Different types of wraps and shawls

September 19, 2018

Different types of wraps and shawls

Fashion can be confusing. There are trends from previous decades that come back rehashed and with a completely different name, or there are items called something different to what they actually are, or misnamed something else.

This is actually pretty common in the world of shawls, wraps, scarves, ponchos and capes as they’re often confused with one another, with product names being used interchangeably or incorrectly. Admittedly, some are quite similar in style but with some clear differences.

With this in mind, we wanted to take you through how you can tell what you’re looking for:

Wraps and scarves

We’re not talking about the burrito type of wrap here, we’re talking about a long piece of fabric that’s wrapped around the wearer in whatever style they choose. They’re generally pretty unstructured, which allows versatility in how they’re worn, in terms of style and occasion.

Our pashmina scarves fit into this category but it’s important to differentiate between fabrics. A wrap or scarf is only a pashmina when it’s been crafted using top-quality wool from pashmina goats. This is the case with our scarves, which are handmade in Nepal and made from beautiful pashmina wool, that’s harvested ethically.


A cape is basically a sleeveless jacket or coat that fastens around the neckline. To use your hands, you simply pop them out of slits that are usually in the front of the garment, and sometimes concealed. It might have buttons or clips down the front of it and could be shorter or longer. A cape is generally quite structured and may be considered more of a formal garment, in the same way that a tailored coat might be.


Ponchos are almost a bit of a cape-wrap hybrid (confused yet?) a poncho is usually made out of soft, unstructured material and consists of a square or circle with a head hole cut out of it. It’s much more “free” than a cape, and gives the feel of being wrapped in a stylish blanket, especially if it’s made from pashmina wool like our ponchos are.

However, don’t be fooled by their relaxed fabric and fit! A poncho can easily be dressed up for the right occasion and is a great practical, warm choice that keeps your hands free.


A shawl is similar to a wrap and is usually rectangular and has an unstructured fit, intended to be draped around the body. A shawl, however, is usually much smaller than a wrap and is only really suitable to wrap around the shoulders rather than the body.

Still not sure? Take a look at our 100% pure pashmina scarves and ponchos.