5 Ways to Wear a Cape

Kastle W
by Kastle W

Superheroes aren’t the only ones who get to wear capes. An often overlooked piece of outwear, a cape is a great way to add some variety to your winter wardrobe, especially when you get in that cold-weather rut of just grabbing the same coat to wear with everything.

What is a cape? By searching the Internet, I found that a cape is often confused with a poncho, a ruana or a pashmina wrap, and stores often put capes in these categories under a search. By definition, a cape is a sleeveless outerwear garment that drapes over your shoulders and forms a circular shape around your body. It closes either by a tie or button at the neck or with buttons or clasps down the front. It has slits on the sides to put your arms through so you stay completely enveloped in it; thus you keep warm.

Think of Superman and Dracula as your pop culture references. But capes aren’t just for cosplay. They are a practical addition to your wardrobe, especially in the fall and winter months.

What I love most about capes is how stylish and unique they look, but they can be warm over bulky winter clothes, unlike coats, which will make you look and feel like a stuffed sausage if you put them on over a thick sweater. A cape leaves you plenty of room to move around. And you’ll look sleek, even if you’ve indulged in too many holiday treats when winter hits.

Not many people wear capes, so when you do, it instantly draws attention as an interesting choice. A solid color cape with go with anything, while a patterned cape can be a statement on its own, and you really don’t have to worry too much about what you put on underneath.

No capes in your wardrobe? Get shopping!

Black Cape

Long Plaid Cape

Neutral-colored Cape

Hooded Cape

Long Cape Over Separates

A long cape in a print is a bold fashion choice but one you won’t regret when you discover the many ways to layer it. This long wool cape is like wearing a warm blanket and can double as a coat. But I can open it up to cool down when I’m inside without having to take it off and carry it around. If you’re unsure how to style outwear with a print, keep what’s underneath simple in solid colors. I added a neutral-colored tan sweater with a pop of red in the skirt since the cape is also in neutral tones.

Mix Prints

You can add a lot of interest to your outfit by mixing prints if you have a cape in plaid or another bold pattern. By keeping your outfit pieces all in the same color family, mixing prints is a breeze. I paired this fall floral dress with my taupe plaid cape to let the colors and patterns play off each other. The cape keeps me warm and adds to the outfit without covering the dress with a full coat.

Basic Black Short Cape

If you’re thinking of adding one cape to your wardrobe, try a short black one. This piece can easily become a staple in your fall wardrobe because it will go with almost everything. You can pair it over a dress, an outfit of separates with a skirt, or as an extra layer over bulky sweater without having to bring a coat. I love how it can dress up a simple jeans and top outfit with a piece that will add style and dramatic flair to the look. I paired my short black cape with a long-sleeve blouse that you can see the collar and sleeves peeking out. It instantly turns this otherwise plain look into a chic fashion statement.

Dark Academia

The academia trend is a perfect fall /winter look that combines a collegiate boarding school aesthetic of prim preppies, a love of all things plaid and lots of layers of texture. A spin-off of academia is dark academia, which leans more into a goth style of dark colors, dark settings and gothic literature. A black cape is perfect for this look. You can’t think of a black cape without thinking of Dracula, and a black cape gives a little bit of that spooky mystery. Pair it with a black turtleneck, a plaid skirt, and black leggings for a hint of the dark side without looking like you’re wearing a costume. Learn more about academia style in my previous post.

Now that you know some ways to wear a cape, will you try one?’

See more of my looks in the  Stiletto City blog and my  Instagram page.


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