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Blog > News

Capes and Ponchos – What’s the difference?

Capes and ponchos are the perfect alternative to coats or jackets. On mild summer days, they can be thrown quickly over a sundress; or, when the seasons are changing, they’re a great warm layer over your favorite jean jacket. They go well with everything, and give you a special, unique look. So, what exactly is the difference between a cape and a poncho?


What is a cape?

A cape looks very similar to a shawl or a large scarf. It doesn’t have any arm holes or sleeves, has a loose cut and is worn by simply throwing it over the shoulders. The origins of the cape go way back to the old Germanic people, who protected themselves against the cold weather and rain with fur capes. The cape was also beloved by kings and knights, who wore delicate capes made of high-quality materials in order to give their prestige a boost. Today, the cape is not only an important part of traditional fashion—it’s also ideal for use in other clothing styles.

What is a cape


What is a poncho?

In contrast to a cape, a poncho has an opening for the head (it also has no sleeves.) It looks like a closed, square throw. The poncho is originally from South America. For many years, Indigenous people have crafted these armless throws out of large pieces of fabric, in which they then cut a hole in the middle for the head. With these ponchos, the people were able to protect themselves from rain and cold without restricting their movement. South American ponchos are especially eye-catching with their folkloristic patterns and bright colors. Today, ponchos can be found worldwide in a variety of designs and fabric, such as Merino wool, cashmere or boiled wool.

what is a poncho

So, to sum it all up: the difference between a cape and a poncho depends on if it has a hole for the head or not. A poncho is pulled over the head, whereas a cape is thrown over the shoulders.


GIESSWEIN Capes and Ponchos made of fine, boiled wool

No matter if you wear them casually with jeans, or opt for elegance and pair them with a dress—capes and ponchos are unbelievably versatile. Thanks to their A-line cut and soft material, they complement every body type. Our high-quality capes and ponchos are made out of traditional boiled wool. To make this happen, we use our special 3D Knit Technology to transform soft Merino or Cashmere wool into a flowing fabric—which is perfect for our figure-flattering capes and ponchos. Pair our capes or ponchos with classic jeans, white Merino Sneakers and a leather jacket for a casual, rocking outfit. Another styling tip: our asymmetrical Merino poncho is a classic choice that goes perfectly with elegant looks with our pointy Flats.