The poncho that’s become a constant winter companion

It’s a poncho that’s also a shawl, a rug, a scarf…

I recently caught up with Charlotte Semler, the former City girl who was co-founder of luxury glamour lingerie brand Myla. She left that several years ago to spend more time with her family in the country. But you can’t keep a good entrepreneur down and she has been building up an online business, Charlotte & Co, that reflects her current lifestyle. The items are all aimed at enhancing a comfortable, home-orientated life and all her employees are mothers working from home.


When I mentioned some upcoming long-haul travel – something Charlotte says she has never really loved – she insisted I try out one of her multi-use cashmere ponchos (£150), which has since become my constant off-duty winter companion. The fine cable and moss stitch rectangle, fastened with horn-shaped buttons, is light, soft and warm, and was the perfect wrap-up for a long plane night. Unbuttoned, it made a cosy scarf on a chilly Beijing morning. Charlotte also showed me how to drape it as a shawl and tuck the front ends into a wide belt to give shape and make it snug. I have since discovered another use – folded double, it turned into a great knee-warmer at a bone-chilling evening rugby match.

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