Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm not afraid to say I'm wearing a poncho


I have been dying for a new fall coat. My old one is a gorgeous purple tweed that I got at the Barney's Warehouse sale a few years ago which sadly doesn't fit me anymore and so one of the few things that I thought I really needed this year as opposed to just wanted/lusted after/impulse purchased was a new fall coat.

I live in New York so my coat gets a lot of use. I'm not just walking from the house to my car and then into my office. My coat needs to keep me warm as I walk 4 avenues to the subway in the morning and walk around town running errands or the 20 blocks to meet a friend for brunch. On top of all that, it needs to look good, preferably fabulous, at the same time. My coat doesn't get hidden in the car, it's as much a part of my outfit in New York as what I have on underneath.

Like many great wardrobe staples that come into our life serendipitously I wasn't looking for a fall coat the day I found mine. I was at Atlantic Antic, an enormous Brooklyn street fair on a gorgeous Indian summer day, when the last thing on my mind was any sort of coat and all I could focus on was flirting with the cute baker boy and booing Mike Bloomberg whenever I saw him.

I was walking with my friend Mirka when we stumbled upon Michelle, the woman who made her wedding dress who owns both a boutique and bridal shop on Atlantic Avenue. As the two of them caught up on how the dress fared at her wedding (beautifully I might add) I began to browse and I came upon a few ponchos. Naah I thought...a poncho? But the ever ebullient Michelle convinced me to try it on even though I was in a sundress, sipping a beer and couldn't imagine ever needing to wear a coat I let her convince me to give it a go.

I slipped it on and low and behold I loved it! The poncho fell perfectly, it was a great weight, a nice textured wool and black to go with everything. It seemed perfect, like it was made for me but I was nervous about the utility of a poncho. Shockingly I have more than 1 cape sitting in my closet (3 to be exact) but I never wear them because you cannot carry a bag when you wear a cape and since I live in NY and don't have a car with which to schlep my stuff, being able to carry a bag is a non-negotiable. But that's not a problem with a poncho as you have full and total access to your arms and can carry whatever you want. I was sold.

So far the weather has been so warm in NY this fall I haven't had too many opportunities to wear it, but when I have I absolutely love it! It's warm, the turtleneck collar makes a scarf unnecessary and I can wear it either with a triangle point in the middle or box shaped. I haven't accessorized it yet with brooches and pins but I will.


I have however learned some very important lessons about ponchos in the short period of time I have owned one.

1) It can wreak havoc on your hair and you must plan accordingly. No bows or ponytails when wearing a poncho.
2) While very sexy on, a poncho is not so sexy when you're putting it on. Aside from the aforementioned messy hair, it involves a lot of moving and shifting around which isn't so attractive, to ensure it is hanging properly.
3) Put your lip gloss on after you put on the poncho, or even better after you've arrived where you're going and have taken it off completely. It is likely to smudge/get stuck in your hair that is now flying in every which way.

And MOST importantly...

4) When you're wearing a poncho and you're on an escalator please take my life lesson and hold on to loose ends for dear life. I was at the movies last week when I nearly died by poncho. Seriously. I walking onto the escalator and the end got caught in the escalator rail. I started screaming for my friend or someone to press the emergency button but T-Pops couldn't find it so instead she just started pulling me down the up escalator and didn't know what to do. Luckily some kind stranger pulled my poncho free. The whole experience reminded me of Mallrats.

Even after all that I'd still recommend a poncho to anyone looking for a new fall staple. I love it!

Today's photo credit goes to Nicole who took it at what may have been the most boring street fair to ever hit the streets of NY which was taking place right outside of our office. Tomorrow I'll post about what I'm wearing underneath my poncho.


  1. i LOVE ponchos. the perfect fall outerwear. i'm actually putting together a post of some of my favorites. yours looks nice!

  2. (a) That poncho makes you look tall. Seriously, its weird. You look really tall in that first picture. (b) The poncho lessons you recount also apply to pull-overs, or turtlenecks, in general. I am always hot inside so I wear tanktops all the time, even under turtlenecks. But when you pull the turtleneck off, it makes your hair look insane. I am STRONGLY considering cutting it all off again. What say you? Parisian? (c) A's backpack got caught in the X-RAY conveyor belt at security at Rome airport. I don't even want to start with how funny/irritating it was to watch the Rome security personnel scratching their heads and trying to reach in the machine and get it out. I'm sorry you got caught in the escalator! That sounds terrifying.

  3. You look awesome in that poncho! Great shots!

  4. Thanks all!

    Dobs you're right, ponchos and turtlenecks wreak havoc on hair and when you've already got curly, right on the verge of frizzy hair to start with, high necked tops of any variety are a danger zone.

    I think you should treat yourself to some very fancy Parisian haircut. Short is great, but it needs to be done properly.