A Ruana in Cashmere

If you have followed me for a while, you know that I enjoy wearing ruanas. (There is no fringe on the ruana. The fringe you see is from the throw over the sofa behind me.)

The ruana originated in South America, and it is like a blanket that you wear. I have them in many incarnations, but this is my first cashmere one. It took about two seconds to decide on this piece since I adore this shade of cool light gray, and I knew it would go with everything in my closet.

You can wear a ruana in many ways, including belted underneath in back and over the top in front, belted over the entire piece, wrapped over one or both shoulders, tied in front, or with the panels straight down in front, to name a few ways. My favorite is with one panel draped across a shoulder.

The top I am wearing is the Simple Comfort in black from Covered Perfectly. When you buy two, you get the third free! You can find the top here. The pants are new by Eric from Stein Mart in the Boutique area. The shoes are old by Nine West.

I use accessories and jackets to change the look and attitude of the basics I wear almost every day. This way of dressing saves me tons of money and time. Tomorrow’s blog post will include examples for styling basics in several different ways to be appropriate for activities from very casual to very dressy. I will share a link to the most recent accompanying YouTube video as well. (You can watch me change clothes very fast!) The post and video have been in the works for a while, and I am very excited to share them with you at last.

  1. Fabulous look!
    I had no idea they were called ruanas – we just refer to them as shawls or wraps! Anyway, I do have two – one a lighter weight that I kept at the office if I got cold and the other is a heavier weight I wear outdoors over blazers or a leather jacket.

  2. Thank you, Susan for sharing your talent, time and thoughts for a simple, elegant life! Real life is not what we see in television commercials nor magazine pages! Be well! My only wish is to find your clone who covers COLD, FRIGID New England!

  3. Love these…..funny comment about picture though…when i first looked i though it had fringe on the bottom then realized it was from the throw draped over the sofa

  4. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post. Sounds like something I’ll definitely benefit from. Thank you for all your suggestions and presentations.

  5. I was tempted by a pale beige plaid ruana(I, too, wasn’t aware of the term), which I thought would look great with jeans and boots. But it was out of my comfort zone. Since I don’t like capes, I was concerned that the ruana would be in the same category. Should have tried it.

  6. Your solid column of black,popped with elegant silver jewelry and simple accessories always a beautiful look.My favourite suitable for many occasions.You are an inspiration fore sure. Follow many blogs but as always the best ideas are from you. Thank you elegant lady! Can’t wait for the video!

  7. You look so smart and dramatic in the ruana. On the other hand, I have never worn one (or a poncho) because I am rather narrow on top and a bit bigger on the bottom.
    Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s post and video – thanks for all your hard work in keeping us stylish!

  8. Hi Susan, thank you for sharing your life with us it is truely appreciated. I know you have answers this question before but can you tell me what size top you have. I am in the U.K. and want to order the correct size so avoiding any returns. I’m normally a U.K. Size 12 so think possible the medium would be the size to order. Thank you Susan.

  9. Love this look! I too have a couple of ruanas and really can compliment your outfit. Thank you so much for your styling tips!!!

  10. Susan, I like this. Is it possible for us five foot tall gals to wear something similiar? When I have tried these at the store I look shorter and square. Any ideas?

    1. For the proportions to be right for a petite gal, you might have to get a ruana hemmed so that more of your leg shows. Keep the rest of your look long, lean, and monotone.

      1. I share the same concerns as Lynne and Patty. I am wondering if you could perhaps do a post for petites, with what works and what doesn’t. Also, I would love to purchase some of the items you suggest, but they don’t seem to be offered in petite sizes. I know from experience that it doesn’t do to just shorten them. They end up looking like stove pipes…

        Thank you, Susan! You’re fantastic!!

  11. Just beautiful! I have trouble with pilling lately on my nice knits. What do you do Susan, or how do you buy knits that don’t pill? Michael Kors & Eileen Fisher both have pilled and I’m frustrated because they are not inexpensive. Any help would be appreciated. Blessings…

    1. I bought one of those little shaver gizmos for your clothes. I am not sure what else to do. I have some very expensive sweaters that have gotten the same pills after only a few wearings.

  12. I have a ruana that my parents got for me in South America years ago. However, it is made out of alpaca and I live in Florida! So it is carefully wrapped up on a closet shelf. I do think they are a wonderful addition in a soft knit like yours.

  13. This looks great on you and I think it would camouflage my wideness. Your boots are perfect with it. A real live and believable superwoman!

  14. This is a lovely look. I prefer the first picture where both sides are down. It is definitely striking. I am gradually changing my closet to resemble your suggestions for a basic wardrobe and adding accessories for accent colors. Love your blog and so glad I found it. You do a wonderful job. Thanks.

  15. I notice that you wear the ruana over a matching black pants and top. I like the look, but I’m wondering about wearing one with pants and top in different colors-I wear mine with jeans and blouse, or pants and a patterned shirt. In your opinion, is that too much?

    1. My favorite look of all is to wear one column of color and then to add an accent over it. I try to keep my outfits to just two but never more than three colors. It is a little like cooking, the more ingredients I add, the stronger the chance, I am going to mess it up.

  16. I very much enjoy your blog and look forward to every email. I love this ruana. would you consider doing a travel capsule for spring/summer.I am travelling to Europe in June and am having a hard time putting together a smart capsule wardrobe for a 4 week holiday that would suit a 55 year old.

    1. I always take a small capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and matched according to my needs. Please take a look at the blog post being published later today. It will help you plan your wardrobe needs for your trip. Have a wonderful time in Europe! I wish I were coming along!

  17. I love those. I’ve never heard anyone here calling them a “ruana”. We just say ” wrap “. I’m going to start calling mine ” ruana “. That sounds much more special.

  18. Thank you for sharing your tasteful and lovely ensembles! Your blog is refreshing for this 60 something adapting
    slowly to retirement and aging…nothing prepared us to age gracefully. Thank you for showing us the way.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.