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 Overblown Geometric Poncho from Express is perfect for fall and winter because of its large, bold pattern done in red and black, and the leather trim adds a special, subtle edginess. 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 Popcorn Fringe Trim Poncho is on the smaller side and resembles a scarf more than a full-length cardigan or jacket. It is also from Express and costs about $60.00. This is one you could easily wear to the office and sport all day. It's black knit 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 Crewneck Poncho from Lord & Taylor (just under $200.00). This design has a double-zippered kangaroo pocket and alleviates 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 pullover-style NYDJ Solid Cowlneck 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 Karen Scott Cable Knit Fringe Poncho (under $50.00) 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 DAY Wool Blend Poncho (just over $200.00, Lord & Taylor) combines the weight and warmth of wool with a neutral palette (camel, navy, and deep charcaol) 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 Turtleneck Poncho from Macy's (less than $60.00) has an interesting shape and it's sure to keep you warm. The turtleneck style keeps your neck warm, while the longer sleeves ensure that your forearms stay covered, too. Hardware details and a bold, yet neutral color palette make this a fun go-to when you want to wear something a little unusual but not loud.
The Woolwich Fireside II Wool Blend Poncho from Nordstrom (just over $150.00) combines a classic striped pattern with beautiful color options of brown/teal and charcoal/light gray. The front buckle closure holds the poncho in place and adds some visual interest. Wear this design with blue jeans and a solid-colored 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.