So. You’ve bought a cape. Congratulations, you are now one degree more chic than those who possess only sleeve-based outerwear. But next comes the harder decisions: what to wear with your cape? Joining the ranks of the caped fashion crusaders takes some forethought, so Venue are going to give you a little swooshing 101. Whether you bought the cape to look like a vampire or a superhero, we’ve got some tips to style your way into the cape coat hall of fame.
The basic thing to get right with a cape is balance. The cape usually involves a lot more material than the traditional coat and it’s that flowing feeling the fabric creates that makes it such a luxurious garment. But it is also this excess of fabric that can create a top-heavy silhouette that requires more thought to balance than a simple coat- for example we’d suggest avoiding a long skirt with a cape as this will look quite blockish.
For those of you with full-length cape coats, this isn’t so much of a problem. If your cape is armless, as longer capes usually are, then we suggest adding a chunky bracelet or two to break up the bare skin of your arms. Match it to the colour of your cape and wear it closed for a monochromatic look. Our top tip for a longer cape is to try a stronger makeup look, like a wine lipstick for a pop of colour. This will keep your face from getting lost in the fabric!
So we come to the mid-length cape coat, the best friend of those of you with amazing legs. Dressed correctly, it can curtain off the rest of your body so as to exhibit your sexy shins. To really show them off wear your favourite spray-on jeans or go that bit slicker and wear just leggings. This will highlight your legs and balance the eye as it is drawn up your silhouette.A simple skater dress works really well with this cut of cape, and can look really cute and flouncy- because we all know half the fun of a cape is the swooshing factor.To keep your outfit from getting too cute, massive chunky shoes are a really cool twist for an alternative look. A pair of Doc Martens really mix up the final silhouette and are damn useful as we approach autumn. You’ll be dry and looking super stylish as you stomp through puddles. You’ll basically be Sherlock. We’re sure 99% Benedict Cumberbatch has a cape. Sherlock Holmes definitely did.
Accessories are really crucial for your cape. They stop your limbs from getting lost in the sleeves, or your face from getting swallowed up in a hood. Choose a complimentary colour or something that appears elsewhere in your ensemble to tie the look together. To keep things subtle you can tuck the ends of the scarf into the collar, just make sure to keep a distinction between the cape’s colour and your skin. This really is a stellar accessory for a cape as sometimes the wide-open bottom lets in more wind than a tight fitting coat, so the scarf has a bonus of keeping you warm. If you’re following our earlier advice of wearing some chunky bracelet jewellery, match the bangles to the scarf to tie the look together even more.
At Venue we can’t quite decide whether kimono count as capes. They’re definitely beautiful, and they score very highly on the swoosh factor which inclines us to include them. For a Summer take on the capes, then a kimono would be perfect. You can scarcely move in the high street shops but for gauzey patterned smoking jackets and tassle-fringed kimonos, and the Memoirs of a Geisha fan inside us all heartily approves.
So now that you have been inducted into the way of the cape, go forth and swoosh for your life!