The poncho has a rich and regal heritage in South American culture. It was worn in intricately decorative form by the ancient Peruvians and the Mapuche people. According to conventional belief, the poncho came to Mexico and the rest of the Western world from trade routes along the Andes mountain range.
A poncho is a large piece of rectangular-shaped fabric with a slit in the center for the wearer’s head to fit through. The entire garment hangs loosely over the shoulders like a blanket. Ponchos don’t have sleeves or side seams, and the edges are often decorated with fringe. Generally, it is worn in the cooler seasons as a means of staying warm and dry.
Fashion and Function
Modern versions of the poncho are made from a variety of fabrics. Some are made from woven alpaca or wool fabrics, such as the classic Mexican poncho, while others are made of more waterproof material for rainy days. The American military has utilized ponchos to keep soldiers warm and dry ever since the Civil War.
The women’s fashion industry has taken advantage of the poncho’s versatility to create trendy fall and winter outfits. That said, the fashionable poncho is certainly not limited to female attire!
Clint Eastwood has rocked a poncho on several occasions in his popular westerns. George W. Bush even wore a traditional Peruvian poncho to the APEC summit in Lima. Meanwhile, many celebrities such as Jimi Hendrix and Ringo Starr have been spotted wearing the comfortable and stylish garment.
Anyone Can Wear the Poncho
You can wear the poncho, no matter your shape, height, or weight. The loose hanging fabric is flattering on nearly every type of form. For a more fitted look, be sure to wear a belt. Today, the poncho is still a choice garment guaranteed to keep you warm and stylish!