Sunday, November 2, 2014

Warm Clothing, Part 1: My First Poncho

In spring and fall I like sweatshirts because a woman in her 50s needs climate control RIGHT NOW so I wear only those with zippers and hoods, and prefer them to have pockets. Trouble is, billowing and droopy sweatshirts with those baby-clothes cuff bands and unflattering bottom bands look like hell anywhere but at home.

Jackets for spring and fall bind my arms, or are either too heavy or too light, too short or too long, or they're okay for fishing but you need a different one for town; some are too nice or stiff to tramp through messy woods with, or not water-resistant. I haven't had a good spring or fall jacket for years because I can't find one that fulfills my every need.

Seeking alternatives I bought my first poncho, 100 percent alpaca knit, in the wine color I favor. For $16 on eBay how could I go wrong?

It's perfect in every way, like being embraced by a blanket--a warm, nice, secure one--and it goes everywhere, indoors or outdoors, casual or town. It's flattering. It's as warm as you want it to be; flip it up around your neck to catch your torso some cooling breezes. Alpaca, like cashmere, is close to indestructible, nonflammable, soft, natural, and nice. A poncho is not like a shawl or ruana; I don't have to be an artist to wear it or keep it on. People compliment it and ask if they can touch it. People want to buy a poncho for themselves. How great is that? I can foresee myself bundling it up and using it as a pillow on a plane. I've had it just over a week and I might actually look forward to winters now, with a poncho to comfort me. I'm totally at peace when I wear it.

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