Not a member? Sign up to chat about style and share outfits with a friendly community.
Product links on YLF sometimes contain affiliate codes. If you follow one of these links and make a purchase, YLF might earn a commission. Read more about how YLF makes money.
Page 5 in the conversation "TUNICS: Love or Loath" by Angie
Yeah, I'm wondering about a little clarification too. I really don't think of anything that doesn't at least hit the crotch point as a tunic. When does a long top become a tunic?
I think a tunic is 1) long and 2) relatively loose. I'm seeing some quite fitted knits being referred to as tunics, and to me they are not -- they're longer sweaters. Am I wrong?
Suz, sounds like a tunic is more of a Summer item for you. No layers, fluid, diagonal hems, structure up top, good drape, heels, and worn with VERY streamlined bottoms that is not leggings.
Elizabeth, I'm referring to the length for my OWN body and style. You are right. It's a personal preference for each of us.
La Ped, from I what I've seen, your blouses and shirts are shorter than tunic length.
Janet, you just missed my definition in the comment before you.
I'm working with a client most of the day so I won't be on the thread for a while, but one more visual:
This top is a tunic. It has longer and shorter bits. The diagonal hem makes it flattering and not cutting across my thighs. The topper is short and high contrast - an acquired taste, I know. NOT a long lean column of colour. The heels help elongate the chopped up look. But since I can't wear those anymore, I will substitute with pretty pointy toe flats, like my new mules. Happy to sport a shorter leg line for happy feet.
Angie -- yes, my shirts are mostly hip length because that's what I prefer. They are also mostly thrifted and quite old because it's a difficult cut to find in stores right now. Many current shirts are long on me. Here are two examples. I tend not to think of these as tunics, just "annoying long shirts" -- they are harder for me to style because I don't do tight bottoms. I think the first one is both more flattering and more shirt-like due to the higher side vents. The second is more tunic-y to me because of the longer-all-over hem. It's been relegated to at-home wear because of bleach stains, and because it never feels as fab as my shorter hip-length flannels.
Are they shirts or tunics? Sorry, being difficult, I know.
My dear La Ped, they are technically tunic lengths if I’m to be precise and consistent. And you are not at all difficult. I call my tunic a boho blouse all the time - but technically it’s tunic length.
Hah, between too-short dresses and too-long shirts, I think just about everything out there right now is a tunic on me!
I revisited this thread out of curiosity (five pages?!) and find the definition! Based on that, I definitely love tunics for cold-weather dressing. I seek out short dresses, often in the juniors' section, with long sleeves and some kind of waist definition. In Finds are some of the ones that I've accumulated over the last couple years; these are all too short for me to wear with just hose. I wear them over various thicknesses of leggings (regular knit to "fur" lined) or sometimes skinny jeans, and with oxfords, sneakers, ballet flats, or all kinds of booties and boots. They are staples of wintertime dressing for me.
I don't really do tunics at other times of the year, though. I'd rather have just the dress (not quite this short...) because it's more comfortable.
I like them but they have to be just right. Hides the crotch point as Lisap says.
This is a very interesting thread as I've never really thought about why I don't wear tunics- except as a beach cover. I think it's because I don't like leggings- I just don't look good in them. And for a long time, i didn't like skinnies also, until I've found some high waisted ones. I tried them with tunics but when they are more fitted, I feel pregnant as skinnies add bulk around the waist (and I don't need any there ), and when they are less fitted and "bigger" I just feel frumpy in them.
Ginger wears hers differently to most, with waist definition. I think of those as mini dresses!
The terminology is tricky!
LaPed, a lot of regular shirts look like that on me, too. Shortwaisted but longer in the rise...but overall a bit shorter than average, ergo --- most so called regular shirts end at or almost at tunic length on my body.
Jenni-- you might call the blue sweater in my pic a "top" but I assure you it was well below crotch point (longer even, than most so-called shirts -- see above, LOL) and could not be tucked, and was advertised and sold as a tunic. (Not that that means anything -- they call it what they want, right? Crazy!)
I find myself oddly drawn into an argument here - gee, me? Argue? Who would have thought . Ahem. Anyways- I agree with Elizabeth P's definition of a tunic and don't see them as anything longer than lower thigh. Beyond that, it's a dress. Anyways, because of all of this hoo ha, I will wear a dress over pants today ; it was an outfit I experimented with recently and quite liked it. Pic to come, hopefully.
To me a tunic is longer than crotch point and long enough to cover the rear but not as long as knee length or above the knee, which to me are dresses, not tunics. My ideal tunic length would be mid-thigh -- too short to wear as a dress, but hitting at the narrow part of my thigh. I do not like tunics at crotch point length as to me that looks like a regular shirt that's too long (as a petite I have an aversion to this). That length also does not flatter my flatter rear.
I do like tunics quite a lot, though I only own a few. They are my "go-to" for the last day of a business trip, when I'm wanting to cover up the waist and belly --or sagging jeans/pants -- and just want ease and comfort after a long week.
Incidentally I bought this knee length A-line/trapeze shaped sleeveless shirt dress this past summer which I'd love to wear to work but it would be too cold in the AC, even with a cardigan or jacket. I tried it on with EF slim ankle pants and it looked totally adorable! But never wore it to work because it felt wrong for that.... I guess if I could tell myself it's a tunic, not a dress, I could get over that.
I really enjoy tunics and always have a few in my wardrobe. For me to be a tunic it needs to be at last say mid thigh length, any shorter and I just consider it a 'top'.
I favour monochrome looks and like the column that can be created with a tunic and say a skinny leg.
Some of mine are knee length, which I actually think is my best length and I can wear them as dresses alone, or over pants as a tunic. I also prefer an interesting (often asymmetric) hemline.
I find them a really easy item to style, they are comfortable and work for many occasions.
Wow, just saw this thread now. HOT topic!
I hadn't ever really thought of hating or loving tunics. My issue with tunics is that since I am short with narrow shoulders, they often overwhelm me. The shoulders are too big, which makes it look sloppy, and then the length is too long or hitting at an unflattering point. As usual, the petite offerings are underwhelming, so I do without.
I do, however, have a sweater dress that I wear with leggings or jeans that seems to match Angie's definition of tunic. I also have a strappy tank that seems to meet the definition as well (it's much longer on me than on the model). I love both these pieces, and it is just occurring to me that I think the love comes from the silhouette being different from what I am used to. This is important information for me, since I am refreshing my wardrobe right now and am feeling like new silhouettes are important for me.
I'm late to the party --- but I've loved this thread. I do wear tunics, mostly because they work so well for my lifestyle. For me, a good shoulder line and a bit of openness at the neck matters and makes the longer top half work. I often wear them with thigh-skimming bootcuts, which balance the top better, as long as they're not baggy in the thigh (never a problem for me).
Tunics are great when you're moving a lot in close proximity to clients. I don't have to worry about adjusting my clothes all the time and I like my rear and crotch point covered when I'm guiding a client with hand over hand help on a ukulele or drum, or packing up a slew on instruments on someone's living room floor.
I also like a short jacket over a long tunic/dress. It seems flattering enough if the contrast is low.
Question before answer: When I wear a wrap dress over jeans, does the dress become a tunic, or is it just a dress over jeans?
I definitely love tunic length tops, and wear them mixed in with everything else. My reasoning is something like Jenn’s at the beginning. Many tops that are supposedly tunic length, are not long on me, and many dresses are better worn as tunic tops because of my height which is just shy of 5’9”. I have always been a fan of the long over lean silhouette, although it may make my lanky frame look even lankier. I am wary of items that appear boxy, and need to make sure there is something about the look that provides structure, so I often look for a sleeveless top, or use my wrap dresses which are form fitting and allow for waist definition. I have become a particular fan of wearing dresses over straight leg or skinny leg jeans, and have made that one of my current signature looks.
Thanks for your thoughts ladies. VERY interesting.
I'll go through the definition again:
A tunic is a CONCEPT. An item becomes a tunic when worn a certain way - THAT's the modern definition of a tunic.
Read my new thread:
I always meant to circle back to this discussion. Now that Angie has helpfully clarified that tunics are a concept, I think that helps clarify my feelings on them. I may have better luck finding them if I think more about using dresses this way.
One reason I'm attracted to tunics is that I think it's an especially useful concept for travel. Forgive me if this has come up. When I went to Amsterdam a year ago, I brought a dress that was nice enough to dress up with tights for Valentine's Day dinner, but that I could also wear over pants or ponte leggings. I'm obsessed with travel packing, so it makes sense that the versatility here would appeal to me. More recently, I wore this knitted dress over ponte leggings for a somewhat dressy occasion in the bitter cold - I guess it became a tunic then!
Christina, I really like the idea of that TUNIC.
Lo, what a conceptual thinker I am....
I guess a tunic is simply what you make it to be, Suz. We're starting to get pretty existential here!
I like tunics and wear them mid thigh length they are perfect for me for at home and running errands
Suz and Christina, is this a philosophy forum?
I like tunics on others and wouldn't mind having a few myself. However, most tunics I see, are V-necks, have 3/4 arms and are boxy or have rather fluid lines. I prefer round necks, short or long arms, and lines that follow my waistline.
You need to be logged in in order to reply.