Poncho: Fashion Crime or a Necessary Staple Piece in Your Wardrobe?

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Ponchos are sort of a polarizing item. Wear it the wrong way, and you look like a bag lady. But when you style it right, it can transform your outfit. And depending on the poncho, it can even add a touch of boho-chic to your otherwise simple ensemble.

So, to find out how to avoid poncho problems, keep reading for styling tips, as well as our favorite ponchos.

If you're in a hurry, here are our top 3 poncho picks: 

Poncho styling tips

  1. Go for a monochrome look

To keep your outfit looking streamlined, opt for all the same color, like head-to-toe black, or top-to-bottom navy.

Of course, you can add pops of color with your accessories, but by keeping the poncho consistent with the rest of your outfit, you’ll look neat and put together.

  1. Layer

Because ponchos are loose-fitting, there’s a lot of opportunities to layer up. This makes the poncho an excellent piece to wear when the weather transitions. It’s great for in-between days when it’s too warm for a big jacket, but not warm enough for your t-shirts.

Here’s how you can layer your poncho dress:

  • Wear your favorite striped long-sleeve shirts underneath your poncho to add a bit of interest and of course, warmth. This pin is the perfect example.
  • Ponchos stay nicely above a knee-length dress like seen here.
  • For a daring look, gather your poncho in at the waist with a belt, and wear this with either a maxi skirt or skinny jeans, like here.
  • Wear a neutral colored poncho above blue jeans and a chambray blouse for a preppy, put-together outfit.
  1. Create bold contrasts

While you keep the rest of your outfit simple, your poncho can be a bold statement piece with strong prints and patterns. It’s actually a very easy way to look amazing with very little fussing on your part.

  1. Master the length

If you have long legs and are on the taller side, you can get away with wearing blanket-size ponchos and not look like you’re drowning in them. But if you tend to be on the petite side, try to wear ponchos that hit just below the waist.

This way, you can still show off your figure, instead of drowning in an enormous poncho.

  1. Poncho as a dress

Long ponchos can even double as a shift dress, and something airy, comfortable and lose. They can be perfect for those days when you don’t want to feel squeezed in and constricted.

  1. Poncho as a jacket replacement

If your poncho is on the thicker side, why not wear it as a jacket? You can layer underneath it for extra warmth, and look stylish while you’re at it.

  1. Fail-proof poncho outfit

For the perfect poncho outfit, all you need is your favorite pair of skinny jeans, a simple, plain tee, topped off with your statement poncho. Keeping everything else quiet will allow your poncho to steal the show. Otherwise, your outfit will look muddled and messy.

Celebrities in ponchos

There’s no shortage of style inspiration for ponchos when it comes to celebrity sightings. In fact, A-listers seem to love this wardrobe staple, and maybe their outfits will give you the courage you need to try the poncho on for size, too.

  • Sandra Bullock keeps it hipster and casual with her earth-toned poncho, paired with black skinny jeans and a white top. In essence, she’s nailing the fail-proof poncho outfit.
  • There’s literally nothing Olivia Palermo can’t pull off, and this poncho ensemble is proof. It’s the main attraction of an otherwise black outfit. She draws out the poncho’s purple design with a matching fedora.
  • Soon-to-be princess, Meghan Markle looks amazing in this simple outfit: an off-white poncho, layered with a pure white top and black leggings. Simple and elegant.
  • Kim Kardashian follows the monochrome styling tip by keeping her entire outfit black, black and black. And of course, she looks amazing.

Must-have ponchos for your wardrobe

If you’re itching to introduce a poncho into your wardrobe, we’ve rounded up our favorites for you to shop. As you can see, ponchos can be fun, colorful statement pieces to wake up any outfit.

  • This Sydney’s Tuesday Kimono-Sleeve Top is technically a kimono, but it also works as a vibrant red poncho to wear with black or denim skinny jeans.
  • The ultra-feminine Fringed Lace Poncho is a dreamy cream color, perfect for when you want to elevate your outfit without making a big statement.
  • For a truly cozy piece, try this Adriana Hand-Knit Pullover. This one-of-a-kind piece has abstract accents, transforming this traditional piece into a modern artwork. And the alpaca fleece is sure to keep you warm and snug.
  • This Cozy Geo Print Hoodie Poncho is nothing but cool, hipster vibes, which is great when you just want to kick back and let your outfit do the rest.
  • Our final pick is a fun and functional poncho. The Right as Rain Print Packable Hooded Poncho comes in four whimsical paisley prints, and the waterproof material will actually keep you dry while still looking lovely. You can wear this over your favorite pair of rain boots, and it’s a nice way to look pretty even if the weather’s not so great.

Ponchos can be an amazing styling piece. You can wear them as a dress or jacket. You can be subtle or make a statement. And they can add an elegant touch or boho vibe. So, no matter what your personal style is, there’s probably room for a poncho in your wardrobe.

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