Outerwear is an essential that every woman needs in her wardrobe. It’s a necessity: The right coverup can make the world of difference when it comes to styling your sartorial best. I’m a big believer that everyone should have at least one black leather jacket, wool peacoat in a classic camel, contemporary coat in a vivid hue, and a cotton casual.
And today I’m adding another coverup to that list: The cape.
Typically underrated and considered an ‘old-fashioned’ piece, the cape is a prime option for covering up your daytime or evening styles. Seen all over the Fall 2010 runways, a proper fitting cape can punctuate your style in a serious way. The visually appealing — and versatile! — cape acts as a dramatic layer to complement (or contrast) with whatever you happen to be wearing underneath.
Check the above capes in black. While we learned in high school art class that black is the absence of light, let’s face it: Black adds instant sophistication and style to almost any article of clothing. It’s a hue that works well on pretty much everyone, and it will never age.
- Let’s talk about this reversible cape done in a turtleneck by Akris. Modern and slimming, this heather green reversible knit cape is composed of Italian cashmere and made in Switzerland. The long, straight lines add instant height (it also helps if you practice proper posture). The turtleneck has a centre slit, and there’s a zip in the front. Akris reversible cashmere cape, $3500, Neiman Marcus.
- Next I’d like to draw your attention to this Alice by Temperley artistic gem – the Charlie crepe cape. The silver stud-sprayed cape is made from black crepe and this Alice by Temperley design is all about texture. The front is elegantly embellished, and the collar is velvet. The crepe fabric (poly-blend) wears well in cooler weather. This cape has welt pockets, and hidden front fastenings. Alice by Temperley Charlie crepe cape, $650, Net-A-Porter.
- Also, note this Saks Fifth Avenue exclusive: A classic cape by Chloé. I’m loving the varied length of this coverup. Waist-length in front, and tush-covering in back, this Chloé wool and cashmere cape is guaranteed to keep you warm this winter. Besides the made in France quality, I love the unique braided frog closure at the neck of the cape. The pretty passementerie (read: Art of making detailed trimming and edging) makes the cape. Chloé contour cape, $2175, Saks.
Since I know that several of you are on a budget, I’ve tried to make my next selections somewhat wallet-friendly. I’ve also taken into account that there are many women out there who don’t want to wear black all the time. And if you’re aiming for a colourful coverup, you’ll love these picks.
- ASOS isn’t exactly known for its long-lasting luxe goods, but once in a while they’ve got pieces that are practical and that are constructed with care. Check this ASOS hooded military cape. A durable construction of 65 wool, 35 poly-blend, this is a classic. While the hood is helpful for undesirable weather circumstances, it’s the oversized double button fastenings that are the feature of this coverup. The shoulder epaulettes definitely give the cape more of a chic, finished feel. And you can’t beat the length (or the price, for that matter). Hooded military cape, $117.95, ASOS.
- My man Marc Jacobs makes a mean jacket. I’m loving this cape on YOOX from MJ’s spring/summer collection. It’s certainly a chic transitional piece for Fall, and could easily take you into late September (after which you’ll want to swap your cotton coats for something more season-suitable like wool). This Marc Jacobs cape is 100 percent cotton, and is available in turquoise and purple. It features two front breast pockets, hook-and-eye closure, and shape-retain boning. Marc Jacobs canvas cape, $195 sale, YOOX.
- Finally, we’ve got this caped raincoat by Maxstudio. The stylish silhouette is so fashion forward. Definitely dramatic, the shape of this raincoat cape is perfectly practical. The front flaps wrap the shoulders for added volume, and the front placket covers the Corozo globe buttons. This cape is made from wax coated cotton, so it is sure to be weather-resistant and relatively warm. Caped raincoat, $128 sale, Maxstudio.