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It's that sheet/blanket that they put on you so you don't get covered with hair. Is there a formal name for it?

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A sheet. Why do you need a special word? –  Dominic Cronin Jun 27 at 11:29

7 Answers 7

I think you are thinking of a barber's cape. Sometimes you might also hear 'barber's gown'. See this commercial site Salon Lines, for instance.

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Not the barber's it's the customer's that we are talking about ;) There's no apostrophe there. –  Kris Jun 27 at 5:22
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@Kris - But because it is a component of the barber's professional inventory, it both belongs to, and pertains to, the barber; any customer's connection with it is temporary. The apostrophe is not wrong (though given the generic manner in which barbers or barber's is being used here, nowadays it would not generally be regarded as mandatory either). –  Erik Kowal Jun 27 at 7:22
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@ErikKowal Likewise, the barber's chair doesn't become your chair while you're sitting in it. –  David Richerby Jun 27 at 10:21
    
The cape (styling or chemical) is usually used with a 'neck strip'. appletonbarbersupply.com/store/… –  Spehro Pefhany Jun 27 at 11:43
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I think the more modern or unisex version of this is a styling cape or a hair cutting cape. –  JLG Jun 27 at 12:58

There doesn't appear to be a single consistent answer, as shown below.

From a UK supplier, "cutting cape" or "cutting gown", as sold here.

From a USA supplier, "hair cloth", "styling cloth" or "styling cape", as sold here

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Terminology not only varies by country, and city but by the status of the salon/barber –  Third News Jun 27 at 22:28

My grandfather was a barber for 72 years, in Alabama and Florida. He called it a barber cloth (not the possessive barber's). This term can be found when ordering this product from Amazon.

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I would call that a cape:

A sleeveless outer garment fastened at the throat and worn hanging over the shoulders.

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More specifically, a cutting cape. –  Kris Jun 27 at 5:24
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Seems like it needs a qualifying adjective since, as the definition suggests, a plain cape is worn covering the back, not the front. –  rschwieb Jun 27 at 13:57
    
If you are going copy out text verbatim, our Help Center says that you must name where you got the original from, and this post fails to do that. Please see the question on meta entitled “What to do about missing source attributions: Copying, Linking, Attributions, and Plagiarism for discussion on this. –  tchrist Jul 7 at 22:18
    
@tchrist - I completely disagree. My link to the source of the definition, plus a colon, is quite sufficient as far as I'm concerned, especially as the link is to a reputable online dictionary (in other words, it is not a controversial source. Nor is the subject of this posting a controversial one). If a reader is too idle to click on the link, that is up to them. –  Erik Kowal Jul 7 at 22:55
    
Please post that as an answer to the meta question. –  tchrist Jul 7 at 22:58

I see it being called a cape, both formally and informally, but it's really a bib. If you wear a cape backwards (so the slit is down the back), it's a bib. When kids are playing Superman, they wear their bibs backwards to make them... a cape!

I think adults just don't want to wear a bib, since that's a baby thing. Unless they're eating Lobster.

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I have heard the term "smock" used, without any additional qualifiers.

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It is called as either apron/gown.

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It is certainly not called an apron. It can be called a barber’s gown, but not just a gown. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 27 at 12:22

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