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The Cape.

LabelKing

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Why did the cape fall out of fashion? It strikes me as an eminently practical garment suitable for both rain and wind as well as having a certain casual air to it. You can easily put them on and take them off; they shield you from the element, and have a cosy aspect about them. I suppose it's a somewhat theatrical garment, but trench coats, Chesterfields and the like have survived. Perhaps SoCal2NYC can post a picture of his own Raf Simons cape. However, there are some unfortunate imagery associated with the cape--notably, obese Renaissance Fair participants and disreputable people of that ilk; but then one wouldn't expect anything remotely elegant from those types so a good cape is still safe to wear.
 

fritzl

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Originally Posted by LabelKing
Why did the cape fall out of fashion?

Sabres went out of fashion, too. So no fencing on the streets. A big step back.

Also the plebs has been jealous on the right of wearing sabres in public.
 

Kas

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I would think a hooded cape to be more practical than the one shown. However, fur on the hood would probably look too feminine. What's your take on that, LK?
 

David Watts

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"(The) Cape has for too long been worn only in the finales of men's dress shows over improbably immaculate tails. Sometimes still seen on eccentrics. Neither instance does justice to what could be a practical and elegant garment. A short Raglan overcoat, often with a wide back that is technically known as a cape back, is found to be a garment with lines very appropriate for showing off narrow trousers; remove the sleeves and you have a cape. There are possibilities here." -Sir Hardy Amies
 

Paco!

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The problem with capes, as with many other items of historic resonance, is that their practical virtues are lost to the fact that many people's conception of style history is little more than a hodge-podge of television and movie shortcuts and genre nonsense. Thus, the cape has been "ruined" by its association with vampires, superheroes, renaissance faire types, goths and the like. These images are much stronger in the public mind than, say, the famous and cape-affirming pictures of FDR in his boat cloak at Yalta.

So if you want to resuscitate the cape, which I do think is a worthy goal on grounds of both practicality and stylishness, perhaps the best options are to start with the more utilitarian, military inspired styles, or go halfway and choose an Inverness overcoat. The Inverness has been "ruined" by only a single cultural identification, that of Sherlock Holmes, and so the association is easy to downplay by avoiding the deerstalker, pipe, and English country style cues.
 

SoCal2NYC

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Then I wore it over this suit to the opening night gala for The National Chorale
 

Cary Grant

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But they're really not "eminently practical", are they?

They're like so many women's coats with no front buttons- they require you to hold them closed against wind and rain, thus tying up your hands.

Cozy, yes.
 

LapelQueen

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Aside from a fancy dress context, the words stupid and twat spring to mind.
 

Despos

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For three years, 1978, 79 & 80 had a client who bought 4 piece suits. Jacket, vest, trouser and cape, all from the same cloth and he would buy four of these outfits from different cloths each year to wear to the opera in NY. How,when or where he wore them after that I do not know. It was sort of fun.
 

HORNS

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Capes seem to be so practical - I would love to be able to get away with one here during the winter rains here in San Francisco. They look so cozy.
 

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