Caped Crusaders

I’ve been seeing a lot of capes making appearances in street style pics. They seem like a fun alternative to a jacket or overcoat. And you can sneak your little dog into the theater underneath one. Or your boa constrictor, but that’s another story for another time.

Street Style Cape

Image via.

What about you? Will you be wearing a cape this fall? Or a poncho? (I’m in Camp Poncho, but I have a feeling this issue may divide the masses even more than sarouel pants…)

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40 Comments

  1. Lady of Style
    October 10, 2013 / 4:25 am

    I find capes very chic – especially the b&w from Banana Republic – but not very practical where I live. Going shopping or for a luncheon in the city – perfect, shovelling snow on the countryside or even driving a car, probably not.
    I am usually not one to select clothes based on how practical they are but in this case I probably sadly have to.
    … ok… I may have to reconsider 😉

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • Pain-au-Chocolat
      October 10, 2013 / 5:45 am

      Annette, you are so right. It is impossible to drive a car in a cape – can’t get your hands up onto the steering wheel.

    • October 10, 2013 / 6:01 pm

      I completly agree – they look fab but are meant for city streets where lots people of will see you walking by with a dashing silhouette

  2. October 10, 2013 / 5:02 am

    I hav a navy one, it’s great for fat days but my husband loathes it, I get Clint jokes whenever I wear it.

  3. October 10, 2013 / 5:03 am

    I really like the BR cape you featured, and I’d wear that in a heartbeat. I tend to buy too much cool-weather clothing, though, and hence have an excess of jackets for the few months of suitable weather!

  4. Susan Daniel
    October 10, 2013 / 5:25 am

    I love cool weather clothing, but live in a location that is warm eight months (or more) of the year. I have an Eileen Fisher poncho (but with arm holes) from several years ago. It is the perfect casual wrap for chilly days that are not quite cold enough for a coat. I wear it running errands, grocery shopping, etc.

    I do like that BR sweater cape, but don’t think it is practical due to some constriction of the arms. My EF poncho is easier to wear.

  5. Jill
    October 10, 2013 / 5:38 am

    If I could find a cape I loved I would go for it but I think it will take serious searching before I found “the one.”

  6. October 10, 2013 / 5:48 am

    There are several here I like…I just need the weather to go with them!!

  7. October 10, 2013 / 5:52 am

    Thanks for the reminder – I’ll pull out my cozy poncho-style wrap (a long-time fave, purchased in Florence at least a decade ago) and stay warm on my flight to Paris next week – know I’ll be glad to have it on the trip!

  8. October 10, 2013 / 5:57 am

    I’ve worn capes, ponchos and warp sweaters before and I’m choosing more fitted jackets and coats now. I looked a stylish cape Tahari cape coat on clearance last spring and decided it this style aged me not in a good way. I’m open to these styles but I proceed with caution!

    blue hue wonderland

  9. Chris
    October 10, 2013 / 6:24 am

    Well, I like both but probably fall more in the poncho camp – in fact, am just about to knit Churchmouse Yarns’ Easy Folded Poncho!

  10. October 10, 2013 / 6:35 am

    I like them–in fact, I was hoping to find either a cape or poncho this year. One issue–I actually bought a seemingly beautiful maroon wool poncho by Eileen Fisher a few years ago. The front was great. The back was at my waist–way too short. So I had to return. Watch the length!

  11. Hostess
    October 10, 2013 / 6:43 am

    I don’t think a cape or poncho would be warm enough in our climate. While you have shown some tempting options I think I will admire them from a distance.

  12. Northmoon
    October 10, 2013 / 6:56 am

    A cape would be an impusle purchase that would end up hanging in my closet for 363 days of the year! Just not practical enough, as noted you can’t drive in them, they’re drafty if it’s really cold and awkward if you’re carrying anything.

    A cozy knit poncho would perhaps get more wear, but I have two wool wraps that I can wear instead, plus two neutral sleeved wrap style sweaters that look similar, so it’s not a high priority item for me.

  13. Mary
    October 10, 2013 / 7:48 am

    No capes for me. I drive/commute 100 miles a day, so a cape would be useless. I also carry a shoulder bag, which is incompatible with capes. However, back in the 60’s, I had several capes, including a gorgeous 3/4 length navy blue wool one lined in blood red wool.

    On the other hand, I just made my soon-to-be DIL an ivory cape to wear over her strapless wedding gown in November.

  14. MJ
    October 10, 2013 / 8:00 am

    Normally I would say that a cape is just too impractical – why bother wearing a layer with armholes so that it won’t keep you warm? But that checked cape is beautiful and might make me change my mind. Fortunately I can’t figure out who makes it and so I won’t be able to buy it.

  15. October 10, 2013 / 8:24 am

    I have tried capes and find them a bit impractical in for the British winter, my arms get cold. I do have a very old one which i keep in France, useful for walks on the beach.

  16. October 10, 2013 / 8:42 am

    My mother made me the most marvelous Black Watch plaid cape, of luxurious wool suiting with a wonderful heavy satin lining, in the early 70s. Midi-length, it wouldn’t work now, except that it was so dramatic someone is probably exclaiming over it even now, having found it as some thrift store or other (if the moths didn’t get it first).
    So much better than the bubble-gum pink-and black polyester late-70s iteration we had in the kids’ dress-up box for years and years, sassy fringe and all.
    All of which is to say that while I like the look as it’s been showing up the last two or three years, I think I’m going to keep admiring it from afar. I’ve debated knitting one, cables, cashmere perhaps or a delectable merino, but then I project the shelf life and decide No. . . .

  17. October 10, 2013 / 8:47 am

    I’ve been contemplating a cape – I’m thinking cycle chic rather than street style!

  18. October 10, 2013 / 10:15 am

    I tried a couple of capes on two years ago on my birthday (the only day of the year I can get my husband to go shopping with me) and my husband hated them on me. And I wasn’t really in love with the look myself, at least not on me. But that tweed one you’re showing in the second photo might change my mind. I love the funnel neck.
    I’ll be dragging my poor husband around Nordstrom in a couple of weeks for my birthday – I’ll give capes another go and report back 😉

  19. October 10, 2013 / 12:46 pm

    I love capes — have for years. But alas, unless it’s thrifted or on sale, I don’t buy. I shall make do with my gorgeous grey poncho. (Love that first cape.)

  20. October 10, 2013 / 1:24 pm

    I have an Avoca Weavers cape from Ireland that i have worn for more than 20 years. It cost me a lot when I bought it but I still enjoy wearing it.

  21. October 10, 2013 / 2:47 pm

    Capes are one of those things that make me sigh. They require more panache than I will ever have. Although I did wear one in high school, during the days when I listened to a band called Pentangle, and cast spells…

  22. October 10, 2013 / 4:35 pm

    I have a cozy poncho that I knit, and I do wear it at home some. Bought a cape when I lived in NYC, but I felt self conscious the only time I wore it – so off it went to some other home.

  23. Jana
    October 10, 2013 / 5:35 pm

    No cape here. With age and weight comes the need for more structure than a cape affords.

  24. Gretchen
    October 10, 2013 / 6:48 pm

    I am going to channel Edna Mode here: No capes. Not practical, almost always frowsy, and so many better options for style, warmth, and utility. I put these right up there with platform shoes. Why bother.

    • suz
      October 10, 2013 / 8:39 pm

      Oh Edna. I want to be her when I grow up 😀

  25. Jill Ann
    October 10, 2013 / 6:48 pm

    Not a cape fan, although I like some of the looks you’ve shown. I will admit that in my head, I believe that someday I will own (and wear) a floor length black velvet cape, with a hood, all lined in ice blue silk. Just why that particular vision has resided in my head for decades, I could not say. Maybe I subconsciously think I’m Nora Charles?

    —Jill Ann

  26. suz
    October 10, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    My response to a cape/poncho has not changed since I was 6 or so – “get it off! get it off!”, basically. Like a cat in a net.

    I like it on others

  27. Duchesse
    October 11, 2013 / 5:27 am

    I had one once, of beautiful loden cloth, a gift from Le Duc- but when I tried to wear it, I felt lijke I was trapped in a tent. Consigned to back of closet till moths destroyed it. Maybe the smaller, suppler sweater-poncho could work, ans a variant on an indoor jacket.

  28. Kris
    October 11, 2013 / 10:12 am

    I’ve never been tempted by capes. I don’t believe they would be a good look for my shorter frame and, for some reason, I don’t think they fit my personality. I know that is an odd statement, but there is something a little avante garde about capes which intimidates me.

  29. SewingLibrarian
    October 11, 2013 / 12:22 pm

    They always seem “neither here nor there” to me – too flimsy for cold weather, too hot for tropical locales, too bulky for cars….I’d rather have a nice big shawl or cashmere scarf.

  30. October 12, 2013 / 3:10 am

    I had a cape when I was in uniform at school, that put me right of, but Rebecca loves them very much.
    much love and a wonderful weekend, dear friend.

  31. October 12, 2013 / 4:37 am

    I am drawn to these as well, but always thought maybe I would look too much of a cliche bopping about in the Scottish highlands in my cape. ….Naah! When has that ever stopped me before!? I am officially cape shopping!

  32. Mette
    October 13, 2013 / 6:55 am

    I was supposed to comment earlier, but..
    Not wishing to have a cape.

  33. Sarah
    October 13, 2013 / 7:41 am

    I find that with my large bust, a cape just “tents” off my body and is not at all flattering.

  34. October 14, 2013 / 10:06 am

    I admire capes on others. I think you need stature to wear them well. They would be truncating on my frame. That second photo reminds me of Kathy Leeds.

  35. October 15, 2013 / 5:33 am

    I found a beautiful, hand-loomed black cashmere/wool cape while in Ireland last month, at a craft/gift store at the Hill of Tara. And so, I will once again be wearing a cape. The last time I had a black cape was some time in the 1980s. This one is fully-lined with a hood and two snaps at the neck. So lovely, it has to be worn! I will get you the name of the manufacturer if you’re interested.

  36. Karen
    October 21, 2013 / 6:08 pm

    I love my heavy black merino knit pea-cape from BR. The only thing to remember is that when you “cape” you pretty much cover up all the pretty stuff underneath. Other than that what a refresher for the fall wardrobe!

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