I'm on the fence about them. I am short so the length can't be too long or I just look like I'm wearing a top that is too long - it has to look deliberate. Also has to be with quite slim pants or it just makes me look big all over and I don't wear leggings so I am picky about that too. Truthfully I'm not sure if the tunics I have are actually tunics or just long tops. And I just can't do the dress over pants look, it's too much thickness on an already thick body - no, no, no.

I have a smaller weekend wardrobe, and they just seem complicated to shop for.

I would like to wear a tunic, but then I don't like the idea of the bulk, trousers or leggings and a fabric over, seems very bulky.

I also like to widen my shoulders and the fabric around the hips, needs more balance around the neck.

BUT when I see the Cos windows, I think I could be drawn into to a good try on of tunics, with trousers or jeans underneath

I have a long torso and extremely short legs that are heavy to my ankles. Traditional length tunics and even hip length tops give me unflattering proportions. Same with low rise pants. But to my eye, dresses worn as tunics over cropped pants totally work. I love wearing this combo because it is less fussy than a shirt or top with a skirt or pants. I almost always half tuck to give me a longer line, and they get fiddley after a trip to the bathroom.

Thanks, Angie for introducing me to dresses over pants!

I love them, especially if they have slits/vents at the sides. They cover my midsection and thighs, they're comfortable when they're knit, and they fit my casual lifestyle.

@Angie: I wear my tunic with both heels and flats, and am happy with both, though heels always look slightly better.

I wear my tunics mid-thigh. I think that is the most flattering to me but I really don't think about it. What am I suppose to wear under the tunic??? I have leggings but I feel like I am off to a Yoga class so no thanks. No skinnies. They do not fit. I will spare you the details. Bootcuts? I don't wear heels.
Also, I am not crazy about my legs. I would prefer to bring focus to my upper half. Not that it is amazing but it is my better half.

It is a big NO from me. I feel shapeless and huge in them. Or maybe I never met the right one, but I was also not really looking.

I went for a walk and missed this! I have not read all the comments yet, only a few, and will have to go back to read this long and no doubt fascinating thread in detail, but first, I was going to say, Angie, when have you even seen me in a tunic?

A traditional tunic (mid thigh length, horizontal cutting) emphasizes the shortness of my legs. I don't mind my legs (though I know it may sound as if I do). Honestly, though -- they are fine -- I showcase them in skinnies without a thought! It's the proportion that gets me.

I do like an asymmetrical tunic. However, it can be very difficult for me to find one that has the right proportions -- they are often longer on me than they are meant to be. I got the EF asymmetrical sweater in Petite and that was a huge help. I expect to have that piece for quite a while. I have worn it about 10 times this winter and it is a look that is growing on me.

I see, though, by skimming the responses, that your definition of a "tunic" is much broader than mine, encompassing what I call short dresses. I'm like LaPed -- for me, a tunic is something that falls (more or less) mid - thigh and if it is long enough for me to feel comfortable in it in summer without tights, I consider it a dress.

Angie, your examples -- I have tried to wear a knee length dress with cropped trousers or jeans. It's a really great look and I love it --- theoretically. Proportionately, it is also much better on me than a mid-thigh tunic...(just as DonnaF says) though my dress has to be a bit shorter than yours in your photo, and I have to wear a heel.

Interestingly, in my recent outfit lab thread, people tended to like my versions of dress over pants LESS on me than they liked dress alone or even dress with tights. So it can't be my imagination -- something about it works less well for me! Admittedly, I wore flat boots in one photo. But still.

Another problem with dresses or tunics over pants is I don't like the feeling of fabric "sticking" to fabric (pants to dress) when I move. I don't like the bulk of jeans zippers with an untucked top. So it's a lot of work for me.

Also, the cropped flares that make this look so spunky on some peopel are also not the best on my body.

Maybe cropped straights would be better...but I tend not to like a true straight leg on my body type either (though a crop straight is probably better). I like pants that taper at the bottom much much more.

I also think it has to do with weather..I need warm layers so much of the year, so that is an additional issue. A dress does not feel "cozy" enough unless it is a sweater dress, which would lead to more sticky feelings...

The other top you wear -- I'd call that a long blouse, not a tunic, and I might wear something like that (especially if asymmetrical). But only with a bit of a heel because otherwise it would cut me square in half. Not a good proportion to my eye on my body type.

Low rise pants are also not the best on me, as Donna F. says.

Okay. Off to read the thread in detail! And hopefully, to learn something!

Love, love, LOVE them! Then again, a tunic for me is just barely past the crotch point - NOT a dress. A dress with either leggings or pants looks atrocious on me, so my tunics are definitely not interchangeable as dresses. I generally wear tunics with leggings (the thick, fully opaque, almost-pants-with-an-elastic-waist kind). However, they are very hard to find, IMO. The tunics I have I have had for a while and take very good care of because I know they will be hard to replace.

Ladies come on over to So Cal. Although today is "nippy", sunny out but very crisp and cold. I actually got to wear a sweater, knee high boots and a real coat ;-). I love the look of tunics on others, but to echo some of the articulate points Janet made; they look awful on me or I just don't know how to get the proportions right. Small waist, hippy and can't figure out the just flattering enough length. Angie I love the look on you and esp like photo #2 - to die for!!! The colors, beautiful blouse/tunnic, the perfect white jeans, pure perfection!!

Like Style Fan, I think the fact that I don't wear skinnies might be my sticking point when it comes to tunics/dresses-as-tunics. I don't really have any jeans lean enough to use for long-over-lean. Maybe my Boden Girlfriends? I went through a series of try-ons with dresses over some skinny/jeggings things last fall but I came away feeling that my Metro Leggings were a better option anyway, both for comfort and looks.


Like Suz, I don't like the feel of tops getting stuck on my jeans fly, or fabrics sticking/clinging -- which is a real problem in dry winter air here. The right boxy, woven dress in a substantial fabric it could solve these issues, in theory, but it's still not a look I'm going to actively pursue. Maybe someday I'll fall in love with a COS dress and it'll happen organically. Also, with my merino dresses, which are the only dresses I have that are the right silhouette for layering, I'm sure that wearing them over something as sturdy as jeans would wear them out faster.

More musings on this...I probably would have more luck with them if they felt less sloppy (meaning the structured woven ones like Angie's blouse or dress tunics rather than knits...) but I need to wear knits for warmth for about 1/2 the year at least. And then I don't like the feeling of woven fabrics (denim and woven tunic) "sticking" together as I move. So why not leggings? Well, I strongly dislike leggings! Now there is an item I REALLY do not enjoy wearing!

Having said all that, I DO in fact wear what some might call a "tunic" (a very oversized sweater) as one of my key loungewear items. I don't have a Find, but it's a J. Crew collection sweater from several years back that I baby because the cashmere is great quality and it's the coziest thing ever. It hits me just below the crotch point and I actually love this piece and don't find it unflattering.

What makes it different from most tunics I've been able to find? Well, it's very oversized through the body. I remember this met with some forum disapproval when I purchased it, but it's precisely what made me adore it. And it also has structure because the sleeves are bracelet length and narrow towards the wrist, the framing gives the illusion of shape, and the neckline does not slop around. It's easy to layer something underneath without feeling bulky.

If I could find more tunics like this I would wear them for loungewear all the time.

Note: the boots in the photos have 2 inch heels, which helps the proportion a LOT on me.

I like them long. Mid thigh to knee. I don’t like them landing in my upper thigh area because that’s my widest point. This is my favourite tunic, which I wear over skinnies, flares or a tube skirt.

I do like them because longer tunics have been the only way I have been able to wear the skinny look that has been so dominant at retail for so many years. But the right length is hard to find. Also, I find long tunics difficult to layer over. If it’s cool enough for me to wear jeans and a tunic, then I probably need a topper. It’s hard to find the right jacket length with a long (knee length) tunic. To me a short jacket can look odd if the tunic is a lot longer. A long jacket or coat works but can be a bit much for transitional weather.

Tunics also serve as a bib for sloppy eaters

It occurs to me that I like a really narrow shoulder in tunics...

There you go, Suz. You look great in these tunics! Longer and shorter. (My woven dresses don't stick to my jeans, actually. Hmmmmm).

Suz, I loved that dress on you best on its own - but I liked it as a tunic over jeans. You are bang on the money - you need shorter or longer tunics. And cropped straights or skinny pants with a bit of a heel are the ticket. It's that "in-between" tunic length that you don't fancy - and of course, no leggings for you. I get it. (I don't want to push you into wearing tunics at all. I simply want to reassure you that you look great in the right one. I see nothing unflattering on your leg line).

YES, Lisa p. Leggings and a tunic are a great at home or lounge look.

La Ped, you crack me up. You would need to wear skinnies to do the dress over jeans thing.....

Cee, I vote as stylish and elegant as can be.

mntsnofthemoon, you need a shirt dress over cropped skinnies or bootcuts with heels.

DonnaF, high five.

Anchie, you haven't found the right tunic.

Style Fan, I can see you in an A-line tunic with bootcuts.

Petite ladies - Echo, Robin and others - PLEASE don't allow your height to scare you off long tunics. Woman in India, Japan and China are short and they were long tunics as elegantly as ever.

Btw, dresses can look GREAT over bootcuts with a bit of heel too.

EXACTLY, Brooklyn. Elegant when they are longer....

My primary practical objection to them these days is that I like having pockets in my pants, and if I'm wearing a tunic I have to hike it up to get to my pockets which is awkward. Also Jenn and Janet's reasons.

As usual, I am giving love where most do not!! I love tunics. Shortest length is 33" which is finger tip. I will wear dresses as tunics and I am also looking for dresses right above the knee. I am a slender rectangle, I often wear a low hip belt for definition and to elongate my torso. I measure out pretty proportioned but I have long legs so I feel the hip belt is particularly flattering giving me a long elegant line. Of course, I wear tunics with long jackets, booties, boots and leggings. EF makes some of the best tunics and dresses and danskin supplex classic ankle leggings, in black of course, are my favorites. Main stay of my work wardrobe!! I'm wearing the EF scoop neck tunic, with dKNY hip belt, dansking leggings and RM Merilee blazer with Ariat extreme as we speak. I wish I could find more nice tunics that play well with my blazers!! So ladies, don't worry, more for me!! But agree with Angie there is a sweet spot. 33" is my minimum. I would prefer 38" or there abouts to have in addition.

ETA - Brooklyn - TDF elegant!! Love!!

Sorry one more - I only wear with leggings or leather leggings, I don't not like the bump in fabric over jeans but that's because I wear knit tunics so the button would show.

I own one tunic, and wear it over leggings when I am feeling chubby. It was my maternity uniform 20-odd years ago, so I suspect that’s why I am not a fan now.

However, I do like some of the examples shown here, short dresses over cropped leggings. I probably need to rethink how to wear them. Great topic!

Hmmm...I think I am just kind of over traditional length tunics. (She says as she's wearing a poncho tunic and leggings from 5 years ago...snow day!) I only wear leggings with a button and zipper, heavy weight, so I feel like they're more like pants and will wear them with a long blouse and usually a jacket over it and booties or otk boots.

I am starting to really like the longer lengths-like a dress over jeans (if I can find a style that the button/fly doesn't poke out too much. I saw a woman with lightweight leggings, a very long tunic/dress and flats...digging the Audrey Hepburn vibe!

Ah, Gryffin (and Brooklyn) those are very elegant. I love how they look on you! Most of Gryffin's pics read as short dresses to me, not tunics, but I really like the aesthetic...in theory at least!

Angie, thanks for your kind words. I am not ruling the look out. But I have to say it is awfully difficult for me and a lot of work. I far prefer to experiment with asymmetrical versions. I have so much more luck with those.

Some reasons I might get "sticking" fabrics --

  • tunic is not loose enough...this might be solved by sizing up in some cases, but then the fit might be off in shoulders.
  • in winter, we have a lot of static electricity that you probably don't have in a more damp climate.
  • I need to layer at minimum a coat over top, so again, static builds.
  • a round bottom and thighs, that "catch" anything over top of them. I don't tend to wear completely untucked tops of any kind for the same reason. These days, my tummy is not completely flat, either, which means the fly front can feel "bulgy" with something over top.

I tend to like certain tunic length sweaters but not often woven tunics and definitely not mid thigh except a rare, rare occasion.

I don't like tunics. At all. They feel shapeless and bulky and shortening to me. I might wear a short or shorter dress but over tights, not over pants.

Gryffin, I like tunics too - dresses worn over jeans especially - although I am pedantic about the length. The fact that you wear black on black creates a column that offsets horizontally cutting lines.

Dana, exactly. Me too.

Suz, I hear your reasoning, and it makes sense. Onward to a non-tunic style. (A tunic though, is any length from a few inches over crotch point to calf these days). Have I seen the grey EF tunic on?

I love tunics, and I love the dress-over-pants look. I still love the classic look of my youth, tunics over flares and bell bottoms. With platforms or heels, belted or not, it's a hippy look that always looks right to me. These days I've been enjoying tunics (to me, 28-32" length from high point shoulder), mini dresses (34-36") and midi dresses (42-45") over both slim and wide leg pants. I have long legs for my 5'5" and a short torso, so I feel like the proportions of tunics anywhere from 30" to 45" work for me even with flats. Although a bit of heel does help. Lots of my inspiration comes from Eileen Fisher and Elizabeth Suzann. And Angie!

I like tunics and used to wear them all the time. I think I just moved on from them but still do wear them at home. They are tricky for me because hips/thighs. I do especially like the dramatic look of longer tunics over jeans or pants on others and may experiment at some point.

I am very late here, but count me in in the team love. I am a big fan of tunics, and wear them fairly regularly. Like Smittie, I also have long torso-short legs body type and I like tunics precisely because they hide where the rise ends and legs begin. I like lengths between mid-thigh and knee lengths. Shorter tunics - top of the thighs are the ones I generally avoid as I feel they are leg shortening. I also often wear dresses over pants, especially cropped pants.

gryffin - I so admire how you have picked your style and stuck with it. All of these pieces read current, modern, and with a bit of and edge, yet they are all really classics, aren't they? I realize that black has that effect, and when you can rock an all-black look like you do, it makes dressing a lot easier . I can picture you now

I love the look of tunics but absolutely must layer over any top I wear - so I find tunics hard. Long Cardigans look a bit prissy for my style and blazers and jackets are too short - it's the Gandhi look. Any thoughts Angie?