The cape, a common costume article, has been used in many other ways since ages. There is no precise time as to when the cape was worn first, but theory has it that the cape has been around since the beginning of time. One of the first accounts of a cape has been found in a costume plate that dates back to 1066. The plate depicts a soldier wearing a cape across his shoulders. Another painting from 1300s shows a woman wearing a cape attached to the collar of her dress. The cape has now evolved from a basic piece of apparel to clothing that signifies power and occupation.
Like many costumes, the style of capes took a significant turn during the pre-Victorian era. They became more fashionable for women than men. By the 18th century, bright red capes or scarlet capes became immensely popular among well-bred women, which later became a symbol of high fashion. Capes were then made from variety of materials such as velvet, silk, and satin, and were typically double stitched with fur or chinchilla to make it more stylish. They were long enough to cover a woman properly and also to protect her from the elements. For men, caped overcoats were the in thing. In the nineteenth century Europe, Roman Catholic Clergy
wore a type of cape known as ferraiolo, which was worn for events outside the ritualistic context.
In the 1920s, capes were worn as an outerwear for evening dress. By the 30s, the line between capes and coats blurred. The cape had a completely different look in the 50s, emphasizing more on the shape, fabric and seamless lines. It became abbreviated in length and closed at the front. It fell out of fashion in the 60s, only to come back in the 70s as the poncho cape. Modern day capes are a huge hit with the designers. Christopher Bailey introduced the Burberry monogrammed check blanket style poncho cape in 2014, and Alberta Ferretti, Fendi and Dior all have their own styles of capes now.
Capes are quite popular as superhero costume as well. Superman, Batman, The Shroud and Cloak of Cloak & Dagger
all sport capes of different colors and style to suit their costume. It’s easy to include modern day capes in daily wear. Keep it simple and pair it with coat and jeans. Choose a blazer cape, that way it will look like a blazer also. Add a cape to a skirt or a dress with boots. Both will look chic. If you’re into vintage style, select a collared cape and button it up. For a sassy look, add a bright colored cape with animal print bottom like a skirt or trouser. A cape is versatile enough to go with a jumpsuit too.
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