Prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tive

> Trendy pon­chos have ac­quired fringes and colour, fash­ion mavens say

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FASHION - BY JANA ILLHARDT

PON­CHOS are one of this sea­son's big­gest trends in fash­ion, part of a wider trend for com­fort and soft shapes. Pon­chos are a prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tive to coats; you can just throw one on and take it off as you need and even stuff it in a bag, ex­plains Chris­tel Wick­erath from Ger­man trade weekly Tex­til­wirtschaft.

"Pon­chos are also great be­cause they can be both ca­sual and el­e­gant."

The pon­chos tend to have a slightly longer cut this year, ex­plains style con­sul­tant Ja­nine Cather­ine Poetsch. "They are in­creas­ingly be­ing worn like a coat." This means a big­ger va­ri­ety of ma­te­ri­als are be­ing used. "There is a lot of vel­vet right now, which can be heavy to wear and can wear out quickly with use."

A nice al­ter­na­tive is a fine cash­mere­merino blend, adds style con­sul­tant Ines Mey­rose. The trend is mov­ing away from chunky knits to some­thing more del­i­cate. "Finely knit­ted pon­chos are great for a so­phis­ti­cated look." The pon­chos are of­ten in calm colours that can be com­bined with al­most any­thing, ex­plains Wick­erath. These in­clude grey, beige and of­fwhite or denim blue for an evening pon­cho. Mey­rose ad­vises mak­ing a state­ment in colours such as orange, pink, olive and pine green. You can also go wild with a dec­o­rated fabric. "The trend right now is for dis­tinct pat­terns and bright colours," says Wick­erath. Checks in par­tic­u­lar are the look of now. "Smaller checks are bet­ter for pe­tite women, as large pat­terns make the fig­ure ap­pear smaller," ex­plains Poetsch. Those with a big­ger fig­ure should choose a big­ger pat­tern. Fringes are also great for adding dec­o­ra­tion to pon­chos. "Last year there were a few pre­mium cash­mere pon­chos with fringes. This style has been copied more widely this year," says Wick­erath. The fringes are of­ten very long and made of leather or cord; some are dec­o­rated with beads.

"Some de­sign­ers have even cre­ated a hy­brid out of the pon­cho," ex­plains Wick­erath. These are coat-like pon­chos with but­tons or a fas­tener on the front or at the shoul­der area. "This means that the pon­cho doesn't slip down so eas­ily." Pon­chos are also avail­able in dif­fer­ent shapes, such as di­a­monds and oval shapes.

How­ever, pon­chos are not for ev­ery­body, warns Poetsch. "Women with a slightly fuller fig­ure and who are short should avoid pon­chos as they em­pha­sise the mid­sec­tion." Boots can help make the body ap­pear longer and taller.

Pon­chos that reach the knee should be com­bined with tight-fit­ting trousers. A hiplength tri­an­gu­lar pon­cho is great if you want to look slim­mer, as it gives you an hour­glass pro­file, ex­plains Mey­rose. Skirts are an­other on-trend op­tion. "They should be longer than the pon­cho, oth­er­wise it looks odd," ad­vises Poetsch. In ad­di­tion, be­cause the pon­cho is A-shaped, the skirt should have a V or an H shape. The top gar­ment should be slim fit­ting, so that the up­per body does not look big­ger than it is. – dpa

Some pon­chos, like this model from Comma, are coat­like with but­tons to stop it slip­ping out of place. A pon­cho in fine knit from Laura Kent.

Longer pon­chos in strik­ing pat­terns are in fash­ion.

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