Robe Vs Cloak (An In-Depth Comparison)

The cloak and the robe are two separate pieces of clothing that have served the human race for a long time now. They have indeed served dexterously in the function of providing warmth, class, and protection.  

Looking at them side by side, we cannot help but notice how very similar yet, so different they both are. Let us see some of these differences and similarities below.

Differences between a robe and a cloak

There is no better way to begin talking about this than to point out the most obvious difference between these two garments. 

The cloak is an outer garment that is usually worn outdoors while the robe is worn indoors. Cloaks are usually produced to be sleeveless with just an opening at the underarm but, robes are not. You can get robes in short sleeves, half sleeves, or full sleeves but, never sleeveless.

The robes are more popular and worn by people of diverse continents while the cloak is not. For instance, it would be a very rare sight to see a westerner in a cloak these days.

A robe is fastened by both interior and exterior ropes but with a cloak, you will find strings or a metal clasp which you are to clamp down to keep the cloak in place.

Cloaks are usually without buttons or zips while you can have robes produced with buttons or zip.

Finally, cloaks seem to have fizzled out of the fashion scene since the 90s but, the robes remain. With more and more people discovering this highly exquisite and convenient clothing every day, we can boldly say that the robe is not going away anytime soon.

Similarities between a cloak and a robe

The cloak and the robe have one unique function and that is; they are worn to provide warmth and protection. They are both worn over clothes.

Cloaks are worn over clothing while going out, same way you can also wear a robe over your pajamas or nightwear to get some extra warmth.

They are both made in varying sizes; at or above the knee, below the knee, and an ankle length. They both can be made with hoods attached.

They are both unisez clothing; both the robe and the cloak can be worn by males and females of different age groups and they are sure to look absolutely great in them.

They are made with similar materials, wool, velvet, silk, etc. You can find both the cloak and robe available in a wide range of exciting colors.

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When to wear a cloak

Cloaks are fashionable garments draped over your clothes when going out. They are usually worn to provide extra warmth and protection while others wear theirs simply because they are fashionable.

To this end, it should not really come as a surprise to see a lot of people adorning the cloaks during the winter season. They wear it over uniforms to school, to churches, and when hanging out with friends.  Cloaks can typically be worn to outings of any kind in general.

When to wear the robe

Robes are worn in and around the house. You can slip into your robe as soon as you step out of the bed and go about your daily activities in them till you are ready to take a bath and dress up properly.

Apart from the bathrobe which you wear around the house, we have other kinds of robes that are worn to more formal functions.

Some of them are the academic robes worn by graduating students in an educational institution and royal robes worn by people of royal standing. 

Are cloaks better than coats?

When it comes to performing the specific function of warmth and protection, the coat sure does a far better job. Cloaks are simply just fashionable and add a bit of glitz and glamour to your style.

How to wear a cloak

Putting on a cloak is not as complicated as it seems. Find below, easy steps to wearing it.

Place your hands on the top corners of your cloak and throw them over your shoulders. Drag the cloak closer to your body and have it wrapped around your neck.

What to wear under a cloak

You can practically drape a cloak over any outfit that you can think of. It looks great when draped over a mini gown, looks the same way when you have it paired with a jean and a top. Whatever it is you are wearing, just throw on the cloak and see how well it spices up your overall look.

What to wear under a robe

Wearing anything under the robe is purely optional. You can most definitely have the robe worn like that. However, on very cool days, you might find people wearing the robe over their nightwear or clothes as they sit around the house. They do this to get an extra supply of warmth.

Which is more comfortable – cloaks or robes

Frankly speaking, half of the people that do wear a cloak do so either to make fashion statements or, for extra warmth and not for the convenience that it provides. The cloak can be very restricting especially when we need to use our hands often. 

On the other hand, the robe is as comfortable as it is convenient. It provides you with optimum warmth at the same time, and flexibility to do all that you have to do in them.

Different types of robes and their functions

There are a lot of custom-made robes that serve different purposes. By custom-made, we mean robes that are specially designed for a specific set of people in a particular profession or field. We will begin with the:

Choir robes

Choir robes are worn by every member of the group to connote togetherness as a unit. They are produced in diverse designs and styles and can be custom-made to your specification too. This is why you see different choir robes made with different materials and worn by different groups.

Clergy robes

This is a highly important robe worn by clergymen. The robes are somewhat like an age-old tradition as priests have been known to wear robes from way back. These robes are custom-made with specially sorted materials and made with several other accessories.

Clergy usually have multiple robes worn for different religious occasions. These robes come in a different color that signifies what the occasion is all about.

Academic robes

We can also call this, the robe of honor. They are proudly put on by students celebrating their graduation out of school or post-graduate studies.  These robes can be given by the school but, you can also have yours custom made too if you so wish.

You can have it tailored to fit, at the same time add a little style in form of pockets to it. After which you can step out proudly in it to celebrate your academic feats along with other students plus your friends and family.

Legal robes

A lot of us are familiar with legal robes. They are worn by lawyers as well as judges of the court. The striking thing about legal robes is that the colors remain uniform in most parts of the world. Haven’t you noticed? They are mostly black robes. 

However, lawyers can still have it custom-made to fit perfectly in order to ensure a smart and professional look. There you have it, a list of the different types of robes that we have. The good thing about most of these robes is that they can be customized. A customized robe is one well-tailored to fit.

So, instead of looking completely lost in the robes, you can have it sewn to size and at the same time, add some stylish designs that would not alter the look of the robe. This makes for a more attractive and radiant look. 


Are cloaks practical?

The cloak cannot be said to be practical for a good number of reasons which are for starters, the fact that you cannot really make use of your hands freely while they are draped over you. This is because; they just have a small opening under the arm for sleeves.

Therefore, if you intend to pick up something from the floor or use your hands in whatever way, the whole fabric opens up as you do, exposing you to the cold that it was supposed to protect you from in the first place.

The cloak also does not have a solid fastening in place. To this end, movement is being hindered and somewhat restricted as you risk the hood flying out of position if you do walk fast.

Robe Vs Cloak – Conclusion

We can rightly call robes and cloaks members of the same family. You know how family members can have some similarities while still maintaining and staying true to their unique personalities? That is the same way the cloaks and robes stay different while having some noticeable similarities.

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