One of the big trends this season is the cape or poncho, and we’re all for it! It’s a great trend to embrace. In this article, we show you how to wear a poncho and tell you why they are so popular. We will also show you some of the best capes and ponchos we’ve found in stores now, and created a capsule wardrobe featuring capes and ponchos.
Why wear a poncho or cape?
Below are just a few reasons why we think a cape or poncho will be a great addition to your wardrobe this season:
1. A poncho is fun and trendy.
The poncho or cape will add a modern touch to your wardrobe.
2. There’s a great choice
We can’t remember a time where the variety of ponchos and capes was as large as it is now.
3. It’s super comfortable
If you opt for a lightweight poncho or cape in a natural fabric like cashmere, then it’s very easy and comfortable to wear.
Above is another look from Nora @juststylela shows how you can wear your poncho to add color to your outfits.
4. You can wear both indoors and outdoors
Another advantage of a lightweight poncho is that you can both wear it inside the house as well as outdoors. Not all days are super cold and some days a thick woollen sweater with a poncho will suffice rather than a coat.
5. You can channel your inner super hero
You automatically walk more confidently when you’re wearing a cape because you’re following in the footsteps of all our favorite superheroes.
Poncho or cape?
Let’s first look at the difference. According to Wikipedia: “A cape is any sleeveless outer garment, such as a poncho, but usually it is a long piece of clothing that covers only the back half of the wearer, fastening around the neck.”
“The word poncho is derived from Spanish and is an outer garment designed to keep the body warm. Ponchos have been used by the Native American peoples of the Andes since pre-Hispanic times and are now considered typical South American garments.”
Generally, capes tend to be more dressy and made of heavier materials while ponchos are lighter and softer. Capes are often loose at the front while ponchos are often worn more like sweaters over the head.
If you are new to ponchos and capes you may opt for a lighter poncho version first to see how you like it!
Capes and ponchos on the catwalks
Capes and ponchos featured on many of the designer catwalks this season. Many designers chose long, dramatic capes to wear over your eveningwear.
Best capes and ponchos
Before we move onto how to wear your poncho or cape, let’s take a look at some of the most stylish options we’ve found in stores now.
Karen millen cape
We love the popper details on the Karen Millen cape (below), which comes in either cream or black, and looks great layered over other knitwear.
The COS cape (below) features a scarf detail that you drape over your shoulders. You could wear this with other neutrals, or with bright colors like red or orange.
Ted Baker London cape
Ted Baker London is another great place to look for capes like the wool option (below). It comes in either black or beige, and is a lovely cashmere and wool blend, so have a chic, luxurious look.
Massimo Dutti cape
The gold buttons elevate the style of the Massimo Dutti cape (below). Wear over your leggings or slim jeans. It’s handwashable so easy to take care of without heading to the dry cleaners.
At BLACK.co.uk ponchos are sweater-like open garments made of 100% cashmere. You can just slip them over your head and they can act as sweaters as well.
Their capes are more like coats, double coated and made of cashmere and silk.
The cashmere poncho (below) is easy to pop on and looks super stylish over any outfit. We think it’s also perfect for travelling.
Trench coats won’t go out of style, and neither will capes, so we love the way this coat cape mirrors the look of both. Because this is a shorter style, it’s a great way to create balance in your body, creating the look of a shorter torso and longer legs.
The Eileen Fisher poncho (below) is an easy to throw on cardigan style. This is a lovely, flattering choice as it creates long, lean lines with its length.
The wrap poncho (below) is made from bamboo viscose which gives it a lightweight, luxurious feel. It comes in a huge ranch of colors and different styles, including a faux fur collar choice, and reviewers say it is soft and flows beautifully.
For a smarter style, a blazer cape is the perfect option to elevate your jeans outfits to wear for dinner, or to wear over your evening dresses.
A lightweight choice for you now. If you don’t want to add a lot of extra warmth, but you do want a cover-up for your evening dresses – maybe you have parties coming up, then the chiffon cape (below) is a great choice. It comes in 35 colors, so you should find one to match your outfit.
The Nordstrom poncho (below) comes in a choice of pastels, neutrals and darker shades and is made from a lightweight cotton and cashmere blend.
Asymmetry is a great way to look slimmer because of the diagonal drape across your body, and to add extra style to your element. The Fomolom poncho (below) comes in a huge choice of colors, and reviewers say they like the quality and the way it flows.
Made from bamboo, the Top it Off poncho (below) gives warmth while being breathable, so it keeps you feeling comfortable. Reviewers say it is light, soft, and perfect if you’re in an air-conditioned restaurant.
For an evening option, a sheer poncho can be perfect. It adds a little warmth and coverage, but you can still see your evening dress underneath.
Red is a big trend this season, so you can make a color statement with your poncho. Don’t worry, if red isn’t your shade, the PULI cross front poncho (below) comes in a huge choice of colors and reviewers say it is fantastic quality.
How to wear a poncho or cape
Have you picked a favorite from the capes and ponchos above? Then let’s take a look at ideas to give you inspiration on how to wear it.
With your jeans and white shirt
You’re sure to have a pair of jeans and a white shirt in your closet. Update these classics by topping them with an asymmetric poncho. You could wear casually with sneakers, or elevate your look with small heels and statement jewelry.
Carmen @carmen_gimeno above opts for a striking denim capelet and adds classic elements to her look with toe-cap shoes and pearls.
We love the look of a tactile poncho combined with the toughness of leather. This look would easily take you from day to evening.
MELIFLUOS DESIGNED IN SPAIN Shawl Wrap Poncho – COS Tailored Shirt – PAIGE Anessa Wide Leg Faux Leather Pants – COACH Emilia Mary Jane Flat – Mali + Lili Katie Oversize Recycled Vegan Leather Hobo Bag – Jenny Bird Faye Hoop Earrings
With a jumpsuit
For evening, wear your blazer style cape over a colorful jumpsuit. Add heels or pointed flats and a clutch bag, and you’re ready for your dinner or party.
Karen Millen Viscose Satin Back Crepe Cape Sleeve Notch Neck Jacket – Mango Long Satin Bow Jumpsuit – Naturalizer True Colors Vera Ankle Strap Sandal – Tory Burch Eleanor Leather Clutch – Jenny Bird Faye Hoop Earrings
Layered over other knitwear
A great way to wear a poncho or cape is with another piece of knitwear. The long sleeves of a sweater look stylish poking out from underneath your cape, and the double layer can easily keep you warm without the need for a coat.
COS Wool Blend Cape – vineyard vines Stripe Rib Cotton Turtleneck – Massimo Dutti Flared Jeans – Marc Joseph New York Grand Central Bootie – Mali + Lili Katie Oversize Recycled Vegan Leather Hobo Bag – Jenny Bird Faye Hoop Earrings
Over a dress
If you’re thinking about what to wear over your evening dresses for a party or dinner, a poncho could be the answer. Perfect to update your little black dress.
A twist on a classic trench
We love the COS trench cape worn with other style classics for a timeless, chic look.
COS Hybrid Trench Coat Cape – COS Tailored Shirt – Massimo Dutti Flared Jeans – Marc Joseph New York Grand Central Bootie – Kate Spade New York Bleecker Painterly Houndstooth Tote – Jenny Bird Faye Hoop Earrings
with a belt
Adding a belt to your poncho means you can change the silhouette to create different looks with the same poncho or cape. You can style your poncho with cream or white jeans for cooler weather.
Eileen Fisher Oversize Boiled Wool Poncho – COS Tailored Shirt – MOTHER Denim The Buckle Bunny Rider Ankle Jeans – Marc Joseph New York Grand Central Bootie – Kate Spade New York Bleecker Painterly Houndstooth Tote – Fairfax and Favor Sennowe Belt – Jenny Bird Faye Hoop Earrings
Sheree @shesheshow above layers her cape over her seater and adds a belt to create shape and emphasize her waist.
With leggings and boots
For casual days, pop your poncho over your leggings and wear with booties or knee-high boots. Perfect if you want to keep your hips and thighs covered as well as being cozy.
Massimo Dutti Cape – vineyard vines Stripe Rib Cotton Turtleneck – Vince Camuto Seamed Back Ponte Leggings – Free People Tabby Tall Boot – Madewell The Sydney Hobo Bag – Monica Vinader Small Swirl Hoop Earrings
with a pencil skirt
A cape can be casual or dressy. Wearing with a pencil skirt creates a classy, retro look. The wide cape and slimline skirt is a great contrast.
How I wore my poncho
I too embraced the lighter sweater-like poncho when putting together an earlier winter capsule wardrobe with this blue cashmere piece (below). I still have it and it’s ideal for that in-between fall weather. It is so soft and warm you want to wear it all the time, just to have that soft feeling around you.
It also occurred to me that a poncho may just be a great gift for Christmas for your female friends and family or yourself. It’s not something every woman has already, yet they can add warmth and a bit of glamour to a woman’s wardrobe!
Your capes and ponchos look together in one capsule
Below, you can see the outfits from above together in one capsule. You can see that you can easily wear any of the ponchos and capes with any of the outfits, making them a versatile addition to your closet.
shop capes and ponchos below:
What do you think of ponchos and capes? Will you embrace this trend? Do you already have a poncho or cape in your closet?
- The Best Winter Coats For Women This Season And How To Choose A Coat
- Coats For Fall 2023: 12 Beautiful Coat Trends To Update Your Outerwear For The New Season
- Where To Shop For The Best Cashmere Sweaters
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Feature image by Nora @juststylela
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