Cape-able Outerwear Adds a Twist to Gray Winter Days

 Looking for a statement piece to add to your wardrobe this year? Look no further than the cape.

A silhouette-modifying piece can be a real game changer. This is particularly true during the winter months when the weather makes it tempting to simply hibernate in fleece pajamas.

Shape can be a great way to stand out from the crowd and with recent fall/winter 2013 runway offerings from Saint Laurent and Valentino, it seems to be only a matter of time until H&M stocks capes for both genders.

This winter break I took to stealing my mother's felted wool Ann Taylor cape and received approval from even the discer ning Lower East Side bar crowd.

Sleeved hooded capes like my mother's are a practical alternative to the classic long sleeveless cape. A large safety pin can act as an effective closure for the cape.

For smaller men and women, long capes can provide a little bit too much of a vampire hunter look so shorter options are preferable.

Still not convinced of the cape's timeless look? Head over to the Livingston County Historical Society and ask Museum Administrator Anna Kowalchuk to show you object number 93.310. While not a true cape, this clay blue greatcoat, a part of a Civil War era infantryman's uniform, would cut as sharp an A-line figure today as it did in 1860. It even has a few moth holes just waiting for some Junya Watanabe-esque gingham patches.