In keeping with the Pattern Patter team's festive treasury focus this month--Holiday Cocktail Party-let's take a look at all the ways you can cover up--and MAYBE stay warm--on the way to your party. I say "maybe" stay warm because some of these are really more decorative than practical. Doesn't that define fashion, in a certain sense?
The focus here is on capes, capelets, shawls, stoles, boleros, and long or opera coats. I'll look at more practical outerwear in a future post.
A (very) brief history of capes: everyone, men and women, used to wear cloaks, long (to the feet) and shapeless garments with slits for one's arms--in early days, these cloaks often doubled as people's blankets. Cloaks began to be more structured garments, and they developed collars and a piece that draped over the shoulders: the cape.
As women's fashions became more exuberant--especially the sleeves and the skirt shape--the cloak began to be shorter. Think of the bustle: cloaks would have hidden that feature (and made women look even more odd, with a bustle causing the cloak to protrude in the back).
Center: Spanish cloaks from 1848 English tailoring guide, from BlackTieGuide.com
Right: Woman's cape, English, 1830. Courtesy LACMA, from commons.wikimedia.org
What patterns are available for YOU to use to make your own formalwear cover-up? Check it out!
As always, please click on the images to enlarge them to see more detail.
Captivating capes and capelets:
|Top row: Simplicity 3986: PinkPolkaDotButton|
Middle row: Advance 5334: sydcam123
Bottom row: Yves Saint Laurent:Vogue 1897: CloesCloset
Stunning stoles and shawls:
Top row: Woman’s Day 5045: PeoplePackages
Middle row: McCall’s 9577: GreyDogVintage
Bottom row: Pauline Trigere: McCall’s 1085: CaliforniaSunset
Middle row: Advance 4897: GreyDogVintage
Bottom row: Advance 5666: Sandritocat
And finally, some fascinating formal coats (and let's not forget the dolls!):
Top row: Simplicity 6219: AdeleBeeAnn
Middle row: Dior Vogue 2127: sewbettyanddot
Bottom row: McCall’s 2255: ViennasGrace
How do YOU stay warm when you're dressed in your party frock? Tell us in the comments!
I have to admit that I did once go to the L.A. Opera in a Max Studio long dress, Doc Martens, and a black motorcycle jacket. Ahem. It WAS the early 1980s!
Please be sure to shop with the team on Black Friday...lots of shops will be having smokin' sales, so stay tuned!