Ponchos are back again, and they're wonderful alternatives to jackets, cardigans, and shawls. They can dress up an outfit, they're versatile, anyone can wear them, and it doesn't matter if you gain or lose weight because they're one size fits all. They're also chic, elegant, and come in so many different colors, patterns, and materials.
Shop for Stylish Ponchos
You can find ponchos in almost any store that sells women's clothing. They come in everything from loose, crocheted styles to tightly woven wool ones. You can find them in any color and several different patterns. Throw one on with your favorite jeans and t-shirt to dress an outfit up and add an extra layer of warmth.
The Ruana Geometric Poncho from Saks 5th Avenue is perfect for fall and winter because of its large, bold pattern done in teal and gray. Pair it with a pair of black skinny jeans, motorcycle boots, and a solid-colored shirt (or one with a complementary pattern in a similar color scheme). Expect to pay just over $50.00.
The Cashmere Fringe Trim Poncho is on the smaller side and resembles a scarf more than a full-length cardigan or jacket. It is from Nordstrom's and costs about $500. This is one you could easily wear to the office and sport all day. It's comes in camel or black and features fringe that's trendy now but wouldn't look out of place when the trend fades into the fashion background again.
For something more understated, try the Lauren Ralph Lauren Cotton Mockneck Poncho from Lord & Taylor (just under $100.00). This design has arm slits to alleviate the sometimes-awkward issue of your arms lifting the bottom of the poncho up and away from your body as you move. The contrasting arm slits help you move freely while the poncho stays in place. Wear this classy style with anything from leather pants to a dress and tall boots.
Sweet and Feminine
For a soft, feminine option, there's the Michael by Michael Kors ribbed v-neck poncho (under $100.00) in charcoal gray, also from Lord & Taylor. You can wear this with jeans for a cozy, casual look, or top off your work outfit and stay a little warmer than usual in the office.
The Calvin Klein Reversible Cape (under $80.00) from Macy's is like a favorite sweater you get to throw on over just about anything. Its shawl collar, cable knit, and toggle closures make it feel extra cozy, and it comes in beige marl, estate blue, grain marl, and gull marl. Wear it with jeans and a t-shirt or over a nice blouse and slacks on work days.
The Chico Plaid Wool Blend Poncho (just under $300, Lord & Taylor) combines the weight and warmth of wool with a neutral palette of charcoal and black, that will stand up to just about any fall or winter wardrobe. The asymmetrical hem adds some extra visual interest while the pattern remains low-key.
The Alfani Colorblocked Poncho from Macy's (less than $80.00) has an interesting shape and it's sure to keep you looking fabulous. Add it as a bold piece to a monochromatic outfit.
The Treasure & Bond Zip Poncho from Nordstrom (just over $150.00) combines a classic look in light blue. The front zipper closure holds the poncho in place and adds some visual interest. Wear this design with blue jeans and a plaid top to be weekend-ready.
Tips for Wearing Ponchos
Ponchos are some of the easiest items to purchase and style.
In most cases, you won't need to go to the store to try them on, since many are one size fits all or come in only a couple of sizes that will work for several body types. In the cases that you do have several sizes to choose from, there are sizing charts just like there are for other clothing items, sometimes even with tips to size up or down if you're between sizes (since they're loose-fitting, you still won't have to worry about zeroing in on a single perfect size in most cases). If you're on the fence about the size you'll need and have no guidance to say otherwise from the retailer, sizing up may be the safest choice.
When it comes to styling them, almost anything goes.
- Consider pairing a poncho with form-fitting items like pants or even pencil skirts - this is one of the best looks for this type of outerwear.
- Dress up a pair of blue jeans (not baggy) or slip a poncho over your head or around your shoulders to go with your neutral-toned slacks as you head out to work on a chilly day.
- A wool poncho may be just the thing you need before the weather turns completely frigid and you're looking for your longest, warmest peacoats and down-stuffed quilted winter coats.
A Warm Alternative
Selecting this type of outerwar offers a departure from standard coats and jackets that's still warm, but offers a stylish alternative choice. Take advantage of the myriad colors, patterns, and fabrics to choose from. Whether done in a fun pattern or a sophisticated design, you can create a stand-out look this season with a poncho.