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Turn the Tunic Unique: Explore What to Wear and Pair With Tunics

What to Wear with Tunics
The tunic, in itself, is an extremely versatile piece of clothing. All it needs is a bit of creativity to be transformed into an everyday masterpiece. Find out what your options to wear with tunics are, and exploit them as you wish.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017
Fashion fads come and go. And women religiously keep an eye out for 'what's hot' and 'what's not'. Fortunately, there's this one item that has stood the test of time and proved to be one of the best wardrobe essentials ever. The tunic.
This hip-length garment, when teamed with an item befitting its simple grace, can make a woman look and feel so happy with herself, it's not an exaggeration.
For everyone looking for the scoop on how to make the most of a tunic, here are the answers. You can wear a tunic...
... as a Dress
Woman in brown tunics
Picture yourself in this situation: you're on a weekend trip with your girls, and you win invitations to a special dinner party by the hotel you're staying at. You've packed only a few casual clothes (among which is a tunic) and have no time to go shopping now. What do you wear? Simple! Just wear the tunic as a dress! The length being so comfortably perfect, it can easily be glammed up by being worn as a dress. Your body type will influence the fit and fall of the tunic as a dress, but not to a very dramatic extent.

How to Get it Right
  • Length: Make sure the tunic is not too short. Thigh-high is the perfect length.
  • Accessories: Accessorize heavily, but not gaudily. If it's a plain tunic, then chunky jewelry and a big bag will give you a chic Boho look.
  • Shoes: A plain tunic looks best paired with high heels. It adds a touch of class and style to the tunic. If your tunic is printed and loud, plain, flat pumps should do the trick.
  • Hair: If you're wearing the tunic dress in the day, leave your hair down, and up if it's night-time.
... with Tights
Tunic with gray tights
Ah! One of the most perfect and inseparable partners of a tunic is a pair of well-fitted, calf-length tights. The best part about tights is that you can experiment with so many different colors! Take the image alongside, for instance. You may not think you can pull off a pair of red tights, but just look how well-balanced the red is with the tunic. Team bright tights with dark tunics, and vice versa. Pull on a jacket (long or short) over it and complete the outfit with a pair of calf-length boots! Runway, here you come!

How to Get it Right
  • Length: When wearing tights, the tunic should be at least hip-length, period! A bit longer may also do, but shorter simply won't!
  • Accessories: A scarf knotted stylishly around your neck will look great. Wear minimal jewelry, so that the focus is on the outfit, not on the accessories.
  • Shoes: If you're tall enough to carry off a pair of flat pumps with tights, then nothing like it. For the petite beauties, calf-length boots perfectly complement the rest of the outfit.
  • Hair: Let it down loose or scrunch it up in a stylish low or side bun with pretty clips.
... with Leggings
Red tunic with black tights
Another favorite when it comes to pairing with tunics is leggings. This combination is something that almost any body type can pull off. For all you ladies with the 'thigh issues' (and who doesn't have THOSE!), here's a combination that will fantastically camouflage our problem areas. Say bye-bye to stocky thighs and a big hello to stylish legs balanced with a flattering hip-length tunic!

How to Get it Right
  • Length: As mentioned already, anything below the hip is perfect to be paired with leggings. Go for a fit and color that flatters your body type.
  • Accessories: You can easily accessorize a tunic with leggings. Either wear big earrings and a long string of beads or keep your ears, hands and neck completely bare. A nice wide belt, in a strong color will be all you need if you choose to do the latter.
  • Shoes: Ballerina pumps, all the way! IF you can pull off a pair of heeled ones (lucky you), go right ahead!
  • Hair: Again, completely your choice, but hair left open will definitely look better. If you have wavy hair, then just leave it be. If it's straight hair, then tie it up in a high ponytail.
... with Jeans
tunic with black jeans
Bravo! You team two of the most versatile pieces of clothing when you decide to wear a tunic with a pair of well-fitted jeans. When pairing jeans and a tunic, the fit is of utmost importance. The jeans must be well-fitted if the fabric of the tunic is billowy and thin. This is generally the case and main purpose of a tunic. However, if you have the body (tall and slender), you just might be able to carry off a pair of flared jeans with a fitting tunic as well. Tears of joy!

How to Get it Right
  • Length: Hip-length tunics are the best. The looser, the better.
  • Accessories: If your tunic is printed and of a flowy fabric (which means you're wearing slim jeans), limit the accessories to a pair of hoops dangling from your ears and a charm bracelet. If your tunic is in a single pastel shade, you can up its style quotient a bit, by tying a colorful scarf like a high belt. Don't fold it, simply place it around your waist and tie a perfect side knot.
  • Shoes: High-heeled peep-toes! How gorgeous they'll look with your slim jeans and a flowing tunic. For that matter, even a pair of classic black, pointed stilettos will do the trick, so your call.
  • Hair: A side pony tail or side braid will be the perfect hairstyle for jeans with a tunic.
... with Shorts
Tunic with black shorts
For all of you willing to experiment a bit with your look, how about combining a tunic with a pair of shorts? It is a perfect way to get rid of a 'nice girl' image in case you have one. Simply don a pair of shorts in a neutral shade like black, white, brown, khaki or beige, and team it with a pastel colored tunic shirt that brushes your thighs. You can even team a pair of denim shorts with a gray-white or off-white, off-shoulder tunic, bunched at the side or at the waist. It'll look hot, stylish and sexy, all at once!

How to Get it Right
  • Length: Make sure the length of the shorts is not equal to or lesser than that of the tunic. The whole appeal of the outfit will be lost and you run the risk of committing a faux pas (however shallow THAT may sound).
  • Accessories: One of the best ways to style this outfit is to have a broad belt tied above your belly. You may want to keep the jewelry to a minimum, but you can always use a bright scarf for that dash of color. Don't forget a pair of huge sunglasses.
  • Shoes: Flip-flops are the best footwear item that go with a pair of shorts, but make sure you don't wear something that looks like you just stepped out of a bathroom! Use stylish ones with embellishments to give the look a posh touch. If you simply must wear boots, then make sure they're at least calf-length, or even better, knee-high. Note, you must have the legs to pull this off, or it can end up looking disastrous! Needless to say, the color must contrast that of the shorts and tunic. Play it safe and wear a pair of black ones if you can't decide.
  • Hair: For a look that says 'naughty but nice', scrunch your hair and have it pulled into a messy bun. For a classy, yet coquette look, tie a neat bun with a few bangs on one side, or a French roll.
... with a Skirt
Tunic with black skirts
Yes, unconventional is indeed going to rule the roost this time around. You can even wear a tunic with a skirt if you can manage it. All you have to do is, pick a short, form-fitting skirt, tuck in your tunic and bunch it up at the waist. Team this with a smart jacket, knee-length socks and flat shoes, and your back-to-school look is complete. If you're not sure about the high socks, you can always put on a pair of sheer or fishnet stockings, or even a pair of colored leggings underneath the skirt.

How to Get it Right
  • Length: In case of a skirt, you can go for a slightly shorter tunic. Just make sure that when you tuck it in, it does not appear too bunched up.
  • Accessories: A headscarf, long beaded necklaces/s, hoops in your ears, some funky bracelets, and a pair of sunglasses is all you need. Tie a belt at your waist to conceal possible fabric bunching.
  • Shoes: Flat shoes with a strap going across the foot are the best option when you wear a tunic with a skirt. Otherwise, calf or knee-length boots are other options you can explore. If all else fails, put on a pair of cute flip-flops and have fun!
  • Hair: Keep your hair tied for this look, unless it's unbearably cold, in which case you can leave your hair down, wear a scarf around your neck and a cute woolen beanie.
Tunics undoubtedly look best when paired with any of the options for bottoms given above. If you're thinking about wearing it to work, wear one in a muted shade with a pair of well-fitted trousers, and make sure that the jewelry is simple. A tunic is one of the most flattering and essential items that every woman's wardrobe simply must have. If yours doesn't, go right out and get some!