Magazine article Newsweek International

Tip Sheet

Magazine article Newsweek International

Tip Sheet

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Williams, Craig Simons

Fashion: Poncho Perfection For many the word "poncho" conjures visions of fluorescent orange rain slickers. But you might have noticed that designers these days are doing all they can to change that reputation, giving the '70s style a dazzling 21st-century makeover. Sheer or cable-knit, short or knee-skimming, with a turtleneck or scoop, ponchos are this fall's must-have accessory. With a loose fit that flatters a variety of body types and forgives (almost) every dietary indiscretion, could ponchos be a girl's new best friend?

"Women are buying them for their versatility," says American designer Trina Turk. For a sexier look, wear one over a skimpy camisole and show some skin by letting it slide off one shoulder. Or, for more coverage, wear one over a T shirt or turtleneck. Because ponchos are perfect for layering, they're great for unpredictable fall weather. And because the cut is almost one-size-fits-all, they make fantastic presents. Also, they're comfortable. "It's one of those pieces you put on when you want a little extra lovin'," says Anna Barthelme, owner and designer of the Lily McNeal label.

Now that we're finally getting serious about fall shopping, tip sheet has scoped out our favorites:

Nine West has ponchos in electric blue and bright green, but our favorite is the hot pink. For more understated color, go for jewel tones, like merlot.

Sherbet stripes flatter the figure and add preppy pizzazz to Lily McNeal 's heather-gray poncho.

For a more classic look, try Ralph Lauren 's cable-knit turtlenecks in luxurious fabrics, like cashmere. …

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