Your Guide on How to Wear a Poncho Sweater
Updated: Feb 13
Attention all ladies, if you don’t feel like showing any skin this Fall/Winter season, would rather not wear form-fitting tops but do not wish to compromise looking cute, then a poncho sweater is exactly what you need right now.
This clothing item is saving bloated women, women who just had surgery, women who recently gave birth and women who are not a fan of tight clothing all across the globe. In today’s post, I shall make it my mission to show you why sweater ponchos are a necessity especially in your Fall wardrobe by showing you very different ways you can style one.
It's so crazy how this one piece of clothing can be used to turn a casual outfit into a more elevated chic look and can even be worn as a more formal look, depending on how you style it. With the winter season quickly approaching, you don’t have to necessarily give up style for comfort – you can have both and a poncho is the way.
There are quite a number of styles of ponchos and I hope to be able to touch on all of them as I share different poncho outfit ideas that would keep you warm and fashionable during the cooler seasons. Whether you are working with a classic poncho or a modern poncho, you would still be able to incorporate these looks into your wardrobe.
Before we get started, I would like to answer some questions you may have with regards to ponchos so here we go:
What is a poncho sweater?
The word ‘poncho’ itself is thought to be a Quechua word derived from the Spanish word ‘punchu’ which denotes a fabric wrap. A poncho sweater is a single large piece of fabric with an opening in the center for a head. Some ponchos have hoods attached to them and thy are made from different materials.
Is a poncho sweater considered formal?
Thanks to the advancement in the designs of ponchos, many of them could be worn as formal wear. This would depend on the rest of the outfit as well as the type of poncho but typically, most ponchos are considered semi-casual. Longer ponchos could be styled as dresses but more on that later.
Can poncho sweaters only be worn in the Fall/Winter?
Although ponchos tend to resurface every cold season, they do not necessarily have to be worn only when temperatures drop. Sleeveless ponchos could be worn on top of beautiful dresses to create elegant looks for the warmer weather. So, the simple answer to that question is no.
What do I wear underneath a poncho?
As ponchos conceal any tops you may wear underneath them, it’s best to go with a simple top such as a tank top or a thin sweater that won’t cause any bunching or bulking with your poncho. You could also wear a dress shirt or t-shirt underneath as more options.
I hope at least one of these provides answers to any poncho sweaters questions you may have. Now that we’ve gotten those handled, let’s jump right into some of my favorite poncho looks.
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.
1) Poncho sweater with skinny jeans
This right here is a classic casual look any women could pull off, irrespective of body size or body type. You could opt for a classic poncho and pair that with a pair of dark blue skinny bottoms and you would have a great Fall outfit. For footwear, throw on a pair of ankle boots and you’re good to go. You could also choose a pair of black skinny jeans and pair it with a poncho in neutral colors and this would give you a look you could wear anywhere with a business casual dress code.
Get the look HERE
2) Poncho with a skirt
Here’s a more feminine poncho sweater look for you. Elevate your poncho style with a midi or maxi skirt on cold days and be prepared to serve some poncho goodness. If opting for an open poncho, you could wear either a turtleneck sweater or long sleeve shirt on those cold days. To take out the guessing when it comes to mixing and matching colors, you could choose to just get a poncho set in a beautiful solid color.
This could be a chic office-approved look that could make your co-workers wishing they had thought of this.
Get the look HERE
3) Poncho with leggings
If you’re wearing a longer poncho, then the easiest way to style it for a fancy occasion is to throw on a pair of black leggings as well as some thigh-high boots and you would be killing the poncho sweater game. I particularly love to use turtleneck ponchos to create this look and adding a gold necklace as a final touch. Don’t forget your tote or shoulder bag to really complete this look.
Get the look HERE
Get a more affordable option HERE
4) Poncho over a dress
Another great way to style your poncho sweater for a formal occasion is to wear it on top of a dress. Think of the poncho as a cape in this scenario and you dress would end up looking more like a skirt underneath. Complete the look with either pair of high heels or tall boots and you’ve got yourself a beautiful formal poncho look.
To take your poncho sweater look up a notch, accessorize with some bold jewelry. During the summer season, an easy way to style this look is firstly by choosing a dress in a bright color and light fabric. Secondly, swap the suede boots out for some heeled sandals or a pair of flats.
Get the look HERE
5) Poncho as a dress
The best thing about owning a longer poncho is the numerous ways you can style it. You can easily turn it into a dress if it’s long enough. All you need to do is add either a skinny belt or a wide one and you’ve got yourself a poncho dress. The belt adds some waist definition and really brings some shape to your poncho, elevating your overall look.
Big fan of poncho dresses? You could also try to tuck in some of the poncho fabric into the belt to cover it up some more and really make your outfit look more put together. Now you can add poncho dresses to your list of sweater dresses.
Image source here
6) Poncho with leather pants
To create a more edgy look with your poncho sweater, style it with a pair of leather skinnies. Leather would add some sass to your overall look and even make your entire outfit stand out more. You would also have many options of footwear you could decide to go with to complete this look.
Leather ankle boots, heels, flats or even knee boots would all work amazingly with this poncho look. If your poncho sweater is open and perhaps with short sleeves (or not), then add a top in a neutral color such as a white blouse.
Or why not try a poncho coat such as this burgundy one?
If your poncho has long sleeves, then the sleeves of your blouse would be poking out at the bottom, and you don’t want whichever color it is to clash with that of your poncho sweater. Leather jackets could be worn on top of smaller poncho sweaters to add an extra layer of warmth.
I really hope I’ve been able to provide you with some great style tips you can use the next time you whip out that poncho. I really love how this single piece of clothing can be the focal point of an outfit, adding versatility and classiness to any look. There are several types of ponchos out there and it doesn’t hurt to own a few in different colours and styles.
From this post, you can see how they could be a great layering piece, providing style and the utmost comfort to their wearers.
Of this course this list is non-exhaustive, and I would love to see other ways you come up with to style your poncho.
You should also check out my post on how to wear a sweater over a dress as some of the tips could be applied here.
Until the next post,