This Week I Love …

Already Pretty outfit featuring Frye Harness boots

… ponte knit. In the photo above, you see me wearing a pair of ponte knit riding pants that I snagged on eBay. I’ve long been a devotee of leggings for weekend wear, but now that I’ve entered the world of ponte, I’m wavering. This fabric has all of the comfort and flexibility of jersey, but it’s THICKER! Key for freezing cold Minnesota weather, yet also versatile enough to take me well into spring.

Ponte is a double-knit interlock fabric that has stability and firmness in addition to flexibility and softness. This means it can be used in dresses, blazers, and more structured pieces and hold its shape but still maintain comfort and give. Best of both worlds, no? Here are a few ponte pieces that have caught my attention of late:

Target ponte side-tab dress, $24.99

Torrid Black Zip Sleeve Blazer, $39.98

ISDA & CO Ponte Slim Leg Pant – $81.40
(These are very similar to mine!)

Newport News Ponte Knit Girlfriend Blazer- $99

Gap ponte pencil skirt – $59.50

ASOS 60s Waisted Ponte Dress – $43.03

Newport News Ponte Wide Leg Pants- $79

ABS Ponte Motorcycle Jacket – $118.80

Are you a fan of ponte? Which pieces in ponte do you already own? Are you on the lookout for more? Like any of the selections above? Can you recommend any shops or online stores that stock ponte on a regular basis?

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  • http://www.misfitsvintage.com/ Sarah

    Ooh the Asos dress and the Newport wide leg pants are FABULOUS!

    As are your boots, Sal.

    Sarah xxx

  • http://www.befabulousdaily.us Cynthia

    That Boden jacket is ponte? I passed up on its cuteness (there’s PURPLE) because the description says it’s a linen weave. Is there linen ponte? ZOMG. It will be mine.

    I am totally on team ponte, although it’s not all-season where I live. Too dense for summer.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      OH BALLS! It’s totally NOT ponte! I mistook something in a returned search. So sorry, all. I’ve removed the Boden blazer. Dah.

      • http://www.befabulousdaily.us Cynthia

        Dang. I was really hoping that someone had invented linen ponte. Hey, maybe I should patent that or something.

  • http://www.unefemme.net deja pseu

    I’m a huge fan of ponte knits! Eileen Fisher has some nice pants and the occasional jacket in ponte, and Not Your Daughters Jeans currently have several styles available. (I really like the 5-pocket “Ally” style, though it does bag a little at the knees after a couple of wearings, requiring a wash to reshape.) They’re a happy medium for me between softness and structure, and most can be machine washed!

  • http://Northeastchic.wordpress.com Doreen

    That green Target dress is very cute and what a great price.

    I have a pair of Joe’s jeans in Ponte Knit and I love, love, love them. They’re tight, but no too tight and thick enough to not require a long sweater/tunic to cover the butt. Zero unsightly bulges or bumps.

  • http://www.tobeunfettered.com Mary

    There are some pieces in the Dana Buchman for Kohl’s line too–they had some pants (with a seam in the front) in dark heather gray and black

    I have a pair in dark gray from BCBG that I bought at TJ maxx for $15–steal!

  • http://mariepilgrim.blogspot.com/ MarieP

    I don’t know why, but I just don’t like ponte. I’ve tried because it seems so sensible and so many pieces have beautifully classic cuts. But I just don’t like the way it feels. I guess that’s just me.

    • Katharine

      No, I’m somewhat on board with you there, MarieP. It feels so very polyester-ish. I have a couple of ponte knit blazers (which I don’t wear much, since the entire small section of “blazer” in my closet is neglected) and three pairs of ponte knit pants which I keep putting on, and then changing for my better pairs of cotton-lycra leggings, because the ponte pants always make my legs look especially fat and stumpy to me.

      And I’m really not a fan of the retro (or retro-style) ponte knit dresses. They make me sweat horribly.

      • zora

        you should maybe try pontes from some other companies. I have noticed that pontes can have dramatically different fiber content: I like the ones that are 90-95% cotton because they really feel like jerseys. There are a lot that are mostly poly, or poly-cotton blend that are yuck. And there are also a bunch with viscose, or viscose poly blends. i’m not a huge fan of those either.. but the cotton… mmmmmm, wearing pajamas to work.. lovely!

  • http://www.futurelint.blogspot.com FutureLint

    I don’t think I’ve ever touched or tried on anything ponte, I’m going to have to find some to see if I like it!

  • Jean S

    I sew, and I just ordered more ponte. It can be a stunning fabric. But there are some less-than-fabulous versions out there, so beware.

    • Alexia

      Where did you order it?

  • Amber

    Okay, how the heck do you pronounce ponte? I keep wanting to say “point”. Is that right? Or is it pon-tay? pointy?

    Merona has a slim leg ponte pant on the sale racks in store right now, and probably still at target.com.

    • JennyDC

      Just ordered the green ponte dress and a couple of pairs of the Merona ponte pants from Target. I am a bit concerned about the potential lack of breathability of these fabrics, but figure they might be okay for indoors. My office is currently colder now than it was in January!

      I love the color of that dress and really hope it fits!

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Amber, I was saying “pawnt” in my head, but was recently corrected. I guess it’s “pon-teeeee.”

      • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie

        Yep from my retail days we were taught it is pawn-tee :)

        • Amber

          thanks! I’ve been wanting to hunt some ponte pants down but didn’t even know how to ask for them!

  • http://www.sheilaephemera.blogspot.com Sheila

    I didn’t know what the heck ponte was for the longest time – but I think I have a skirt on in it today!

    You look fab in that grey duster, Sal!

  • http://chickensoupforthedorkysoul.blogspot.com/ Vanessa

    I ADORE that ASOS dress! I need it in my life.

  • http://youlookfab.com angie

    Ponte is a life saver for so many of my clients, especially in pants and blazers. So comfortable and non-restrictive! Personally, I’m a woven gal but I’m grateful that the fabric exists!

  • http://www.twobirdsboutique.blogspot.com two birds

    oooh! that ASOS dress is fabulous! i am also in love with your boots. they are great!

  • Nomi

    I dunno, I’m on the fence. On one hand, ponte can be comfy & stretchy. On the other hand, there’s still that “old lady from the 1960s in polyester doubleknit stretch pants” vibe that I remember only too painfully from clothing wars with my mother all those years ago. I do NOT want to be that old lady. I’m waffling whether to return these pants which I bought after reading a posting in “Manolo for the Big Girl” — see http://tinyurl.com/5t5ovzs.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Hah! See, I don’t have those associations at all, so it never even occurred to me that ponte garments might feel old-lady-ish to some. Then again, I adore insane polyester floral dresses from the 70s, so maybe I’m not the best gauge.

  • http://corpgoth.blogspot.com/ Trystan

    Hmmm… I’m not so sure on ponte. It’s a bit heavy for me & something about the feel reminds me of 1970s double-knit polyester. I know it’s not, but I’m old enough to have that childhood flashback! When I want a structured garment, I prefer a non-stretch, & when I want stretch, I like something with 5 or 10% lycra.

  • Jen

    Question for the uninitiated about ponte: can you hem/alter it? This is crucial since I’m very petite and I often need alterations.

    • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie

      Yes, though it is stretchy so you would need to use a serger machine. I have had ponte pants hemmed at the local drycleaner

  • http://www.darlingpetunia.blogspot.com Susan

    I’m still on the polyester-double-knit from the Seventies bench.

    • JennyDC

      I’m telling myself that magical modern fabric technology makes it different. I, too, remember double-knit pants. And in fact entire pantsuits!

  • http://sewing4myself.blogspot.com/ Brenna

    I am very much stuck on knits. I can’t believe I haven’t tried wearing any yet! Love all the pieces you picked out, particularly the dresses.

    One question: Is ponte always a synthetic? I wonder if they make a poly cotton blend of interlock knit…or would that lack the weight and structure?

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Ah! See my response to Diana above.

  • http://www.thedollsong.blogspot.com dollsong

    I have the Target dress in black and I absolutely love it. It is such a versatile piece–works well for work, church or dressed down with boots and a cute jacket for every day wear. Ponte knit is a wonderful fabric. I think it beats the heck out of rayon/poly, which tend to accentuate everything I would rather not showcase.

  • http://meganmaedaily.com/ Megan Mae

    I adore that green dress. But like others are saying, the dense knit is way too hot for summer. At least summer in the humid south. It looks like it’d be great for layering up in winter/fall though.

  • Diana

    I’m undecided about ponte. I like it in principle (knit fabric that doesn’t bag out and holds its shape? yes, please!) but in practice I am scared of it because it is almost always polyester. I have had some very bad experiences with polyester, particularly in tighter fitting things that touch the skin (as in, I had some poly ponte pants that made me so itchy I felt like I had insects crawling all over my legs and I wanted to rip my pants off in the middle of the street), so I am very leery of anything containing a high percentage of polyester. I also don’t think of poly ponte as all-season since I find polyester very hot and sweaty, particularly when it is thick like ponte generally is. So, probably no pants for me, but I might be willing to try some jackets or other outerwear. Does cotton or rayon ponte exist? Is that even possible?

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Oh no! Evil Itchy Pants are not to be borne.

      My ponte pieces FEEL so much like cotton, that I always assumed they had some cotton content, but now I’m not so sure. A quick Google search brings back dozens of products, so ponte cotton blends exist … though I imagine there will always be SOME synthetic content.

      • Dee

        I like ponte, for all the reasons listed already. I have some pants and a skirt, mostly from Chicos, one of my favorite stores anyway. I am not sure if they are made of a blend fabric, but I dont think they are 100% poly becasue that would be too hot for me. I stay away from 100% poly, in general. Now I am curious and will go home and check! The one negative is the pants do bag out at the knees before the day is done, and that is true even if they are skinny or legging type pants. I would not wear them in summer– too hot in my city. Ponte does wash well, and I just dry for 10 min in dryer and hang up.

        • zora

          there are a lot of ponte garments that are viscose, or viscose/cotton blends, i think those breathe better than the poly blends.

          • http://sewing4myself.blogspot.com/ Brenna

            I wonder if some ponte fabrics are sneakily classified as double knit. If so, I have some wool blend double knit that breathes nicely and just ordered some ponte that is a poly, rayon and lycra blend. I’m gonna give them a try!

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie

    Oh I LOVE me some Ponte! I think it was originally called Ponte de Roma knit, a sort of weave but has been shortened to just be ponte. There’s so many variations, some can be shiny polyester old lady, others can look just like wool melange.

    Thanks for writing about this Sal, it’s such a versatile and forgiving fabric, and I love that it’s machine washable and really holds dye for a rich saturated colors :)

  • http://schmatte.blogspot.com lap

    I love ponte, and the blend that Target uses in their Merona line is nice and formidable. I feel like the heft is just enough to be more business than it feels, because it’s lovely to be wearing something that feels as comfy as a hoodie, but has more structure than slop. I love french terry too, which is another fabric than can be dismissed as Bingowear as well.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      “Nice and formidable” is a fabulous pairing of traits, I think. ;)

  • Dina Jones

    Ponte is short for ponteroma for those looking to wanna say it LoL.

    It is VERY easy to sew with and a great intro to knit fabrics for the novice sewing enthusiast. So yes – very alterable fabric for those who would need to alter RTW clothing. Like all fabric, there is good ponte and there is, well, crap ponte. I love to sew dresses with it.

    Sal – your blog is inspirational – coming from a very tiny woman who sees herself very negatively, (my inner critic is one very loud b**ch) – I read your blog over and over again.

    dmj in kc, mo

  • http://economyofstyle.blogspot.com/ Psyche

    I sing nothing but ponte praises. I have worn ponte knit dresses, skirts, leggings, and I might soon be wearing a ponte knit blazer because I love that jacket from Newport News.

  • http://stilldark.wordpress.com/ Sal K.

    Hello! :)

    I simply have to say hello, name-sister! :)
    I saw one of your comments on another blog (Megan Mae’s) and thought I’d pay you a visit.
    I’m not a “Sally” though – I’m using my initials – SAL – nickname since 7th grade. ;)

    Sending greetings from Germany,
    Sal

  • rb

    I had a ponte knit twinset type thing in the 1990s that I loved literally to death. It was more like a jacket with a matching shell with hems, not ribbing, and both layers were tunic length – did I mention it was the 1990s? They were color-blocked too – ivory on top and a slimming black lower 1/3.
    Unfortunately the 1990s were also the decade I discovered pesto.
    There are only so many times a dry cleaner can get pesto out of ivory ponte knit.
    Sad. :( I miss my pretty ivory/black thingies.

  • http://fashionforgiants.blogspot.com Gracey, Fashion for Giants

    I’m on the fence about ponte. At least for pants. I think I’m too tempted to wear them as actual pants, instead of like leggings with my bum properly covered and I don’t want to unleash that on the world. And yet… so tempted.

  • Vive

    Ponte aside, I want to say that your ponte riding pants/Jones New York cardigan/Frye boots combo may be my very favorite of yours, and that goes back to when you first posted it. I’ve returned to it to drool over those boots, which one of these days I’ll certainly spring for, and I love the combo of sophisticated and rough-around-the-edges of the outfit. Yes.

  • http://librarygirl9.blogspot.com/ Erin

    I have about 5 pairs of ponte pants, bootcut, that I wear to work. I’m a size 20, and I HATE the way dress pants look on my super curvy figure. But ponte is figure flattering (as long as I cover my tummy!) and super comfy, even though I have sensitive skin. Like everyone says, there’s good ponte and bad ponte.
    Here’s what I buy: http://tinyurl.com/4ghwwym

  • http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Blogs/Scout/ katie d.

    LOVE ponte. Have a couple Gap dresses in ponte. Totally low maintenance, yet holds shape, feels like pajamas, looks dressed up. My only complaint is that sometimes it pills.

  • Katie

    LOVE Ponte knit. LOVE! But I have a difficult time looking for good quality ones as the ones I come across end up looking “cheap” after a few wears. For someone with a challenging-to-dress body type, I find knits to actually be friendlier and more forgiving (and easy to breathe!)

    I would like to learn where you ladies purchase ponte knit stuff. Would definitely like to look into better quality ones!

    • Laura

      Try Tina Turk or Rachel Roy or Ted Baker. Great stuff and some are in sale now!

  • http://aspalife.blogspot.com Shannon

    I am all about ponte. I have two Banana Republic sheath dresses in ponte that are great for work but are super comfortable. I also love my ponte skirt from J. Jill. I tried some J. Jill ponte pants, but they really weren’t very flattering. I think I’m going to try some from Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. Also, I love that Target dress. Too cute!

  • Megan

    A friend shared your blog with me a few weeks ago in response to my whining that I was sick of all my clothes. I’ve since found a lot of inspiration here and I love that ASOS dress! Does anyone have experience ordering from ASOS? The discussion board on their FB page is FILLED with complaints about poor customer service and a Google search for “ASOS review” turns up more of the same. Say it isn’t so!

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Welcome Megan! I’ve ordered from ASOS twice, and although my purchases were certainly slow to arrive, I returned one and had absolutely no problems with customer service at all. In fact, everyone I’ve talked to loves ordering from them … but maybe I’m getting too small of a cross-section. Hmmm.

  • Erin

    I’ve only run into bad ponte, apparently. It makes me look fat, lumpy, and sweaty. And yes, way too hot for even spring in the South.

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  • Ellen

    Thank you for defining Ponte Knit, which is suggested on the envelope of a dress pattern I recently bought.

  • Lexi

    Hi. I just wanted to let you know that Victoria’s Secret has beautiful lace back jacket made of this knit some people may want to check out.

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  • http://www.penelopewhiteley.com Penelope Whiteley

    Hi there!
    Interesting post …
    I have tried using ponte in a variety of garments lately … a dress, a skirt, a couple of tops and two different styles of pants. I found it ‘kneed’ and ‘seated’, which is not what I wanted!
    Did you have the same problem?
    Ponte is a polyester knit and I’m wondering if the problem is related to the amount of spandex or elastane in the fabric.
    I’d be REALLY grateful to receive some comments or thoughts …
    Thank you so much.