Fall 2011: Caped Crusader.

So far we’ve covered maxi skirts, tie-front blouses and leather shorts/skirts for Fall 2011. Next up: capes.

I am so down for a cape. It’s romantic, a little whimsical, and gives a quick nod to the 1800’s. To keep the look rooted in this century, make sure your cape is on the short side (hip-length is a good gauge), and maybe has a modern touch (like an asymmetrical zipper or some leather piping). A few options to consider:

Caped Crusader

1. Via Spiga Zippered Asymmetrical cape ($175)
2. Halogen Wool Blend cape ($148)
3. Burberry Collette cape ($595)
4. Aryn K Tie-Front cape ($98)
5. Lauren by Ralph Lauren cape ($150)
6. Tarnish Eyelet Poncho ($78)

A black cape is a perfect way to kick this trend offโ€” a great black coat will get you through many, many winters. Consider one with an asymmetrical zipper and a prim high collar (1), or perhaps you take your black with cool military embellishments (5).

If tartan is your thing (and it should be), go get this Aryn K cape right now (4). (Do you see that price point? Super affordable.) Done in deep neutrals, you can wear this with everything. A cape with an over-sized collar, leather piping and soft tan wool (2) pretty much guarantees you will win any sort of Coat Contest in the foreseeable future. Doesn’t this scream English Countryside 2011 to you? The Anglophile in me is itching to purchase it.

Maybe you’re on the cape fence; you maybe-sorta dig it but aren’t ready to commit. Consider the Diet Coke of capes: the poncho. A heather gray poncho (6) would be so chic with leggings and black riding boots, don’t you think? And I’m in the camp that thinks Burberry can really do no wrong, so I would sell a non-essential organ for this gorgeous camel-colored poncho (3).

I’m fighting my inner shopaholic, who’s trying to convince me that I need all of these. Which is your favorite?


  1. Do you think a cape will add heft/weight/the appearance of being heavier? I’ve always stuck to fitted coats so I don’t lose my shape. What do you think?

    1. Heather- I think if you balance the look by sticking with skinny trousers/denim (or a slim-cut maxi, or legging, etc.) on the bottom half, you’ll be fine. The whole idea of the look is to be on the voluminous side. Definitely try on before purchasing (or buy online from a retailer with a generous return policy!), and don’t size up (you don’t want to drown in the fabric). Happy hunting!

  2. I love the 1800s analogy! And it’s so true. But I think you’re right, if you shop for capes with modern details, you’ll be safe!

  3. would like details to the next “coat contest” when applicable. thx.

    i think swapping tonsils for that burberry cape sounds like a fair trade. plus, unlimited* (check with parents for details) ice cream for like a week.

    didn’t see any sections detailing “ManCaping” but i’m sure it will be covered in another post. also, would like to know what super powers each cape brings, as I’m assuming it parallels with the pricepoint of each cape but would like to be sure. E.g., the Tarnish Eyelet Poncho will get you 20/15 vision while the Via Spiga Zippered Asymmetrical cape might get you the power of flight.

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