Ponchos are a brilliant winter warmer, although they tend to divide people down the middle. In one camp are those who happily embrace the poncho as an addition to their winter wardrobe. In the other camp are those who have relegated the poncho to the realm of the hippies, the old ladies and the Mexicans.
I am in the former camp. I bought a poncho almost ten years ago and it is still on regular rotation in my wardrobe. Ponchos are wonderfully warm, and are a little like walking around wearing a blanket all day. If you learn how to wear them properly, they can look really chic and awesome.
The key to wearing a poncho successfully is balancing volume. The poncho tends to be quite billowy and flowing. Conversely, you should wear something relatively tight-fitting on your bottom half to avoid looking like a hot-air balloon. Good options are a pair of perfectly fitted jeans or pants, or a short skirt with wildly patterned tights. Steer clear of long, billowy skirts, baggy pants or harem pants with ponchos.
It’s also important to keep the top underneath your poncho fairly simple. I usually wear a plain cotton tee shirt or a lightweight knitted top. It’s best to avoid any frills or ruching on the front of your shirt, as it will look lumpy under the poncho. If you want to wear an embellished top, choose one that has detailing on the sleeves, as these are one part of your ensemble that will peek out from under the poncho and draw attention to themselves. It’s also best to avoid any sort of collar or cowl neck, as these will make the poncho sit awkwardly on your shoulders.
Ponchos are a wonderful addition to any bohemian style outfit. They add a touch of warmth and fun to 60’s hippy getups and are the perfect compliment to a pair of gorgeously embroidered flares.
However, ponchos can also be very elegant and chic. You can buy ponchos made of a lighter wool blend, like a pashmina, that can the draped over a pair of gorgeous dress pants and a simple shirt. Choose a poncho in a rich, jewel tone or a light cream to create a look that is pure sophistication.
Ponchos are great fun to accessorise. Steer clear of short necklaces, as they will just get lost. Instead, add a long chain or pendant to the front of your poncho. Pin on a classically beautiful brooch. Load your wrists with bangles and your fingers with rings and tie a scarf around your head to embrace your inner fortune teller.
If you are one of those people who think that ponchos are best left to the hippies, think again. Ponchos are wonderfully warm and can be very sexy, clinging to the more voluptuous parts of your body and billowing out to mask your figure in a way that makes an admirer want to imagine what you have on underneath. Ponchos come in a range of beautiful fabrics, with embellishments like embroidery and beading, in all the colours of the rainbow. I dare you to take a new fashion direction and take a poncho for a test run. I guarantee that you will find one to suit your style, and that you will love it from the moment you put it on.