Tunics are one of the most versatile wardrobe pieces you can own, especially in warmer months. With the variety of different lengths and fits available, here is a quick tutorial on how to wear each tunic to flatter you the most:
**Remember, as with everything, a tailor is your best friend when it comes to tunics, as they many times need to be nipped in a bit or shortened to fit YOUR body, not the hanger!
If you are pear shaped, look for tunics with side vents (to prevent the tunic from clinging to thighs and rear), a slight taper at the waist and a nice wide neck opening to broaden your shoulders. Also, since your heaviest area is below the waist, make sure your tunic either falls above your widest area, or below, but not right at it. Consider pairing with a long chunky necklace to add more “bulk” to your top half in a flattering way.
With an apple shape, avoid any kind of clingy top. We want to focus on your neckline and legs. Make sure your tunic is not too long and that it has a nice V-neck, which helps direct the attention up to your face! And, a smaller pattern and darker color does help the illusion that you are smaller on top. Remember, you want the focus UP, toward your face. Avoid a long chunky necklace with your tunic and instead, wear earrings or a shorter necklace.
An hourglass figure looks better, ideally, in a more fitted tunic. That said, we all love a loose tunic, and you probably have a great figure. Just make sure that it fits properly and is not too big. For a more fitted look, however, this one from J. McLaughlin is really nice:
For the full figure, what you don’t want is to wear a shapeless tent. For this body shape, it’s all about the balance between tunics that are too clingy and too loose. Make sure your collar bone and wrists are visible, as these features are always slimming to show off. A smaller print is the way to go, as well. If you want to cover your bottom, make sure the tunic is long enough. Here is a great option from Lands End, but I am not a fan of the pockets. (Why are they there?) Luckily, most people won’t notice them! This shape, pattern and fit are all great.
If you have a rectangle shape, I am about to say something that you may not like: I don’t think this body type looks good in most tunics. For a straight shape, you are trying to create curves and a normal ol’ tunic just doesn’t do that. That said, some exist. Just look for the tunic that buttons up and has a belt to create the illusion of a curve in at the waist:
If you have a petite frame, be aware that many tunics are long. Make sure to purchase a shorter tunic and one that is not too “cute.” Empire waists can easily be a no-no, so it’s best to just pass them up altogether when it comes to tunics. You don’t want poufy sleeves or empire waists to make you look too “little girl.” A long tunic may make a great dress with or without a belt. Or, have the tunic shortened. Be on the lookout for shorter tunics like this one:
Other tunic rules:
- Pair a loose tunic with slender bottoms: straight or skinny jeans, not flared or baggy. A more fitted tunic can go nicely with a boot cut pant.
- You can wear shorts with a tunic! Just make sure we can see those shorts beneath that tunic (i.e the shorts need to be longer than the hem of the tunic) and if you have great legs, this is a great way to show them off as shorter shorts with a loose tunic can be a great combination.
- Adding a belt to a tunic can look great, but then forgo a necklace.
- Billowy tunics can be held in by a shrunken jean jacket and/or a heavy necklace, or belt.
- I’ve never seen a tunic look good with a skirt. If you want the look of a tunic with a skirt, just buy a tunic dress.
- If you pair a long tunic with bermuda shorts, wear wedges, as you’ll need to visually add more height to your lower leg to balance the length of the tunic, plus the length of the shorts, all of which is happening above the knee.
- A tunic is a classic style that is forgiving for many women to wear. Embrace it!
One more tunic:
This one by Claridge + King gets high marks, as the hem is curved for a flattering shape, the mandarin collar stands tall, the V-neck is not too deep or too shallow, the sleeves show off your wrists and it’s fitted just right, so as not to be a tent. Plus, the longer tail is nice. With two colors, stone and olive, this tunic pairs nicely with white jeans and will carry you from summer into fall.
Have a great weekend!