The Poncho: Your Secret Pajamas

how to wear a sweater poncho

ponchos for fall

sweater poncho for fall

Sweater Poncho: Yoon, found at Anthropologie // Cords: Old Navy // Boots: Miu Miu (old, similar here, here, and here) // Sunnies: Prada

I’ve loved the look of sweater ponchos and capes for years. One autumn a couple years back, I bought this gray and yellow plaid cape jacket that I liked, but ultimately ended up returning. Capes being a new thing for me and all, the bold print felt a little overwhelming, and I think I wrote off the look as one that was too daring for me. I’ll stick to pea coats, thanks.

But I was casually browsing in Anthro the other day, saw this poncho on a mannequin and fell in love. After trying it on (proof positive that you really can find some of your favorite pieces in an actual store!), I was hooked. What changed? I think my secret to feeling comfortable in a poncho or cape is that the color has to be pretty neutral — then, it feels like classic fall, and less statement making.

I’ve been living in my new poncho ever since. Who wouldn’t? You throw a t shirt on under and look insta-chic — whether you’re headed off to errands or dinner. When my family was in town a few weeks ago, I threw on the poncho with black skinny jeans and stiletto booties, and felt instantly polished, but still super comfortable. Ponchos, as it turns out, are the winter counterpart to summer’s maxi skirt: the secret pajamas of the season.

wearing a poncho for fall

brown suede booties

sweater poncho

Have you tried a poncho or cape yet? You should! I kind of want one in black and camel now too. Here are some pretty ones I found online:


{Photographs taken by Hitha Palepu

Leave a Comment


  1. 10.28.13
    meg said:

    LOVE this sweater! You make it look so put together and cute. ;)

  2. 10.28.13
    christin said:

    i have a few of the long drapey cardigan but i definitely need to jump on board this train!

  3. 10.28.13
    Alexa said:

    Haha. Right? Those things are so comfortable! Love yours!

  4. 10.28.13

    Love a poncho, they are perfect for Texas in the winter. I wore one all through my pregnancy too.

  5. 10.28.13
    Kayla said:

    You look adorable! I love Anthropologie!!


  6. 10.28.13
    brighton said:

    I’m all about finding those little secrets to feeling comfortable. Yes, please! And I LOVE this little poncho number you’ve got going on – it looks super cute (and chic!) too. Sounds like a WIN-WIN to me!

  7. 10.28.13
    Jess said:

    You have seriously amazing hair. How do you do it?!

    • 10.28.13
      Jess said:

      On a related note, this outfit looks totally wearable and comfortable while still looking polished. :)

    • 10.28.13
      Victoria McGinley said:

      Ha, thanks! To be honest, my mop is just kind of crazy on its own. I don’t wash it a ton and will put attempt to tame the natural waves when necessary with a curling iron (it’ll hold curl for days). I know the grass is always greener, but typically, I really wish I could just wake up with hair that I don’t have to do much too — it’s always kind of a mess, I think!

  8. 10.28.13

    Anthropologie constantly hits style right in the nail. Cute & effortless poncho!

  9. 10.28.13

    that pancho is pure heaven!

  10. 10.28.13
    dana said:

    such a huge fan of ponchos. this one is so cute – looks ggreat on you!

  11. 10.28.13
    Kodi said:

    I’ve never been convinced to try on a poncho, but this looks so cute on you I might just have to try next time I see one in store!
    grey et al

  12. 10.28.13

    This looks amazing on you! And your hair in this shoot is perfection. NYC agrees with you :)

  13. 10.28.13

    Your hair is amazing!!! And I love that poncho. I had the same rocky start with capes/ponchos but now you have me wanting to revisit them.

  14. 10.28.13
    Christine B. said:

    I love a good poncho and this one is great! I also love the reference to it being the winter’s maxi skirt. Such a good comparison :)

  15. 10.28.13
    noelani said:

    I’ve always had the same thought around ponchos and capes yet this seems to be effortless. Thanks for making me think about them again for the season!

  16. 10.29.13
    Lily said:

    Love the poncho here — usually it feels like such a stretch but it looks so relaxed and easy in this setting. I have those old Navy cords myself and love them!

    xo Lily

  17. 10.29.13

    Perfect look for Fall. Loving those boots, too!