Capes and Cloaks

What is a Cape?

A cape is a sleeveless cloak, usually of short length, worn around the shoulders and drapes halfway down the body. When the word cape is mentioned, usually images of superheroes like Superman and Batman come to mind, which would definitely be an accurate picture. In fact, capes definitely get plenty of use during cosplay, which is the practice of dressing up as a character from a book, movie or video game. The famous detective from literature, Sherlock Holmes often wore his signature plaid cape along with his pipe and glasses. But capes also have a place in modern fashion as well. In the early 2000's capes began to slowly appear on women's fashion runways again and to this day have a solid place among ponchos and blazers as a stylish choice for fall and winter outerwear. They also come in lighter materials and floral and light colored patterns for spring and even summer, where they can be used as a bathing suit coverup.

What is a cloak?

A cloak is a long, draping garment worn over the clothes that are typically sleeveless and sometimes includes a hood. Cloaks aren't often worn in the modern day and are instead only seen in television, movies and video games set in long ago times. Although, the popular new television series, "The Handmaid's Tale" features striking images of women wearing dark red cloaks meant to completely hide their bodies. In that particular case, the cloaks are a symbol of oppression, but there are other stories where cloaks represent something entirely. In the fantasy series "Game of Thrones," a group of guardsman called the "City Watch" are more informally called the "Gold Cloaks" because of the gold cloak each man wears as part of their uniform. This style of cloak resembles ones from the 18th century, where they are loosely tossed over the shoulders and do not feature any sort of collar, hood or decorative closure. Because of its overall daunting image and old-fashioned appearance, the cloak won't likely be making an appearance in modern day fashion anytime soon.