The Rise and Fall of Capes – History of Cape Fashion

By | February 26, 2020


This is the world’s oldest cape. Not really. I found this in a box in my parent’s
garage. The world’s oldest cape is impossible to find, since it was probably biodegradable
and invented sometime in prehistory before people even wrote crap down. Actually the entire history of capes
is just not very easy to figure out. Most of the resources I could find were from fashion magazines, which aren’t the most reputable of sources. Reputable? reputable? It seems that any historian in they’re right mind just hasn’t done any research on the history of capes. Probably because they have better things to do, but that’s why we’re here. To answer the questions that no historians thought were important Regardless, capes are dope no matter what
you think, and we have thousands of years of fashion history to prove it. Just look at the ancient Egyptians. These
people always looked fly as hell. Their savvy sense of fashion
led them to design their own version of the cape around 1500 B.C.E. It was known as a capelet and you could tie it around your torso or hang it off your collar. We didn’t actually have a capelet so this is a hammock Not to be outdone, the ancient Greeks came
up with their own version of the cape known as the chlamys. It was worn by men, mostly
in the military, and was used as a sort of makeshift shield. It doesn’t work But the Greeks weren’t the only people wearing
capes around this time. We pop over to Jutland we can find old capes like this this. This particular cape has probably seen better days It was about this time that I realized most
of the capes I was researching were found in this part of the world. Which I’m assuming is Europe. I can’t actually see the globe right now. Occasionally,
I would find capes from in other parts of the world, but they were usually worn in very specific circumstances by very specific people. They never seem to get to the same level of clout that capes got over in Europe. I think climate could be a reason for this Europe is a bit farther north and on average has some cooler temperatures. Making something like a blanket for your back much more appealing. But I think there’s a few people in particular that could have really solidified cape culture in Europe. This good looking son of a gun is Alexander the Great
and you might’ve noticed that he’s wearing that thing we talked about earlier. A chlamys.
And if you didn’t notice, please pay more attention. Alexander was one of the most famous and influential
people in all of history. Not only was he known for being a great leader, but at
the time, he was also known for his slightly controversial sense of fashion. He was very conscious of what he wore
and how it reflected on his image. He made sure his wardrobe had a blend of clothes from
the cultures he ruled which gave him his own unique style of dress. Alexander wasn’t the only famous leader to
cover himself with a cape. Enter Julius Caesar. Now this dude looks cool. And he’d look even cooler if we could afford a decent cape. But Julius knew that if you wanted to look
big and powerful, you needed a big cape. Obviously, Alexander and Julius weren’t
the first people to ever wear capes and capes were already fairly popular in the societies
they lived in. But these two guys were extremely famous, and respected leaders. It’s not to hard to imagine that future European leaders might’ve looked back in
history and saw these two guys and thought, “dang, I need to wear a cape.” And so they did. For hundreds of years, powerful
people wore powerful capes: kings, queens, knights, popes, vikings. Pretty much everybody
wore a cape at some point in time. Even peasants had their own capes, theirs just sucked. This goes to show that you could tell a lot
about a person by the quality and style of their cape. The bigger and fancier your cape
was, the more power and wealth you probably had. However the cape’s use as a status
symbol might have became part of its demise. No that needs to be a bit more dramatic. (Dramatically) However the cape’s use as a status
symbol might have became part of its demise. No I think that was worse. After the American and French revolutions,
democracy was becoming hot, and kings and queens were totally not. Ow So now if you wanted to be in
a position of power you actually had to be voted in, which meant that you had to be well
liked by the masses, relatable, and really good at making promises you weren’t going to keep. Flaunting a large and expensive cape wasn’t exactly
the best way to relate to the working class. So now you suddenly have people of power no longer wearing capes. So capes are already starting to go out of style. And then you have something like the industrial revolution come along, and that really made capes feel a little outdated And now everybody can afford things like coats which are far more convenient to capes. For several reasons. POCKETS. HE’S GOT POCKETS. POCKETS ARE DOPE
AS HELL. HE’S LIFTING HIS ARMS. LOOK AT THAT MOBILITY. WHAT IS THAT
A ZIPPER?! IS THAT A ZIPPER!? So as time went on capes became less popular
but were still around by the turn of the 20th century. By this time, they were mostly used
by the wealthy to spruce up a nice outfit and would occasionally pop up in a military
or police uniform. However, this is also the same time that cars and machines were
becoming more popular making capes much less convenient But the final nail in the cape coffin was
media. Have you ever seen Dracula? Lord of the Rings? Superman? These are some of the first things that pop into my head when I think of capes, and I’m sure I’m not the only
one. I think this article from Man Repeller? puts it best when they say: I have great faith that human nature and the
tendency towards joking remain the same through history and it is impossible for me to imagine
that a man in 1932 would show up to a party in a cloak and not have his friends make Dracula
jokes. Yup if I lived in 1932 I would
have been that guy making Dracula jokes. And so, capes started to fall out of fa- I can’t And so, capes started to fall out of fashion And so, capes stopped showing up in public and are now usually reserved for superheroes and Star Wars
characters. But capes aren’t completely gone. They still
show up occasionally in the world of high fashion and can be part of your day-to-day
attire as long as you know what you’re doing. Capes aren’t easy to pull off so you can’t
just throw a cheap cape on whatever you’re wearing and call it a day. Just look over here at this guy.
He’s got tucked in t shirt he’s got dad jeans, we’ve got some uninspired tennies,
and a cheap cape that wouldn’t match anything no matter what you put it on. See this man made the mistake of wearing what made him happy as opposed to trying to impress other people. That’s why he looks so stupid Here’s the harsh truth, nobody wants your
Lord of the Rings looking ass to turn capes into the next fedora. That’s why we’ve
come up with our own modern cape ideas for you to try out on your own. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

13 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of Capes – History of Cape Fashion

  1. Trap Country Post author

    Lovely content! Keep it up! Would you like to be YouTube friends? :]

    Reply
  2. Low Budget History Post author

    I think capes are cool when they're worn by anyone else other than me.

    Subscribe for more unnecessary history videos.

    Reply
  3. Google Is A Cruel Mistress Post author

    People still wear capes or cape-like accessories, the problem is that the only people who can successfully pull them of on a day to day basis are girls, plenty of them have these blanked/scarf capes and nobody bats an eye, meanwhile for a guy its a lot harder to pull off,
    and I'm a guy, and I want to wear a cape because they look awesome, but I can't pull it off because I'm a dude 😥

    Reply
  4. Lauren Johnston Post author

    Literally the sound track for “pockets” is my new favorite thing 😂 I’ll have to listen to that on replay everything I try on a dress with pockets! haha

    Reply
  5. David Solorzano Post author

    So funny and random! Where can I order one of those bikini capes?? 😂😂😂

    Reply
  6. Daniel Fiala Post author

    Cape to meet you.
    What's the matter? Cape got your tongue?

    Reply

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