An in-depth review of Poundland's invisibility cloak
Not too sure if I could see myself wearing this
As part of Poundland's Halloween range, they've been giving away a very limited number of invisibility cloaks in store. For free.
Inevitably, the cloaks were quickly nabbed by invisibility enthusiasts.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on one, so to speak, and have conducted a thorough review of the garment.
This should hopefully come in use when deciding if an invisibility cloak is right for you.
It doesn't take a style expert to see that this invisibility cloak is stunning. It's stayed true to the Harry Potter design and really stands out among Poundland's Halloween offerings. As with any clothes shopping experience, it's normal that your first impressions range from "Could I see myself wearing that?" to "No, genuinely, could I very literally see myself wearing that?". The cloak's alluring price tag of £0.00 is tempting, but you've also got to be mindful of potentially buying something you might not use very often and could end up cluttering your wardrobe.
Annoyingly, there aren't any changing rooms in Poundland, so I had to try the cloak on beside the rack. I was alone at the time, so asked a nearby shopper if she thought it looked okay. I was ignored, so took that as confirmation that the product worked. There were no mirrors, but when I looked down at my own torso, it no longer existed. I felt liberated, then confused about how the payment process would work. Conscious that it would be virtually impossible for CCTV to identify me, I contemplated walking straight out the doors with my free item. But I bottled it and went to the till to exchange absolutely no money for the invisibility cloak. It did not come with a receipt, which compromises the returns policy, so that's worth keeping in mind if you're interested in the product.
Sizing & Fitting
To demonstrate the fit, I enlisted the help of a life size Audrey Hepburn cardboard cutout that was in the office for some reason. As you can see, the cloak comes with a baggy hood and runs all the way to the ground. Obviously, this comes with its hinderances and forces you to be vigilant when you're embarking or disembarking a vehicle so as to ensure the cloak is gathered in its entirety. If the cloak was to get caught in the closing train doors, nobody would hear or see you scream, nor be able to identify your invisible body upon its non-existent discovery.
All of the cloaks are unisex and come in a range of sizes. I went for a medium because I prefer a looser fit and wanted the option of layering up underneath given that it's getting a bit nippy out at the moment, but a small is pretty generously sized as well. With anything, it depends on the kind of fit you're looking for. You've got to think about the tasks you'll be undertaking when wearing the cloak. If it's crime-based, a loose fit aids portability and ensures maximum surface area coverage. Tighter cloaks will run the risk of catcalling and modelling contract offers.
Durability & Aftercare
The invisibility cloak wears well. I've been giving it some pretty hefty stress tests over the past week and with the exception of a few stains and a small bit of fraying at the seams, it's basically good as new. Some prefer to hide their naked body underneath the cloak, but I usually protect my modesty in case of a malfunction. The cloak doesn't come with a warranty, nor a receipt of any kind, but if you return to the store with a faulty product, the staff must honour a refund or exchange. If they ignore you, the cloak is simply doing its job. Be patient.
I couldn't see any huge changes in the cloak's condition after washing it either. I went for a pretty simple cotton wash and then hung it out on the clothesline for the day because I'm a sucker for that fresh outdoor smell on my clothes. Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the cloak to bring it in from the line. That's the risk you run with such an effective product. It was a windy day, also my neighbourhood is notorious for petty crimes, also the item is invisible, so there's a number of lines to follow here. Regardless, I bought a spare so everything is fine. It might be worth putting a hi vis over your cloak when it's not in use, just to aid locating it in a hurry.
Look, an invisibility cloak isn't for everyday wear. I know that now. It's a special piece that merits occasion and at least a very small level of fuss being made around it. I've been testing it in different situations over the past week and have produced the following go-to guide for owners.
Good invisibility cloak occasions:
- Cinema trip
- Taking a photograph of a mirror you're trying to sell
- Any gig or ticketed event whatsoever
- Sneaking into work late
- Carparks (XL cloak to cover entire car)
- Trying to finally catch Santa
- Convincing your twin they've hallucinated your existence
- Doing a murder
- Infiltrating MI5
- Playing hide and seek when you're tired
Bad invisibility cloak occasions:
- Smear test
- Work photo day
- Invisible braces consultation
- Jury duty
- Demonstrating a self-driving car
- Job interview
- Getting a fake tan done
- Your wedding day
- Renting a tandem bike
- Delivering a baby
I was in Paris last weekend and saw it as the perfect place to debut my invisibility cloak. Airport security was a breeze, I didn't have to adhere to the strict seatbelt warnings during the flight, accommodation was illegal although free and I didn't have to queue for the Eiffel Tower. All in all, the cloak was a genius choice of attire for the trip. But the good fortune didn't stop there. Paris Fashion Week was still ongoing, so I snuck onto the catwalk to debut my look. Fashion enthusiasts worldwide looked on in awe at my lack of self. I felt a million dollars (£770, 380).
You might notice in comparison with previous images that I had the cloak tailored for the occasion. Given that I was going to the fashion capital of the world, I knew that I had to step things up. So I took four inches from the base of the cloak and decided to show a little skin. It was a last minute decision and one that evidently paid off. Backstage after the show, I heard Anna Wintour responding "Didn't see it" to an interviewer who asked if she saw the invisibility cloak. Says it all, really. Didn't see me on the cover of this month's Vogue? How convenient ;)
The Future Of Invisibility Cloaks
It's hard to see where invisibility cloaks are going to go from here.
Their benefits are endless, but so are their drawbacks. It's up to the individual how they choose to use the cloak, whether it be for good or evil deeds. Regardless, we can all agree that Harry Potter was an absolute dry dick about it. He could've used that cloak to do anything he wanted and instead, he chose to use it for pathetic things like free eye tests (I never read the books).
Full disclosure: I misplaced my invisibility cloak during the reviewing process. I left it draped across the back of my chair in work for a split second and it either vanished or was pilfered. That was my backup cloak. I am bereft now. If anyone sees it or has information pertaining to the location of the cloak, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I can't see myself going on without it.