Love It or Haute It: Capes

Capes have been called one of the new trends for this fall. They have graced runways for Céline, Burberry and Oscar de la Renta and are expected to make the jump from fashion shows to street wear in a huge way this year. The cape supposedly serves the purpose of keeping you warm while also having the edge on your average jacket with its stylish twist. But is this dramatic item of clothing too much for your daily fall wear? This is the question that we aim to answer today.  

Coco: The presence of capes on the runway and their possible resurgence in daily wear shows how fashion does not have to sacrifice form for functionality. Too often, fashion on the runways feels unattainable for people to wear in their everyday lives. While this is sometimes fun since it creates exciting and extravagant shows, I can only see so many leather purses with gaping holes in them before I start wanting something that is actually practical (see the “Meteor” purses in Off-White’s Virgil Abloh’s Spring 2020 at Paris Fashion Week). The cape provides this balance. It combines the advantages of a traditional jacket but makes you feel fabulous as you glide through the Academic Quad. It is essentially like wearing a blanket to class — except that it is also stylish. It is versatile since you can layer it with a sweater and jeans for a casual fall look or throw it on with a dress and boots for a more formal occasion. The cape seems like an overall win for me and is already on my Christmas list this year. 

Beans: The moment I see Tufts students in my econ class wearing capes is the exact moment I transfer. Capes are are for a selective few people: Count Dracula, Snape and that one guy in “The Incredibles” (2004) who gets sucked into an airplane engine. In the words of Edna Mode, “No capes!” I’m not above wearing a cape for Halloween, but it has no place as a common outfit accessory. Unless you have the ability to whip your cape around and make a dramatic exit with the gusto of the late and great Alan Rickman, please do not attempt to make capes happen. This is a common case of forcing a trend. Capes are impractical: they drag behind you, picking up dirt and mud; they tie around your neck, making you vulnerable to a from-the-behind attack; and most dangerously, if there is a big fan behind you and any part of your cape gets wrapped up in it, you’re a goner. If you are willing to take the risk of 1) my transfering, 2) being sucked into a fan and 3) ruining Alan Rickman’s legacy, then by all means, take that leap of faith. But mark my words, you will never see me galavanting around the Academic Quad, flaunting a cape and letting it gently blow in the breeze behind me. As peaceful as that image may seem, there are far too many risks involved for which I am not willing to take. 


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