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How To Wear A Poncho

Updated January 2020

how to wear a poncho
poncho: Lou & Grey, turtleneck: Uniqlo, leggings: Target, shoes: Kate Spade, bag: Anthropologie, earrings: (similar idea here), sunglasses: Vince Camuto (similar here)

I adore ponchos despite my clients’ reluctance to wear them. Once you know how to wear a poncho, you may not want to get out of it. Beyond being a comfortable and fashion-forward option, it hides that entire burrito you ate for lunch.

How To Wear A Poncho: What Goes Under It?

Under a poncho, you can wear a fitted tank top, a long sleeve t-shirt, a sleeveless turtleneck, or, my favorite, a long sleeve turtleneck. Below are my favorite tops to wear under ponchos right now. You will notice that they are all very fitted or even tight. Some clients feel they are too tight, but they need to be that tight to layer beautifully. Once a client sees it under a poncho, dress, or overalls, then they understand why the fitted tops are so great.

1. Uniqlo (runs small, order a size up)
2. Caslon (runs big, order a size down)
3. Splendid (runs a little bit small, but mostly true to size — it is supposed to be very fitted)
4. BP (runs small, order a size up)
5. Hinge (runs true to size and looks best with leggings)
6. Nic + Zoe (runs a little bit big, but mostly true to size — it is a looser fit, so you may want to size down, depending on if you want to wear it for more than just layering. Note, it is best with jeans under a poncho.)
7. Majestic Paris (runs a little bit small, but mostly true to size — it is supposed to be very fitted)
8. Majestic Filatures (runs a little bit small, but mostly true to size — it is supposed to be very fitted)

How To Wear A Poncho: What Bottoms?

I am a huge fan of leggings and skinny jeans with a poncho. I also like ponchos over a short, stretchy fitted dress. If you are tall-ish, you can get away with flared pants if you pair them with a chunky heel. Here is the list:

  1. Leggings
  2. Skinny jeans
  3. Short, stretchy fitted dress
  4. Flared jeans (if you are taller/leaner, or just love the crap out of the look)


How To Wear A Poncho: What Shoes?

I love ponchos with flats, slim or slouched boots, booties, chunky heels, and bohemian wedges. If you are sporting a bohemian or minimalist summer look, a poncho can also work with flat sandals. Here is the list:

  1. Flats
  2. Booties (cuff your jeans with this one)
  3. Slim boot
  4. Slouched boot
  5. Chunky heels
  6. Bohemian wedges
  7. Flat sandals

Poncho No-Nos

Here are the items that don’t look amazing under ponchos. Notice that I have listed one of my favorite turtlenecks: the J.Crew tissue turtleneck t-shirt. It is not tight enough to layer it under something, which is why it is so comfortable to wear as a top by itself. It is very forgiving, unlike the Uniqlo turtleneck. I use the Uniqlo turtleneck specifically for layering, not to wear by itself. Let me know if you have any questions about the difference between the two.

  1. Bell sleeves
  2. Ball caps
  3. Sloppy, kind of loose long sleeves (Look at the side and back picture, and you can see that the arms are loose. I love this turtleneck, but not for a catering piece under ponchos.)
  4. Whimpy turtlenecks (It looks good in the picture, but I tried mine and it just wasn’t sitting right in the neck. You need a tighter or thicker turtleneck to look perfect under a poncho.)

San Diego blog style expert how to wear a ponchoSan Diego style

Photos by Dayley Photography

Makeup by Antonella Annibale

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