Ponch it up.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The word “poncho” can conjure up visions of the Old West or of a garbage bag
with a circle cut through the top – a common solution for rainy-day recess or
unexpected showers during a marathon. But for fall, ponchos of a more posh
variety glided down designer runways looking sleek, elegant and
The poncho and its cousin the cape coat are trickling into
stores now. They offer a stylish alternative to the typical fall coat,
providing just the right amount of warmth when the weather cools.
terms “cape” and “poncho” may seem interchangeable, but they are two different
kinds of outerwear.
According to the Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion, a
cape is sleeveless, cut as a circle or half circle with slits for the arms. A
poncho is shaped like a square or small oblong with a hole in the center for the
wearer’s head to go through.
Both have a dramatic, swooping silhouette
that makes the wearer look something like a chic superhero. And both could be
thrown over something as simple as pajamas and still look great.
something more sophisticated, you could go with the 1970sinspired camel-colored
cape as seen on the Lanvin runway or something straight-up preppy, such as a
plaid duffel cape with toggle buttons from Fidelity Sportswear.
piece will be more versatile. Punch it up by layering a longsleeved striped or
printed shirt underneath. A patterned cape or poncho, on the other hand,
is a statement piece, and everything else with which it is worn should be solid
For a petite frame, watch the bulk and the length. If the
garment is too long, you’ll look like a little igloo with feet.
thing about a poncho or cape is that it can be dressed up or down, and it’s a
nice departure from the usual outerwear.