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How to Choose a Fashion Cape

Updated on December 6, 2014

Selecting a Fashionable Cape

Capes are associated with legends, fantasy and superheroes. Little girls love these traditional components of dressing up games. Big, grown up girls adore them and today they remain a frequent sight in fashion shows,catwalks and public places. Woman’s capes are warm, cosy and therefore prominent in high streets and shopping malls and form an essential component of this year's female winter wardrobe.

Ancient capes were probably first worn because they were easier to fashion from animal skins or hand woven fabric than a coat with sleeves. They were also much easier to wear than a coat when riding a horse. Capes have remained a part of the traditional military uniform and are also worn by Roman Catholic clergy and nurses.

Super Smart Burberry Military Style Cape
Super Smart Burberry Military Style Cape

French Lieutenant’s Woman

But how practical are they? The original wraparound cape that fastens at the neck, beloved by highwaymen and the French Lieutenant’s Woman, can be a tricky when getting your hands outside to handle a mobile phone, pay a fare or swipe a plastic card.

The more practical and capable capes are those with convenient holes or vents designed so you can easily get you hands outside. Think Sherlock Holmes. Another practical issue, is trying to balance a handbag strap across your shoulder with your hands trapped inside the cape.

Capes therefore tend to limit you to the short handled bag. And don’t even think about a rucksack! Fortunately, this seasons fashionable capes are relatively short so your hands won't get trapped inside your cape when you try to hand over your plastic at the till.

Big Girls like dressing up in Capes at Hallowene?
Big Girls like dressing up in Capes at Hallowene?

Little Girls Dressing Up?

Talking of practicability, why do superheros bother with capes?

What possible purpose (other than decoration) is that huge cloak that Superman trails across the skies in the more recent movie versions of the man of steel?

Surely he doesn’t need it to keep warm?

Anyway the cape does have a timeless appeal. Capes are particularly popular with younger women.

Blake Lively, Lilly Allen and Natalie Portman are all cape enthusiasts. You'll find the evidence in the pictures below.

Perhaps this has something to do with nostalgic recollections of dressing up as a girl and that lovely multi-coloured cape that granny lovingly knitted for them around their 9th birthday?

Casual Cape Outfit
Casual Cape Outfit

Military or Civilian Capes?

Military Jackets and Coats are all the rage this year. Therefore fashionable Capes too, often have a military theme.

You can see smart examples of short capes in the pictures below from Balman and Burberry.

There are also pictures of some celebrity cape wearers sporting more civilian styles.

Anyway if you were the kind of little girl who adored dressing up in capes then why not turn the clock back and choose yourself a stunning, fashionable cape right away.

Hopefully you will turn heads on the high street and if you want to secretly pretend you are little Red Riding Hood or Super Girl shopping then who's to know?

Fashion Capes Video

Blake Lively, Gossip Girl in a Smart Cape by Ralph Lauren, Black Label 'Elodie' Shearling Poncho.
Blake Lively, Gossip Girl in a Smart Cape by Ralph Lauren, Black Label 'Elodie' Shearling Poncho.
Fashionable Military Themed Balmain Tweed Cape
Fashionable Military Themed Balmain Tweed Cape
Bold Black and White Cape from Louis Vuitton worn by Songstress, Lilly Allen
Bold Black and White Cape from Louis Vuitton worn by Songstress, Lilly Allen
Caped Natalie Portman
Caped Natalie Portman

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