Short cloaks vs. long cloaksThere really is nothing like a long cloak for keeping warm and dry when standing or walking in cold rain or snow. Long cloaks are cut generously so that you can overlap and hold them closed in front of you to keep the warmth in and the cold and wet out. But you can’t do anything in a cloak. If you turn or bend, the cold starts to slip in, and if you need to use your hands, you lose all warmth as you open your cloak. The hood keeps you from seeing in any direction except in front of you, and when you turn your head to try to see, you find yourself looking at the inside of the hood. And cloaks are heavy, and if it warms up a little you can’t really cool off by throwing the sides back; you’ll choke.
Courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection