How I wear a winter white poncho without looking larger

Pamela Lutrell in winter white poncho

I am feeling pretty fierce in this look, and want to share how I wear a winter white poncho without looking larger than I am. 

Things that usually don’t go together are poncho, white, and flattering.  But, I submit to you that they can be friends.

Leonisa Leggings and a poncho on over 50 feeling 40


  1. I have started sizing down on ponchos and ruanas.  This means that I am avoiding ONE SIZE FITS ALL, for those garments are the least flattering on a larger figure. I look better in a S/M than a L/XL.
  2. Whenever possible, purchase a poncho with sleeves you can scrunch up to the elbow…this will always help to decrease volume and slim down your style.  
  3. Most of you know if you wear volume on the top, then go skinny on the bottom. To go out, I do have a longer black tee underneath, but I love this with my LEONISA leggings and short boots. I like to ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE, and my legs are a positive.
  4. For a white poncho, I like a classic Black and White look with the black on the bottom which is also slimming.  I also popped a little color with a red plaid bracelet from a Goodwill San Antonio treasure hunt. 



Pamela Lutrell in 2011 on Over 50 Feeling 40

This is me at age 58 in 2011, feeling sassy in my boots and about to head to my high school teaching job.  But (I say this with humility), ten years later, I like how I am aging and staying youthful and confident. 

It has been a combination of healthy eating, exercise, learning how to dress, skincare, hairstyle,  and joy… which keeps me feeling younger than I am. 

I will write again soon about accentuating the positive…many of you know my negatives…but I try my best not to dwell on them.

I am a large woman who battles up and down weight issues, but following simple guidelines helps me to dress in such a way that I can look slimmer than I am.  

Sadly, this is a past Stein Mart purchase, so I cannot link to it, because they have closed everything down.  However, there are many great options out there right now (all price levels) and here is a slideshow for your consideration.


A reminder, the leggings are Leonisa.  Booties are Rockport.

Anyone else, have tips to share for slim looks in a poncho?  Please share…remember the shopping links in the tab at the top of the page…and as always…..


By Pamela Lutrell


  1. This is a beautiful look! The detail on the poncho really sets it apart. That’s such a good tip about pushing up the sleeves, because it really does make a difference. Also, good advice to size down in these oversized pieces. Black and shades of white always looks classy and appropriate!

  2. One more helpful style tip is to wear long necklaces (with/without a pendant) which help the body look not only leaner but taller. Don’t be afraid to go for a necklace length which hits a few inches below your bust line (to keep the necklace strands from constantly nestling between “the girls”, wear a camisole under your shirt/tunic). Over the years I’ve collected many longer necklaces and switching them up has extended the life of outfits to give them a fresh look. I’ve tried to do this with scarves but they haven’t worked for me – just adds more to my bust which I try to minimize. When possible, long necklaces look great with ponchos!

  3. You look fantastic! A joyful start and good tips on how to wear ponchos that allow some arm showing — I love their comfort but never sure on look

  4. I like how you are aging too! I think it’s especially important to get a good haircut, and do what we can (whatever color we choose) to keep it healthy and shiny. This is my favorite kind of post: how to wear things. I appreciate that you are shopping your closet for looks, instead of accumulating so much. This is a look that any of us who want to can duplicate.

  5. Thank you, Karen. I love this poncho, though, in my climate I have only worn it twice. But, I will keep it even just for a few times.

  6. Thanks, Linda, for the encouragement. I try to get a keratin treatment on my hair about every six months. It helps to keep it shiny and tame (less frizz)

  7. Do you have any tips for how to wear a look with volume on the top when you can’t wear skinny or straight leg pants? I have heavy ankles and calves. The bottom opening of most skinny pants is 2-3 inches smaller than my ankles, and the calf width of even a straight leg pant is too tight. Leggings are not flattering as they cling to the leg and emphasize the heaviness. Wide calf boots are too narrow, so that look is out, too. So I always wear boot cuts, which is a better balance for my pear shape anyway. But the fashion “rules” say tunic tops (or this beautiful poncho) shouldn’t be worn with a wider leg pant.

  8. Hi Kate, I believe wear what you feel confident wearing. If you feel confident in a wide leg pant and a top with volume, then by all means forget the rules and wear it. Decide what you want to say with your style. Select five adjectives that you want to communicate with what you wear and when you look in the mirror ask yourself are you communicating those adjectives. If you are…then go with what you are wearing! Go with the bootcut. Fashion rules do not work for everyone and I use them as guidelines and tips…not rules. Any time you can decrease volume when wearing a poncho then take the leg as small as you feel comfortable wearing. I love the look of a bootcut jean with boots! Remember I said to accentuate your positives…only you can decide what is your positives are…don’t worry about anything else.

  9. Love the detail on your white poncho and Agree with going with a legging and short boots! You do look younger and happier in recent pics so keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working! ! You inspire us!

  10. Pam, you are aging beautifully! Love the poncho on you. I am short and have yet to find one I feel comfortable in, but will keep trying. Also, I know this conversation is over, but it took me awhile to process and think about: your suggestion of choosing a word for the year resonated with me. I have never done that before, but decided to give it a try. I struggled with many words over the last few days but RELINQUISH came to the top and stayed there. So that is my word for 2021. I will break it down into the areas I wish to relinquish such as how I need to relinquish control in some areas, relinquish unhealthy eating, relinquish perceived “needs” as opposed to “wants”, etc. I think I will try to focus on one area a month. Thank you for the suggestion, and for letting us accompany you on your life journey. You are affirming and supportive and I look forward to what you have to say every day. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  11. Again Pam, you look just beautiful. I appreciate what you have taught us about sizing down on ponchos. Thanks for the good advice.

  12. You are welcome, Joanne. I wish I had done this sooner…but at least I know to do it now.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Sharon! I like your idea to focus on one area a month…then it doesn’t get too overwhelming.

  14. Your look now radiates joy & confidence, & you have inspired my to try a slimmer fitting pant even though I am not slim by any means. So many times, I have seen leggings that were more like tights, & I feared that I would like a stuffed sausage in them. You introduced me to Talbot’s jeggings, & they are my new favorites

  15. Thank you, Pam. I have read your posts about 5 adjectives, but I have never tried to select 5 of my own. I need to stop the negative self talk to really be successful identifying my style and how I want to present myself.. I did a pretty good job before I retired, but I’ve lost myself since I no longer need a professional wardrobe.

  16. Hi Kate, thank you for being vulnerable here…I will address this soon and discuss the 5 adjectives again…it helped me so much and it is still helping me as I transition my wardrobe like you.

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