I couldn’t see my nude undies or the outline of my legs at all. Score.

This fabric feels just slightly thinner than the Ink option below that I tried last year and seems to drape just a bit more, too. It does have the same measurements/cut as the darker one, but I’ve got the bust-tie tied here and not in the version below, so you can see the slight fit difference.

As a refresher on my deets, I’m 5’4″ typically a size small/US 6 in dresses and tops, 27/28 in jeans, and right between regular and petite sizing (approx 30″ inseam for full length, 28″ to my ankle).

This summer is all about comfort. That's why Emerson Fry Caftans are my hot weather go to. Beautiful patterns + sustainable practices makes these a 10/10


This one is the Ink Organic I tried last year…(arg it just sold out…but it comes in a short version you’ll see below) and while I think it was a little long and overwhelming, it dawned on me that it might have been the color. Hence the ordering the one above. And low and behold…it was. It’s worth trying a couple if you are in love like I am to see what color suits you best! You might love the fabric in and of itself, but it can make such a big difference when you put it on.

The Francina Caftan

Last summer, this is the one that stayed with me after trying a couple out. I love love the smaller overall shape and the lurex stripes (shiny!) throughout the print. I lived happily ever after all last summer in it.

This summer is all about comfort. That's why Emerson Fry Caftans are my hot weather go to. Beautiful patterns + sustainable practices makes these a 10/10

Caftan | Sandals

Fit & Fabric Notes: All the Emerson Fry caftans are one size. The center back length on the Francina is 45″ and the body circumference is 54″ The fabric is 100% lightweight cotton hand block printed with eco-friendly dyes in Rajasthan, India. They each have a tie underneath at the bust for adding just a slightly more fitted look, which I love.

This one also has thin gold lurex stripes running through the fabric. These are breezy and lovely but the lurex on this makes it just slightly more substantial than the Emerson caftans I talked about above.

Francina Color Options: Rose Lurex (above), Sea Lurex, & Violet Lurex

The Emerson Short Caftan

I really thought I’d love this version more than I do. Shorter seemed like it would be a better look on my shorter frame, but perhaps, again, it’s the darker colorway.

This summer is all about comfort. That's why Emerson Fry Caftans are my hot weather go to. Beautiful patterns + sustainable practices makes these a 10/10

Caftan | Sandals

Fit & Fabric Notes: This hits at an odd spot on me…perhaps I’d shorten if I were keeping it. It just makes me look quite wide. I think the Emerson in Cerulean and the Francina caftans are still my very favorites. This one comes in other color options, too, though and maybe those would have been more flattering? I just adore this ink print though so I keep trying heh.

Emerson Short Color Options: Moss Stripe, Cerulean Organic, Ink Organic (above), and Marigold Stripe.

More From Emerson Fry India Collection

I think the only style caftans I have yet to try are the Rise caftan, which is made of organic linen (ooh), and the cotton Baja caftan. Both are the shorter styles, great as beach coverups and all-day wear on vacation.

You can shop the entire India Collection at Emerson Fry here. In addition to caftans, they have a bunch of gorgeous dresses and tops in the same beautiful hand-printed cotton and linen fabrics. I could really just build my whole warm-weather wardrobe there, minus one good pair of denim cutoffs. The new Puff Isla top is very similar to one I have from last year that I grab all the time. The shape is so breezy and flattering with jeans, shorts, and skirts.

We love you, Emerson Fry. Thanks for making sustainable gorgeous small batch hand printed beauties.

Are you a caftan lover, too? I cannot recommend enough having at least one piece to float around your house in, even if you consider yourself sporty-rocker-vibe-girl otherwise. You can embrace your summer sun goddess-ness like me!



For down-to-earth talk with a side of not-too-serious, follow me over on Instagram @laurajansenstyle. Some days there will be dance parties, some days there will be recipe ideas, some days there will be fashion, and some days there will be none of that… just a Portland mom trying to raise her strong-willed gal to make the world better. All are welcome. xo


  1. i ordered the short version and just got it. I am confused as to how the tie works for a more fitted look. I thought it would have run through the dress, but it seems it is just a tie on the underside of the dress. Trying to decide if I should keep. It is super cute.

    • Yeah you just tie it around your ribcage underneath the dress. It adds just a bit of definition there! And it’s not uncomfy when I’ve worn it that way. It is different though! Not something I’ve seen before.

  2. I’ve had the long cerulean one for several years… not sure if the fabric has changed, but I would say mine (perhaps after years of wash?) is quite thin. Definitely too thin to wear outside of house unless it’s as a swim cover up. Perhaps the fabric is thicker now and/or the darker colors aren’t as see-through? Just something to keep in mind when ordering.

  3. Hi Valerie. I have been buying Emerson Fry clothing for several years. I still have some pieces that I purchased when she was EmersonMade. I find her clothing to run true to size.

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