It’s a Cape, Not a Poncho.

Last time I visited my brother Andy and sister-in-law Shari in LA, Shari was all “capes this!” and “capes that!”

What in the hell is a cape?

Oh, I see! It’s like a poncho, but with less of this going on:

These capes sure looked adorable on Shari. And in fact, I once had a cape or two in my early twenties (I foolishly called them ponchos at the time… capes are so much classier!). I had not rocked a cape in quite some time, but Shari loved them and I was intrigued.

Three months later, I was at Forever 21 (or as I like to call it, Forever 29), and stumbled upon the cape in the above photo. It looked fancy. Even decent quality! I’ve always secretly loved Forever 21, but in a Chic-fil-a at the airport kind of way– so dirty, so good, so hiding in a corner while I eat it.

Since my capsule wardrobe buying freeze was over, I purchased it.

When I threw it one the next day, I instantly felt put together, even though I was basically wearing a grandma afghan as a shirt. It’s warm, comfy, stylish, not too restrictive, and in this case, not too The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. I got loads of compliments on it, and everyone was shocked about where I purchased it. It looks so fancy.

Check out the detail!
Check out the detail!

If you want capes on the cheap, hit up Forever 21. Capes-o-plenty! I can’t find mine on their website (it’s probably still at the store… who knows with that place), but here are some excellent alternatives.

CHEAP & CUTE CAPES

I'm sorry, this cape only costs $47.80? |  Photo: Forever21.com
I’m sorry, this cape only costs $47.80? |  Photo: Forever21.com

This marled knit number is so chic and vintage! I could imagine Kate Hudson wearing it… except she kind of bugs me.

Going anywhere? Wear this cape!  |  photo: Forever21.com
Going anywhere? Wear this cape!  |  photo: Forever21.com

Here’s how you do fringed cape without looking like an extra in a Clint Eastwood movie (though if that’s the look you’re going for, excellent!).

Back to the 70s in this stripy number.  |  photo: Forever21.com
Back to the 70s in this stripy number.  |  photo: Forever21.com

Going to Sedona? You should probably pick up this comfy, cozy cape first. ($22.80)

Fair Isle cape city!  |  photo: Forever21.com
Fair Isle cape city!  |  photo: Forever21.com

Like a little color in your cape? Try this one!

Stripes and fringe unite!  |  photo: Forever21.com 
Stripes and fringe unite!  |  photo: Forever21.com

Technically, this is a cardigan. But I like it!

Mid-range Capes

Love this white number!  |  photo: freepeople.com
Love this white number!  |  photo: freepeople.com

I’d wear this cape to a beach party or P. Diddy’s white party. PS You should just click on the link because the other photos of this item make me want to shout, “HAND CHECK!”

Obviously this one comes from Anthropologie. 
Obviously this one comes from Anthropologie.

This pretty number comes in green, too.

This lady looks classy as hell in this cape.  |  photo: neimanmarcus.com
This lady looks classy as hell in this cape.  |  photo: neimanmarcus.com

Gwyneth Paltrow would own simple, pretty cape  if it cost a thousand dollars more.

* * *

Anyone else feeling the cape these days? It’s one of three clothing purchases I’ve made since wrapping up my capsule wardrobe… though I’m still working with about 40 pieces in my closet. It’s magical!

For more fashion-y things I’ve tried, check out the time I wore a pink jumpsuit (it didn’t go well) and the time I re-visited press-on nails.

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Comments (3)

  • Annie Payseur 2 years ago Reply

    I have a very similar cape sweater and I love it! However, I always struggle with when to wear it as a MN resident, because I can’t figure out how to wear a winter coat over it…. wouldn’t it get all bunchy underneath? Is it strictly a fall/spring item that you wear without any kind of jacket or coat over it? Help!

    molly mogren katt 2 years ago Reply

    Okay, great question! I do agree with you– wearing under a winter coat is tricky. I did it yesterday and mine did get a bit bunched under my coat, but since my arms are mostly free, it wasn’t uncomfortable or anything. I think it all depends on how long you’ll be in your coat. If it’s just from A – B and you’ll be taking it off when you arrive at a party/work/meeting, I say deal with the awkwardness. If you’re going to an outdoor pond hockey tourney, maybe go with another outfit.

    Sarge in Charge 2 years ago

    Ugh, I am a cape / poncho / shapeless garment lover but you can only wear them as your outerwear in a very narrow temperature range, can’t wear them with any kind of shoulder / cross body bag, and can’t wear them with any kind of fitted coat. It is really a problem … so much so that I developed the term "cape weather" (still waiting for it to catch on) http://www.sargeincharge.com/2013/10/cape-weather.html

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