How To Wear A Poncho

One of the funnest things about fall is the opportunity to exchange a coat for a poncho.  Because these little wonders come in many different forms, I thought it would be helpful to begin with a definition.  A poncho, in the most traditional sense, is a blanket with a slit in the top for your head.  Their purpose is to keep the body warm and protect it from the rain.  They have been worn by Native American peoples of the Andes for centuries.

Fashion has taken the idea of a traditional poncho and expanded upon it.  Often times, wraps (a garment made from blanket or sweater material that you simply wrap around your shoulders) are also called ponchos, even though they are really not.  A true poncho will require that you pull it over your head to wear it.  Also, modern day ponchos sometimes have sewn in sleeves or snaps that you can use to create a sleeve.  These are helpful because they keep the poncho in place on your body, preventing it from sliding around.


Ponchos looks great worn over a collared shirt, as they usually have a round neck or v-neck design that pairs well with a collar.  Because they are usually flowing and loose, they look best paired with skinny jeans or pants.  I also really like them worn with skinny jeans tucked into tall boots, as this style produces a slim leg to balance out the extra fabric of the poncho.  It is fun to wear them with an outerwear scarf and hat; ponchos just seem to lend themselves to that cozy, sit on your front porch on a cold day with a blanket and warm beverage kind of feeling.

The major downside to a poncho is that it doesn’t work very well worn under a coat in the same way a normal sweater would.  As a result, they can really only be worn on days when its cool but not cold.  For those of you in warmer areas, a poncho might be the only coat you need all season.  For us here in Wyoming, we have about a two month window in the fall when we can wear one.  Despite their limited use, however, they can be worn during this season each year, so they are a worthwhile investment.

Since we are firmly in poncho season here in Wyoming, I wanted to encourage my blog readers to try out this fun style this fall.  You will feel fashionable and trendy with one on – I guarantee it!

How To Combine Prints


One of the things that intimidates us is knowing how to combine prints.  Most of us avoid it, but we shouldn’t.  Prints help give depth and interest to our outfits and combining them is easier than you think.  The simple rule is: you can combine two different prints if they both have the same colors.

Consider the floral print combined with the jacket in the picture above.  Because the jacket has a simple line print that is on a grey background and accented by blues, it lends itself well to being combined with the much busier floral print in the Vera Bradley makeup case.  Ultimately, though, what makes it work is the fact that both the jacket and the makeup case have the same dominant dark and light blue.  Even if the jacket was plaid, if the colors in both prints were the same, you could combine them.

You could, for example, wear the cross body purse in the picture with the jacket if you paired the outfit with a solid grey slack.  The neutral grey helps balance the prints. Smartly combining prints in this way allows you to create totally unique outfits that express your personality.  Play around with this a little in your own wardrobe and break out of the one print only rut.  You’ll be amazed at what great outfits you create!

Don’t Match Your Denim

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These mannequins in our window demonstrate pairing chambray denim tops with darker denim jeans.  The Vera Bradley handbags add yet another blue into the mix as well as a punch of print to complete the whole look.

Do you remember the days when your denim needed to match?  I do.  I can recall spending inordinate amounts of time with a customer trying to find the jean that would match her denim jacket.  Pull your hair out frustrating, it was.  Thank goodness we are in a denim trend now when the coolest ladies have denim that doesn’t match.

So here is my fashion advice for the season.  First, get yourself a denim shirt or dress!  It is a must have item this season.  Next, pair that puppy with the opposite flavor of denim.  For example, pair dark denim with chambray.  Also try heavily stone washed denim paired with a clean denim with no stone washing or whiskering.  One of my favorite looks this season is to combine white denim with blue denim.  I’m fond of chambray with white for a washed out look or dark denim with white for a strong contrast; the choice is yours.  Wear your jeans cropped to ankle length and your shirt out.  Add a pair of Chuck Taylors, a great handbag and a cute hat, and oh mama – fabulous summer style!

How To Wear Long Vests And Jackets

One of the fun new trends this season is long vests and jackets.  When I say long, I mean at least mid calf if not almost to the floor.  It’s a great new look, but it can also be intimidating to know how to wear them.  If you feel a bit unsure, hopefully this blog will help you get up the courage to try!

IMG_2432One of the things I do at market is watch what the buyers are wearing.  Here in western America, we don’t get too edgy.  Trends are dialed down to a more conservative version. I have learned, however, that when I see a significant portion of women sporting a similar trend, it will be one that makes it to good old Wyo.

When I was at market in February, I watched carefully to see the different ways women were wearing this trend.  By in large, most women paired their long cardigans and vests with jeans and boots.  Several of them added a floppy hat to the look too, which was darn cute!  Some manufacturers picture this trend with shorts and boots, but I think that look is harder to pull off than jeans.  It is edgier and of course takes great legs.  Have no fear, however, if you can’t quite see yourself wearing a long vest and shorts.  At 44, I can’t see myself doing it either!  The jeans option is very viable and would be age appropriate from 30 to 50.

This style is very Bohemian so when you are putting your look together, keep this in mind.  As you can see in the picture, there is a crocheted version as well as a longer fringed style. I paired the one on the right with a denim shirt to bring out the denim blue tones in the cardigan but also because denim shirts are an important item for spring.  You could add a white jean to this fringed cardigan, denim shirt combo and have a stylish spring outfit.  Keep in mind the length of this jacket.  If you are short, you will need to add some heels to get you up off the floor!

The vest on the left is actually easier to pair up.  Wear it over a tee shirt or blouse in a natural tone and then add a washed out denim capris, boyfriend or ankle jean.  Add some Bohemian sandals like a wrapped ankle wedge, some BoHo jewelry and a fringed purse.  You’ll be one hot mama!

Not in Wyoming, but like what you see? We’re adding new items to our online store daily!  Check it out here. 

How To Wear A Denim Blouse

I just returned from market, and I was astonished by the predominance of denim!  Ladies, the denim blouse is a must have this season.


Get this style from Elan on our online store at

Indeed, denim is so popular, companies are going out of their way to make it distinctive. You do not have to settle for your old denim blouse!   Look for hombre styles that fade from light to dark or vice versa.  Love plaid?  Get a plaid denim shirt like the ones pictured below.

But how do I wear them, you ask?  It’s so easy to look stylish! Pair a faded denim blouse with a white jean for a great casual summer style.  Wear a dark denim blouse with black jeans for an edgier and dressier look.  Pair any colored denim blouse with a white jean and crop the length to an ankle.  Add a cute tennis shoe, and you’ll be ready for whatever summer throws your way!   Don’t fret about matching denim.  The look is to NOT MATCH!

Best of all, you can wear your denim right into fall because they will be just as popular.  If you invest in any piece this summer, make it a denim blouse!

Making Rose Quartz Work In Your Wardrobe

With Pantone’s announcement of Rose Quartz as the color of the year, you may be wondering how to wear such a soft and gentle shade of pink.  I am dark haired and look much better in bolder colors.  As a result, I usually avoid pastels.  What I love about this shade of pink, however, is how well it pairs with darker shades like brown and olive green as well as with creams and whites.  

When pairing Rose Quartz with olive green, it is essential that you stay consistent with either warm or cool tones.  Rose Quartz it usually a slightly warm color, so you will also want to choose a color of olive that is also slightly warm.  Avoid strongly warm greens that have a predominate yellow undertone.  The other fantastic aspect of putting Rose Quartz and olive green together is that the pink adds a feminine aspect to the more masculine olive green, especially in utilitarian or military themed items.  Military continues to be a strong trend in spring so you should see plenty of military vests, tanks, and light jackets out there.  Try putting a Rose Quartz tank under them!

Rose Quartz is also beautiful with creams, khakis and browns.  Apply the same advice of matching the level of warmth, and you can’t go wrong with any of these colors.   You can also pair Rose Quartz with its counterpart color of the year Serentity blue.  This feels less earthy to me than the other choices, but remains a viable option.  What I’ve done here is to put an ice blue blouse under the Rose Quartz sueded vest and then pop the two with with a Serentity blue purse.    It’s a nice combination with both soft and strong elements.  

  So have fun this season exploring these new colors.  You may just find your new favorite !