I'm thinking of buying or sewing a new hooded garment that I would wear both for everyday occasions as well as general cosplay uses.

I'm familiar with wearing a robe (a full-length, hooded garment, with sleeves). I've never tried however a cloak (a full-length, hooded garment, without sleeves).

What practical and aesthetic reasons exist for desiring or not desiring sleeves on such a garment?

  • Not enough for an answer, but I found a cloak not warm at all, while walking around. I do live in an area with a lot of wind and the wind would always blow the cloak open.
    – Willeke
    Aug 2 '17 at 17:17
  • Cloak with slits or just a wrap-around you have to throw over your shoulders to use your hands?
    – Catija
    Aug 2 '17 at 18:18
  • I like cloaks with slits. They're great... though you need to be sure the slits are the right height. They need to be slit to above your elbows so that the weight falls on your upper arms rather than your forearms or directly on your elbows.
    – Catija
    Aug 2 '17 at 21:00
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about the practical and aesthetic differences between two types of garments.
    – Joachim
    Oct 25 '19 at 8:27

I used to larp and always opted for coats/jackets rather than cloaks whenever feasible. Here are the considerations I used to make frequently about outerwear, listed from highest to lowest priority for myself:

  • It is easier to add useable pockets (whether hidden or visible)
  • Fitted garments with sleeves are less likely to get caught in doors or get accidentally stepped on (eg. when ascending/descending stairs)
  • Fitted garments are likely to be warmer than a loose cloak in most cases
  • Fastening a jacket/coat etc is easier and more secure than most cloak fastenings
  • Cloaks are unusual in most modern cultures and will draw more attention than a sleeved garment, which may not always be wanted

I would like to add that a lot of these pros/cons rely on subjective opinion and context.

I have some limited experience with sewing garments that have hoods, and have found it to be quite challenging to get the exact shape of hood that I want! I have found it comparatively easy to produce sleeves, so this is why I have not discussed whether sewing a cloak or sleeved garment would be easier, because in my opinion if you are making a garment with a hood, either option will be about the same difficulty.


Actually on Larps I found out that cloaks are much more warmer solution than jackets, have to guess but I think because they trap the air around your body. A thin layer of fabric cloak has more warming effect than the same or even a bit thicker layer of jacket/robe. At least in my experiences. Also for movement I found that in cloaks I don’t feel like a dummy doll my movements are much more free if I count with the cloak of course. This is a reason why many of my friends and me try to always opt for cloaks in case of Larp. I’m surprised that others experienced the exact opposite. Naturally you want to find in any case the most optimal pattern. Because cloaks can be very simple how you wear them can also be varied very easily. Also they have a much more variety of uses like: a mat, a pillow, a blanket etc...

These are advantages in Larp or camping or were in the medieval times. And just a bonus: look much more cooler.

In modern day use we have similar things mostly for women called poncho which I actually use in my daily life.

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