The coat to be seen in right now isn’t a coat at all – it is the cape that is shaping up to be the outerwear style of the year.

This week Kate Moss confirmed its comeback as she sported a black leather cape by Saint Laurent, while Amal Clooney incorporated a cape with the gown she wore to a Prince’s Trust event this month. The US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a cape to last month’s State of the Union address in Washington, in tribute to the women’s suffrage movement; and Meghan Markle wore a caped dress by Christian Dior on a recent trip to Morocco.

The fashion psychologist Prof Carolyn Mair said it was no coincidence that women in positions of power and influence had adopted the style. “Capes offer protection, comfort and freedom and have been worn by professions which are typically associated with living meaningful lives, courage and altruism – such as the military and nursing – and totality,” she said.

“Because of these connotations, a cape looks powerful and this symbolism may be transmitted to the wearer if she or he believes in it.”

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Vijay Nanda

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