The cape dress is the ultimate power move. Nothing says “I’m opulent AF” like a piece of fabric that flows behind you everywhere you walk. Capes render their wearer angelic, royal and empowered all at once; no other item of clothing invites you to feel like the transcendent superheroine you dreamt of becoming any time someone asked you the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
And the cape dress? It sees what the cape is bringing to the table—and raises it.
There’s no denying it: Wearing a cape is an extra thing to do. It makes you that bitch. (You know, the one who decided to wear a cape to a restaurant or a bar or someone else’s birthday party.)
But a cape dress allows you to eschew responsibility for your cape. It offers an excuse: “I found this dress I really liked, and it happened to come with an attached cape.” You didn’t opt into the cape, you opted into the dress—and the cape came with.
The cape dress allows you to have your cape—and act like a normal, well-adjusted, totally not over-the-top person, too.
Lucky for us, our favorite designers and retailers have come to understand the immense value of cape dresses, and they’re straight-up showering us with them.
Neiman Marcus, ASOS, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks—pretty much every shop available has some kind of cape dress on offer right now. Ahead, our 21 favorites.
Premium Cape Maxi Dress
Perfect for the bride who wants a showstopping silhouette.
Premium cape maxi dress, $103 at ASOS
True Decadence Sequin Lace Pencil Dress
Understated drama done right.
True Decadence sequin lace pencil dress, $146 at ASOS
Cape Sleeve Satin Mini Dress
The chartreuse color renders this dress casual enough to wear to work.
Cape sleeve satin mini dress, $87 at ASOS
Elie Saab Cape-Effect Gown
Little Red Riding Hood hits the red carpet.
Elie Saab cape-effect gown, $7,660 at Net-a-Porter
Lavish Alice Tuxedo Cape Mini Dress
Like a power suit—but in cape dress form.
Lavish Alice tuxedo cape mini dress, $135 at ASOS
Structured Cape Sheath Dress
A cocktail dress and a coat—all in one.
Structured cape sheath dress, $160 at Adrianna Papell
Cape Wedding Jumpsuit
Yup, jumpsuits are totally on the table.
Cape wedding jumpsuit, $253 at ASOS
Valentino Light Cady Cape Dress
Shift dresses have never looked so cool.
Valentino Light Cady cape dress, $850 at Bergdorf Goodman
Lavish Alice Classic Cape Blazer
The most dressed-down iteration of the cape clothing trend.
Lavish Alice classic cape blazer, $111 at ASOS
Valentino Silk Cady Couture Slip
Haunted, Grecian and dramatic—all at once.
Valentino silk Cady couture slip, $6,900 at Neiman Marcus
Valentino Cape-Sleeve Dress
Cape sleeves offer a subtle approach to a not-so-subtle trend.
Valentino cape-sleeve dress, $990 at Matches Fashion
Cape Up the Good Work Plunging Jumpsuit
Cape Up the Good Work plunging jumpsuit, $90 at Nasty Gal
Givenchy Bicolor Cape Shift Dress
Colorblock cape dresses? Be still our beating hearts.
Givenchy bicolor cape shift dress, $3,300 at Neiman Marcus
Valentino Silk Cape Dress
Perfect for parties, vacations and any other occasions where you might want to wear hot pink.
Valentino silk cape dress, $3,890 at Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue
Erdem Constantine Dutch-Petal Cape Dress
High neck, floral print—can't lose.
Erdem Constantine Dutch-Petal cape dress, $2,290 at Neiman Marcus
Cape-Pleated Maxi Dress
An evening gown so chic you'll be looking for excuses to wear it.
Cape-pleated maxi dress, $76 at ASOS
Osman Rebecca Cape-Sleeved Dress
For the shopper who prefers a drapey cape to a structured one.
Osman Rebecca cape-sleeved dress, $577 at Matches Fashion
Misha Collection Midi Dress
Sequins and a cape? Can't be beat.
Misha Collection midi dress, $404 at ASOS
Gucci Chiffon Cape Pleated Dress
Imagine being literally surrounded by a chiffon cape.
Gucci chiffon cape pleated dress, $3,600 at Nordstrom
Club L Mini Dress
When your cape is longer than your hemline, you know you're doing something right.
Club L mini dress, $42 at ASOS
Cape Mini Dress
If I were getting married, this is what I'd wear to my rehearsal dinner.
Cape mini dress, $87 at ASOS