How to Wear a Ruana Wrap

Kastle Waserman
by Kastle Waserman

Ever seen a big blanket-style garment in the stores and wondered, "what is that" and "how do I wear it?" It's most likely a ruana and a great addition to your wardrobe.

What is a Ruana

A ruana is a poncho-like outer garment native to the Colombian and Venezuelan Andes. The word is thought to come from the Chibcha term for "Land of Blankets." The item is indeed like wearing a stylish blanket cut to be wearable. Unlike a poncho, which typically has a hole in the middle to go over the head, the ruana is split down the middle and can be worn by draping over the shoulders. People unfamiliar with the term "ruana" often refer to it as a "wrap."

The material is typically thick for warmth, and the cut is versatile enough to let your creativity run wild, finding different ways to wear it. Keep one in your office or your car to grab whenever it gets unexpectedly cold because you can throw it on over pretty much any outfit from jeans and a t-shirt to dressy outfits. It's a great between-season item when the weather runs hot and cold. Another bonus is they are great if you just don't feel slim and trim and want a little more coverage. Ruana wraps hide all the trouble spots!

Don't have any ruana wraps in your collection. It's time to go shopping!

Warm, blanket-stitch ruana wrap

Statement plaid ruana wrap

Lightweight embroidered ruana wrap

Here are some ways how to wear a ruana wrap.

Wrap Your Ruana in Different Ways

Because the ruana wrap is a large piece of material worn over the shoulders, there are a couple of different ways to wrap it around your body for warmth and to create a stylish look. You can throw one end over your shoulder for poncho-like coverage. If you have trouble keeping it that way, attach a safety pin or sparkly brooch accessory. Another option is to tie the two ends together in a knot and let them hang in the front.

Add A Brooch To Your Ruana For Closure

If leaving your ruana wrap open in the front is just too drafty for you, you can always close it with a pretty brooch pin. Pick a larger size than you would for a lapel, so the clasp is big enough to go through the two ends of the material. Pick an area around your torso that feels comfortable, gather the two sides of the ruana, and push the pin through. 

Belt Your Ruana

Another way to keep your ruana wrap closed is to add a belt. I think this look always has a little Southwestern flair, so I like to pick a western-style or distressed leather belt and pair it with cowboy boots. Wrap the belt around your torso but let the ruana hang loose in the back like a cape. Then gather the front ends of the ruana to contain within the belt. This will also keep you extra warm because the wrap becomes like a coat.

Make a Statement with Your Ruana

A ruana wrap in a bold print can be the main focus of your whole outfit. Keep your main outfit in the background by dressing in a monochrome color like black, white or beige, then let that ruana fly! Drape a bold print over your shoulder and enter the room with drama! Nothing else is necessary.

Now that you know how to wear a ruana wrap, which one will you try?

See more of my looks in the  Stiletto City blog and my  Instagram page.


Items shown here are from my personal collection. Links are not sponsored or affiliated.

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