Il Tabarro

Cloaks have long since fallen out of favor for all but a few areas in Europe where they are still worn by the old and young alike. Hold your Seinfeld jokes until you’ve tried wearing one – on a cold foggy day where the rain turns into a fine mist, nothing can beat the luxury of having soft, comfortable wool draped around your body.

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Though incredibly rare to see nowadays, some members of the USMC are also allowed to wear a special cloak with their evening dress uniforms.

1. The boatcloak, made of dark blue broadcloth material lined with scarlet wool broadcloth, is an optional item which may be worn by male officers and SNCOs with evening dress and blue dress “A”/”B” uniforms for official and social functions. It will not be worn when the blue dress uniform is worn as the uniform of the day.

2. The dress cape, made of dark blue polyester-wool tropical material lined with scarlet satin rayon cloth, is an optional item which may be worn by female officers and SNCOs with the evening dress and blue dress “A”/”B” uniforms for official and social functions. It will not be worn when the blue dress uniform is worn as the uniform of the day.

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Only a handful of tailors and companies still specialize in making them. One among them is Tabarrificio Veneto of Compagnia Mercantile, who is also the same company behind the folksy Italian clothing line called Barena. The construction of some of these styles can be interesting, in that they can require between 5-6 meters of fabric, and must be cut into a near perfect circle.

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Images from Men’s Mentore and GQ Style (Autumn/Winter 2008 issue).

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