No Capes! The Gothic Council Has Spoken

There's an unfortunate stage that most goths go through. I call it the Capetarded Stage, and yes, it involves wearing an actual vampire cape.

Why do we do it? I don't know. I guess it has a lot to do with going a bit overboard when you begin the darksome melodrama that makes up most of being goth. In general, mature goths forsake such gauche geekiness for a more modern approach.

That being said, is wearing a cape an actual gothic fashion faux pas? Should we let the wearers work through it, or should we beat sense into them with their own boots wrapped in the cloaks like a Numbers version of the sock bath?

To answer that question I summoned the Gothic Council. Joining us this week is DJ Martin Oldgoth, Toby Ride of Ending the Vicious Cycle, blogger Drusilla Grey, Jvstin Whitney of Church of Melkarth, author of the Encyclopedia Gothica Liisa Ladouceur, and Becky Plexco, webmistress of Morticia's Morgue.

Martin Oldgoth: Never. There is no excuse, except maybe if you're attending a costume party as a dickhead. Or Count Duckula. Unless you're Pete Murphy of course, but even then it's a fine line between looking really, really silly, and only a bit silly.

Toby Rider: I like what are called Inverness capes. They're an old style of Highland cloak/overcoat that appeared in the 17th century. Bagpipe bands wear them when they march in the rain, which of course is quite often in Scotland. They allow the wearer access to the sporran with having to unbutton.

Goggle image search "Inverness Cape" to see them. Sherlock Holmes wore a derivation of the Inverness cape.

Martin Oldgoth: I can't think of capes without thinking of the Scottish Widows ad.

Drusilla Grey: I just finished fastening a Batman cape on my five-year-old son to wear to Whole Foods...

Capes are OK for the Renaissance Festival. Or for the opera. They can sometimes work for women when going out, but it depends on the bearing of the wearer. You need to look classy and confident, not like you're carrying a pouch of 12-sided dice on your way to see a friend who lives in their mother's basement...

And if you're going to wear a cape, invest in a nice one, not some cheap costume store rag, unless it's just being worn as a silly costume or for D&D...

Jvstin Whitney: Of course, since I always make it a point to go full special, I do wear a cloak quite frequently, but that doesn't mean it's okay. The most hilarious thing I've been called was a Satanic Jawa.

And of course when wearing the full-band getup with the face wraps, people assume I'm a Mortal Kombat ninja and yell Scorpion's catchphrases at me. I don't know how people make it past 25 without a sense of humor in a subculture.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner