Are you a little curious?
The fashion industry is always searching for something new to offer you to buy and wear. Something new saves them from having to reinvent old styles in modern ways. Often the fashion industry will turn to indigenous cultures to find that something new to spotlight.
The Ruana is one of these.
The Ruana is a poncho-style outer garment from the Andes region of Venezuela and Columbia. The word ‘ruana’ means ‘land of blankets’. Think of it as a poncho which is open all the way down the front. It comes in two variations. One with a typical poncho angled hem or a rounded hem. Because it hangs loose like a blanket covering, you can wear it loose or swing one side up over your shoulder like a scarf. It can be one-colour and have contrasting edges in different colours, fringing or sequins.
At the moment these are popular in the northern hemisphere when made of heavier knit or a wool & cashmere combination as available from Nordstrum (0n the left).
I first found them on the Chicos website where they are offering these in summer-weight fabric of sheers or cotton-synthetic mixtures in paisley, geometric or animal-print fabrics (on the right). Great for the Australian summer.
They are expensive, especially with the low Australian dollar.
Baby Boomer Fashion Spotlight on How to wear the Ruana – The retail websites show them as plain and loosely-draped. Ruanas like capes and ponchos are versatile options for a cover-up on cooler summer evenings in warmer climates. They make good travelling cover-ups for long flights, cruises, bus trips or local outings. They are always great when you attend a meeting or conference and the air-conditioning is set to ‘cold’.
For a really interesting way of wearing the ruana, watch this Shanniegirl You Tube video. Shannon adds a contrasting oblong scarf to a plain-coloured ruana to create stylish and different looks.
Other Modern Fashion Options to the Ruana
The Ruana is just one of the shawl and cape options available to you. Chicos has a range of modern classic variations which are on special at the moment. It’s the best time to buy your summer wrap if you are Australian. Read the on-line comments, especially as a guide to your sizing.
Modern Classic Ponchos
The modern variation of the poncho has different hemlines. The diamond-patterned, diagonal-hem poncho allows you to tie off the longer ends on one side. This makes for a slim-fitting look as well as great for those who like tidy clothes and petite women. The high-low straight-hem poncho is great for those not keen on wearing the long, traditional, v-shaped hem. Also on offer is a shark-bite hem with straight front and longer triangular pieces at the sides. All the above are from Chicos. Other styles have sewn sleeves and are a cross between a loose top and a poncho.
This refers to large, loose sleeves. It may be on a jacket or a top. This jacket has a very flattering deep V front that then angles away to a short V to the side hem. The top is for those who like a touch of the dramatic. Big sleeves in a sheer fabric will be less bulky than a thicker fabric. Or go the full kimono style in a jacket with a Japanese-themed pattern.
Only buy this style if it suits you; not because it is currently in fashion. the above styles are from Chicos. You can find some in Australia on Ezibuy and Birds Nest.
The Cocoon Cardigan or Wrap
These can be a short or longer length. It is an open wrap that is sewn in a right-angle shape to create a sleeve shape and side seams and creates a rounded back and front opening.
This shape gives it its ‘cocoon’ name. It comes in both summer and winter weight fabrics.
You will find some summer-weight kimono jackets on Ezibuy.
Action Steps (because Information is not Transformation):
- Before you buy any of these items work out how regularly you will wear it and how versatile it is for you. These will determine the price you are prepared to pay for it.
- These are mostly simple styles. You could make it yourself or have it made for you.
- Don’t be afraid to try on similar styles in shops. Buy online in your own country & returning is simpler than overseas returns.
- Not sure about them? Call me for your free Discovery Session.
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