Caped Crusaders

The need for a winter coat sneaks upon us every year. One day we’re getting by with nothing more than a sweater and leather jacket, and the next thing we know temps dip quickly into the 40s.

Luckily, the cape has become a mainstay of top designers’ fall-winter collections, and is just the piece to buy now and relish having later. It is a brilliant layering item, and works over lightweight knits for the autumn months, and atop thicker separates come winter.

Whether you prefer a classic cut like the one by Roberto Cavalli or a daring number (e.g., DKNY, Delpozo), you’re certain to see something here that will keep you happy and toasty all season long.

Delpozo checked cape

Since Josep Font was appointed creative director of Delpozo, the brand’s ready-to-wear offerings have taken on a couture-like quality. Here, a checked cape is resplendent in vibrant pink and yellow hues, and a sash promises to tie your whole look together. $3,450. 754 Fifth Avenue (57th/58th Streets); 212-753-7300;

The Row’s Tonpell cape

The cold-weather blues don’t stand a chance when you’re sporting The Row’s Tonpell cape. This virgin-wool-and-angora piece is reversible; one side is of a textured brown hue and the other has a forest-green plaid. $5,190. 116 Wooster Street (Prince/Spring Streets); 212-965-9964;

Saint Laurent wool cape

While Saint Laurent’s wool cape instantly conjures up ideas of Little Red Riding Hood, the cut of this piece is decidedly adult. An A-line hem flatters, and a hood will keep you extra toasty and dry. $2,550. 3 East 57th Street (Madison/Fifth Avenues); 212-980-2970;

Derek Lam mohair cape

Made in Italy from super-soft mohair and cotton, this topper from Derek Lam is perfect for the transitional period between fall and winter. The style also features hook fastenings in front. $2,390. 12 Crosby Street (Grand/Howard Streets); 212-966-1616;

Belstaff Cora cape

The Cora cape by Belstaff is ingeniously made from waterproof, rubberized cotton. A buckle detail nods to the brand’s moto history. $2,150. 814 Madison Avenue (68th/69th Streets); 212-897-1880;

DKNY Drama cape

There’s a good reason why DKNY dubbed this outerwear style the Drama cape. This statement piece was seen on the label’s fall runway and features a tiger-print jacquard pattern. $495. 420 West Broadway (Prince/Spring Streets); 646-613-1100;

Roberto Cavalli blanket-style cape

Roberto Cavalli’s blanket-style cape is just the thing to get you from the subway to the office on even the blusteriest of days. The gray-hued bouclé has a leather fastening at the neck and mohair and wool woven throughout. $2,270. 711 Madison Avenue (63rd/64th Streets); 212-755-7722;

Carven Caban duffel coat cape

It’s hard not to instantly fall in love with the Caban duffel coat cape by Carven. It’s simultaneously adorable and sophisticated, and we adore the oversized lapels and toggle closures. $1,270. 83 Mercer Street (Spring/Broome Streets); 646-684-4368;

Veronique Branquinho coat cape

Veronique Branquinho successfully riffs on the idea of donning a coat atop one’s shoulders by creating a cape version of the concept. Her piece is rendered in a gorgeous, rich Bordeaux shade. $2,640. 35 Howard Street (Broadway/Crosby Street); 212-219-2688;

Adam Lippes reversible cape

Short in front and lengthy in the back, this reversible cape by Adam Lippes is a no-brainer addition to your wardrobe. We love the mix of ivory and burgundy colors — think of it as two coats in one. $1,950. 477 Broome Street (Wooster/Greene Streets); 212-941-9656;