SMC Style Files: Ponchos

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PHOTO BY LAUREN CARTER
Elizabeth Lucey, ’15, wears the “Ryder Ruana” poncho from Free People with mustard-colored pants from Urban Outfitters and brogues from TJ Maxx. Paired with her outfit is a floppy hat from Brandy Melville and assorted accessories.

It’s a mid-autumn must-have and may be something you can find in the back on your closet where your turn-of- the-millennium clothes lie abandoned. Soft and blanket-like, enveloping you from the chilly weather; It’s not just a plain knit sweater, it’s a poncho.

I know what you’re thinking, “Ponchos? Really?” but I have to say they have been my one of my autumnal inspirations when preparing for the brisk Vermont mornings.

It’s crisp and chilly, the wind biting at your cheeks as you make your trek across campus in the early hours, so what better way to combat the cold with a little extra flair? This is not your ratty plastic rain poncho or your grandmother’s finely crocheted cream creation.

It’s fashionable, trendy and downright dashing when paired with your other fall favorites.

Get those knitted disasters out of your head. Gone? Good. Imagine a lush dulce de leche wool-blended pullover with soft charcoal blue hues splaying out into a unique tribal print at the bottom of the knit. Sounds pretty enticing, right? The oversized fit and resemblance of a warm blanket will leave you immune to the wind whisking you away during your daily endeavors and extremely cozy in class. Evolving into a new shape of their own, the new proper poncho embodies the elegance of a kimono with the comfort of your favorite scarf.

I’m not the only one hopping onto the poncho-crazy train. During the Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 Fashion Week, Burberry Prorsum dressed its models in unique tartan shawls, reinventing the way the fashion world looks at ponchos. Billowing out in deep burgundy tints and rich evergreen tones, enveloping the frailness of the thinly framed models, the poncho demanded to be seen on the runway and believe me, it caught the eyes of many spectators.

Sarah Jessica Parker, who played ‘Carrie’ on “Sex and the City,” was strutting down the streets with her daughters in tow, rocking a deep maroon and coffee blended poncho on her way to drop them off at school. If a fashion icon of this magnitude is wearing it, I would say it’s a safe bet that these elegant yet casual frocks are trending. This new, glorified posh poncho leaves rain-slickened, knitted monstrosities in a dumpster where they belong and opens a new world where wearing basically a blanket is socially acceptable. Free People, which is usually on the pricier side, is one store that has been displaying these blanket-inspired delights in its fall catalogue for months now.

Paired with Parisian-inspired floppy hats, delicate lace dresses and heavy moto-boots, the poncho makes a beautiful, unique addition to the quintessential bohemian look. For a more casual get up, piecing together black jeans and a simple neutral-colored top with a delicate, softer-iridescent shawl can make a comfy outfit look outstanding.

Not looking to break the bank? Check out boohoo.com, Zara, Topshop and H&M for more affordable finds. Want to drool over some of the most luxurious capes, ponchos and shawls alike? Michael Kors’ signature poncho screams class and elegance, draped over the most famous supermodels and celebrities like Cara Delevingne, Kate Hudson, the Kardashian clan and Sandra Bullock. Channel your inner bohemian princess this season with a poncho that fits your style. After all, wearing a blanket to class is the most convenient outfit of all.

By Lauren Carter

Arts/Lifestyle Editor