Justifying a Winter Cape

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If you’re skeptical about the recent resurgence of capes, I hear you. I also had misgivings. “Capes are for wizards and delicate women who don’t worry about the cold — their chauffeurs keep them ensconced in a Towncar bubble,” I thought. The whole look seemed too posh, too impractical.

That didn’t stop me from trying some styles when I saw them in stores, though. And then I started thinking — could the cape, the preferred outwear of one Sherlock Holmes, be the perfect transitional piece?

Long story short, I bought a cape. (In my defense, it was on sale.)

And I’m crushing hard.

Cape: Trina Turk (Nordstrom)
Cape: Trina Turk (Nordstrom)

Capes seem like the peacocks of the outwear world — all flash, no real-world function.  But their rididculouness belies their inherent flexibility.

That’s because I abhor wearing layers underneath my coats. I have pretty wide shoulders, and once you start layering cardigans or sweaters and chambray underneath a traditional coat, it’s like squeezing a giraffe onto the 5 train. But with a cape, Operation Sleeve Squeeze ceases to be an issue. Suddenly, I had freedom of movement, even with some clunky layers on.

Cape: Trina Turk (Nordstrom) |Men's  Chunky Cardigan (Uniqlo) | Boyfriend Jeans: Madewell | Heels: Christian Louboutin (Saks)
Cape: Trina Turk (Nordstrom) |Men’s Chunky Cardigan (Uniqlo) | Boyfriend Jeans: Madewell | Heels: Christian Louboutin (Saks)

Thanks to this cape, I’ve discovered that even when temperatures dip to the 30s, my arms typically don’t need the extra coat layer. The body of the cape keeps the body toasty, and if the wind picks up, you can easily tuck your arms back into the cape. Because the cape has a voluminous bell shape, you can wear ANYTHING underneath without feeling like a stuffed sausage.

To make my point, I wore my husband’s chunky knitted cardigan and a thermal underneath the cape — and the outfit felt light as a feather.

Have you tried the cape trend? Tell me what you think!

Chunky Men's Cardigan: Uniqlo | Belt: Anthropologie (circa 2008) | Thermal with Embroidered Cuffs: Free People
Chunky Men’s Cardigan: Uniqlo | Belt: Anthropologie (circa 2008) | Thermal with Embroidered Cuffs: Free People