How To Wear Ponchos, Shawls, And Ruanas For Fall

Hello, Darlings!

Today is all about how to wear ponchos, shawls, and ruanas for fall. I love ponchos, shawls, and ruanas and have many in my closet. Especially in the fall and winter, they are basically color and warmth rolled into one. Plus, they give off a diva vibe that I can appreciate.

What Is The Difference Between A Poncho, Shawl, And Ruana?

Ruanas can sometimes be marketed as a blanket ponchos
Ruanas can sometimes be marketed as a blanket ponchos
Featured in BB Dakota Poncho From Fab Fit Fun

Ruana: This actually came as a surprise to me but Ruana’s are originally from the Andes region of South America. The word ruana comes from the ‘Chibcha’ meaning “Lord of Blankets”. They are usually square or rectangle-shaped with a head hole and a slit from that hole down the middle to the edge. They’re very thick, soft, sleeveless and are usually knee-length. Sometimes marketed as ponchos or blanket ponchos it can get very confusing.

Shawls are great to keep you warm on a cool morning
Shawls are usually long and rectangular; almost like a scarf.

Shawl: Shawls are usually long and rectangular; almost like a scarf. The material is often lighter. They are thrown over your arms loosely to cover your lower back or can be worn with more tension to cover your upper arms and upper back.

Ponchos can a layer of fun to an outfit

Poncho: A poncho is fairly similar to a Ruana except it is shorter and does not have the slit. They usually drop to about waist length and are often made from wool and other warm materials. Most Spanish-speaking countries say poncho. The cold regions of Colombia and Venezuela say ruana. 

You may even hear ponchos described as a Sarapes (or serapes – depending on where you’re from). They are also sleeveless with only a hole for your head. They originally come from Mexico and are very blanket-like and warm.

In the end, they are big old pieces of fabric that are meant to keep you warm.

How To Wear Ponchos, Shawls, And Ruanas For Fall

How To Wear Ponchos, Shawls, And Ruanas For Fall

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Wear A Dark Color Basic Layer To Create A Slimming Effect

Ponchos, shawls, and ruanas will add bulk to an outfit so you want to make sure that the base layer is a darker color so your eye is drawn in. Black is an excellent choice. Choose a black top and bottom to create the “column of color” that will make you look slimmer and taller.

Black top and pants create a column of color to make you appear taller and slim.
Black base layer top and pants create a column of color to make you appear taller and slim. The ruana is from Target.

Add A Scarf To Draw Attention To Your Face

Many ponchos, ruanas, and shawls are solid colors and can be quite boring. So adding a scarf can help add additional color and texture to your outfit as well as bringing attention up to your face and away from the bulk.

If you choose to add a scarf, make sure the material of the scarf is a lighter weight or oblong shape. Infinity scarves in a lighter weight fabric are good choices too. Stay away from blanket scarves as the poncho itself is a blanket. Drape your scarf lower to create a neckline.

Snake Print scarf adds an additional element of interest to the outfit
Snake Print scarf adds an additional element of interest to the outfit. The gray ruana is from Target and snake print scarf from Banana Republic Factory
Plaid Print Scarf Adds The Finishing Touch By Bringing Additional Color And Texture
Plaid Print Scarf Adds The Finishing Touch By Bringing Additional Color And Texture

Add Bold Statement Jewelry To Draw Attention To Your Face

Ponchos, ruanas, and shawls are a blank canvas. Adding bold statement jewelry is a fun way to change the vibe from a casual look to a more glamorous statement. Avoid longer pendants as they draw attention downwards.

A Bold Statement Necklace Changes The Vibe Of This Chenille Poncho
A Bold Statement Necklace changes the vibe of this chenille Poncho to a more glamourous look
Rhinestone statement necklace with silver evening shawl sets the mood for an evening wedding or special event
Rhinestone statement necklace with silver evening shawl sets the mood for an evening wedding or special event
A Pendant Necklace brings attention up to the face and is perfect for a v neckline top
A Pendant Necklace brings attention up to the face and is perfect for a v neckline top
Silver Collar Necklace is a great choice for accessorizing a ruana
Silver Collar Necklace is a great choice for accessorizing a ruana

Let The Poncho, Shawl, Or Ruana Be The Showpiece

Leopard Print Poncho Add Drama And Fun
Leopard Print Poncho Add Drama And Fun
Tiger Stripe Ruana Is The Showpiece Of This Outfit
Tiger Stripe ruana is the showpiece of this outfit.
This ruana serves as a shawl too.  No need for added accessories
Featured in the post Wrapped Up In Leopard
This ruana serves as a shawl too. No need for added accessories
Featured in the post Wrapped Up In Leopard
Faux Fur Trimmed Shawl is definitely a showstopper
Faux Fur Trimmed Shawl is definitely a showstopper
Featured in Black Shawl With A Punch Of Red

Other Ways To Wear Ponchos, Shawls, And Ruanas

Make sure you take into account your body type when you style a poncho, shawl, or ruana. For Pear Shaped Women, belting draws attention to the hip area and may not be the most figure-flattering option. If you are a Straight, Carrot, Or Curvy shape, belting is something you might want to play with. It is the HOT trend this year.

Other Ways To Wear Ponchos, Shawls, And Ruanas

Shopping For Ponchos And Ruanas

Shopping For Shawls And Wraps

With cooler weather on the horizon, ponchos, ruanas, and shawls are a great alternative to sweaters to keep you warm.

Now, still, LOVE my sweaters too- need help to pick out the best sweater for your body type? Check out Wardrobe Basics- Sweaters For Layering And Warmth

About Nifty 50 Fabulous

Embracing and loving the life of an empty nester, I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger currently living in Birmingham, Al. I enjoy spending my time with friends and family including my sweet miniature schnauzers Gracie and Emma.

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