Consider This, Casual Capes

March 14, 2018


Capes aren't nearly as popular as they should be.


Capes have always been dramatic centerpieces in movies. They're something to flap behind the hero, making them look sturdy and strong as the fabric behind them bends with the wind. Usually that's the extents of the feelings they invoke -- sturdiness and strength. A couple of times they'll be torn as a subversion to show how a hero has fallen or is close to, and in victorious moments where the movie has a big budget, they'll get an ornate redesign. Cape #2 will be much more decorative, and will flap softly, showing that the hero has reached his peak. He is still sturdy and strong, but he does not need to enforce it. It's clear to see he's won, whether it's in the form of riches, a title, a lover, exc.


I think fashion really allows us to expand upon the range of emotions capes are able to evoke. Sometimes, clothes are just clothes, but more often then not they excite me. I always figured as a little girl that I would start wearing capes, whether it was normal or not. Luckily, by the time I got older, they were normalized. Or maybe not so luckily. Another million dollar idea, capitalized on before I was old enough to get a business license!


People making up outfits on their own don't have to adhere to the demands of a studio. There's not a set color palette for marketing, or themes they have to follow. People can make up their own themes! This allows us to go outside black and red, the most common cape colors, and go with any pattern they choose. Soft pink and ruffled capes can display a certain type of delicate femininity, asymmetrical and sharp can summon feelings of the envious dangerousness we see in femme fatales all the time.


So when I first dove into capes, I was confused to see this lack of variety. Sure the color palette certainly expanded. I can have capes in all different colors now. But the patterns are still very plain. Some of sweater knit, with large buttons. Others are mostly plain, with variations in fastenings. Nothing too dramatic.


Maybe it's because capes aren't all that popular. Even though they're not necessarily weird anymore, you don't exactly spot someone donning them as often as you see someone in heels. Dramatic designs in styles occur when something is popular. The most people you have to compete with, the more you have to innovate. Competition breeds creativity.


I don't feel like people will get competitive over capes any time soon, but if you ever feel the need to add some spice to your look, I really recommend them. If you don't get the same random bursts of obsession with small, obscure things and don't see the amount of character in capes I'm describing, consider brooches.


Brooches are the best way to communicate a more overt message with a cape. Matching a ladybug brooch with a black cape conveys a bug, something leather with a map pin feels like adventure, exc. It's a lot of fun! I've got an idea for a day when I can spend money excessively with a crushed velvet cape and eight metallic matching brooches. A charm bracelet made of fabric that can be draped around the shoulders.

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