I am a recovering hippy: I only started shaving regularly on my arrival in Paris, I still have to leave notes reminding myself to wear a bra and my favorite Paris fashion trend until now was the summer of the Birkenstock.
In Paris I make a tremendous effort to be chic, wearing shoes that match my handbag, undergarments that flatter my figure, and heels. Very high heels. Sounds like torture, but secretly, I love it. I seem to thrive under the discipline. But I still yearn for the comfort of the old days, so imagine my joy when I saw the hottest new addition to the Paris shopping scene: the poncho!
Before you start screaming in horror, remembering those formless nightmares from the 1970s, you have to check out the elegantly simple, clean lines of the Poncho Gallery collection. The precision of its collection alone says it all: three different styles are offered in three different sizes (homme, femme, enfant), and that’s it. The Poncho Gallery’s ponchos are knit of the finest cashmere from the Italian master Loro Piana.
I first spied these sublime accessories at a press conference, with suggestions for holiday gift giving. The garment looked so stylish and comfortable on the mannequin that I simply had to try it on, although product testing was strictly discouraged. A publicist strolled over and explained that the Poncho Gallery was a website opening that very same day.
She spoke to me of Lole and Sophie, the impressively beautiful and elegant sisters who were launching the site, and became visibly excited when referring to the quality of the cashmere. I couldn’t resist.
I ran home and signed up to become the Poncho Gallery’s 11th customer. For deliveries within Paris, the fees are the same if you opt for La Poste or same-day delivery. Being somewhat impatient, I chose the delivery service, and like magic, two hours later I had my poncho. It felt like Christmas!
If you happen to be visiting and shopping in Paris, the Poncho Gallery takes foreign credit cards and will deliver directly to your hotel. If you are abroad and simply cannot wait to be wearing this uniquely Parisian poncho, the gallery will ship to you.
And if you’re anything like me, once you start wearing your poncho, you’ll never take it off. I’ve worn it with my chicest friends to the trendiest addresses with astounding success. I even toted it to Marrakech, where it served as the perfect throw on the flight and the ideal protection from the evening breeze. I knew I’d scored a hit when my typically difficult, incredibly judgmental fashionista teen looked at me with her eye cocked, pronouncing, “I’m going to be borrowing that.” As if!
Editor’s note: Don your poncho and head out on one of the Girls’ Guide’s famous walking tours of Paris. Our tours are ridiculously easy to use: just click here and download them to your iPhone or iPad, or print them out on your computer, and you’ll be walking out the door in no time.