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:

Before we get into tunics for each body type, here is our current favorite for all figures:

tunics

This bright and vibrant tunic dress is easy, breezy, comfortable, ideal for summer and with an open front and sleeves that can easily be rolled up, this will work for any body type. Find it here for $98. Image: Anthropologie

**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!

Pear:

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.

tunics

This simple Tommy Bahama tunic is ideal for pear shapes because it has side vents (to prevent the tunic from clinging to thighs and rear), a slight taper at the waist and a nice wide neck. Find it here for $135. Image: Tommy Bahama

Apple:

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.

tunics

Lilly Pulitzer always has a variety of tunics for sale and this one fits the bill for the length and v neck, while at the same time not being clingy or too boxy. Find it here for $88. Image: Lily Pulitzer

Hourglass:

An hourglass figure looks better, ideally, in a more fitted tunic. A sleeveless option is also great for an hourglass figure. For a more fitted look, however, this one from Anthropologie with a sweet and feminine bow is really nice:

tunics

Those with hourglass figures should opt for a more fitted tunic. This option is great because its sleeveless (ideal for layering!) and tied at the waist with a sweet bow. Find it here for $120. Image: Anthropologie

Full Figure:

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 collarbone and wrists are visible, as these features are always slimming to show off. A smaller print, vertical stripe or solid shade 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:

tunics

Those with fuller figures should look for a tunic that shows off both your collarbone and wrists. This option is great because its not too clingy or boxy, is the right length and has flattering vertical stripes. Find it here for $96. Image: Nordstrom

Rectangle Shape:

If you have a rectangle shape, it can be especially hard to find a flattering tunic. For a straight shape, you are trying to create curves and a normal ol’ tunic just doesn’t do that. That said, there are tunics out there for you! Just look for the tunic that cinches at the waist to create the illusion of a curve in at the waist:

tunics

This Anthropologie tunic is flattering for rectangle shapes because it slightly cinches in at the waist and features a deep, open neckline to add some curve to your straight body shape. We suggest pairing this with high waisted denim or shorts and slightly tucking it in to create an even curvier illusion. Find it here for $88. Image: Anthropologie

Petite:

If you have a petite frame, be aware that many tunics are long. Make sure to purchase a shorter tunic. Empire waists are not ideal for your body shape, so it’s best to just pass them up altogether when it comes to tunics. 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:

tunics

Those with a petite frame should opt for a shorter tunic or one that can easily be tucked in to white denim or jean shorts. Find this one here for $98. Image: Anthropologie

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!

Have a great weekend!