Ponchos originated in Spanish-speaking cultures and have a variety of styles. A blanket poncho is typically a single piece of fabric with a slit opening for a person's head and openings on either side for a person's arms. It generally is worn as an outer garment. There can be a large variety of styles, lengths and fabric types.
Originally, a blanket poncho was built as a blanket-like garment warn for warmth by people of the Andes Mountains, and longer length ponchos were often worn by horseback riders. Some variants of the blanket poncho evolved in the 1900s into rainproof fabrics that ward off moisture. The poncho itself is draped over the body and protects from cold or rain and sometimes has an attached hood. The blanket poncho was originally worn primarily in the Americas by the native people of South America and the Great Plains of North America, as well soldiers during the Civil War, but this type of clothing has become more and more prominent all over the world.
People in the 2000s have developed an alternative poncho as a fashion item, and it is more commercial in nature. Usually, these alternative ponchos are worn by both men and women, but more commonly by women, and they are sold by a large range of manufacturers and designers. These can be found in an enormous amount of fabric types, including wool, fleece, crochet, cotton and waterproof canvas. Poncho fabrics originally maintained a Hispanic-themed design but now vary and can come in wide ranges of designs and colors.
The blanket poncho has maintained its original design and purposes while adapting to cultures. It stands to reason that it is a fashion item that will continue to be popular not only in the Americas but in both Western and Eastern culture. It likely will continue to evolve as trends in fashion fade in and out.