BIG is the operative word because ponchos come in two fits: oversized and very oversized. You have to be at peace with the extremely boxy and unstructured integrity of this style in order to feel fab. It’s supposed to look somewhat overwhelming, so opt for a look that is just flattering enough, instead of conventionally flattering. It’s a theatrical silhouette that comes to life in motion.
Ponchos are a practical and fashionable option to wear over equally trendy oversized knitwear. They aren’t all that insulating, but can be just the right weight at certain times of the year. Some find ponchos cozy and comfortable because they’re loose, soft and drapey. Others find the excess fabric uncomfortable because it flaps about and gets in the way of daily activities.
Ponchos come in all sorts of silhouettes, lengths, fabrics, colours, weights and patterns, as seen below. There is a poncho for everyone, so take your pick. They used to be thought of as boho, but these days the look can be arty or avant-garde too. The boxier the fit and longer the length, the more overwhelming the style. But you can create a relatively structured look by wearing a shorter length and choosing a soft fabric that drapes back onto the body. Wearing ponchos that fit more like swing style pullovers with tapered sleeves adds further structure to the silhouette. Asymmetrical hemlines create interesting lines on the body that draw the eye up and down.
Ponchos can be made of knits and wovens. Styles can be lightweight for indoors, or heavy for outdoors. They can be pull-on like a pullover, or have a front opening like a cardigan. They can be layered over a camisole like a sweater, or worn over multiple items like a coat.
The poncho is not a great match for my style persona. I find the excess fabric annoying, and the overall look too arty, whimsical and dramatic. Pop me in a strict roomy man coat, and I’m much happier. I do enjoy the look on others, and have fun helping clients pick their ponchos. I vote yay all the way. What’s your take on the poncho trend?