Ponchos Are Over The Top

Put away your pashminas; the editors at Allure magazine say that the poncho is the must-have look right now.

Linda Wells, the magazine's editor-in-chief, offers three different ways to wear this hot trend. And she proves you don't have to spend a ton to look fabulous by putting The Early Show anchors to the Chic on a Shoestring test.

Today's ponchos are very fashionable and practical -a great cover-up without the bulk for those cool air-conditioned offices and movie theaters.

Beach Look:

Steal: Blue Plate Poncho
Cost: $50 Available at www.Blueplatefashion.com
Paired with J.Crew bikini top ($32) and J. Crew bikini bottom ($30).
Wear with the fun jelly slides from "Shop Intuition" ($28). Available at: www.Incagirl.com.
Sandals from Miss Trish of Capri ($295) Available at: www.vivre.com
Straw bag and towel from Shop Intuition ($65) Available at: www.macys.com
Tank from Gap ($14.50) Available at: www.gap.com
Denim skirt from Guess? ($64.) Available at: www.guess.com
Sandals from Gap ($29.50) available at: www.gap.com
Straw bag from Pearl River ($9.50) available at: www.pearlriver.com

Grand Total: $137.49

Splurge: Poncho by Kate O'Connor
Cost: $215 Big Drop in NYC 212-966-4299
Tank from Petit Bateau ($28).
Denim Skirt by Juicy Couture ($106).
Sandals by Jimmy Choo ($380). Available at: www.jimmychoo.com
Straw bag from Rafe ($250). Available at: www.rafe.com

Grand Total: $979.

Difference: The Kate O'Connor poncho is better made because it features a tighter cotton weave with a more biased, form-fitting cut.

Evening Look:
If you thought that you couldn't wear ponchos at night, you're wrong. These are great for nights out on the town. They provide you some warmth without sacrificing your style. And paired with the camisole, you look like you're showing more than you really are.

Steal: Poncho by BCBG Max Azria
Cost: $78.
Jeans by Isaac Mizrahi for Target ($24.99) Available at: www.Target.com
Camisole by Jockey ($10). Available at: www.jockey.com
Earrings by H&M ($1.90)
Gold bag from Claire's ($12)available at: www.Claires.com
Sandals from Parade of Shoes ($15).

Grand Total: $141.89

Splurge: Poncho by Murielle
Cost: $219. Available at: Barneys New York or www.Murielleonline.com
Jeans by 7 for All Mankind ($158) available at: www.Eluxury.com
Cami top by Cosabella ($66) available at: www.Neimanmarcus.com
Sandals by Michael Kors ($500).
Hoop Earrings by Dior ($410) Dior, New York City
Gold bag by Fendi ($3,250).

Grand Total: $4,603

Difference: The Lurex material and open weave knit of the Murielle makes this poncho more expensive.