The question of how to wear a cape appears to come around every autumn. No sleeves seems to equal no idea—but as an outerwear trend that never ceases to return on the runways and the streets, there's plenty of proof that the cape is here to stay and that we just need to get our head (torsos?) around it.
The first problem that can often come to light when wearing a cape is layering: Just what does one wear underneath? And at what time of the year is it most usable? The answer really depends on what style of cape you're looking at. If it's a lightweight blanket-style scarf, just wrap it over your favourite biker jacket on those days where you aren't quite sure where the weather will take you. If you've opted for a thicker, bulkier cape, best to leave it alone and just add a simple knit underneath. Which leads us onto the other main problem: Capes can either swamp you or make you look far bigger than you are. We've got solutions for that too.
Keep reading to see how to style a cape in the most effective ways—plus shop a few of our favourites in- store now.
#1: Blazer Cape + Jeans
Style Notes: Cape-wearing success is often down to how you style it, so if you've got a cape that fits more like a blazer, then pair it with jeans to ensure you're smart but don't feel dramatically overdressed.
Tailored cuts tend to be most slimming.
#2: Knit Poncho + Jumpsuit
Style Notes: A jumbo poncho can be swapped in when you don't fancy wearing a coat. To offset the volume, ensure you go for tonal colours or vertical stripes. A simple jumpsuit is an ideal choice to wear underneath.
Winter boho is always a go-to.
#3: Statment Cape + Jeans
Style Notes: If you want to make a swooping, dramatic entrance, then pick a multicoloured cape, and ensure the rest of your outfit is subtle and fitted. And try blending your top with your cape.
This will turn heads.
#4: The Cape Dress
Style Notes: If layering isn't your forte, why not tap into the trend with a simpler cape-inspired dress? Keep it short and waist-defining to feel extra confident.
Just too cute for words.
#5: Single-Shoulder Styling
Style Notes: This is an entirely new move for us—pin your cape scarf to the waistline of your jeans, and enjoy this asymmetric, casual thrown-on-effect seen on the streets of Paris.
A wear-forever investment.
#6: Long Cape + Long Dress
Style Notes: As we already mentioned, correlating proportions is the safest bet—that's why this costume-inspired, gothic look from Caroline de Maigret works. It helps to be tall, so this combination is best avoided by petite girls.
#7: Cape Scarf + Waist Belt
Style Notes: The fastest way to define your figure and still feel like getting involved in the cape trend is to simply belt up. Choose a medium-thick belt—anything too skinny will get lost and too thick will feel very uncomfortable.
This will double up next festival season.
#8: Evening Cape + Jeans
Style Notes: We're always into a high/low mix, and the idea of a fancy, full-length cape worn with sawn-off jeans is genius. Heels help add to the glamorousness of the idea—but feel free to dress it down further with flats.
Can't wait for party season to begin? Snag this option now.
Next up are the best winter coats to wrap up even more.