The Art of the Poncho

The Art of the Poncho

Crimson and gold autumn leaves. Cooler crisp days. Darker evenings. Fall has arrived! It is sweater weather.  Why not make this be the year you discover the art of the poncho? While casual jackets and sweaters can always be a useful and fashionable third piece for your outfit, sometimes a poncho can be so much better!  

Yes, the poncho has been around for centuries and it has not always been a fashion statement. Originating as far back as 500 B.C. in South America, the poncho was a blanket-like cloak that was used not for fashion but for warmth. It can also be traced back to the 1850s where it was used by the military for warmth during the American Civil War. It wasn't until the bohemian fashion trends of the 1960's and 1970's that the poncho became more commonly worn by women.  


Ixtian Alpaca & Pima Cotton Poncho by Peruvian Connection Price: $299.00

Colorblock Baby Alpaca Poncho by Peruvian Connection  Price: $218.00

 Shop the New Winter 2016 Collection at!

 With the boho chic fashion trend occurring over the last several years, the poncho has been seen more regularly on a variety of women in many different settings.  Without a doubt, the rustic fringed poncho remains a very popular look when worn with denim and fabulous leather boots. However, it is exciting to see the classic poncho being designed with a dressier modern mindset. A sumptuous thick cashmere  or marino wool poncho with clean edges (no fringe) can transform your look for a more sophisticated occasion. Lighter weight ponchos, like those knit from linen or cotton, are terrific at warding off the evening chill or serving as a dressy second layer. 

Simply add accessories as you would with a tunic. Layers of long chains, possibly with a pendant, like the two artisan-made necklaces shown below, is a great look with a poncho. 


Hail Necklace - Golden Fire Agate, Gold Beads, Ocean Fossil, Brass, Onyx Colored Chain by Katz Meow Designs

at Verbena Sky

Price: $58.00

22k Rose Gold Tassel Necklace

With 16 Genuine Multi-Faceted White Zircons, Lobster Clasp, 36 inch gold vermeil chain by Latelita London

at Verbena Sky

Price $300.00

 Even a fashion scarf bundled around the neck can be interesting way to add color, texture and style. Poncho necklines can very flattering with hair pulled back and statement earrings. 

Because of the draping nature of the garment, traditional shoulder style handbags can be a hassle. When in a dressy poncho, I switch out my shoulder bag for a handbag with short straps (satchel style). When dressed more casually and going out and about, wearing a slim crossbody bag under the poncho can work very well.

The poncho is truly ageless and size-less. We have seen it beautifully worn by women of all generations and all silhouettes. Unlike the sweaters and jackets that can sometimes be constructed a little too fitted or feel too clingy, ponchos are never tight. It is amazing how it covers any mid-section figure flaw and upper arm concern. It is a delightfully easy garment to put on and take off. I have found it to be excellent for airline travel. It is quite flattering and comfortable garment while you sit for long periods. It is particularly cozy on airline flights or in a chilly office.


Zig Zag Ruana Poncho Wrap

by Q2 Store

at Verbena Sky

Price: $80.00

Knit Poncho by Andy Ve Eirn

at Verbena Sky

Price: $155.00

Artisan Alpaca Poncho

by Cabin Measures

at Verbena Sky

Price: $399.00

 I remember recently walking through an airport wearing my simple poncho of marino wool, stretch denim jeans, and leather flats skimmers. The ease and flow of the poncho as you move is a beautiful thing. It actually made me feel graceful and feminine. I felt others noticing my confidence as well. I was no longer self-conscious about my midsection or my age. It was an experience I try to repeat every time I go out to dinner (dressy poncho!) or to a weekend game (casual poncho!).

The sweaters and casual jackets will remain in the closet for now.

Stay warm,




Eileen Fisher Alpaca Poncho

at Nordstrom  

Price: $258.00

Eileen Fisher Cashmere Color Block Poncho

at Nordstrom

Price: $448.00 

Shop Nordstrom for fall's most talked-about trends, plus cool, everyday basics. FREE Shipping. FREE Returns. 



More Posts