5 Ideas for Styling a Tunic Top

By on January 9, 2020

Tunic tops are long, basic garments that have been around seemingly forever — at least since ancient times in the Mediterranean. They also wonderfully demonstrate how simplicity can also be exotic. While it’ not always easy to know exactly how to style these longer tops, successfully doing so adds a whole new dimension to your style as a woman over 50. 

Here are just five ideas for styling a tunic top to add to your repertoire.

A Loose Tunic over Fitted Pants

A personal style is usually about creating interesting visual contrasts — neutrals with a pop of neon color, modern clothing with vintage accessories, formalwear with a casual twist, a mashup of feminine and masculine garments, pairing of preppy with punk and etc.

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Layering a loose tunic over fitted pants achieves a desirable juxtaposition of shape, as the billowy nature of the tunic plays against the form-fitting nature of the bottoms.

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Layered with a Sweater over Leggings

TunicAlthough tunics can stand on their own just fine, you can maximize their visual appeal with artful layering. Pairing a long, thick-knit cardigan with lengthy tunic, then placing them over a pair of opaque tights will give you an updated twist on the traditional dress. You can even play with lengths, pairing a shorter and more structured jacket with a longer tunic for an interesting contrast.

Tucked into High-Waisted Pants

While the most distinctive feature about tunics is their length, there’s plenty of opportunity for some tasteful tucking. Tuck the front of a tunic into straight-legged vintage denim. 

As Lifehacker writes, front-tucking a long shirt “helps you define your waistline and lengthens your leg line without the bunching that can happen from fully tucking in a shirt.” Just be sure to fold over the hemline at the front of your tunic before tucking; otherwise, you’ll risk creating a haphazard line where you really want a clean line.

Paired with Flowy, Wide-Legged Pants

Aiming to achieve a flowy, free-spirited look? 

Consider the potential of pairing cocktail tunic tops with wide-legged trousers for a versatile draped look. It will be easy to breathe and move around all day, which makes it a perfect way to dress comfortably while still looking elegant. An alternative to taking the sportier athleisure route. You can anchor your flowy tunic-and-pants combo with sneakers for a casual look. Or go with a punchy heel for extra sophistication.

The key to nailing this look is choosing the right fit for both the tunic and the pants. While you want free movement and a loose silhouette, it’s important to avoid submerging your body. Wearing two overly baggy items may have you swimming in extra material.

Belted over Slender Bottoms

Certain tunics lend themselves well to belting, a trick that allows you to emphasize your waistline.  You can do this without having to give up the desired length of your top.

As one fashion expert advises for EHowBeauty, choose either a thin belt or a thick belt — avoiding the middle ground of medium-width belts better suited for jeans. Chances are, you’ll want to leave the belt a bit slouchy, rather than cinching it as tight as it will go. Take such an outfit from day to night time appropriate. Throw a belt in your bag in the morning and put it on before head off to your evening plans.

As you can see, tunic tops are surprisingly versatile — which helps explain why they’ve persisted so successfully throughout history. The key is creating a silhouette you love, whether through layering, belting or mixing and matching in different bottoms.


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5 Ideas for Styling a Tunic Top