I have to admit that I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with ponchos. On the one hand, I love the cozy, throw it on, insta-chic, out-the-door aspect of them. On the other hand they can also look sloppy and render a wearer more fabric blob than fab. After much thought I've come to the conclusion that, as with many fashion-related problems, it comes down to the issue of proportion. Yes, proportion makes or breaks most outfits and so one must try on and try on some more until the right poncho is found.
On a petite frame, I'd opt for less blanket, more lightweight sweater like the red and black striped version or the embellished black turtleneck. On outgoing types, bolder patterns work with you and can work well for those of us with a little more height and weight as well. This patchwork version is over the top and fun, while the embroidered blue and brown might be a good choice for evening.