When people think of costumes, Halloween naturally comes to mind. Here in the United States, Halloween is a popular holiday where everyone can dress up and flaunt their creativity with their favorite hero. And, Halloween is not the only time people may want to dress up in a cape. Costume parties can happen at any time, and there are many other occasions, such as events at work, places of worship, clubs, and organizations, where a costume is required. Read more “Costume Capes for Adults and Children”
Caped superheroes have been favorites among young children for decades and decades now. Their immense popularity isn’t limited just to youngsters, either. That’s because adults are often big caped superhero enthusiasts, too. Adults often have fond childhood memories that involve caped legends such as Batman, Robin, Superman and Hyperion. Capes can make people feel so many emotions. They can make people remember how in awe they used to be of Captain Marvel. They can essentially make people feel like bright-eyed young kids again. Read more “Buy Cheap Capes Online”
Capes are a fascinating phenomenon that have historical and cultural significance. They have peaked the interest of young and old alike over the course of many years. Who would have thought that something has simple as a cape could go from an ancient way of covering for warmth to the graduated world of high fashion intermingled with the promotion of capes through fictional superheroes and villains?
From Outwear to Costume Accessories
Capes have come “full circle” from outerwear to costume accessories for children and others who want to emulate their favorite caped hero. Cape status is a big deal whether its something snatched from a couture fashion runway or copied from a high flying hero ready to conquer the cape-less bad guys. Capes have long endured, and there are answers as to why.
So, how have capes evolved as a fashion and costume accessory? Well, it had to start with somebody. A light bulb went off in an individual’s mind centuries ago to set the cape trend on its way to eventual super stardom, and its origins are pretty simple.
Origin of Capes
It seems that no one can pinpoint an exact date as to the emergence of capes, though it is likely that the first ones likely appeared within the span of the Middle Ages (1066-1300s). Longer types of cape-like coverings or cloaks have been in existence from the beginning of recorded time as different groups of ancient peoples covered themselves for protection from the elements with items that resembled cloaks and capes.
The earliest similarities to capes were called burnous (enveloping blankets), mantels (mentel-men’s cloak) for men and capucins that were hooded cloaks that were often referred to as capes. These early cloaks were very simple in cut and sometimes were made from a circular piece of fabric with a hole for the head area and side slits for the upper arms and hands.
Any one of these cloaks or capes doubled as night blankets from early times. The British, Scots, Romans, Greeks and Middle Eastern Arabs protected themselves from the weather with different types of fabric pieces, usually wool, that resembled capes and cloaks. These cape substitutes soon became traditional garb that were further associated with military and religious uniforms and costuming, and looked more like capes than large swaths of material.
There are a number of words that are associated with these original coverings, such as the Latin word cloca, which means cape along with the the French word cloke (short red cape). Cape is also derived from the Latin cappa, which means a a hooded cloak or long garment and is is also related to a chaperon, which started out as a cape and became something different.
The difference between a cloak and a cape simply seems to be the longer length of a cloak while a shorter length corresponds with a cape. A more complete full garment is categorized as a cloak, while a cape can include an attached collar with an extension that falls over the shoulder area, but even those types of capes emerged with more layers that hung down beyond the waist area.
Though cloaks or capes continued to be used as functional coverings, they became increasingly more refined with sophisticated styling, designs and more fashionable garments for both indoor and outdoor use.
Historical Fashion Capes
During the 16th and 17th centuries, hooded as well as longer cloaks or capes were the fashion for outdoors and almost every woman, and men, owned them for functional uses and cover-ups. Tailoring was now more included in coat making but few women owned tailored outer coats that were called redingot, but by the turn of the 18th century, the Caped Redingnote and short cashmere capes were coming into their own in the Victorian era.
Women preferred a variety of styles that included mantles and shorter capes as well as those that were fuller and looser to wear over the wide, voluminous and romantic skirts of the time. Long cloak/cape mantles and Long Tiered Cloaks/capes were in style and even had tassels, fancy braid, beading and fringe.
Historical fashion capes in fashion history included the scarlet, red woolen Cardinal cloak or cape, which was popular in 18th century Britain. It was three quarters in length with a hood, was lined, and remained on the scene until 1800. After that, younger women seemed to prefer mantles, shawls and a combination of capes/cloaks/coats in garments called pelisses, which were fashioned in various designs and styles. They were considered loose capes made of rich materials (fur, velvet, satin) and used as an outer garment for women and children.
By the 1860s, cloaks, paletots (short fitted or loose type over jackets) pelisse and sleeved cloaks were the rage and were fashioned from the most elegant of fabrics and trims, such as velvet, colored velvet, sealskin, velvet, sable, fur, lace and other materials. They were long and full and had names like Phoebus, Shanghai, Sultan, Diplomate and other exotic titles.
Until the early 1900s capes and full length cloaks were still being used by older women and after that they were seen less and less other than by those in the medical field or in the military.
Superhero Capes in Fiction
Capes in fiction are part of popular culture and are associated with superheros. The connection between capes and superheros seems nebulous, but capes have continued to endure from the age of comics, radio and on into superhero television programs, movies and theatrical performances.
The very idea of a cape on the back of a superhero represents a kind of freedom and power that goes along with being one, which gives every child an uplifting feeling of being able to conquer all, like their superhero friends can. Fantasizing superheroes in capes allows children to feel a heightened sense of self-confidence that says anything can be accomplished, no matter the difficulty of the situation.
The feeling of a cape falling over the shoulders and flowing down the back can’t help but transform a child from the impossible into the realm of the possible. Freedom and power are there for the taking and anyone can be transformed to superhero status. Children just seem to grasp these feelings when they put on a cape, which is part of the magic of one.
The other sensation that a superhero cape provides is the sense of flight. Who doesn’t want to glide through the skies like Superman and feel the carefree uplift that the thought of flight brings to anyone, especially a child. Flying through the air on your own is the ultimate feeling of self-fulfillment and fun. Any child with a superhero cape is going to say that the ability to imagine flying with their cape is one superpower they would love to experience.
Not all superheros wear capes, but most of those that do are the most famous of all fictional superheroes, which include Superman, Batman (and his dynamic duo sidekick, Robin), Captain Marvel, Dynamic Man, Thor, Hyperion, Spawn, Dr. Strange, Magneto, and others that have all made an indelible impact through comics and other media. Comic books brought them to fruition over generations and newer fans have been brought into the fold through updated comics and other entertainment sources. Each hero wears a cape for reasons of power, confidence and willingness to do what is right. That is what gives them the influence they have in their daily adventures and super human exploits to destroy all villains, with or without capes.
Villain Capes in Fiction
Though the superheroes outnumber the villains with capes there are a few of the bad boys with capes that are represented in fiction, which include Dr. Light (Arthur Light-sexual predator),Hobgoblin (goblin villain),Magneto (a moron with a cape), Granny Goodness (granny henchperson) and Dr. Doom (chained forever in a cape). Most of these despicable characters mindsets are based on evil perversion, craziness, wickedness, creepiness and immorality, which are all, of course, in opposition to their superhero counterparts.
Where We are with Capes Today
Capes today will always be connected with superheroes and costuming, particularly with children, but fashion capes will also continue to be associated with outerwear and clothing trends. Though capes are not as plenteous on the couture fashion circuit, they are still there as part of an important smaller segment of high-end fashion outerwear.
Women still like the conventional aspect and style of capes and continue to wear them for convenience, comfort, portability, warmth and pure enjoyment. No woman likes to throw on a heavy, bulky coat when a cape is at hand, plus capes will continue to portray a sense of romanticism when they are longer and worn with formal wear. Capes will always have an impact on the fashion world and are more than just accessories or costumes.
Think about where capes are seen on a regular basis. The military branches use them and women in the military wear them with dress uniforms. Law enforcement units from America and other parts of the world use capes for protection from the cold and rain, plus you see capes with military, college and high school marching bands, particularly during special performances and with different instrument use.
Final Thoughts on Capes
Capes has been around since the beginning of time and their prevalence has continued to evolve in traditional and high end fashion, superheroes and villains, and more everyday types of work and educational environments where capes play a part in classic uniform use. They will continue to move forward as they have in centuries past, and superheroes can guarantee that.
Capes have been slowly making a comeback and more people are finding needs and reasons to incorporate them into their wardrobes once again. Although the cape never completely disappeared, in modern times it is safe to state that capes have been severely underutilized and stigmatized to a certain extent. Hopefully this stigma can now be removed completely from the cape.
One argument for the cape is all of the comfort that it provides. It is very free flowing, which allows your arms to move freely so that you can wear it while riding a horse or bicycle, drive or many other situations where it is beneficial for your arms to be unencumbered. In addition, as previously mentioned, capes are not only easy to put on and take off, but they are very simple to make also. Usually a cape is just a piece of fabric with a hem and a way of securing it around the neck, making it easy to slip out of and into as needed, and easy to take off and have nearby as well. The simplicity of the cape allows for practically any pattern and fabric to be used, as well as any kind of embellishment that is wanted. That goes back to the sense of drama that a cape can provide an outfit with, since a cape may be used by someone fashionable to conceal or accent an outfit.
The capelet is a piece of fashion that is less for function and more for accent. A capelet is only the upper part of a cape, along with the cloture around the neck and the actual cape ending at around the mid torso area. It can be used for accenting or complimenting an outfit without being quite as involved as a cape. At times an outfit needs to have some contrast in color or pattern, and a capelet is perfect for that since it isn’t at all encumbering or obtrusive. However, the capelet doesn’t serve any function, other than its ornamental aspects.
For men, the cape has continued to be used in sports such as football when the body is way too big for a coat to be easily removed and fit comfortably. Having the ability to drape a cape over the pads can help to keep the player from getting too cold when he isn’t playing or too wet. Since many players have stand around and wait to get substituted into the game, this is very important.
No matter what the gender, need or age is, capes can be a component of any wardrobe. So whether it simple as part of one’s costume, for protection from the weather, a basic shell for warmth or a dramatic addition to one’s outfit, there are an endless number of possible needs and uses for capes.
Capes have long been thought of as truly old-fashioned clothing. Many modern individuals simply see no use for them in their wardrobe, and neither did their parents or grandparents. However, they’re actually starting to make a comeback and are working their way into more and more closets. Capes never truly went away, but they’re not worn very often and even have stigma attached to them. With luck, times are changing.
Most wardrobes could use a cape, or even several. A good cape adds drama to an outfit. Whether the use is from fiction or the fiction that surrounds the piece itself, a cape is a great accent piece to either compliment an outfit or even tie it altogether. Wearing it loose means that you are giving your ensemble an additional layer that highlights the rest of it, but if you close things up, then you give your look a mysterious vibe and makes people around you curious about what’s underneath.
Aside from the potential intrigue and drama, capes actually provide functionality. An immediate benefit of any cape is providing you a warm space or protection from nature’s elements, be it wind, rain, or snow. Even a light cape can give you shelter from the sun without restricting your movement or burning you up. Heavier capes are better in colder and windy weather. Capes are great features to have for outfits where rain coats are impractical or even impossible.
Another perk to capes is how comfortable they are. Most capes are free flowing pieces of clothing, so they leave your arms free to move more than coats or jackets might. This can help when doing anything from driving a car to riding a horse or bike, and those are just a few scenarios where it’s beneficial to have your arms truly unencumbered. Also remember that capes are just as easy to make as they are to put on or take off. Since most capes are often just pieces of hemmed fabric with a method of securing it in place around the neck, the wearer can slip in and out of it as they see fit, since they can simply move it off their body and place nearby. The simplicity means that almost all fabric types are usable and any pattern can be used for a cape. You can even include embellishments if you want. This returns to the dramatic potent00ial of capes, where you can add an element of intrigue to your ensemble. Accent your fashion-forward thinking or conceal something you want to hide until just the right moment for a change of pace or a surprise.
Capelets are also interesting choices if you want something that is less functional and more for fashion. Capelets are just the upper parts of a cape. The cloture is still around the neck, like with a full cape, but the capelet often ends around the torso’s middle or above. It’s a great complement or accent to a larger outfit without taking as much room or attention as a full cape would. Use something like this for a contrasting color or pattern with the larger outfit, but in a way that is not encumbering or obstrusive. Having said all this, capelets serve no true functions other than being ornamental.
Capes and capelets are great for both genders and people of all ages. Whether you are going to a party, dressing up for Halloween or a convention, or just want something unique and historical in your wardrobe, you can use either for a dramatic addition to your wardrobe. Capelets are very ornamental in use, and capes are both dramatic and highly functional in many circumstances.
Long maligned as being unnecessary and old-fashioned, the cape is slowly regaining its place in wardrobes as people are finding many reasons and needs for something that was once a mainstay of every closet. While the cape has never really gone away, it is safe to say that in modern times that capes are vastly underutilized and to an extent, stigmatized. Today hopefully that stigma can be removed from the cape.
Straightforward and Simple
The cape, because of its simple construction, being a length of fabric with a fastener to go around the neck, was used in older times because it was easy to get around the more elaborate dresses and suits of the time. Capes protected the outfit from the elements and grime of dirty city streets, while depending on the composition could be everything a light protective cover in summer to a way to bundle against the cold of winter. Another advantage of the cape is that it is easy to take on and off, just undo the button, tie or other fastener around the neck and it can be taken off.
As fashions changed, the cape fell out of favor for most people. As clothing simplified, more form fitting coats and coverups were wearable, pushing the cape out of favor for most people. While capes were used less, there were still segments of society whom wore capes. This is the best place to discuss the first occasion for wearing a cape.
Capes through history
Capes because of their historic relevance, are a large part of costumes. Many classic characters based anywhere from the Renaissance to the Victorian Era need a cape to complete their outfit. Sherlock Holmes, Count Dracula, Little Red Riding Hood and many other characters use a cape in order to fit with the period of time they were portrayed. From a cosplay sense, even a general character from this time would more likely wear a cape than a sleeved, button-up coat in most cases.
Another aspect of capes as costumes involves a more modern era of characters. Many superheroes wear capes and it is difficult to picture Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman or many other superheroes without a cape. Whether it is Halloween, a comic book convention or just play time, a cape is a must. While the infamous scene from The Incredibles claims that no living superhero should wear a cape, what comes to mind for most heroes has them wearing them.
But very few people are actually superheroes, going to comic book conventions or Renaissance fares. Regardless, many wardrobes can use a cape or several capes. Capes add drama to outfits. Whether it comes from its use in fiction or fiction found this form on its own, with the right usage, a cape can add an accent piece or a compliment and tie together an outfit. Leave it loose and you have an extra layer to highlight other parts of your ensemble. Close it up and you have a mystery of what is underneath until you choose to reveal it.
Drama notwithstanding, there are cases where the covering provided by a cape can have other functions. The first obviously is for warmth or protection from weather. A light cape can be used to keep sun or rain off the body without constricting the body and preventing heating up. A heavier cape can be used for protection from wind and cold and give warmth. This feature also is helpful if there is a feature of an outfit that requires either shielding from rain or sun or is constructed in a way which make a coat impossible or unworkable.
Another case for the cape is the comfort provided by the cape. It is free flowing, allowing for the arms to move freely which can make driving, or riding a bicycle or horse among any other possible cases where there is benefit to arms being unencumbered. Also, as mentioned before, capes are as simple to make as they are to take on and off. Since a cape is usually just a piece of hemmed fabric with some way to secure it around the neck, it slips into and out of as needed, or just as simple to move off the body and nearby if needed. This simplicity allows for almost any fabric and any pattern would make for a cape, let alone any sort of embellishment if desired. This again can goes back to the element of drama that capes can add to an outfit, as the cape can be used by a fashion forward thinker to accent an outfit or conceal it until the wearer is ready to reveal a surprise or a change.
For a fashion piece that is more for an accent and less for function is the capelet. A capelet is just the upper part of the cape, the cloture around the neck with the cape itself ending usually above the middle of the torso. This can be used to compliment or accent an outfit without being as involved as capes could be. Sometime an outfit needs a bit of contrast in pattern or color, which a capelet is ideal for as it is not obtrusive nor encumbering at all. But besides the ornamental aspects, the capelet serves no function.
For men, another place that the cape has remained in use is for sports like football where the body is much too large for a coat that will fit comfortably and be easy to remove. Being able to slip a cape over pads can keep a player from getting too wet or too cold when not playing, which especially in football where many players stand and wait to be substituted, is of utmost importance.
But beyond costumes and sports, there are places where a cape can make a lot of sense for a man. First is that the simple elegance of a cape can give the wearer impact in many situations. This goes back to the drama and mystery that capes can add to an outfit. Also, the cape can much more easily conceal a weapon or a package, which can be helpful for personal security. Also, because of the looseness of a cape, a weapon can be unleashed without much difficulty if the situation requires it.
As mentioned before, a couple of centuries in the past, capes held a much higher place in fashion and were often a sign of importance of the wearer. Many men are finding that this connotation has not completely gone away and see the amount of respect given to them with a smartly worn cape. With the increased popularity of Game of Thrones and other period dramas, the prestige of capes is only rising for men and they are finding there way back to their place in the wardrobes of the well dressed men.
Women on the other hand have not seen the cape disappear from fashion in the same way that men have over the last couple of centuries. A combination of the need for protection from weather and dirt when outside, fashions that have had construction that does not follow the form of the body and the general effect that a cape can have to the right outfit have ensured that the cape has never completely fallen out of favor in women’s fashion.
Much like with men, the mystery of the cape is its greatest benefit in modern fashion. A cape can be used to conceal a daring outfit and give the wearer control of when it is revealed. There is a risk to wearing a cape to this effect, if the outfit does not impress, the cape will likely have been superfluous and unnecessary. When it works though, it makes the woman in the cape the center of attention both before and after they remove it – if they do so at all. Women who wear capes like this wear their sophistication and fashion sense with confidence.
Children, much like men, are not as fashion-minded to concern themselves with the effect of capes. But with children the utility of capes make them potentially vital to be included in their wardrobes. In smaller children, especially those who need to ride in car seats, a cape gives an extra layer of warmth that can easily be moved out of the way when needing to put on a car seat harness. With the danger presented by using harnesses with winter coats and the difficulty in putting on and removing a coat, a cape is an easy solution to what is an obvious problem.
As children get older, a cape that they can easily take on and off is useful, especially in more temperate times of year. Beyond the utility, capes can fire up the imagination in children, allowing them to conceal things both literally and figuratively. And not just for costumes and play time, putting your child in a cape as opposed to a jacket or sweatshirt gives them a feeling of uniqueness and individuality as well as maybe playing into their superhero fantasies.
The simplicity of the form of a cape allows for many options for how to dress it up if desired. Since there are no need for more than a button or a tie-down to secure the cape to the user, there are numerous ways that a cape can be accented to give it flair or other utility. Capes for the most part usually have a collar, but can have hoods to give more protection to the wearer in inclement weather. As well, decorations from bachelor buttons, appliques, embroidery or decorative stitching can be added to a cape without much trouble or concern over contours like sleeves or legs to be concerned with.
Regardless of age, need or gender, capes can be a part of any wardrobe. Whether looking for a dramatic addition to an outfit, a simple shell for warmth or protection from the elements or just part of a costume, the possible uses and needs for capes are endless.
Capes have been maligned for a while now as being something that is not only old-fashioned but also unnecessary in purpose. However, capes are gradually making a comeback into many wardrobes as individuals find different situations for this garment that was once a common closet staple. Capes never really went completely away, but it’s generally safe to say that in the modern era that capes are seriously underused and even stigmatized to a degree. Hopefully, that stigma is finally fading.
Capes are simple in construction. They are generally a length of fabric that uses a fastener to get around a wearer’s neck. These were favored in older times since they were easy to place around the attire of the time, which was often elaborate suits and dresses. Capes gave protection to the fine outfits, giving cover from nature and grime. Depending on how thick the cape was, or its composition, it could be a light summer shade or heavy warmth in the winter. Capes could be taken off and put on easily, by just using the tie, button, or another fastener at the neck.
As time went out, capes fell out of heavy use. Clothing started getting simpler. Coats and coverups became form-fitting, and so most people stopped wearing the larger flowing capes. Still, some parts of society continued to use them.
Capes Across History
Capes are often parts of costumes due to their historical aspect. In literature and art, running from the Renaissance into the Victorian Era used capes to finish off their ensembles. Little Red Riding Hood is one famous example, as is Sherlock Holmes. Of course, they weren’t always for good guys, as Count Dracula used one too. Modern cosplay participants playing characters from these time periods often wear a cape instead of a sleeved coat with buttons.
Superheroes Use Them
A modern evolution of capes is their appearance on superhero characters. Can you honestly picture Batman or Superman without their capes? Whether you are dressing up for Halloween or just to play around, you have to have a cape for many characters in superhero fiction. “The Incredibles” has a famous scene proclaiming that a living superhero shouldn’t wear a cape, but most superheroes, in fact, do wear them.
It doesn’t matter what gender or age you are, or even what your need is, you can make a good cape a part of your w0ardrobe. You can dramatically shift an outfit, give yourself a layer of protection from cold and climate, or just have it as part of a costume. The possibilities are limitless. Check online for both suppliers and photos of different uses to spark your imagination. You’ll be amazed and delighted at all the creative uses and designs that are out there.
For the longest time capes have mostly been seen only as something worn long ago or by superheroes. But like many fashion trends, it is now making a comeback. The reality is that capes have always been with us. They never fully went away, but have been vastly underutilized.
Once you understand more about the cape you will find that in addition to sporting events or costume parties, there are a number of appropriate places men can wear a cape. An elegant cape can give an aura of mystery and intrigue. It will help you to stand out as someone special. Additionally, it is useful for personal security as it aids in the concealment of a weapon. Equally, it is loose fitting making it easier to access a concealed weapon.
In the past and again in the present, capes are seen as a sign the wearer is an important figure. Many men say they can see the effect a smartly worn cape has on how others look at them and treat them. With things like the Game of Thrones and other period shows becoming so popular, it is leading to more and more men adding capes to their wardrobes.
Are Capes Fashionable For Women?
Even before the fashionable return of the cape for men, women continued wearing these as part of their wardrobe. As a cape doesn’t need to fit the contours of the body, it made it an ideal accessory to help protect it’s wearer from outside dirt and weather conditions. The cape often makes for a truly elegant addition to many outfits.
Similar to when men wear a cape, an air of mystery and sophistication is attributed to the women who adds this to their outfit. For women, it gives them the ability to wear something very daring and yet allows them the power to choose when to fully reveal it. Of course, it carries some risk if the outfit underneath is less than spectacular as it will then be seen as superfluous. Still, when done right the woman is sure to be the center of attention and the men may swoon. A woman in a cape should wear it with great confidence in order to get its full effect.
Capes For Children Are Also Now Popular
Depending on the age of the child they may not be as concerned about the fashion statement made by wearing a cape. Still, the nature of its loose fit and versatility can make it a fun and useful choice for children.
When riding in a car seat, young children can benefit from the added warmth of a cape and yet it is easily maneuvered so the car seat can be easily fastened. Harnessing a car seat when a child is in a thick, heavy winter coat can be daunting. But the cape on the other hand, is very easy to move and still give the benefit of added warmth.
When children are a bit older, having the convenience of having a cape that is quickly and easily removed is quite handy. It can also be fun for children as it allows them to imagine and play, often concealing or imagining concealing something with-in the cape. As the weather changes a cape can be put on and off easily and can help protect from rain. Children often seek to stand out, and the cape helps them to easily do that. For those who enjoy indulging in play and fantasies of being a superhero, the cape gives them an instant feeling of being their favorite.
What Are My Options?
The cape is very versatile and can be worn with a range of outfits to add pizazz and elegance. Because a cape only needs to have a single button or an apparatus to tie it means that it can easily be accented to give it just the right flair. You can choose a cape with a collar or a hood. Both are equally popular and it is simply a matter of preference or purpose for wearing it. For instance, a hood is a bit more casual, but offers additional protection against the elements.
Capes are for fun, fashion and for practical purposes. Without regard to your age or gender, capes can add protection from the elements or can spruce up an outfit for dramatic effect. The time for capes has returned and you will do well to add a few to your wardrobe.
With their practicality and comfortability along with the strong fashion statement they make, a cape is a must have for the well-rounded man, woman, and child. Remember that embroidery, decorative stitching, and other ornaments can easily be added to really spice up the overall look.
Wearing a cape will help you stand out from the crowd and look spectacular.