Cape Fear

Okay, so, there are a lot of different ways I could go with this blog. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first things first. Did you know Capes are in? Yes, Capes, as in Superman, Batman, Dracula and Cinderella, respectively. I know, I know. I rolled my eyes when I first heard the news, too. Matter of fact, I actually winced.

The very thought of donning a medieval-like cloak while pumping gas at Hess, standing in line at Publix, or say, stopping by Prima Pasta for Happy Hour, freaks me out. It would probably freak everyone else out, too. Mainly, because I’d look ridiculous and sweaty. I hate extra material. Unless it involves pleats, puffy sleeves or Mother Skinny Jeans (MSJ’s actually cover your crack when you bend over.)

If you haven’t guessed by now, I have a major Cape phobia. A Cape Fear, if you will (it’s even crazier than Robert DeNiro was in the movie.) The swishy, sleeveless, coat-slash-sweater-slash-poncho-slash trench, leaves me fashionably confused. I mean, seriously, how does anyone (in this day and age) walk around looking halfway normal, even sane, with a Cape draped around their neck? I can’t even tell you the last time I saw someone wearing one (excluding Halloween and Comic-Con.)

Here’s my quandary, I’m not exactly thrilled with Cape mania, but I can’t ignore it. Capes aren’t just flying into style, they’re doing so with a first class ticket. Designers like Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, Chloe and Givenchy have already swooped them onto Fall runways. Sure, yeah, you can pull the curtain to separate First from Coach, but, HELLO, we’re all in this together, on the same flight. Destination – Cape Fear.

Don’t laugh guys, your shoulders have to bare this, too. Next month, John Varvatos, Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Ton are making their Man Cape runway approach into New York’s Fall Fashion Week.They should get that pilot-turned-media-hero, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, to model. He could ease the trend in and save a few hungry models while he’s at it.

In my “I fly Coach cuz I have to and sometimes First Class when I get an upgrade” opinion, a Cape is one of the hardest things in fashion to wear. Regardless, this style is landing, full speed ahead. STAT. I can’t just sit idly by. So, I called the “Tower of Fashion” for help, to hand-fly this sucker (trend) in. Note, these tips aren’t from an intern at the Federal Aviation Administration.

1. Capes are a commitment. So, make it a transitional piece. In other words, you need to be able to shed it. You know, in case you get cold feet (or you live in an ultra hot climate.) That means, wear it in the morning, or at night. Then, you can shrug it off, when the timing’s right.

Like, at the office, when you have to man up. With ease, toss it aside and reveal an ultra skinny, tailored power suit. A hard day’s work has never looked so good. A Cape is great at a fancy affair, too. Make your Cape-tast-tic entrance, whip it off and show off a sexy, sleek party dress. Remember, always let your Cape do the talking, because…

2. Capes are dramatic. They make a serious statement. Wear one when you wanna say: “Look at me, aren’t I fabulous?” Not when you’re trying to blend in.

3. When it comes to a Cape, SIZE does matter. You can go long or short, just don’t go in between. Mid length screams Monk-like drabness or Quasimodo weirdness.

If, you, however, wear your Cape slightly longer (like past the knee) you’re staring a good, solid, high fashion look in the face. If you go shorter, say a mini Cape, it’s called a Capelette, it’s young and hip. You can pair it with a sassy top, skinny jeans, heels and your favorite clutch, for a night out on the town.

4. Capes Away! Although movies do shape a lot of our fashion trends (especially, this one,) coming off like a Superhero isn’t always a good thing. If you do, however, wanna be a Super Fashionista and try a trend that’s gonna be in and out faster than a speeding bullet, pair a textured Cape with funky tights. Streamline the look by keeping the ensemble monochromatic.

If you really wanna step it up, avant garde the look with an open toed shoe. Remember, it’s 2013, fashion rules are made to be broken. Yes, an open shoe is okay with tights. I wear this look a lot, albeit in Europe, but it’s finally breaking into fashion here, too. If you’re thinking the aforementioned outfit will leave you looking like a hooker, well, right now, fashion is all about the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s (think St. Elmo’s Fire meets Pretty Woman.)

Well, that about does it for all the different ways I could go with Capes. I hope the ride wasn’t too, bumpy. I feel somewhat better now that I faced my Cape Fear (by writing about it and actually buying one.) It’s a muted grey number. It’s textured with fake fur. It has groovy arm slits and makes me feel glamorous. Looks like it’s gonna be a smooth landing after all.

Post Script – I took a quick “would you really wear a Cape?” fashion poll, from the quirky, eccentric, talented staff at Deco Drive. Deco, btw, is the #1 Entertainment Show in South Florida. It airs Monday – Friday at 7:30 pm & 11:30 pm, on WSVN Channel 7. Sorry ’bout the shameless plug. This is what some of my co-workers had to say:

Executive Producer “No Way! Uh, maybe in Upstate New York.”
Senior Producer: “Why would you wear a Cape, aren’t those hot?”
Deco Producer (and Shireen’s Favorite Things editor): “Yes, I vvvvvould vare a Cape.” (in best Dracula imitation ever.)
Deco Editor: “It’s not my style.” 
Deco Host: “Absolutely, not!”
4 Deco Producers: “Yes.” 
One was slightly on the fence though and said: “Only in Europe, if it were dark and cold, and I was drunk.”
Deco Assignment Manager: “No.” 
Deco Hostess: “Absolutely. A Cape can make you feel powerful and it would cover my large beee-hind.” For the record, her behind isn’t large.

One more tip. You could always buckle your Cape up with a belt. Fly the trendy skys without Cape Fear at


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