The Man Cape: Can It Be Done?

The Man Cape: Can It Be Done?

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how to wear a man cape

Man capes?  Yeah, so maybe I’m off the deep end on this one.  I’m okay with that.

Before I attempt to wax poetic let’s first cover a bit of backstory.  I was on Nantucket a few weeks ago and amongst other activities decided to do some photo shoots for the upcoming Jay Butler launch with the good people (or at least their products) from One Orange, Hudson Sutler, Heath Paine and Ellsworth & Ivey.  I couldn’t resist trying on a few of Ellsworth & Ivey’s capes, as I have been curious about experimenting with one for a while.  Only one of them fit, which would make since, given they are designed for women.  So anyway, we took some photos of me wearing the cape, I think it worked.  But I got the impression that some of my friends thought I lost it.

how to wear a man cape

The first things that come to my mind when I think of a man in a cape are Batman, Superman and Comic-Con nerds.  The first two are bad ass, the latter is perhaps not something to aspire to on a daily basis.

That said, ‘man cape’ is not really in the lexicon on #menswear. Yet.  Perhaps it is on the outer most fringe of things.  From what I have been able to read through online, most people seem against men wearing capes.  In fact, I would say that a cape it more at home with the most staunch of classic and traditional dressers, like Will over at ASW or Raphael at Gentleman’s Gazette.  Long before my time it was commonplace for men to be seen in capes.  Often the capes were paired with canes and top hats.  Those must’ve been the days.  So perhaps now the man cape is poised for a small resurgence, capes have been doing just that on the women’s side of thing the past few F/W seasons.

From a practical aspect, the cape provides moderate levels of warmth and protection from the elements.  Effectively replacing a lighter jacket.  However, the visual interest is much greater than with said jacket.

how to wear a man cape

I realize that most (ie. 98%) men would never wear a cape.  One of my friends remarked that he would get fired if he wore one to the office. Although a little exaggerated, I am sure the judgement would be swift and unfavorable.  But desire aside, most men could not pull one off; to be frank. It just wouldn’t work with their style, comfort and confidence levels.

So how do you wear a man cape?  The first thing that is needed is confidence in your own style, as well as comfort in the judgements people will throw your way.  In terms of wearing, there is the formal approach, where you wear it with black or white tie.  That is how most men could pull a man cape off.  It is a less daring approach; and the boldness of the cape seems more at home with formal attire.  Then there is the casual approach, like that shown in the photos.

Like everything, it is up to you to decide if a cape works for you.  I certainly advocate trying new things, maybe just don’t wear the cape to the office.  So I must ask, would you wear one?  Or, have I gone too far?

ellsworth and ivey man cape

JLJ

 

Note: FYGblog received no compensation from Ellsworth & Ivey for featuring their cape in this post.  I just like the cape.

23 COMMENTS

  1. That this article is so winded, is the first clue that the man cape should not exist. But if you must insist that it should, then it should only be wore by the great, and weird. For example, James brown, and his predisesor Prince or the Artist formerly known. Both great, and weird.

  2. It looks like an expensive poncho, hypothetically if you needed a rain outfit why wouldn’t you go with a nice sweatshirt, sweater, or rain jacket? It doesn’t seem to bring any practical value to the table over these options, and these would look much better

  3. I saw a formal men’s one on the B Bros website a year or so ago and immediately decided that I need one. Not only was it quite sharp, but somewhat pricey if I remember correctly. It kind of fell to the back burner but I figure I will pick one up eventually. Like most things, there will be haters, but the smirks and comments always give me an odd satisfaction.

    Long story short, I’m all for a man cape.

  4. I wear a wool cape during winters in Seattle. I had it custom made by Siobhán Wear at http://www.cloaksofireland.com/capefrog_kd1.html. It’s the perfect outer layer in wind and light rain and I love wool over synthetics. It’s seen as a bit eccentric, but working in IT in downtown Seattle, I can pull it off. Seeing the obvious practicality of it, some of my colleagues have asked me where I got it.

  5. Oh, I’m all for the stylish and practical applications of the cape, and more specifically, of the (hooded) cloak. I’m asking for one as a Christmas gift this year and will order from Siobhán Wear at http://www.cloaksofireland.com, as well, J. van den Ackor—I’m in love with the calf-length “highwayman’s cape and cloak.” I’ll be wearing it in rural Indiana so I expect a few sideways glances from men, exclamations of appreciation from women. I studied in Wales a semester back when and wore a cloak daily to ward off the rainy weather.

    • A follow-up to say I’ve been wearing my highwayman’s cloak nearly every day since January when the winter weather took a bitter tack. Mine is of thick wool. It makes a stylish statement whilst keeping me comfortably warm. My coworkers have been tight-lipped in their reaction, by their silence speaking volumes.

  6. Looks more like a poncho to me than a cape. Personally, I think cloaks and capes will make a come back eventually.

  7. I think the man cape is a great idea, but only certin people are and sill be able to
    Pull it off. I myself am having one made. My design wich is classy and very defined. This cape will define who i am and what i like, it will give a statment and im sure only the rich will want there hands on it as the middle class and poor will be jelous, thinking they want one but cant afford it, when infact they could just make one or have it made. Remeber black is classy Gold is wealthy s

  8. ASOS are selling men’s tartan capes and they just look like picnic rugs. I agree that yours above can definitely be pulled off well!! 🙂

  9. Hi, I think it would be pretty cool to see capes/cloaks around more. I have been wanting to get one the past couple of months. A friend and I talked of making one. I don’t know how people would react, but there will be some reactions. Still, I think they’d be decently practical and would definitely make a statement.

  10. You can do a lot better than the pathetic designer cape examples above by going with a proper traditional one : https://www.sesena.com/en/casa-sesena/the-1901-classic-cloak
    These have been around for hundreds of years and are made from a heavy flannel cloth from a single ancient woolen mill that needs no edge stitching as it is so thoroughly felted.
    They look great with both black tie and black tie, and even with casual clothes.

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