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