The hard part about how to wear a poncho, cape, or wrap can be the layering with these pieces. That and the proportions and silhouette can be a struggle, for some women.
That’s why when Joanna came up with the theme for our Ageless Style group about these flowy pieces, I decided to have all of us style one of them, so you could see some options.
Quote of the day: “Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.” Bruce Lee
Too many times, when we struggle with a clothing item, we think we are failures. Yet learning the tricks can make any venture easier and more fun. SO I bring you some thoughts on how to wear a poncho, cape, or wrap with layering.
In a way all three of these terms could be interchanged for the same item. Personally I think that the name of the item doesn’t matter. The important aspect is figuring out how to wear it and enjoy it.
Don’t forget, concentrate on the details of the item so you get more ideas of how to wear a poncho, cape, or wrap.
How to Wear a Poncho
Therefore, I decided to try this poncho with flare jeans. (There is a wonderful story about these jeans from Una Blue that I will share soon on the blog). Even though the jeans aren’t skinny jeans, I like how the poncho and jeans both flare out in their own way.
Insider tip: While the school of thought is always to balance out a flowy piece with a fitted piece, don’t get too caught up in the rules. Just like the time I paired culottes with an oversized tunic. Sometimes when you break the rules, you end up with something fabulous.
I added all kinds of extras to the look with a pin (which I’ve been more inspired to wear since we blogged about brooches), sparkly earrings, and even a faux fur headband.
Layering Tricks with Ponchos
The important factor to remember is that all ponchos aren’t created equally. Some have little sleeves, some are long, and they have all different kinds of necklines.
1-Under the poncho: Don’t always think you can only wear a turtleneck or top under a poncho.
A-I tried a button-up blouse even though the entire collar isn’t showcased.
B-Wear a sweater (as I did here). This was an “aha” for me because most times I think of sweaters as the outermost layer.
C-You could even layer a poncho over a jacket. Think of the poncho as a vest in a way.
2-Over the poncho: The hard part about layering over the poncho is how it’s not fitted, but don’t despair, you have options.
A-Wear your coat (as I did in today’s example) just over the shoulders. This really does keep you warm if you are just traveling from here to there. It does not work if you are trying to do things with your arms.
B-Layer a cape over your poncho. (I tried this in Sunday’s look, but didn’t like the color combination on Sunday’s look). But just because this one time didn’t pan out, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work with other things.
C-This is when a wrap or pashmina can be your friend. Think of it like the scarf over my puffer coat that I showcased here.
Coat: Beged Or-vintage~~Jeans: Kut from the Kloth but redesigned by Una Blue Jeans~~ Poncho: Banana Factory Outlet~~ Top: Forever 21-thrifted~~ Mule Boots: Matisse from DSW~~ Earrings: Pam Neri ~~ Purse: thrifted~~Headband: Express
How to Wear a Cape
Charlotte wore this handmade cape with lighter colors for a spring vibe (and because I told her to, haha). Her neighbor back in Denver had this cape that was made for her by her daughter, and after the neighbor passed away, my mother bought it at the estate sale. The black flower on the side was included on it originally.
If you would see this cape up close and personal, then you would realize that the material is black and white material. Yet your eyes see it as grey when you style it with the entire outfit.
You can see Charlotte wearing this cape with a more subdued outfit here.
Insider tip: We know our clothing intimately since we examine it right under our eyes. However, that’s not how everyone else sees the pieces. Make sure to look at your outfit and items from a distance. It’s especially helpful to take daily selfies of our looks for this exact reason.
Charlotte wore this with straight-leg jeans and her snakeskin booties. Because this cape is shaped the way it is, you could easily layer galore under it.
Layering Tricks with Capes
Remember all capes can be very different just as ponchos. In fact, the term can sometimes be used interchangeably.
1-Under the Cape: While these ideas aren’t much different than layering under the poncho, I’ll reiterate them anyways.
A-You can wear any kind of top under the cape even if it has bat sleeves.
B- Even cardigan sweaters work, like this turquoise cardigan. You’d never know it wasn’t a shirt.
C-Don’t forget a jacket/coat can be worn under the cape. (I did that here with my pink leather jacket).
2-Over the Cape: With a longer cape, like Charlotte is wearing, this might be a struggle. But here are a couple of ideas.
A-This is when your pashmina scarves come in handy. Don’t limit yourself to only wearing one scarf over it. Why not layer two or more?
B-Add in long gloves and all kinds of neck wraps and hats to keep warm. (Glove option seen here)
C-Don’t forget you can always belt the cape. This helps to make it tighter to the body and usually a tad warmer too. (2 belted examples here).
Insider tip: The other struggle with these flowy pieces is feeling overwhelmed in them. Don’t forget they are just material and sometimes can be manipulated to be worn other ways.
In fact, a cape is what I would consider the winter version of a kimono. And you’ve all seen me make a kimono more fitted with over 5 ways in this blog post and then 8+ ways in this YouTube video.
All of those hacks may not work with a cape, like Charlotte’s but you won’t know unless you try.
Cape: Handmade by a neighbor (story below)~~ Pants: Appleseed~~ Cardigan: Alfred Dunner-thrifted ~~ Turtleneck: Bobbie Brooks-thrifted ~~ Boots: A Tulsa~~ Purse: Mervyns
How to Wear a Wrap
What I love is how Lesley took a more casual, southwestern vibe for how to wear her wrap. Even though many times we consider a larger scarf like this to be for dress-up, it can work perfectly with a pair of jeans too.
Instead of throwing a jacket over her white blouse, she grabbed this blue scarf. She could just let it hang over her shoulders, or throw it over a shoulder to cover the entire look.
And it’s perfectly fine if all of the outfit isn’t covered. I like how the white blouse peeks out a bit under the blue wrap.
Insider tip: If you want the wrap to stay in place, using a pin or brooch is the easiest way to keep it from moving. When you take off the wrap, keep the pin attached to the scarf, and then you can tie the scarf on your purse for convenience.
Lesley added an Indian belt to the white blouse which you only see when she takes the wrap down, yet it can still be helpful to make the overall look be less voluminous. Then the hat is the cherry on top!
I borrowed this hat for an outfit to spruce up a classic print.
Layering Tricks with Wrap
We defined wraps as a large scarf that could be used to wear as you would wear a poncho or cape. I have seen these called pashminas, however, if you google it, pashmina is a type of scarf made from certain wool.
Being that the scarf is a long, rectangular piece of material, you have a ton of variability with it.
1-Under the wrap: Anything goes for this category since it’s free form.
A-All shapes of shirts could be styled under the wrap.
B-Bulky sweaters are perfect for this.
C-Don’t forget these can be styled over a coat or jacket (as my Charlotte did here)
2-Over the wrap:
A-You can always wear a coat or outerwear over your wrap especially if you pull it up and make it function as a scarf. It’s no different than when Charlotte wore this black wrap here but then as a scarf here. This is why scarves are SO magical because they can be tied, folded, and wrapped in various ways to suit the need.
B-If it feels too overwhelming, remember you can always fold it smaller or belt it.
C-You could easily layer an unstructured poncho over a wrap worn this way.
Wrap: Pashmina~~ Jeans: Charter Club~~ Top: H&M -thrifted~~ Boots: Franco Sarto~~ Necklace: Made by her daughter Richlyn~~ Belt: preloved ~~ Hat: Anthropology
The Ageless Style group has some new members. I hope you pop over to see their ideas for this month’s theme of how to wear ponchos, capes, or wraps. We don’t all post at the same time so make sure to check back if their post isn’t up yet.
Joanne ~ My Slice of Life
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