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The Statement Poncho feat. Steven Santander

December 2nd, 2013

Beards, Braces & Bowties” featuring Steven Santander” was one of my favorite features this year.

It helps that Steven is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and his attention to detail is through the roof. He’s an architecture student turned artist and designer who has an interesting knack for looking in-your-face in the most tasteful way.

For example, here he shares a little of his South American roots with three ways to wear a statement poncho.

“This poncho was my mother’s. She got it custom made in Ecuador when she was around my age. She worn it on and off for years but it’s been in a closet for a long time. I found it a few years back and have been wearing it every Fall since. I have a few other ponchos, even had my own custom made, but this is by far my favorite. It’s remarkably warm and everyone who sees it loves it.”

Here’s to beating the cold and standing out from the crowd.

1. Sharp & Flowy


Photography shot with the Canon EOS 70D digital SLR camera, with Dual Pixel AF technology and built-in Wi-Fi

“Who says you have to wear a dressy overcoat over a suit?  This grey outfit acts as a blank canvas for the poncho which is full of color.  Since the suit and all the pieces are slim and streamlined, I can wear the poncho any way I like.  The bulkier, the better.

As you can see, I’m keeping the beard strong for No Shave November”.


We often talk about the aesthetic appeal of contrast; casual x formal, high-end x affordable, etc.

Here Steven introduces another great contrast: linear x abstract. The clean sharp lines of the tailored suit versus the flowy uncontrolled drape of the poncho create an intriguing visual story.


“As much as I love color (as you can see from my last feature), a good monochromatic outfit can do wonders.

I bought this grey wool suit off-the-rack and never had any alterations done except for the hem of the pants, which I did myself.”


Breaking out those mean double monks again. Funny how much green-er they look here. Sometimes color can be relative to context.

  • Vintage multi-colored Poncho ·
  • Light Grey Wool hat made in Ecuador ·
  • Grey Wool suit by John Barritt ·
  • Grey Silk Knit Tie by Jey Coleman ·
  • Grey Suede Monk Straps Designed by Steven ·
  • Grey Leather Gloves by Thinsulate
  • · White Dress Shirt by Banana Republic

White Broadcloth Shirt

2. Urban Cowboy


“A poncho is great because it can serve as a scarf, a jacket, a blanket, a head wrap, basically anything you need it for.  This look, and this way to wear a poncho, is loosely inspired by The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.”


“I don’t always wear jewelry but I have always been fascinated by it. My first experience with men’s jewelry was through my grandfather.  I remember seeing him in old family photographs wearing well-tailored suits with some big gold Cartier rings…

I really enjoy working with my hands and jewelry is a great medium to do that.  It’s a good break from the strain of being on a computer all the time.  As a designer, I believe that sometimes you just need to get down to work with your hands and take a break from the technical aspect of design.

In this look I made the necklaces, the leather bracelets and a few of the silver rings.”

  • Light Grey Wool hat made in Ecuador ·
  • Vintage multi-colored Poncho ·
  • Necklace, Bracelets and half the rings made by Steven ·
  • Blue Denim shirt by Paper Denim & Cloth ·
  • Black leather belt made by Steven ·
  • Blue Jeans by Levi’s 511 ·
  • Black Monogram Boots by Banana Republic

3. Color Story


“This is my go-to Fall look…. As Dan mentioned in my previous post, I’m all about mixing textures, fabrics and colors. You can find nearly every color of the poncho in this outfit.

I found this jacket at a thrift store recently and haven’t stopped wearing it since. The flecks of orange, blue and gold are fantastic and complement a lot of my outfits. It also didn’t need any alterations, so of course I had to buy it.”


“I prefer my ties wide and silk knit, which isn’t terrible easy to find. When I came across this big gold one, I hit the jackpot!

I don’t usually care about brand names, but I have to admit I love this Paul Stuart tattersall shirt.  I received it as a birthday gift a few years ago and the colors are amazing, perfect all year round.  The hints of orange, green, and magenta always seem to compliment the rest of the outfit.”


Lastly, have you tried cashmere socks?

  • Light Grey Wool hat made in Ecuador ·
  • Vintage multi-colored Poncho ·
  • Thrifted brown wool sport coat ·
  • Green, orange, and pink tatersall shirt by Paul Stuart ·
  • Beige Silk knit tie by Turnbull & Asser ·
  • Green pants bespoke designed by Steven ·
  • Brown Leather tassel loafers by French & Stanbury (Benchmade in England Kilgour) ·
  • Yellow leather gloves with cashmere lining Vintage


Thanks for reading and special thanks to Steven for participating!

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Westley Dimagiba