Once the preserve of strident midwives and the Scottish Widows woman, the cape has been redefined by the fashion crowd. You've probably already got an anorak, the parka feels old news, and who can think of a wardrobe without a wool overcoat? The case for the cape is that it's the only truly new-season coat update around this winter.
Ralph Lauren showcased sumptuous cashmere capes on the autumn/winter 2014 runway; Elie Saab brought the swoosh factor with a wine-stain-red version (a go-to for those wanting to make an uber-glam entrance at any winter event), and Hedi Slimane gave the cape his spiky stamp of approval at Saint Laurent (to be worn with an abbreviated hemline and Mary Janes of course).
Hedi Slimane gave the cape his spiky stamp of approval at Saint Laurent - to be worn with an abbreviated hemline and Mary Janes of course
So which to buy? If you opt for a cropped cape - or capelet as it's known (defined as a miniature style that swings above the hip), then wear with short-length skirts. If your cape has plenty of fabric and folds, then counterbalance the voluminosity with a pencil skirt. If your choice is more narrow and tailored, then a mini makes the perfect partner. Whichever skirt silhouette you swing for, wear your cape with cosy tights and knee-high boots. The longer the cape, the better it looks with skinny trousers. Elevate the look for evening with a pair of heels, or go for a cape dress (who can forget Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford at the 2012 Oscars or, indeed, Lupita Nyong'o in her striking red take on the trend).
Whichever way you wear it, make the cape your wardrobe staple this winter - it's time to embark on a new crusade.