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Cape vs. Cloak: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A cape is a sleeveless outer garment that drapes the back and shoulders, while a cloak is a longer, often hooded garment covering the body more fully.
Cape vs. Cloak

Key Differences

A cape, typically sleeveless and fastening at the neck, covers the wearer's back and shoulders, often used as a fashion statement or part of a uniform. In contrast, a cloak is a full-length garment, frequently featuring a hood, providing more complete coverage and warmth.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
Capes are often seen in formal wear, such as part of evening gowns or military uniforms, adding a touch of elegance or authority. Cloaks, on the other hand, are versatile, used historically for practical purposes like protection from the weather and concealment.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
In contemporary fashion, capes are used as stylish accessories or in costumes, symbolizing fantasy and heroism. Cloaks are more utilitarian, preferred for their full-body coverage and sometimes incorporated into travel and adventure attire.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
The design of capes varies widely, from short and decorative to long and flowing, but always without sleeves. Cloaks, encompassing the entire body, often include fastenings down the front and can be designed with or without armholes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
Capes have a historical significance in various cultures, symbolizing status and rank. Cloaks, transcending mere fashion, have been essential in different historical periods for their practicality in protection against elements.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Length

Varies, generally shorter than cloaks
Typically longer, covering most of the body
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sleeves

Sleeveless
May or may not have sleeves
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Coverage

Drapes back and shoulders
Covers the entire body, often with a hood
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Use

Fashion, uniforms, costumes
Practical wear, historical use, costumes
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Fastening

Usually at the neck
Often down the front
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
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Cape and Cloak Definitions

Cape

A geographic feature extending into a body of water.
They visited the scenic Cape Cod during summer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cloak

To invest or envelop in something immaterial.
The forest was cloaked in darkness as night fell.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

The capa of a bullfighter's muleta.
The matador skillfully maneuvered his cape in the bullring.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cloak

A loose outer garment, often with a hood, covering the body.
He wrapped himself in a thick cloak to stay warm.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless outer garment fastened at the throat and worn hanging over the shoulders.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
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Cloak

An overgarment worn for traveling or outdoors.
She donned her waterproof cloak before stepping into the rain.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

A brightly colored cloth used in maneuvering the bull in a bullfight; a capote or muleta.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

A long, loose outer garment, usually having a hood and no sleeves.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

A point or head of land projecting into a body of water.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

Something that covers or conceals
A cloak of secrecy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To maneuver (the bull) by means of a cape in a bullfight.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

To cover or conceal with a cloak or something that acts like a cloak
Mist that cloaks the mountains.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

(geography) A piece or point of land, extending beyond the adjacent coast into a sea or lake; a promontory; a headland.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

A long outer garment worn over the shoulders covering the back; a cape, often with a hood.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless garment or part of a garment, hanging from the neck over the back, arms, and shoulders.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

A blanket-like covering, often metaphorical.
Night hid her movements with its cloak of darkness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

(slang) A superhero.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

(figurative)  That which conceals; a disguise or pretext.
RQ:South Twelve Sermons
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To incite or attract (a bull) to charge a certain direction, by waving a cape.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

(Internet) A text replacement for an IRC user's hostname or IP address, making the user less identifiable.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

(nautical) To head or point; to keep a course.
The ship capes southwest by south.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

(transitive) To cover as with a cloak.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To skin an animal, particularly a deer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

To cover up, hide or conceal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To defend or praise, especially that which is unworthy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

To render or become invisible via futuristic technology.
The ship cloaked before entering the enemy sector of space.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

(obsolete) To look for, search after.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

A loose outer garment, extending from the neck downwards, and commonly without sleeves. It is longer than a cape, and is worn both by men and by women.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To gaze or stare.
The captain just caped mindlessly into the distance as his ship was hit by volley after volley.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

That which conceals; a disguise or pretext; an excuse; a fair pretense; a mask; a cover.
No man is esteemed any ways considerable for policy who wears religion otherwise than as a cloak.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

A piece or point of land, extending beyond the adjacent coast into the sea or a lake; a promontory; a headland.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

To cover with, or as with, a cloak; hence, to hide or conceal.
Now glooming sadly, so to cloak her matter.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless garment or part of a garment, hanging from the neck over the back, arms, and shoulders, but not reaching below the hips. See Cloak.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

Anything that covers or conceals
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To head or point; to keep a course; as, the ship capes southwest by south.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

A loose outer garment
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

To gape.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

Hide under a false appearance;
He masked his disappointment
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cape

A strip of land projecting into a body of water
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

To cover or conceal something.
The fog cloaked the city in a mysterious haze.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless garment like a cloak but shorter
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cloak

A thing that hides, covers, or disguises.
The spy used a cloak of secrecy to hide his identity.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless outer garment that drapes the wearer’s back and shoulders.
She wore a red velvet cape to the costume party.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

A part of a dress or robe that resembles a cape.
Her gown had an attached lace cape that added elegance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Cape

A protective covering for the back and shoulders, like in a salon.
The stylist placed a cape over her client before starting the haircut.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 27, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are cloaks still used today?

Yes, cloaks are used in fashion, costume design, and for practical purposes like warmth.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

What materials are capes made from?

Capes can be made from various materials like wool, velvet, silk, or cotton.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Do capes offer much warmth?

Capes provide limited warmth as they cover only the back and shoulders.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can a cloak have pockets?

Yes, some cloaks are designed with pockets for practicality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Do all cloaks have hoods?

No, while many cloaks have hoods, some designs do not include them.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Is a cape appropriate for formal events?

Yes, certain styles of capes are suitable for formal wear.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can capes be waterproof?

Yes, capes can be made from waterproof materials for outdoor use.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Are cloaks gender-specific?

No, cloaks are unisex and can be worn by anyone.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can cloaks be part of a formal attire?

Yes, especially historically, cloaks were part of formal and ceremonial attire.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Do cloaks come in different lengths?

Yes, cloaks vary in length, from knee-length to floor-length.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can a cape be part of a wedding dress?

Yes, some wedding dresses incorporate capes for a dramatic effect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Do capes have closures?

Some capes have closures like buttons, ties, or clasps at the neck.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Do superheroes wear capes?

In popular culture, many superheroes are depicted wearing capes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Is a cloak suitable for hiking?

Yes, a cloak can be suitable for hiking, especially if it's designed for outdoor conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Are cloaks practical in rainy weather?

Yes, especially if made from waterproof material.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can cloaks be insulated for cold weather?

Yes, cloaks can be lined or insulated for additional warmth.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

What is the difference between a cape and a capelet?

A capelet is a smaller, shorter version of a cape.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Are capes used in academic gowns?

Yes, some academic gowns and robes include cape-like elements.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Do cloaks require special care or maintenance?

Care depends on the material, but generally, cloaks require standard garment care.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Are capes easy to put on and take off?

Yes, most capes are designed for easy wearing and removal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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