The Everyday Cape and the Courage to Be Bold

by | Oct 30, 2020 | Costumes and Cloaks | 0 comments

One distinct pleasure of my 2020 was discovering the subreddit/TheCapeRevolution.

The subreddit is devoted to sharing capes and cloaks people have made, bought, or admired. 

Everyday Cape

Everyday Cape seen at Louis Vuitton, Paris, December 2020


What’s an Everyday Cape Anyway?

One of the central discussions on the subreddit is about how “different” is an everyday cape from other everyday gear. Enthusiasts on the subreddit compare a practical cape to a transparent scarf, a cape that can nearly pass for a coat (like the example below), a hoodie sweatshirt with arm slits, to a full-length wool medieval cloak. ​

Except for the full wool cloak, these garments seem subtle and not likely to invite a lot of stares while providing a touch of the drama and romance of a cape or cloak.

Everyday Cloaks

Who is Brave Enough to Wear an Everyday Cape?

Even a cape that masquerades as a more traditional item of clothing can draw attention. Not everyone is happy with drawing attention, positive or negative, and even if no one around them notices their cape, they can still feel uncomfortable wearing something they consider risky. The subreddit collects a large group of people who want to lead a revolution in fashion that removes the feeling that wearing a cape is risky – the Cape Revolution!

Meanwhile there are those that like the idea of drawing attention as a different, bold dresser. It comes down to personal choice and personality. More power to them! These are the folks that have the best chance of starting the revolution.

Everyday Cape

Paige Walsh @abbycomics on Instagram from October 2019.

Billy Porter Does Bold Beautifully

I look for opportunities to bring up celebrity actor Bill Porter. He might be a once-in-a-century bold dresser!!

Billy mixes traditionally women’s high fashion with men’s suiting. This combo looks different, but also elegant and stylish on him. He pulls it off – and turns heads.

Billy Porter has access to first rate designers and tailors. This embroidered ensemble for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards apparently took 6 months to create.​

My Personal Experience with Bold Outfits

As a college student, I wore a lot of bright-colored shirts with a neutral skirt or pants. Come to think of it, I still dress this way! I’d also sport a single color from head to toe. People would admire my colorful outfits, as well as my hats and scarves but say they couldn’t pull it off. They’d say it was fine for me because I dressed that way often.

One of the most unusual garments I owned at the time was a vintage A-line turquoise coat. It was bright! And I wore it as my coat on a trip to look at art schools on the East Coast.

Truthfully, sometimes I felt like a million bucks in that turquoise coat and sometimes I felt like I’d dropped in from another planet. It depended on the context as it felt cool around any artsy place, and little out-there around for non-artsy friends or an airport, for example.​ I guess I’m somewhere between the people who desire the attention dressing non-traditionally brings and those who want to wear what they like, but aren’t comfortable with the attention unusual fashion can bring. I managed it because I dressed with bright colors nearly every day so after a while people didn’t see the bright colors, they just saw… me!

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Like so much in life, we advance when we push ourselves past where we’re comfortable. If you want to dress boldly but are afraid, try it out in small amounts – “slow and steady” and all that. Enlist a friend to go with you to a costuming event, hold a costume party, or just go out with you in everyday capes.

Take it on in baby steps like other new endeavors. You may be fine making a bold statement by breaking out in your new fashion. Or maybe you’ll be more comfortable making small changes that become more bold over time. However it works for you, there is no reason for you not to be happy with your personal style.

Want a cape or cloak? Start making it or save for it. Look for hats you like. Keep building that dream wardrobe gradually so you have what you like when the opportunity comes along.

Be Bold If You Want To

We only go through this life once – so if you want to be bold, now’s the time: BE BOLD.

The secret to life success is getting out of your comfort zone! Trying new things, noting what works for you, and trying again. Improvement or change is often incremental and based on a mix of successes and failures.

Xo, Karen

 

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