Recently it came to my attention that I’ve not yet featured one of my favorite fashion items on this blog. The day this thought occurred to me I was perusing my closet in an attempt to put something together that was suitable for the weather. Lately I’ve been finding it difficult to dress myself. The never ending question seems to be, “Do I really need a coat?” On the one hand my brain is telling me, “Rayna, it’s April in South Dakota. It may be wise to grab a jacket before you go out the door. We wouldn’t want you to get sick again, would we?” On the other hand, my heart is saying, “Forget the coat! I want to show off some outfits. Maybe I could even feel the sun on my skin for once.” In the end, the answer to this endless quandary was easy. “Hello poncho!” I thought.
As I was putting on my poncho I realized I'd never taken pictures of it before. In fact, the more I considered it, I began to recognize the fact that I’ve never taken photographs of me wearing any of my ponchos. I was instantly disturbed. "Why have I been neglecting something that has had such a major influence on my wardrobe," I thought.
Truthfully, I’ve been wearing ponchos since high school. I remember the first one I ever had was given to me as a hand-me-down from my mom. It was hand crocheted in beautiful teal yarn and had been a gift to her back when ponchos were a staple item for the fashion forward female. I’m quite surprised she ever allowed me to wear it considering how beautiful it was. However she did, and as a result I believe my love affair with vintage clothing and retro style began. From that point on I couldn’t get my hands on enough flair jeans and fringe. To this day I’m thankful to mom for steering me off the beaten path when it comes to clothing. Without her influence, (and believe me there was a whole lot more than just that poncho), I don’t believe I’d be the quirky dresser I’ve always been. Actually mom and I recently came across that very same teal poncho this year. It had been packed away in a box at her house and when I saw it many forgotten high school memories instantly came flooding back to me. I want to believe the same thing happened to her because when I asked if I could take the treasured item her answer was, “Yes, but please don’t ever get rid of it. If you don’t want it I’ll take it back.” I guess I just love the idea that one piece of clothing has such a connection to both of us. I also like the fact that this garment has fringe…like lots of it. Great minds obviously think alike.
Writing this now I wish I would have worn that particular poncho in the photographs above. However, the choice is never easy when one has so many options. I remember once discussing with a friend how many ponchos I owned. When I got to about ten I could see the disbelief on her face. “I had no idea ponchos were even a thing anymore,” she stated. Honestly I was surprised. In my mind they’d always been, "a thing." I mean, didn’t every girl grow up wearing ponchos, fringe coats, bell bottoms, crochet vests, granny square sweaters, clogs, and dad’s old biker belt? (Unfortunately, other than the teal poncho, this 5’9” bohemian behemoth was confined to wearing only dad’s vintage treasures. Yep, it sucks when your mom is a petite 5’2” and you can literally hulk rip out of her clothing.) Anyway my point is I’m so thankful for my mom’s sense of style. She taught me that weird is wonderful…and this sentiment applies to more than just clothing. I'm truly so happy to be the daughter of a free thinking, open minded, educated, creative, beautiful, one of a kind hippie lady. I can only hope to wear a poncho as well as she does.
Purse: Banana Republic
Earrings: Kenneth Cole
Sunglasses: Roberto Cavalli