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In its simplest iteration, the poncho is a rectangular piece of fabric, unsewn at the sides, with an opening for the head in the center. Created as an all-weather garment by the peoples who lived on the slopes of the Andes Mountains, the simple construction makes it easy for the wearer to stay warm while having nearly no restriction of movement. 

As is often the case, military designers saw the value of this low-cost and high-efficient design, and the poncho was first adopted by US armed forces in the 1850’s for use as both garment and sleeping pad of soldiers stationed on the prairies. Over the years, the poncho became specialized as a garment to keep dry - manufactured from rubberized canvas in the late 19th century, then nylon and other lightweight fabrics in the 20th century. Gradually, other modifications, including a hood and eyelet drawcord side closure were added as well. 

Today, the poncho is seen chiefly as wet-weather gear, with outdoor companies pitching them as a solution to rainy conditions. The Engineered Garments version however, has a bit of a different take. 

Not designed for rain protection, this item is more akin to a cape coat, with enough room to be worn over any outfit. The Engineered Garments Poncho still retains many features of the 19th century American hooded military poncho, with its roomy size and a large front pouch attached to take care of any storage needs.  In a signature Engineered Garments twist, designer Daiki Suzuki places snap closures on the garment, seen on the pouch, sides, and behind the hood (which provides the ability to adjust the hood length).

At Nepenthes New York, the Poncho is available in both Brown Tri Blend Tweed and Charcoal Tri Blend Tweed, two fabrics which highlight the “Life in the Woods” theme of the Engineered Garments Fall/Winter 2021 collection. An exercise in beautiful simplicity, there is room for a Poncho in anyone’s wardrobe.