Practical Ponchos: Shaping the Look

Save
 
 
Practical Ponchos: Shaping the Look
Getty Images

Ponchos are back in fashion, but figuring out how to wear what is basically a rectangle of fabric with a head hole can be a little intimidating. However, with the multitude of fabric, color and style choices for ponchos, there are numerous ways to add this unique garment to your regular wardrobe rotation. The key with any poncho is finding a balance between the loose or bulky nature of the poncho and how it works with the rest of your outfit, so that you look fantastic, instead of frumpy.

Cozy Cashmere
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Cozy Cashmere

Simple, classic and comfortable, a neutral-colored cashmere poncho is great for relaxing on the weekends or a casual dinner out. Pair a soft, basic poncho with a pair of jeans and heels, like actress Angelina Jolie in her simple black poncho and gold pumps. Stick with a straight leg or skinny jean so that the bulk of the poncho doesn’t overwhelm your body.

Related: Learn more about poncho styles

Sheer Silks
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sheer Silks

Go sleek and sexy with a sheer silk poncho. Perfect for wearing over a cocktail or evening dress, a sheer poncho gives you some coverage without completely obscuring your dress. As television host Fearne Cotton exhibits here, you’ll want to stick with a simple, unadorned dress in a similar fabric as the poncho for this look. Stay away from too many embellishments that will be hidden by the poncho and make sure the poncho isn't too long for your body.

Southwestern Rustic
Graham Denholm/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Southwestern Rustic

A rustic southwestern look is a traditional style for ponchos, but you don’t have to look too “home on the range” to pull this off. As Australian model and television host Jodhi Meares demonstrates here, pairing a southwest-style poncho with neutral leggings or skinny jeans and ankle boots gives the poncho a modern look. A beautiful clasp or interesting embellishment on the poncho will also bring this style into the twenty-first century.

Related: Discover the origin and history of ponchos

Exotic Embroidery
Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Exotic Embroidery

Beautiful and exotic embroidery adds pizazz to a basic poncho. Actress Katie McGrath shows off the Middle Eastern-inspired embroidery on her neutral-colored poncho in this photo. Stick to simple pieces for the rest of your outfit, such as black pants or dark denim, to avoid a cluttered feel. A sassy shoe in a complementary color or pattern will work well with this type of poncho.

Related: Get more global inspiration for your clothes

Poncho-Inspired Sweaters
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Poncho-Inspired Sweaters

The poncho-inspired sweater gives you all the comfort and coverage of a traditional poncho with the versatility of a sweater. Loose and large-sleeved, this type of sweater is great for a cozy weekend outing or just lounging on the couch. Because of the bulkiness of a poncho sweater, go for tights or fitted jeans and stylish heels to balance out the look, as fashion blogger Jane Aldridge shows here.

Related: Check out sweater tips from knitters

Bohemian Poncho Dress
Will Ragozzino/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Bohemian Poncho Dress

Model Anna Neon shows off a bohemian-style poncho dress. This look is easy to put together and often highlights the bold patterns and colors of a traditional poncho. Pair this look with knee-high boots in a contrasting color to balance out the bulk of the poncho. If a poncho dress feels too shapeless, add a coordinating belt to cinch in the waist and show off your figure.

Related: Learn how to dress bohemian

Poncho Coat
Samir Hussein/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Poncho Coat

Almost all ponchos will keep you warm, but for those extra cold nights on the town, a thick wool poncho coat is perfect. Bulky but comfortable, pair a poncho coat with a skirt and heels to tone down the volume of the coat. Don’t be afraid of bold accessories, like singer Lily Allen shows here in her pink leopard print scarf.

Related: Find more casual coat inspiration

Classic Clean Lines
Valerie Macon/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Classic Clean Lines

Sleek, clean lines never go out of style and even a poncho can work for a classic look, as actress Jamie Chung shows in her camel-colored poncho, skinny black pants and leopard print shoes. Stick to pieces with slim silhouettes to pull off this look. A pop of color or interesting pattern in your shoes, jewelry or handbag will keep the outfit from looking too plain.

Related: Get bright ideas to make neutrals pop

Cropped Poncho
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Cropped Poncho

For a poncho that’s more functional than the traditional long, draped type, go for a cropped, short-sleeved garment, like model Luca Gadjus in this photo. Paired with a basic button down shirt and dark jeans, a cropped poncho is great for throwing over casual outfits and running a few errands. It will still keep you warm, but allows for more functional movement.

Related: How to wear cropped sweaters

Fancy Fur
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Fancy Fur

If you’re looking for the ultimate in warmth and luxury, look no further than a fur poncho. Like this model on a Helen Yarmak runway demonstrates, fur will dress up a casual pair of jeans or bring an evening outfit to the next level. Whether you go upscale or casual, keep your outfit simple and unadorned to highlight the lavish feel of the fur. If you’re opposed to real fur, a high quality faux fur will work just as well for this look, particularly if you’re going for a more laid back outfit.

Related: Get instructions for keeping fur coats clean

Evening Embellishments
Tim Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Evening Embellishments

Just because they’re comfortable doesn’t mean ponchos can’t work for an evening event. As English actress Tamzin Outwaite demonstrates, added embellishments, like a velvet collar and metallic studs, can give ponchos an upscale feel. Go monochromatic for the rest of your outfit and stick with dark colors to keep the style chic enough for evening wear. Don’t forget a matching handbag to complete this look.

Related: Get more tips for evening wear

Elegant Poncho Dress
Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Elegant Poncho Dress

Lacking the bulk of a traditional poncho, a poncho dress made from a light, silky fabric is chic and sophisticated. Fit is essential for an evening poncho dress, so make sure the fabric is not too billowy and that the dress hits above the knees, as British singer Rumer demonstrates in her cute black poncho dress. Pair this with coordinating tights and matching pumps to put the finishing touches on an understated, but elegant style.

Poncho Cape
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Poncho Cape

Keep your look loose and open with a light-weight poncho cape. As a Jean Paul Gaultier model shows here, a poncho cape is great for adding coverage without the overwhelming feel of a typical poncho. Since it is a lighter, silkier fabric and it’s not covering your whole outfit, pair a poncho cape with a fun and exotic patterned dress. However, make sure the cape and the rest of your outfit are made from similar fabrics and in similar styles to avoid looking like our outfit is over worked.

Related: Find out how to wear a caplet

Related Searches

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!