How to Style a Poncho or Ruana


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A poncho or ruana can be the perfect addition to an outfit. Traditionally used for warmth, modern versions vary in fabric and thickness, so there are options for everyday wear. You may be wondering, what is the difference between a poncho and ruana wrap? A poncho and a ruana are similar—so much so that they’re often used interchangeably. Both are made from one piece of fabric with a hole for your head, but they aren’t identical. Typically, a ruana wrap features a slit from the head opening to the hem, while a poncho does not include this larger opening.

How do you style a poncho or ruana wrap into your look?


Move through the seasons

A classic woolen poncho might seem like the perfect choice for a chilly day, but there are options for any time of year, amidst any weather. Slip on a linen poncho or silk ruana wrap to protect yourself from the sun or fend off a chill on a cool summer evening. Wrap yourself in something a little warmer, like an alpaca blend, on a crisp fall day, or bundle up as winter approaches. Start off with a medium-weight fabric to get the most use from your wrap year-round, or stock your closet with options for every season.

Balance your silhouette

If you haven’t tried to style a poncho or ruana before, you might be a bit intimidated by its loose, flowing form. But have no fear: These garments are popular for good reason. When fashioned correctly, they’re universally flattering! To help balance your look, try pairing your poncho with leggings or your favorite skinny jean. You can apply the same principle to your upper half, too, by topping a slim-fit sweater or long-sleeved shirt with your ruana or poncho. A similar balance can factor in with the design of your wrap—add your favorite multi-colored poncho over a more neutral look or add a simple ruana to a brighter look.


Take advantage of accessories

The right accessories can make an outfit, and your ruana-centered style is no exception. Add a knit cap or beanie to literally top off your look, or switch to a wide-brimmed beachy hat for a warm weather addition. Add a belt to accentuate your waist beneath the loose-fitting fabric (this is especially helpful if you’ve worn a skirt or looser pant on your lower half). Oversize sunglasses or an eye-catching handbag can take your outfit up a notch. Add a statement necklace or chunky bracelet for a touch of sparkle.

Accessorize with your wrap

Mix things up even more by using your poncho or ruana as an accessory for your outfit. This works especially well with lightweight fabrics. Beyond draping it over your shoulders more traditionally, try wrapping it like a sarong, tying it to your purse as an accent piece, or tying it around your waist like a belt. You could even wrap it over itself to use as a hair wrap or scarf—get creative and highlight your favorite pieces.


Choose your patterns and colors wisely

A neutral color like black or beige might be the perfect touch for the office or church. Brighter colors or patterns could be a cheerful addition to an otherwise subdued outfit. A reversible ruana or poncho can even provide two styles in one. You know your style best, so pick out a wrap that will complement your go-to looks. Indecisive? Pick a few ponchos or ruanas from your wishlist so you have one on-hand for every mood.

No matter your style, you can make a poncho or ruana wrap work for your look. With so many unique ideas, your outfit choices are limitless—and, with a variety of wrap options available, you’ll find style inspiration for every occasion.

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