So this post was going to be all about capes…. because everyone… totally loves capes for fall.
But that would make me just like every other blogger out there.
Because. Duhhhh. Everyone needs capes.
So you know what?
Because as much as I do – totally – love capes for fall... (I mean who doesn’t?) I thought I’d tell you the full story behind these caped photos instead.
Here goes nothing.
Part I: The Mystery of the Missing Cape
During the summer of 2007, I spent some time traveling through Italy, and I was constantly inspired by the fashionable women I would see on the streets. They were always wearing styles that hadn’t yet landed stateside, and I loved how ahead of the game they were. My most notable fashion sighting from that trip… I can still remember it to this day… was the most chic woman in Florence, wearing the most incredible cape.
From that day on, I was determined to find my very own incredibly chic cape.
So five years ago, with my very first holiday bonus, I bought this cape from BCBG. At the time, it was a huge splurge. I had just graduated college, I was out on my own, and I was supporting myself financially for the first time. I hadn’t yet earned the luxury of conspicuous consumption, so I watched this cape all season. Initially, it was too expensive. But finally, after the holidays – it went on sale – like 50% off sale. I knew it wouldn’t last, so that January, it became mine for $200. I wore it constantly that winter. However, over the next few years, and over multiple moves – somehow – my dear cape went missing.
When I tell you that this cape was a constant point of contention between my husband and I for a very long 3 years – I am not lying. At all.
Every winter that went by I’d ask, “Joe – you’re sure you haven’t seen my black BCBG cape… anywhere?”
And every winter he’d say…
“No Emily, I have not seen your black BCBG cape… anywhere.” Followed up by something like this…. “I’m sure you lent it to one of your friends and forgot about it.”
Oh ok Joe… because I just lend out my favorite items of clothing and forget about them… ok Joe.
Anyhow, a little over a month ago, I was making room for my clothes on Joe’s side of the closet. Yes… I am slowly taking over our whole closet… weird… and there was this huge section of his freshly pressed dress shirts – still in their plastic from the dry cleaners. I got distracted… and was sitting there musing over how nice it would be to be a guy. Gah… all you have to do is have a nice selection of dress shirts, a couple of pairs of khakis, and like two suits. How much easier does it get? No one cares if you outfit repeat, and actually the more boring you dress… the better. Boys don’t have millions of dresses and social media photos to worry about. So as I’m lamenting the unfairness of gender specific fashion expectations, (I kid)… I pick up the shirts to move them, and I realize that they feel heavier than they should.
I start rifling through the shirts and I find the coat that I wore to our rehearsal dinner. Whatt???? I hadn’t seen that thing in years. In the back of my head you know what I’m thinking…
Could it be? Could my cape be in here? Oh dear Lord, please, please, please let it be in here.
And sure enough…. halfway through my prayer to St. Anthony… “Anthony Anthony turn around…” and somewhere in the middle of the 15 gingham shirts that my husband owns… there it was.
My cape, My cape, My cape!!!
My heart jumped for joy. I ripped it out of the plastic and hugged it like an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. I promptly put it on over my pajamas, and stormed into the kitchen where Joe was working on a contract for a client.
“Joe… Joe!!! Do you know what this is?” I hissed.
He looked at me and smiled. “Ummm… you’re going as a sleepy Dracula for Halloween? Or maybe Zoro??”
I did not find this funny.
“No, Joe. I am not going as ANYTHING for Halloween. This is my cape. My BCBG cape that I have been looking for… for… years. It was in with your dry cleaning… where did it come from?”
He went back to typing.
“I picked all that stuff up from our old dry cleaner the other day – they called and said they’d been keeping it for us. I mean aren’t you happy? You got your cape back!”
Ugghhh… he’d never understand, and it wasn’t worth fighting over. So I said what any smart wife would say in this situation: “Thanks babe, I really appreciate you finding it for me.”
I walked back to the closet feeling half annoyed, and half grateful. On the one hand, he had picked up our dry cleaning without me having to ask him to do so. I meannn….. It may have been 3 years too late… but whatever. I had my cape back.
Part II: A San Fransisco Blog Shoot
About a month ago – a week or so after finding the cape – I made the trip down to San Francisco to stay with Ashley for the weekend. We had a couple of business meetings for the blog, and we also wanted to shoot a bunch of our fall looks. And – let’s be real, we hadn’t spent a weekend, just the two of us, since… oh I don’t know… sophomore year of college? Besides that, we do our best work when we’re together, so I happily made the trip.
As soon as I got to Ashley’s house, the work began. I had 3 huge suitcases of clothes, my steamer, countless purses, hats, shoes, hair products, makeup…. I mean, you name it, I brought it. We dragged everything up the three flights of stairs – and half an hour later we were both laying on the ground of her apartment out of breath and exhausted.
But there was no time to rest.
We organized everything in her spare bedroom, and then we had to go out and get our props for the next day. We set out to: the flower shop for roses, Safeway for mini pumpkins, the local bakery for doughnuts, Starbucks for coffee cups… soooo many stops.
We headed home and finished planning for the next day. We planned every location, every outfit, every purse, every hat – every everything down to the last detail. It took hours. We ordered in Chinese food, had some wine, and we went to bed early… because nothing ruins a perfectly good blog shoot like bags under your eyes.
Saturday morning we were up at 6am. We got ready and started shooting our first two looks on the peninsula by 7am. Then we drove to the city. Truth be told, I am used to shooting close to home and changing at my house, so shooting in San Francisco was definitely different for me. My first look was in jeans, and my second look was in leather pants. So if you can imagine me wrangling myself into leather pants in the front seat of a car, while families were out for their morning coffee… I mean yeah.
That happened. <<< Dying.
We had meetings from 10-12, and then from 12-1 we each shot another look. By this time I had thrown modesty out the window and was full on changing between car doors in the middle of the financial district.
I mean – you do what you gotta do.
Finally we broke for lunch and a much needed cocktail with our friend Bunny. After lunch, we shot two more looks, and before we knew it… it was 4:00.
We were exhausted and we both wanted nothing more than to call it quits. Our feet hurt, we were starving, half of San Francisco had seen me topless, and Ashley’s car… I mean it was a complete disaster… (if you can call piles leather and Louboutins a disaster). jk jk
We couldn’t stop yet though… we still had one more site to visit. Ashley had wanted to shoot at this one spot… this one specific location in Potrero Hill. She had been talking about it the entire week before. The sweeping views of the city… the idyllic homes… the bridge in the background. I desperately wanted to see it, and I definitely wanted to shoot there. We were running out of light though… and fast. So we zipped across town, and when we arrived…
It was everything Ashley had said and more. By “more” I mean… it was all that and a four way stop.
We started to shoot. I’d be crossing the street… Ashley would be taking photos from up the way…. and we’d be screaming at each other about the oncoming traffic that the other one couldn’t see. So while I may look calm and collected in these photos- I can assure you I was anything but. These photos were taken while dodging bikers, dog walkers, Ubers, Lyfts… and last but not least, judgy gazes from a pack of San Francisco mommies and their pram-style strollers.
But thanks to my trusty superwoman cape, I got through it all… unscathed.
In the end, we got the pictures we wanted… the pictures that do this cape and it’s backstory justice. I hope you love them as much as I do, and I hope… in some roundabout way… you might be inspired to invest in an incredibly chic, superwoman cape of your own.