What exactly is a ruana, anyway?

Pamela Lutrell in Chicos Ruana on Over 50 Feeling 40

Hope all of you are enjoying a fun “end-to-summer weekend!” I wanted to express some confusion about one of the garments on the Would You Wear It display yesterday.

Over 50 feeling 40 with Would You Wear ItThe garment I am wearing and on the mannequin is described as a ruana…which really surprised me.  I looked up the traditional definition of ruana…

“A ruana (possibly from Spanish ruana “ragged” or Quechua ruana “textile”) is a poncho-style outer garment native to the Colombian and Venezuelan Andes.”  I am accustomed to finding them in the style of a wrap or large scarf.

This top is not like a poncho or large scarf or cape.  It was more like a long tunic shirt jacket.  I agree with most of you from yesterday’s post, in that I do not really care for the print.  For me, it is the flowers mixed with the animal print that I personally do not care for.

However, I do like the fit and style of the long shirt and would perhaps wear this if it was a solid color and not a print.

Pamela Lutrell with Chicos necklaces on over 50 Feeling 40

I just wanted to call attention to the description.  We need to be careful with descriptions when purchasing on line in order to receive what we think we are receiving.  Anyone believing this to be a traditional ruana…would be disappointed.

Does anyone else know why this might be called a ruana…I am open to learning something new!  


Almost every clothing retailer has clearance marked way down, and special savings on new collections.  Here are the links again that many of you have requested and thanks so much for shopping with them.  I will be here tomorrow for Reality Check Monday…with a health update and a little frustration…but despite it all, 




Lands End







Home Depot


Bed Bath & Beyond

Best Buy




Taking Juice Plus+ for seven years on Over 50 Feeling 40

There are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering Juice Plus+ whole food capsules.  Please read my story and information HERE.




Pamela Lutrell and Goli

Another way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!




Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40

All natural, plant-cell technology skincare



By Pamela Lutrell







  1. I think of a ruana the way you do, and think it’s probably interpreted different ways. A Kimono is a T-shaped garment, and a poncho is open with no “sleeves”. I guess the rest are seen as ruanas. Whatever they’re called, i do like and wear them, and the one you are wearing here, which I agree looks more like a jacket, is beautiful and looks great on you. That necklace is perfect with it. I guess no matter how they are labeled, if we like them and they look good on, they are worth considering for our wardrobes!

  2. IMHO it is being described as a Ruana because it appears not to have a ‘set-in’ sleeve (difficult to tell from the photo though), there is no closure, is worn as an overlay plus best described as a casual fit which by definition traditional Ruanas ‘share’. (Note: keyword is ‘share’…. ☺.) -Brenda-

  3. Pam, I love that top on you! And they should get you to help them style their mannequins…you look much better in that outfit!

  4. As a former language teacher, and student of various languages, I believe what has happened is a simple case of word appropriation. While the garment may have elements of a ruana, poncho, and kimono, the fashion folks have put it forward as a ruana. This name will stick if over time we come to a linguistic agreement and commonly refer to it as such. Also, most modern iterations of both nouns and many verbs become cognates across many languages. The word computer, for instance, takes on very little change across the world and can be thought of as part of a global language. Television, cellular, hamburger – all easily understood with minor alterations across the world. This is because they are not ancient words belonging to old, established languages. What we call something that is new, a modern invention, will have commonality across many tongues. Ruana, while old and specific, is nonetheless up for grabs as a “new” word and will either grab hold or be replaced if not put into the common lexicon.

  5. Whatever it’s called, I really like the way you styled it, Pam. On the mannequin the outfit looks a bit tawdry and top heavy, but on you it is elegant. I think the difference is the color matching, wider leg pants instead of slim crops.

  6. You are welcome Pam and did realize it has sleeves but they may ‘not’ have been created using separate pattern pieces and then ‘set-in’. In other words like a ‘traditional’ Ruana only one piece of fabric (or two being front ‘n back depending on style) may have been used in its construction and the sleeve shape was created by stitching. Hope that makes sense. -Brenda-

  7. OK, Brenda…I get it now…thanks for a further explanation! I am learning things today.

  8. i agree with a couple of people who have already commented…that ruana looks better on you that the manniquin…love the olive green on you, its like its made for you. im not sure i could carry the necklace…but i where i wouldnt have taken note of the ruana, after seeing it on, i might…even if it is an animal print.

  9. Hi Pam! I feel like some of the confusion for these particular items is that they are two separate things. I checked the Chico’s website and it looks like the piece on the mannequin is described as FLORAL ANIMAL-PRINT RUANA WRAP and the piece you are wearing is called POISED BLOOMS TUNIC. They certainly are very similar. Like you, I love the fit of the tunic you are wearing but am not a fan of the print.
    Feels like we all need to be super detectives to purchase clothes online. Always a bit of a mystery! Have a great holiday tomorrow!!

  10. Way to be a great detective! This is vital information which should be easier to figure out…I guess I could’ve asked a sales associate. Thanks for clearing up the mystery!

  11. Ruanas, as pictured in many shopping sites were articles of clothing to “hide” behind, as they are mostly shapeless and thin and do nothing for one’s figure, my opinion. I love the outfit you are wearing today, so well put together.

  12. I looked up ruana the first time I saw the word. Ultimately, I decided the fashion industry had simply assigned a word that is catchy and that there were no hard and fast details as to what it is. Then I looked across a couple of sites and found it used interchangeably with kimono etc and decided my initial take was probably enough definition — something colorful that flowed in the manner of a tunic, poncho, or kimono. I don’t think this adds much to the conversation, but my take away is that I generally like them and look at garments described as ruana, kimono, etc as interesting and desireable.

  13. To be honest, I’d never heard the word “ruana” until I started reading your blog, so of course, I think of it the same way you do! Given the definition, I definitely wouldn’t call the garment shown a ruana. I’d probably simply refer to it as a topper. Either way, I agree with those who have already said that it looks much better on you than on the mannequin!

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