No longer is the humble cape reserved for superheroes and diabolical fairytale characters. Laura Burgoine explores this season’s must-have item.
Many consider capes a little too avant-garde for everyday wear, but it's important to recognise the cape as the highly versatile, practical investment piece it is.
Capes lend a European elegance to any outfit. Thrown over a simple jeans and top combo, or leggings and boots, they will instantly lift your entire look.
They put the fun back into fashion, making wearers feel a bit like they're playing dress-ups, whilst also presenting great liberty from the constrictions a coat presents with sleeves.
You might ask when would I ever wear a cape? The answer is when would you not? If you're looking for inspiration, go no further than comic book fiction where the cape famously adorned Superman whilst he fought crime and protected truth, justice and the American way. In Disney's Snow White, the Evil Queen was never without her cloak as she plotted the protagonist's death. What other fashion item spans the entire moral co
mpass, from inherently good to inherently evil, covering both the wearer and everything in between? Throughout history, capes have draped the shoulders of people from all walks of life.
Emerging somewhere in the early medieval times, cloaks and capes spanned across the 16th century as decorative shawls and then extended to military officers, manifesting in the fur stoles of the 1940s and the fringed ponchos of the 1960s.
This season's cape is more sophisticated, elegant and appropriate for streetwear.
Stella McCartney has been snapped by the Papps covering up her baby bump with an of-the-moment cape, while New York-based celebrities are notorious for dodging the harsh winters by donning a woollen variety. Capes may not make you fly, but you will be a style superhero in your own right.
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