Fair Fashion

Ponchos, Capes and Wraps, Oh My! Autumn's Trend is a Perennial Fave

Ponchos, capes and wraps as shown above in T:The New York Times Style Magazine.

There is just something so utterly wonderful and feminine (and ridiculously cozy-glam) about wearing a wrap, cape, capelet, shawl or poncho in lieu of a coat. Each of these pieces also gives you the opportunity to layer, layer, layer, inviting more texture, color, pattern and general knit-lust than you can usually make happen with typical cool-weather outerwear.

I also love that non-coats give you a chance to readjust for warmth or to let heat out; I’m fairly warm-blooded and I detest getting on the subway and feeling like I’m melting in a coat. With a wrap or poncho, I can let air in when I need it. Freedom and warmth, all in one; sounds like a plan.

The Michaela Greg Big Square Poncho (available at Kaight) is designed in San Francisco and made in the USA from ultra-soft (’cause it’s really finely knit) merino wool. An instant classic.

Supermodel Liya Kebede’s line, Lemlem, features pieces (like this Mala Poncho) handmade in Ethiopia to preserve the art of weaving and employ Africans in traditional crafts.

The Vivian Capelet from Doucette (available on Fashioning Change) is super fun with it’s sassy pink pattern, and super green as it’s made from reclaimed alpaca.

The Nau Down Stole is a classic for the company, and a favorite of mine. Made from recycled polyester and goosedown fill (a very warm, low-impact and renewable resource, though obvs not vegan!), and works for day or night. And 2% of the purchase price goes to a needful partner of your choice.

For a lighter look (for warmer climes or vacation time), I love M. Patmos’ navy Rose Window Poncho, which is made from organic cotton in the USA with zero-waste technology. I picture this over a slim-cut silk turtleneck and dark denims or over a bikini.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.