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Not ready to buy? Why not read our style notes for all you need to know before choose a mens trench coat

Your online fashion guide to shawls and wraps, 2012's chicest cover ups

The  shawl (also known as a  wrap or  pashmina) is one of those multitasking wonders that womankind loves so much because of its versatility. Wear it as a cover up over an elegant gown for a retro spin, or tie it around your neck to add statement colour or pattern to an outfit. We can’t fault the huge variety of styles and colours designers and high street fashion brands have created to appease us fashion-greedy lot; there’s quite literally a wrap to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

Are you looking to invest in a designer buy that’ll see you through years to come? Or maybe you want to update your wardrobe by injecting lots of new colours in the form of cheap and cheerful  wraps in a kaleidoscope of hues? Whatever you want from your online shawl shop, you’re guaranteed to find the latest selection at Cafe La Moda. What’s even better, we do all the leg work for you on our shopping pages and comparison tables so all you need to do is narrow down your options to one – aren’t we good to you?

Comparing shawl and wrap fabrics

Cashmere Cashmere fabric comes from the cashmere goat and derives from the traditional word, ‘kashmir’ and the earliest written account of cashmere pashminas was in a 15th century Kashmiri text. By the 19th century  shawlsbegan to be commissioned especially for the European market. The latest cashmere pashminas and shawls are soft, warm and come in a myriad of colours.

Silk A silk shawl is the epitome of elegance and looks beautiful on special occasions and when worn with a stunning dress. Soft and light, the silk shawl makes the perfect accompaniment on spring and summer evenings and can be used to add an injection of colour or lift an outfit.

Wool A 100% wool shawl is a classic addition to your wardrobe and will keep you snug and cosy in the UK’s winter months without compromising on style. A wool wrap or shawl is the perfect option if you’re looking for a versatile number that can be styled several different ways and worn with a whole host of clothes.

Knitted Knitted  wraps and shawls can be a really special addition to your wardrobe and can often take the place of  knitwear for a contemporary cover-up. Opt for a crochet number for a hint of retro style, or stick with neutrals for a timeless piece that your daughters will be fighting over!

Tips when shopping for shawls and wraps

  • Look in your wardrobe to determine what colour and style clothes you wear the most. Have a look at a colour wheel to determine which colours would go best with those in your wardrobe. If you have a mostly monochromatic wardrobe then feel free to experiment with the colour and pattern of your shawl to inject some pizzazz into your outfits.
  • Don’t forget your accessories either. What colour jewellery, shoes and bags do you usually wear?
  • Hand painted or hand-dyed wraps and shawls are simply stunning when paired with block colours that pick up on hues in the pattern.
  • What time of year will you be mostly using your wrap or shawl? If you’re looking for one that you can use in the UK’s chillier months consider a  cashmere wrap. Silk or cotton is perfect for the summer months and looks beautifully elegant worn with a special dress.
  • As a general rule, wear a light pashmina with dark attire and vice versa.
  • For the wow factor shop for wraps with embellishment, beads or crystals – it’s classy without being too full on.

Styling your shawl or wrap

Which colour shawl will suit my complexion?

As wraps and shawls are worn so closely to the face they have the potential to make your skin glow and your eyes pop and will highlight all your best features – what’s not to love? Black and neutral hues will look great on everyone and guarantee a timeless look that’ll fit right in with the clothes in your wardrobe, but if you’re looking for  shawls for dresses to really make a statement, take a look at our guide to matching your clothing to your complexion:

Deep complexions Your skin has blue, red or pink undertones and you are generally brunette with dark eyes. Bold, clear colours look gorgeous on you – think white, black, blue and red - whereas neutrals, beiges and biscuit tones are best avoided.

Warm complexions As someone with a warm complexion you have golden tones to your skin and will usually have red or brunette hair and darker skin. Your perfect colour match mimics the warm tone in your skin – camel, beige, orange and gold look stunning on you but cool tones such as blue are a no-no.

Light complexions Your skin has golden undertones and is often a creamy white or peach colour. Strawberry blonde hair and blue or green eyes are characteristic of light complexions. Warm, orange-based colours and dirty tones suit you perfectly.

Cool complexion Cool complexions are characterized by blue, red or pink undertones. Your skin is usually pale or pink and you have blonde or brunette hair with light-coloured eyes. Pastels and lighter tones of  pashmina shawls would look beautiful against your skin.

Consider your hair tone when you buy your new wrap, too:

Blonde Pastels such as baby blue, pale pink and turquoise will look gorgeous against your sunkissed locks.

Brunette If you have raven-like hair, bold and strong shades such as red are your new best friend.

Redhead Dark and earthy tones such as burgundy and green look great against flame red hair. Purple and mauve are also gorgeous choices for you.

Delivery and returns

It is always best to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying your pashmina. UK policy states that any purchase made online comes with a seven day ‘cooling off’ period where you’re able, by law, to return any online goods. Many retailers extend this to 28 or 30 days so it’s always best to check before you buy.