Gorgeous fall capes, some with elaborate beading and embroidery, swept down fall runways.
If you like the thought of wearing a cape, but prefer something a little less theatrical, you’ll be happy to know there are many styles to choose from out there. You’ll find everything from classic, camel wool capes to short sporty capelets, and even funky ponchos.
Capes add instant drama and sophistication. Short capes are especially chic and do wonders to elevate a casual look. Here’s how to wear a cape to suit your style.
To look Preppy in a Cape:
Most capes have a polished, preppy, big city feel. Play that up by choosing a structured cape with toggle buttons or wear a double-breasted, pea-coat style cape.
Pair your cape with traditional accessories, like pearl earrings, a ladylike handbag, and riding boots for a look that works just as well at the country club as it would be on your morning coffee run.
To look Modern in a Cape:
If preppy isn’t your thing, go modern by choosing a flowing cape, instead of a structured one. Opt for details like zippers and leather trim to cement a truly fashion-forward look.
Keep jewelry minimal, but interesting, like these statement studs. A structured handbag with clean lines keeps your look very of-the-moment. Ankle boots add a bit of an edge to this look that’s ready to go from the office to after-hours drinks.
No matter that look you choose, here’s a few general rules to keep in mind:
1. Balance the Volume Up Top
Capes are much fuller than jackets, meaning more fabric will be covering your upper half. This is what makes them so fun- but it also means that you need to balance them out. How? Stick to slim-cut trousers, skinny jeans and pencil skirts when wearing a cape. Anything wider on the bottom will make you look like you’re drowning in fabric.
2. Allow the Dramatic Shape to Take Centre Stage
A cape makes a powerful statement so avoid wearing any other bold pieces or loud colors with it. The rest of your outfit needs to be simple, so let the cape be the focus.
3. Carry a Tote
An over- the-shoulder or cross body bag interferes with a cape’s silhouette and will make you look like a muddled mess. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a preppy, ladylike handbag in a classic hue or a modern bag with a sharp shape. Just remember to choose a large purse that will gently hang from the crook of your arm.
4. Pair with Sleek Boots for Balance
A cape is very voluminous. To balance the fullness up top you need a shoe that isn’t too lightweight, or you will look like you are about to topple over. A weightier shoe or a fabulous boot creates visual balance, grounding your look.
Preppy capes and flat riding boots are a match made in heaven. Both are highly structured, have substance and give you a conservative “ladies who lunch” old money look.
Stacked heel ankle boots make a perfect counterpart to minimalist, modern-style capes because they are a little edgy, but sturdy enough to match the weight of the cape. Both ankle boots and capes are a study in strong lines, which is what modern fashion is all about.
Check out some more ideas for what to wear with a cape, and then test one out for yourself. Be bold and have fun with this new statement outerwear that makes you feel like a secret superhero.
*Guest Stylist Morgan Mullin