What is the Difference Between Cape and Cloak

The main difference between cape and cloak is their length; capes are shorter and typically reach the wearer’s hips and thighs while cloaks are often longer and reach below the knees.

Both capes and cloaks are sleeveless outer garments made of a single piece of fabric that hangs loose. They are not very common in everyday fashion. Sometimes, we tend to use the two words, cape and cloak, interchangeably.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Cape 
     – Definition, Features
2. What is a Cloak
     – Definition, Features
3. What is the Difference Between Cape and Cloak
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Cape, CloakDifference Between Cape and Cloak - Comparison Summary

What is a Cape

Capes are sleeveless outer garments that drape your back, arms, and chest, and usually, connect at the neck. They are typically shorter than cloaks and fall to your hips and thighs. Capes usually don’t have hoods; moreover, not all capes close at the front. Superheroes like Superman and Batman usually wear a cape. However, some modern versions of superheroes wear longer capes. Main Difference - Cape vs Cloak

Capes have a long history. They were common in medieval Europe. They were also worn by clergy for formal events. However, they return to fashion from time to time. Fashion capes do not sufficiently cover the front. In formal evening wear, ladies use the cape as a fashion statement.

Capes can protect the fine fabrics of the evening wear from the elements, whereas a coat would wrinkle or hide the garment underneath. Moreover, in some military and police units, capes are used as rainwear.

What is a Cloak

A cloak is a sleeveless overgarment that hangs loosely from the shoulders. It falls below the knees and is often floor length. Cloaks protect the wearer from the elements – rain, cold, winds, etc. Moreover, they are designed to wrap all the way around the wearer’s body.

Difference Between Cape and Cloak

In the past, specifically during Medieval and Renaissance period woollen cloaks with hoods were worn for commoners, the wealthy as well as, royalty. Commoners wore homespun woollen cloaks that usually reached their calves while the wealthy wore full-length fine cloaks. Moreover, the cloaks of the wealthy have rich embellishments and embroidery, reflecting their wealth and status. Today, however, cloaks are rarely used in everyday fashion. They are popular among cosplayers and historical re-enactors. In fact, you can observe characters from historical movies and TV series wearing such cloaks.

Difference Between Cape and Cloak

Definition

A cape is a sleeveless outer garment that drapes your back, arms, and chest, and usually connects at the neck, while a cloak is a sleeveless overgarment that hangs loosely from the shoulders and falls below the knees.

Length

Capes are shorter and typically reach the wearer’s hips and thighs while cloaks are often longer and reach below the knees.

Usage

Moreover, capes are used by ladies to cover their formal evening wear and used by some military units, while cloaks are popular among cosplayers and historical re-enactors.

Examples in Popular Culture

Superheroes like Superman and Batman wear capes while hobbits in the Lord of the Ring movie series wear cloaks.

Conclusion

In brief, both capes and cloaks are sleeveless outer garments made of a single piece of fabric that hangs loose. The main difference between cape and cloak is their length; capes are shorter and typically reach the wearer’s hips and thighs while cloaks are often longer and reach below the knees.

Reference:

1. “Cloak.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Aug. 2020, Available here.
2. “Cape.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Nov. 2020, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Drawings Of Superheroes In Different Costumes” (CC0) via Pixy.org
2. “3084651” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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