The long button down shirt wafts in and out of fashion. We saw it make a huge statement in the 80’s and then it disappeared. It came back in the 90’s sans shoulder pads, but disappeared again. It’s been an on and off trend during the noughties too, especially since the resurgence of tunic length tops. I don’t know if the tunic shirt will ever be as popular as it was back in the 80’s but it’s making a strong comeback for 2010.

I fully understand the challenges with classic, hip-length button down shirts because they are hard to fit. As soon as they work on the bust, they’re ill-fitting everywhere else. Or they’re too short, too long, too constricting, too boxy, too matronly, or just too blah. But hear me out because the new roomier button down tunic (or tunic shirt) might change your mind.

Tie-Belt TunicMedium Body ShirtLongline Shirt

This style is not as voluminous as the painters shirt, but not all that tailored either, meaning you’ll get away with a boxier silhouette. In fact that’s how the style is supposed to look. Leave it free flowing over skinnies or cigarette pants, adding heels and a statement necklace. Pop the collar and scrunch up the sleeves for instant textural sass. Or add a belt for extra waist definition. If you’re allergic to belts, layer over a fitted item like a jacket or cardigan for more structure. Empire cut tunic shirts are also an option if you prefer torso definition and volume on the tummy and hip area.

A well made tunic shirt can be worn casually, smart casually, incorporated into a biz casual ensemble and take you to a semi-formal event. I’m going to show you how this week so stay tuned.

Shirt TunicLongline Pintuck ShirtLong Sleeve Shirt

I’ve been a button down gal forever. I think of the item as a vehicle that enables other items to shine and not just as a wow-top that stands alone. So needless to say, I adore the tunic shirt because it looks crisp and has endless versatile layering possibilities. Remember that you don’t need to choose white either. Some colours look more crisp than others, but most colours in this silhouette are fab.