A cape is a type of clothing, and can be used to describe any sleeveless outer garment, such as a poncho, but usually it is a long garment that covers only the back half of the wearer, fastening about the neck. They were common in medieval Europe, especially when combined with a hood in the chaperon, and have had periodic returns to fashion, for example in nineteenth century Europe. Roman Catholic clergy wear a type of cape known as a ferraiolo, which is worn for formal events outside of a liturgical context. The cope is a liturgical vestment in the form of a cape. Copes are often highly decorated with elaborate embroidery.

Capes remain in regular use as rain wear in various military units and police forces, for example in France and the United Kingdom. A gas cape was a voluminous military garment designed to give rain protection to someone wearing the bulky gas masks used in twentieth century wars. In modern times, comic superheros such as Superman and Batman are often depicted wearing capes.

In fashionwear, the word "cape" usually refers to a shorter garment and "cloak" to a full-length version of the different types of garment, and although the two are sometimes used synonymously for full-length coverings, the shortest versions are never referred to as cloaks. The fashion cape does not cover the front to any appreciable degree. In rainwear, a cape is usually a long and roomy protective garment worn to keep one dry in the rain.

Evening capes

In full evening dress, ladies frequently use the cape as a fashion statement, or to protect the wearer or the fine fabrics of eveningwear from the elements, especially where a coat would crush—or hide—the garment. These capes may be short (over the shoulders or to the waist) or a full-length cloak. Short capes were usually made of or trimmed in fur; today fur is less acceptable as a fashion accessory but the fabric of an evening cape must be expensive, with an opulent lining and trim. Typical fabrics used are velvet, silk and satin. Capes are still authorized as an alternative to the more utilitarian trenchcoat for U.S. Army officers in mess dress.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • cape — cape …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • cape — [ kap ] n. f. • 1460 « grand manteau à capuchon »; it. cappa; a remplacé chape 1 ♦ Vêtement de dessus, sans manches, qui enveloppe le corps et les bras. ⇒ houppelande , pèlerine. La cape des mousquetaires, des romantiques. Cape de berger.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cape — (k[=a]p), n. [F. cap, fr. It. capo head, cape, fr. L. caput heat, end, point. See {Chief}.] A piece or point of land, extending beyond the adjacent coast into the sea or a lake; a promontory; a headland. [1913 Webster] {Cape buffalo} (Zo[ o]l.) a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cape — CAPE. s. f. Manteau à capuchon, comme on en portoit autrefois. Cape de Béarn. f♛/b] On dit figurément d Un cadet de bonne maison qui n a point de bien, qu Il n a que la cape et l épée. [b]f♛/b] On le dit aussi figurément et familièrement d Une… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • cape — cape1 [kāp] n. [Fr < OProv capa < LL cappa, cape, hooded cloak] a sleeveless outer garment hanging over the back and shoulders and often fastening at the neck cape2 [kāp] n. [ME & OFr < ML caput, headland < L, HEAD] a piece of land… …   English World dictionary

  • CAPE — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres   Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cape — Cape, f. penacut. Est une sorte d habit court, sans manches, au droit du collet duquel pend par derriere un capuchon, Chlamis, Cucullus, une cape à l Espagnole, Hispanicus cucullus, Ainsi qu on disoit anciennement Santonicus cucullus, et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Cape — [ke:p], das; s, s: einem Mantel ähnliches Kleidungsstück [mit Kapuze], das keine Ärmel hat und um die Schultern gelegt wird: ein weites Cape; Capes sind in diesem Winter wieder modern. Syn.: ↑ Überwurf, ↑ Umhang. Zus.: Pelzcape, Regencape. * * *… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • cape — cape; cape·let; cape·stane; cape·to·ni·an; du·cape; es·cape·less; es·cape·ment; es·cape; Cape; …   English syllables

  • cape — Cape. s. f. Manteau à capuchon, comme on en portoit. Cape de Bearn. On dit fig. d Un cadet de bonne maison qui n a point de bien, qu Il n a que la cape & l espée. On dit, Rire sous cape, pour dire, Rire en se moquant de quelqu un & taschant de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Cape 28 — (Cape Paterson,Австралия) Категория отеля: Адрес: 28A Surf Beach Road, 3995 Cape Paterson …   Каталог отелей

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.