What Do Your Capes and Gowns Say About Your Barber Business?

Published 09th Jul 2024 by Josie Jackson

According to Chris & Sons statistics in November 2023, the barbering industry is now worth an estimated £1.5 billion with 58% of British men visiting a barber on a regular basis, proof that it is important to have a respected and recognisable brand and business. Some priorities that won’t come as a surprise when thinking about showcasing your brand image are an online and digital presence, excellent customer service, and an appealing shop interior –to name just a few. Perhaps what may slip business owners’ minds are capes and gowns, and what they can say about you and your business.

In light of this, we asked our Instagram followers if they choose capes and gowns to reflect them and their business. An overwhelming 86% said yes, with only 14% answering no.

So, let’s wrap our heads around capes and what they can do for you...

Cape Gang

Great Creative

The barbering industry is all about creativity, and you have the choice for your capes and gowns to reflect this as well as your individuality. In fact, when asked if they prefer creative capes and gowns, almost half of our followers said yes.

Anna Hewitt, Cape Gang Creator and Director tells us that when Cape Gang began seven years ago, it set out to provide barbers with capes that went beyond the industry norm. “Our capes express our creativity, and show that barbering isn’t just about cutting hair, it’s an art. Barbershops have become a place where barbers can express their creativity and our capes add another level of diversity and uniqueness to that.”

As social media continues to grow and it becomes increasingly important for barbers to showcase their work and their brand, creative capes can catch the attention of users and might just stop them in their scrolls. “Using Rude Capes allows my personality and character to stand out,” says Simon Tuckwell, owner of Tuckwell and Co. “They are instantly noticeable, especially when we’re showcasing our work on social media.”

Not only does it help you stand out on social media, but it can be a talking point between you and your clients, opening up the conversation and giving you an opportunity to chat about your business and overall vibe (and don’t we know clients love to chat!) which in turn, can lead to client loyalty. “Clients love not knowing what design they are wearing each time they come through the door,” says Darrel Starkey, owner of Taylor’s Hair Studio. “Having gowns that are designed with patterns, gives a sense of fun for the client experience.” Similarly, Simon adds: “Showing that you have chosen a design that reflects them helps lift the client experience.”

Likewise, Jen Winters, owner of Phoneypony Barbers shares how capes and gowns are an ice breaker for new clients. “They are a great way for a client to understand the vibe and character of the barbershop. Each gown is unique to each barber in my shop.” Something which can point the client in the direction to where they feel most comfortable, all while encouraging them to come back.

Jen explains that creative patterns and colours are great at helping bring a smile to the faces of clients who may have had a bad day. “The colours we wear do affect our mood and I find that this is a big part of the ethics here as we want the client to not only have a great haircut but leave feeling lifted in themselves, and this can happen even if they break a smile at the gown around their necks.”

Rude Capes

Anna also believes capes contribute to a positive customer experience. “Clients love the designs because they’re not the standard and they can lift their mood. Our cape designs push the boundaries – the ideology that barbershops should be masculine is changing, and we’d like to think we have contributed to that.” Craig Henderson, owner of Craig’s Barbershop in Bolton also uses bright colourful capes to enhance the experience for his neuro- divergent clientele: “They love them, and it gives them a focus.”

Plain and Simple 

When it comes to capes and gowns, they don’t always have to be brightly coloured and patterned. For example, Joe Parrish, of Blackfriars Barbershop says the hair is the creativity, and therefore opts for gowns that are plain and clean. 

In short, it’s all about personal preference, but plain gowns can be a great way to reflect your business and your professionalism through the use of your brand logo for example. Alexander Colucci, Director of Colucci’s Chop Shop says: “It’s crucial to have our logo on the gowns purely to advertise and be professional.”

Plain and simple gowns also demonstrate a clean aesthetic and can therefore reflect barbershop interiors which have opted for a minimalistic design. They can even reflect the colour scheme of your shop. According to Putney Barbershop, Mancave, custom capes and gowns – whether they be plain and simple, or brightly coloured and patterned – make a great display for your shop during closed hours if you have them on the chair facing the windows. For Haydn Woodrow, owner of Coterie Norwich and The Mermaid Room, using plain white gowns is a technical choice that helps whilst cutting, by reflecting the light upwards.

Whether brightly coloured and pattered, or plain and simple, capes and gowns are a high priority that should be considered when showcasing your brand image to both your clients and the industry. So ask yourself ... what do your capes and gowns say about your business?

Lead image: Cape Gang

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 09th Jul 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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