'Wear Nice Clothes' is the ultimate in procrastination for our writers who prefer to write satirical fashion commentary than actually do the work for their degrees. We love vintage shops, charity shops, clothes that last forever and customisation.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Why Did We Ever Wear the Poncho?

 We never learn...

Out of all the traditional cultural outfits to emulate in fashion form, why in the early Noughties did we select that of the Mexican? I mean, Mexico as a place is gorgeous and they have nice food and drink tequila: all’s good in the hood. Their traditional attire? Not so stunning… A massive square of knitted material with a head hole in the middle; otherwise known as the poncho.

Not only did the poncho make us look like we couldn’t afford a coat and had instead draped a blanket around our shoulders (leading to embarrassing “donation” incidents whilst sitting on doorsteps) it also made one’s shadow look like a giant triangular sandwich with the filling dripping out. Try it and see. 

They didn’t have arm holes, making it impossible to manoeuvre without hitting someone in the face as you flicked the poncho over your shoulder, and you could see none of a person's figure when they were wearing them. If you are going to wear an impractical item, at least wear one that flatters you.

Apparently ponchos are going to become cool again this season, but I doubt anyone still owns one. Well, anyone other than confused old ladies who pick them up in a charity shops and are gutted to find a massive hole in their new rug when they get home.
Written by Kate Lloyd.


  1. I represent the National Poncho Wearer's Union and quite frankly I find this article not only insulting but highly prejudiced. Clearly this piece set out from the start to sully the good reputation of the poncho in a cheap bid to gain readers ready to jump on the ponchophobic bandwagon; a tactic that seems to have failed as I appear to be the only person reading this blog.

    You refer to the poncho as "A massive square of knitted material with a head hole in the middle" which is not only inaccurate but unsurprisingly biased. Ponchos were originally made of latex coated muslin (a woven fabric, of course, not knitted). The head "hole" of a poncho has never been located in the middle, the hole is always positioned so the front of the poncho is slightly longer than the back when worn. Secondly, you credit the poncho to the Mexican people. This is utterly wrong, the poncho was created by ancient Peruvians as a simple method of keeping warm and dry. This brings me onto another one of your "points". You say the poncho is impractical. This of course is entirely false, obviously the writer has never worn a poncho in a practical sense. There are few items of clothing that provide both the warmth and freedom of movement that the poncho provides so effortlessly.

    Similarly you claim the poncho makes it "impossible to manoeuvre without hitting someone in the face". This, inkeeping with the theme of the article, is completely untrue. The concept of a poncho is simple enough, I seriously doubt any human being above the age of 5 would find it hard to move whilst wearing a poncho. If the writer is confused as to how one moves whilst wearing one, I can provide tips, although they are relatively basic.
    1)Move how you would without a poncho on (If this step confuses you, you are beyond my help)
    2)There isn't really a step two, you just move in the same way, ensuring not to flick the poncho into someone's face. If Clint Eastwood can manage it, so too can you

    You say ponchos "didn't have arm holes". This is almost ironically inaccurate. Ponchos originally did have arm holes, however when they were taken into Mexico and adopted by the American west they were simplified into modern day ponchos. However, your statement implies that now, after the time of writing, they do have armholes. This, again, is wrong, they obviously still do not.

    You also claim "you literally could[again, needless use of past tense] see none of a person's figure". The use of the word literally here essentially nullifies your point. You can see a portion of a person's figure, largely due to the gaps either side of the poncho. You go on to make the assertion that ponchos are unflattering. I assume you speak from personal experience alone. The poncho can look excellent on a variety of occasions, there is hardly a more striking fashion statement (I'm sure I needn't direct the author toward one Noel Fielding). If the writer lacks the self confidence to "pull off" a poncho, they needn't assume they don't look good on most people.

    It is quite obvious that you have little or no experience of the poncho in either a fashion or utility role, ergo, you are in no position to be making such poorly researched and slanderous claims. On behalf of the NPWU I request that you either alter or remove this article.

  2. Thanks for your comment, it was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by many of the Wear Nice Clothes writers.

    May I, however, remind you that the blog is a "satirical, fashion blog" (as stated at the top of the page) and that no offence is meant by our articles.

    Fashion (and all art) is arguably subjective. What you may find a "striking fashion statement", I could find repulsive. Our articles are therefore opinion based. Due to this, some of our articles even express differing opinions about clothing, such as those on leopard print. If you would like to write a pro-poncho article for the blog, I urge you to do so.

    In reference to your comment about my first paragraph. May I direct you to the "poncho" Wikipedia page where, although it states that the poncho originated in Peru, it also says that it is a "traditional clothing" of the Mexican.

    Thanks for your suggested grammar corrections. My past tense remarks related to the past tense title "Why DID we ever wear the poncho?" and were meant to imply that when we wore the poncho those were its characteristics, but as we no longer wear the poncho, we wouldn't know.

    Finally, I can't seem to find the National Poncho Wearers Union on google?

  3. we're a guerilla movement..