Inverness Cape (Sherlock Holmes Cape)

Paul J. Lucas
I got your name off a web page for costumes. I am interested in finding an Inverness cape, the caped overcoat made famous by Sherlock Holmes. (Basically, a man's overcoat minus the sleeves plus a wrist-length cape attached under the collar.)

I would like the cape to be "real" by which I mean that it would be a functional coat as opposed to a mock-up that only looks good on stage.

I am looking for a store (men's clothing or costume shop) that would sell such a coat or someone who would like to make such a coat.

Any help you can give would be most appreciated; thanks.

Richard Payatt
Mr. Lucas (and Carole,)
Vintage inverness capes can be readily had in, of all places, Japantown in San Francisco. There is a lovely store called Genji, which carries them all the time. Genji is in the SF phone book. I don't have their number handy.

They usually have 5-10 Invernesses in stock, and they charge between $130 and $150. They are all black wool, fully lined, have various pockets, and come in assorted sizes. Some are of better fabric, some have more pockets, some are lined in silk, some have detachable fur collar overlays of varying quality. These invernesses were the rage in pre-WWII Japan, and were designed to keep out the Kyoto winter cold. If you want a patterned fabric, you are on your own.

The inverness that I have is from the luckier end of their importing. It is a silk/wool/cashmere blend fabric, lined in silk, and all of the pockets are lined in silk velvet. I paid $100 for it about 5 years ago.

It is best to visit them and select an appropriate cape, but I expect that they might be able to pick one for you and mail it off to you, should you live too far away.

Todd Hansen
The inverness cape is a traditional cold weather garment and is the correct garment to wear with the kilt. Look for a book called "So You're Going To Wear The Kilt" as a starter or run, don't walk to your nearest Highland Clothier. Paul, I don't know where you are located, but I would check with Geoffrey's Highland Crafts. They have offices around the country, including South San Francisco on the west coast and Atlanta Georgia. they have an 800 number: (800)253-7269 is the most current one I have. There is also the Celtic Crafts Center in San Francisco near Fishermans Wharf. Both are good shops. Warning: It won't be cheap. Probably on the order of $400. Though that is a guess.

Good luck!

I received this e-mail from a company that makes Inverness Capes. No recommendation is implied or suggested.

Antony M Mistofsky
You may be interested to know that our company in Scotland has been manufacturing Inverness Capes for about 18 years.

Our website offers a choice of Inverness Capes in waterproof nylon and 100% wool fabrics, on a strictly made to measure basis.

We have many delighted customers worldwide who have ordered from us including many Sherlock Holmes devotees who usually prefer our dogtooth or herringbone Harris Tweed designs.

Please feel free to contact us anytime either through our website or by phone/fax to 0044 141 639 7309.

We look forward to being of service to you.


Antony M Mistofsky
Mister Antony (Inverness Capes)
15 Cheviot Drive, Newton Mearns, Glasgow G77 5AT Scotland
tel/fax 0044 141 639 7309

If you have any further information to share about this topic, please e-mail Carole Parker for inclusion.

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