How To Find A Poncho That Flatters Your Body

cable knit poncho step hem jeans fall outfit newport beach

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past several years, you know I am completely obsessed with ponchos.  You would think that I’d stay away from this very challenging silhouette (or lack thereof) but it’s quite the opposite!  I practically live in them during the fall and winter. 

Either you love ponchos or you hate them.  They are definitely hard to love unless you know what to look for.  Ponchos come in all different shapes and styles.  It can be quite overwhelming which is probably why most of you just steer clear.  But that’s why you have me!  I try to cut out the guessing game so you know what works and what won’t.  Easy peasy!

cable knit poncho leopard bag distressed jeans fall outfit

See full post HERE.

There are three things I look for when shopping for ponchos.  Proportion, shape and length.  If you can get all three right, then it’s a winner.  Get one part wrong and well…you may look ridiculous.  I rarely see petite ponchos so it basically boils down to trial and error.  Keep in mind, not all ponchos are created equal.

petite friendly poncho white jeans ankle booties leopard clutch

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I think the biggest fear for most gals (especially petites) is making sure the poncho doesn’t overwhelm you.  I typically gravitate towards more fitted and tailored silhouettes on my body however ponchos are my one exception.  Proportion is key and one size does not fit all (obviously).  I think of ponchos as an oversized sweater.  It should sit nicely on your frame without being too bulky.

pink poncho leopard clutch white jeans ankle booties fall outfit

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Some ponchos have arm holes, some have small sleeves and some just go over your head.  I have every type but if i had to choose, I prefer one with arm holes or sleeves.  Okay I take that back, my new favorite one HERE doesn’t have arm holes or sleeves and I love it…so I guess I take that back (lol).  It just depends and if it fits and looks good, then it doesn’t really matter.

camel cape poncho leopard clutch white jeans ankle booties fall outfit

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When you’re petite, it’s all about the length.  I think this is where my biggest struggle is.  Most ponchos are designed for taller gals.  My ideal length for ponchos would hit right below the crotch or the top part of my upper thigh.  I love the diagonal cut on my new one because it shows off more leg on one side and gives the poncho some shape.

cable knit poncho step hem jeans fall outfit newport beach

Poncho: Karen Scott Envelope Neck Poncho (size S/M, petite sizes HERE) | Jeans: Topshop Jamie step hem jeans (size 25×28) | Shirt: Ann Taylor long sleeve tee (similar HERE) | Shoes: J.Crew leopard flats (similar HERE or HERE)

As soon as I posted this outfit on Instagram, the poncho became available in petite sizes (thanks @lilcanuck for letting me know).  I’m wearing size S/M regular above and it fits me nicely.  I ordered the petite size to compare and I’m guessing it will fit slightly better.  Will keep you posted.

I wore this outfit just the other day for a play date with my girlfriend and it was seriously so comfy.  Highly recommend!  FYI – the regular size HERE (the one I’m wearing) is 40% off but petite sizes HERE is now back to full price (also 40% off, they changed it on me overnight).  Hopefully you were one of the lucky people to snag this poncho for under $24 when I posted it on social media. 🙂

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  1. Such a great post, Annie! I absolutely love your style and particularly loved this post. As much as I’ve wanted to love ponchos, I’ve found those I’ve tried in the past to be baggy and shapeless, thus unflattering on my 5’4, slender build. The tips you’ve provided are fantastic and I was able to pick up 2 of the Karen Scott asymmetrical ponchos you recently suggested. It’s the most flattering one I’ve yet to try and will flatter my small, but growing baby bump in the fall/winter! Thank you so much! 🤗

  2. Awww Katherine! Yay! First, congratulations! How exciting! These are perfect for your growing baby bump…I wore my other ponchos throughout my pregnancy with leggings and flat boots – so comfy. LOL