This is the season of the cape, bringing practical old school glamour back to autumn outerwear. Stephanie Smith picks out some favourites
When it comes to statement out-of-doors dressing, there are some real fashion options for this autumn/winter, some real variety and some really excellent opportunities to present a fresh, intriguing, undeniably glamorous, outdoors face to the outside world.
Capes are providing the glamour factor – and also the practicality factor, the ease-of-wear factor, the goes-with-everything factor. In fact, capes are hot right now, making an impact on catwalk and red carpet.
Above, top right, TV presenter Gaby Roslin brings in Halloween a little early in her black leather shift dress topped with same-length black cape with leather collar and gold edge trim. It’s a sort of rock-chick teacher at Hogwarts look – and what’s not to like about that?
There are plaid and tartan capes too, channelling the extravagant primness of Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, in which she wears a rather wonderful orange plaid cape coat, which allows her aims to move unfettered as she lectures her “creme de la creme” on days out.
Popular on the High Street too for this autumn/winter are capes with slits that allow the arms to function normally. This works especially in wool tailored capes, both in camel (for a camel hip-length cape is a seasonal key highlight) and in wondows check and plaids, as seen on the Saint Lauren catwalk for this autumn/winter, worn over futuristic gold-print mini tunic dress, thick black tights, knee-high leather boots and wide black fedora – a surprisingly simple, yet inspirational look.
There are longer cocooning capes, for added sweeping drama, while blanket capes bring colour and texture (although I’m pretty sure that the same look can be achieved simply by draping your favourite throw or tartan blanket over your shoulders).
There are faux fur and shearling capes too – a truly glamorous option and perfect in black for flinging over your shimmer black party gown.
Knitted capes are quite possibly the most practical all terrain option, and they layer in a most beautifully on-trend way over other knits, especially in similar and toning shades, for top-to-toe laid-back luxe elegance.