Capes and ponchos – do we love them?

(NOTE: Sorry for the extended blogus interruptus. It’s hard to write witty commentary about fashion when all of your brain cells are being used to defeat tiny, evil Plaintiff’s attorneys at trial.)

When you say poncho, I think this:

Complete with pan flute

And when you say cape, I think this:

Complete with Watson

But despite the fact that ‘just got off the burro’ and ‘solving crimes in late 19th century London’ are not usually fashion statements I would consider making, all of the magazines and stores keep telling me that capes and ponchos are on the Fall 2011 fashion menu. So let’s take a look at some of the offerings and decide if we love them.

Exhibit A is the Rachel Zoe Ava Knit Cape:

First, I should admit that I am predisposed to love anything Rachel Zoe says I should love. But second, I think this is pretty fab even without the Zoe stamp of approval. It would be tres chic with a pair of black skinny jeans/pants tucked into some brown or black knee-high riding boots. And since we recently celebrated the return of college football (HOORAY!! and ROLL TIDE!!) I could totally picture this perfectly accessorized with a houndstooth scarf and crimson and white shaker for a November tailgate.

Exhibit B is the Cartonnier Checker Table Cape:

I think I love this one, too. Now granted, it’s a little bit more like a wide coat than a true cape, but that checkerboard pattern is super-cute. And it would be a great alternative to the boring black peacoat we all wear during the Winter months. (Don’t lie – you know you do it.)

And lest you think I love all capes, I give you Exhibit C :

Seriously Burberry? You should be ashamed of yourself.

So it looks like for the most part, if used correctly and not like the cape they make you wear at the hair salon, I am pro-cape. But the ponchos – oh, the ponchos are a different story.

Horrible (and crazy-expensive) poncho number 1 – the Sonia Rykel Stipe Fringe Poncho:

This is not an article of clothing. This is an afghan that someone took off the back of their couch and cut out a neck-hole. And you really don’t want to be the girl who uses her home furnishings as outerwear.

Horrible poncho number 2 – the Free People Sestiere Poncho:

This is not an article of clothing. This is something that grows in a swamp.

Horrible poncho number 3 – the Goddis Parker Sweater:

This is not an article of clothing. This is something a horse wears to protect him from the saddle. And you don’t want to be able to share your clothes with your horse.

Obviously these are extreme examples of horrible ponchos. And I will admit there are some ponchos out there that might have some potential. But on the whole, I think ponchos are a bad idea. They make everyone look wider than they are. And that is never a good thing.

So what do we think about ponchos and capes? Do we love them?

About Shea Brakefield

Lawyer for pay. Fashion crimefighter for free. View all posts by Shea Brakefield

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