Recently, I attended an out-of-town wedding with my best friend. The nuptials took place in Portland, Maine; a locale that I had never visited before. Of course, I was excited for the seafood, crisp weather and small-town feel of the New England city. But what I was really looking forward to was shopping, specifically, vintage shopping in a place where the thrift stores aren't picked over like they are here in New York.
On the day of the wedding, my friend and I stumbled upon a quaint vintage shop with a pair of Chanel sunglasses in the window. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn in. My friend -- a seasoned shopper as well -- was not so into the musty smell that often accompanies a vintage store, though her mood shifted as soon as she saw the amazing selection of fur jackets at affordable prices. I was in my element, sifting through clothes arranged by decade (genius!), almost needing sunglasses to shade my eyes from the bright prints and flamboyant accessories. And then I saw it. The item I needed hung before me, just waiting for me to pluck it down from the masses, swipe my credit card and take up residence in my closet: a suede cape.
Yes, a cape. The coat-ish thing that is shaped like a tent and doesn't have any sleeves. My friend took one look at it and pronounced it as "hideous." I didn't care. In my mind this was Isabel-Marant-meets-southwestern-design brilliance. The suede cape has a sweet collar, floral etchings and arm holes that would be perfect for chilly fall days when a jacket is too light and a coat is too heavy.
We know, capes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fall outerwear. But here is why you may want to change your outlook: A cape is a departure from a traditional coat, and will garner a second glance. Many of today's styles have arm holes, so it's the perfect hybrid of a coat and a vest. The exaggerated shape makes quite a statement, so make sure the rest of your look is sleek. If you're tempted to try the style, but not ready to go whole hog, try a knit version for starters. And pay no heed to naysayers -- you're chic, and you know it.
Not headed to Maine any time soon? Not to worry, we've hunted down 10 cute capes for you.