Capes, they’re worn by royalty and superheroes, but they are also a cool and unique accessory you can wear.
Despite those most prominently recognized for wearing them, capes are not simply a sign of the wealth or power. Capes do have a practical purpose. Depending on the material and design capes purposes vary, but primarily they protect from inclement weather, either by protecting from rain or snow, by keeping one warm, or protecting one from the sun.
While there’s no exact origin of the cape we do know they date back to at least the 11th century, but considering the obvious utilitarian purpose of a cape it’s reasonable to believe we have being using cape as long as we could make simple clothes.
There are a variety of kinds of capes for different uses for those who care about the details. For starters the term cape can mean two different things, pretty well most long pieces of fabric draped over the shoulder can be considered capes but from the perspective of fashion there is a distinction. A longer piece going past the waist is a cloak. Now while this is relatively semantic its important to note.
Ulsters, capes in both fashion and design, were made for utilitarian purposes. They cover the shoulder and chest going down to the elbow keeping the wearers jacket dry but still letting them easily use there arms with no obstruction. Since they were designed to protect they were usually made of heartier material like herringbones or tweed.
Of course when the goal becomes more about fashion over function material choices become much more flexible. The materials for a fashion first ulster, and in turn all capes, can be everything from crochet to faux fur. The goal of protecting from the rain is a deep after thought. But that’s not their purpose.
Capes have long felt like they were niche to royal weddings, military uniforms, cosplay, and conventions, but I believe there is no reason not to not wear them out to a bar or just while your running errands. Capes are for everyone. With designs and styles for every type of weather and occasion there has never been a better time to own a cape.