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Outerwear for mild winters

Living in Atlanta, we rarely need a big, heavy winter parka, but it certainly gets way too cold for just a jean jacket in January.

That's why this season's ponchos and shawls are great transitional pieces to add to your wardrobe. Made in everything from thick wool and soft cashmere to silk and cotton, ponchos and shawls are a perfect cover between-seasons. The difference between the two is slight: A poncho is usually pulled overhead and has armholes on both sides, while a shawl is likely triangle-shaped and wraps around the shoulders.

A far cry from Little Red Riding Hood, a crochet-style poncho or shawl with fringe will add a laid-back bohemian look to an outfit, while a more simple, structured design will create a polished look. Colors and patterns are endless, with stripes and plaid just as popular as bright, solid fabrics.

Like the pashmina from a few years back, ponchos and shawls can carry you from day to night and can be worn just like a coat, with anything from jeans to out-on-the-town fancy dresses.

If you have a tip or have noticed a trend you think our resident fashionista should know about, e-mail your comments to product@creativeloafing.com.