is probably a cape…or a capelet…or a poncho…or a shawl.
I’ve been looking at accessories. Fun to make, fun to wear, quick(er) to knit up. And since it’s SO FREAKING COLD right now, keeping myself insulated is a priority. Bonus points if I can wear them at work or at home too.
So riddle me this…what’s the difference between a cowl, a capelet, a cape, a poncho and a shawl. Think you know? I thought so too until I started browsing Rav.
I’ve decided there’s not a damned thing separating these. Case in point.
I thought a cowl was more of a neck warmer?
- Cabled Capelet
- Progression Cowl – doesn’t this look strikingly similar to the capelet to the left?
- Quatrain (cape) – ok I think I figured it out. A cape is longer. No, it’s the same length as the left one. A cape has a turtleneck. Damn that left again.
I’m starting to lose steam here. Let’s look at another set.
- Appia (cowl) – maybe it’s a cowl because she’s not wearing it pulled down over her shoulders?
- Winter Capelet – I love this one but I can’t make sense of it. Winter but it has a wide neck and lace. I give up.
- Soft Shoulder Cowl/Shawl – this designer just gave up with the name. Funny thing is this is what I think of when I think capelet – not cowl nor shawl.
Regardless of the names I love this accessory. Or is it garment. Maybe outerwear?
I’ll catch you on the purl side…
6 thoughts on “a cowl by any other name…”
Hmmm. Tricky. I myself have pondered long and hard on shawl vs shawlette. Also triangle scarf vs shawl.
Ha. In most ways it doesn’t matter to me, but it became a challenge when searching in Rav. It was clear that designers called the same item several different things.
You have hit on a pet peeve of mine. To me, a shawl covers your arms, all the way past your elbows. You can actually snuggle up in a shawl. But the things people are calling shawls are really scarves. When did this happen? I guess I got old all of a sudden.
Right before we started yelling at kids to get off our lawn 😉
Oh yes, the trick of naming things. In my opinion:
cowl = circular accessory that goes primarily around the neck, either with a short circumference and tall width (to hug the neck), or long circumference (a big loop, infinity scarf)
capelet = a shoulder-hugging tube, much wider than a cowl. I think of most of those things you pictured as capelets.
cape = another shoulder-hugging garment but more like a shawl (worked flat) that is tied or toggled closed. Not knit as a big tube.
shawl = triangular, crescent, or semi-circle piece of knitting worked flat and not attached to itself in any way. None of those things you pictured are shawls.
I would probably call everything you pictured a capelet, except for the Appia cowl. My two cents!
Nice summary – I tend to agree with you! I’d add that a shawl can also be rectangular in my book.
Or is that a stole?
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