A black cloak is one of those classic wardrobe staples that will never go out of style. Instantly chic and effortlessly stylish, it’s an elegant piece that you’ll reach for time and time again.
If you’ve recently added one to your wardrobe, you might be wondering how to style it. Should you always dress it up or could it also look great dressed down? Today, we’re exploring these questions and sharing some outfit ideas for you to try!
Start With Shoes
It might seem counterintuitive to focus on your shoes when creating looks for different types of cloaks, but here’s why we suggest making this your starting point: It sets the tone for the rest of your look.
If you want to make your cape as casual as possible, try some comfy sneakers! To offset the longer length of this piece, go ahead and choose a chunky platform style that will give you a little height.
You can also try flats or loafers, but make sure they’re fashionable. Look for ones with gilded accents or embellishments, such as a gold clasp or a set of brass snaps. These shoes will pair well with the natural drama that a cape provides!
If you’d rather stick with a more formal look, this is a great time to rock your wedges, stilettos, or tall boots. Boots are on-trend with a variety of Viking fashion staples, including capes, and it doesn’t particularly matter which style you choose. From combat boots to knee-high patent leather ones, pick a pair that you love.
Go Bold Underneath
In the fashion world, there are many types of capes and cloaks to pick from. If you’ve opted for a solid black style, you’re free to play around a little with color and pattern underneath.
Due to their shape and silhouette, we suggest wearing your cape with a dress or skirt underneath. These pieces will mimic the flowy nature of the cape and give you a more uniform appearance. Of course, you can also pair them with slacks or leggings for a more comfortable fit.
If you’ve chosen a masculine style, such as a Viking cloak for men, you can add your preferred pieces underneath, from handsome plaid flannels to sophisticated sweaters and slim tees.
Otherwise, we recommend going bright and bold! With this dark and neutral type of outwear, you’ll need something to bring life and vibrancy to your style. Bright pastels, neon solids, funky geometric prints — anything goes under your cape.
This way, when you open your arms or take a big step, your piece will show out from underneath the cloak. It’s a great way to add visual interest in small doses, without committing to an entire outfit.
Experiment With Tone
While vibrant, contrasting colors will always look stunning under a black cape, you may want to stick with fashion territory that feels a little safer. If that’s the case, try going just a few shades darker or lighter than your cloak.
For instance, a slate gray or pewter gray ensemble would look gorgeous underneath a dark cloak, as would a jet-black turtleneck and leggings (if your cloak is light black). These ensembles would create a monochromatic look that’s fancy and understated in the very best way.
Some capes function more as vests, meaning they do not include attached sleeves. If this describes yours, then you can try many different long-sleeved tops and bottoms to create a cohesive look.
Button, tie, or clasp it at the top and allow it to drape sweetly down over your blouse. Then, bring in a pop of color by choosing a vibrant tee underneath, along with some slim-fitting pants. You can also leave it unbuttoned and tuck it gently under your arms.
Try It With Athleisurewear
There’s no denying that athleisurewear is having a major moment. When you’re thinking about ways to style your cloak, you might not think of taking it with you to the gym or the track, but hear us out.
Capes can make a great addition to your workout wear, primarily because they’re so practical! Many models come equipped with hidden interior pockets that are great for stashing all of your must-have exercise essentials, from your keys and credit card to your lip balm and earbuds.
You may find that you can even ditch your gym bag when you have so many compartments at your fingertips. While you naturally won’t wear the cape during your sweat session, it makes a great coverup while walking from your car to the building, especially during chillier months!
Want to jazz up the look of your cloak? Think about different accents and accessories you can add! We love pairing solid-colored capes with light-catching pieces that add just the right amount of glimmer and glamour.
Some of our favorite examples include:
• Silver bangles
• Costume jewelry rings
• Ornate stone earrings
• Long, multi-tiered necklaces
• Metal watches
While your final look will depend on your personal style, the key is to create a balance between your cloak and the rest of your outfit. For most people, one or two signature accessories are all they need. If you add too many extras, it can make your cape look more like a costume.
Want to give your cape a little dimension and enhance your figure? Why not cinch it with a special belt? This elevates the look in seconds and keeps it in place all day long.
How Would You Style a Black Cloak?
If you’re only going to invest in a few special pieces for your wardrobe, make one of those a black cloak. This is a piece that looks great year-round and can be as formal or casual as you’d like.
From high heels and flats to sweaters to tanks, there’s no limit to the fashion items you can pair with your cloak. Allow your personal fashion style to lead the way, and you’re sure to create head-turning outfits each time.
Looking for more advice on how to curate a wardrobe you’ll love? Check out the tips in our Fashion section!