Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Caped Crusaders

I love capes and cloaks, I always have. As a student I wore a cloak instead of a winter coat. I made it from a huge remnant of men’s suiting fabric which I got in a sale in Norwich. I was wearing my cloak ten years before Meryl Streep stood on The Cobb at Lyme Regis in The French Lieutenant’s Woman – or before Roger Moore’s daughter strode across the glen for the Scottish Widows.


steph cloak

But my lovely blue hooded cloak was relegated to the dressing up box years ago – and gets fished out regularly when somebody in the family needs a costume.

I love capes too – I went to Wales on holiday in the early 70s and fell in love with the handwoven tapestry woollen capes – but they were way beyond my price range. Emma Peel wore one on the Avengers once. And then there were all those caped superwomen…


Lynda Carter as Wonderwoman, in a fantastic cape made from the Stars and Stripes. More recently we have had Xena Warrior Princess [currently being repeated on Freeview on the Horror Channel] She has a cloak and a chainmail capelet! A girl definitely needs a cape if she wants to get things done.


This summer I finally bought myself a Welsh Tapestry Handwoven Woollen Cape. Only 40 years after I first loved them. This one is a true vintage model [and cost me all of £4 in a CS in Norfolk]


It is grey and red, with black trim. The belt was missing, but I had one that went perfectly. I put it in the wardrobe when we got back from holiday, then I noticed lots of capes in the shops this autumn. According to InStyle Magazine

It's official: Capes are the new jackets. After last year's boom in blanket ponchos… traditional jackets have been given the cold shoulder. Case in point: Designers have dialled up the drama on  during Paris Fashion Week, eschewing jackets in favour of cool capes in varying silhouettes, prints, and textiles.  Other fashion writers have said similar things

For once I am totally in fashion – quite inadvertently! I have also discovered that the Americans love these vintage Welsh Capes- and are paying over £100 for them. But I am hanging on to mine, I love it! It is so warm and practical. I only have one teensy weensy concern – here are the stylish capes I have seen in the shops…

cape 2015

…but I suspect that as I cycle round Ferndown in my cape, I look less like a tall slim fashion model, and more like crazy Madame Arcati, as played by the redoubtable Margaret Rutherford in Blithe Spirit!!


I don’t care, as my cape swings around me, I feel I can achieve as much as Wonderwoman, Xena or Emma Peel ever did. Does that make it my Cape of Good Hope ?!


  1. I used to like Geoff Capes....

  2. I love them too...but, have a little trouble when the wind picks up, as it so often does on the prairie. Enjoyed your post.

  3. I had a cape way back in the 60s too..a green loden one. It was so heavy and actually a bit of a nuisance as it caught in everything!

  4. I KNEW where you were going with this post!! What a gorgeous cape. I, too, have hoped to find one in a charity shop. You MUST show us a picture of you in it!!! My lovely CBC bought me a TARDIS blue cape for a birthday which I love, I shall wear it today in honour of you!x

  5. Your cape looks lovely and warm.

  6. I made myself a cape when I was pregnant with our daughter the winter of 1979-80. I was too big to fit into a coat! I loved it and wore it for many years after.


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