Every year as we get closer to fall/winter, ponchos come back in style! If there is anything to learn from it, it’s that a poncho is always on trend and never out of date. After all, ponchos are effortless to wear and practical! So if you have been considering owning a poncho or are wondering how to wear a poncho this season, these styling tips will help you put the perfect (winter) look together. 

A poncho complements almost every outfit and adds the extra layer of warmth. So bring out that poncho and let’s get started! 

Poncho vs Cape vs Ruana: what’s the difference? 

Before we talk about how to wear a poncho, let’s first sort out the basics and make sure you have the right accessory. A poncho isn’t a coat and neither is it a scarf. So what exactly is a poncho? Your poncho needs to be a square garment with an opening for your head and without any sleeves. Some people get confused between a Ruana, Cape and Poncho – all of which are free size garments that are worn over an outfit to accessorize it. A Ruana originates in the Andes and while being square shaped as well, is more blanket-like and slit open in the front. A Cape is a slightly larger garment and is worn draped over the shoulders and may or may not have armholes. Our Capes are different to traditional Ponchos, but one of the more innovative ways of wearing it could be by placing your head through the free-size armholes!
We love that these sizeless wraps are a favorite style accessory, because when we wear a poncho, we are rooting for comfort and ease! 

How to Wear a Poncho: 6 Ideas to Try

Is your favorite look chic and classic or are you going for more statement and bold? The best thing about a poncho is that you can easily wear it over outfits that you already have in your closet to create the kind of look that you want — from classic to bold.

How to wear a poncho with jeans

Black and white Poncho with jeans

A universal favorite, the combination of a poncho over a pair of jeans and a shirt is one you can’t go wrong with. This is a style that says, I’m casual yet I put thought into how I dress. With this look you can keep it tonal by wearing a darker coloured poncho if your jeans are dark or you can go for a contrast with faded denims. Since a poncho is naturally over sized, a pair of fitted jeans looks better than boyfriend jeans when you wear a poncho. If you are willing to experiment, try wearing a shirt under your poncho instead of a collarless t-shirt or get inspired by the 70s and wear your poncho with flared jeans!

How to wear a poncho with a dress

poncho with free

We love this way to style a poncho because it allows you to dress for two seasons! A dress could be an ideal early fall outfit for an al-fresco dinner, and the poncho on top can save you from the evening chill. Because a poncho isn’t a fitted garment, it’s really easy to wear different outfits under. You can choose a cute tunic dress and team it with a pair of over the knee boots or a summer dress with a thin, see through poncho if you are going for a look that’s boho-chic.

How to wear a poncho with leggings

This look is all about creating a visual balance. Leggings are fitted and ponchos are looser, so this look works for every body type and is a style for any occasion! Keep it simple if you like with an all-black poncho, a black bodysuit and black leggings or have fun with your look by mixing things up — try a pair of printed leggings instead of plain or try leggings in a different texture like faux leather. 

How to wear a poncho over a sweater

poncho with leggings

The ultimate winter chic look, wearing a poncho over a sweater is a great way to skip the coat and go for a lighter layer that can be just as warm. Some people might wonder if it’s okay to wear two warm layers one below the other, but it’s a poncho style that works! Layering is an art and when you combine a chunky cable knit sweater under your poncho, you can look and feel good. A turtleneck in a finer wool might do the trick if you want to skip the bulk. Don’t be afraid to try this style. Especially if it’s a cold and sunny winter day when you won’t miss your coat.

How to wear a poncho with a belt

poncho with belt

Some people don’t like to wear a poncho because it’s oversized and more square in shape. This poncho look is all about accentuating the waist with a belt. You can use a belt with a buckle or even try out an obi-style wrap belt to cinch in the waist. If your poncho is long enough, you can also wear it by itself and add a belt to create a chic dress style. Don’t forget to accessorize this outfit with boots, a crossbody bag and you’re all set.

How to wear a poncho over a suit

A poncho is a versatile fashion accessory and can be worn almost everywhere, from outdoor walks to work. While this isn’t a common look, wearing a poncho over a suit would be a chic work outfit, as long as the choice of materials are flattering and not too bulky. You can wear a neutral coloured knitted poncho over a well-tailored suit if you are going for a staid look. However, if your office environment is more easy-going, experiment away with pop colours, because a poncho is the one accessory that brings the rest of your outfit together. 

We love ponchos 

Remember, a poncho isn’t only a fall/winter accessory. It can be worn throughout the year — from summer through winter, depending on the choice of material and of course, how heavy it is. While a poncho adds the extra warmth that fall/winter needs, it also is a wonderfully versatile accessory to own. There are days you might not really feel like dressing up, but adding a poncho over your basics can help make your look complete. So for those of you who have been thinking of how to wear a poncho, find your favorite style and start pairing because it is easier than you think! 

February 10, 2022 — Kanak Hirani

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