Tunics: God’s Gift to Apple Shaped Women
I’ve said it in my general principles for tops, I’ve said it when discussing dresses, and I’ve even shared my favorite go-to solid tunic with you in the past: Tunics are totally awesome. With very few exceptions, they are among the best fashions apple shaped women can wear.
And if you do nothing but wear more tunics after reading these fashion tips for apple-shaped women, I will consider that a victory. 🙂
Today we’re gonna dive in and look at all the ins and outs of tunics, and why I would make such a bold claim. We will review:
- all the different styles of tunics,
- what styles of tunics apples should choose, and
- how to best wear tunics.
- Some extra tips for plus size tunics
Like these jubilant graduates, you will be an expert in Tunicology by the time you finish this article.
What Is A Tunic?
We’re on the internet! So let’s ask the dictionary.
As always, if you like any of these specific tunic recommendations, please click on the pictures to learn more! Everything I feature on my blog is appropriate for apple shapes, and, as a budget shopper, I cherry pick all the good deals.
Different Styles of Tunics
Tunic shirts must be worn with jeans, pants, or a skirt, or leggings. They are too short to be worn as dresses.
Tunic dresses are exactly that – something that can be worn alone, as a dress, and you can show off your legs!
Tunics somewhere IN BETWEEN shirt and dress
Use your best judgment on these. I tend to err on the side of caution, but some people can rock the VERY short skirts here, or wear only with tights (vs heavier leggings or other styles of pants).
You will also see these called “T-shirt dresses”.
Any tunic, shirt or dress, with a striking V-neckline.
These are sometimes also known as “plunging” necklines, depending on the depth of the plunge.
Apples look great in v-necks, and should pursue v-neck tunics with enthusiasm!
The “Artist” Shirt
I always imagine someone holding an easel in one of these. That said, they’re adorable! They’re usually button-down, and usually some kind of lighter natural material like cotton or linen.
Professional Blouse Tunic
Like its cousin the artist tunic, the professional blouse tunic is usually button-down, with a collar. These are generally made of high-quality fabric and better tailoring. Great for professionals who need comfortable, flattering office wear! These also look great over jeans on casual Fridays.
Self-explanatory. Now, by sleeveless I do not mean “cap sleeve” – those can have the effect of making our shoulders look even bigger. Go for either shoulder-exposing tank-top sleeves, elbow-length sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves, or full sleeves. This will keep the body in balance.
Tunics intended for LAYERING
Now, this could mean a couple things. 1) The tunic is made from thin material, so you will NEED to include multiple layers on top, like vests, sweaters, or jackets. 2) The tunic is so plain that you will WANT to add to it with other style touches.
Tunics that stand alone – no layering needed
This describes any tunic that is decorative enough to stand on its own – such as one with a special print or design that you want to isolate.
Or, tunics which are made of heavier material like wool or knit fabrics that also make you want to wear it alone.
Tunics with asymmetrical lower hems
See above. That’s a classic asymmetrical lower hem. Here’s another, below. Note the multiple points of draping in the lower hem. This catches the eye and draws attention away from the belly.
“Peasant Blouse” Tunics
Peasant blouse is a general term for loose-fitting tunics made with gauzy or crepe-like fabric, with decorative embroidery or paisley patterns.
Some styles of peasant blouse tunics have elastic over the entire neckline, so you can pull them down over the shoulders, for a more flirtatious and revealing look. These can also look quite exotic: and I know I’M already in the mood for vacation just from this next example. Beach and margaritas, anyone?
Many tunic shirts and dresses will include a cord belt, or even feature an eye-catching decorative belt. For apple-teenies, these belts can be shape-creating, and an asset. But for everyday or voluptuous apples, can problematic and detract from some of the original purpose OF wearing a tunic.
What Styles of Tunics Should Apples Wear?
OK, PHEW! That was a lot. But now we get to the good stuff – the fashion tips for apple shapes!
We can wear most of these tunic types. It’s amazing. It’s exciting. Again: we can wear MOST of everything I just described. Let’s look at what not to do.
There are a few styles of tunics we should mostly avoid. This is extra true if you are plus size: tunics like this will not do us any favors:
- Tightly belted tunics
- Tight-fitting tunics, unless intended as a bottom layer
- Tunics made from clingy fabric, unless intended as a bottom layer
- Tunics with a specific pattern that is only over the midsection, and nowhere else on the tunic.
- Tunics with a tight empire waist – you will mostly encounter these in the “peasant blouse” variety. Watch out, because tight empire waists on anything can have the unintended effect of amplifying our midsection and creating an illusion of maternity wear.
- Tunics with cap sleeves – this can make our upper bodies look bigger than they are.
Ok, so I can wear most of tUNICS. Which ones are the absolute best?
I also LOOOVE sleeve embroidery and attractive neckline embroidery – these both serve to draw the gaze away from the midsection and up to the face, or even to the hands and arms. Also, embroidery is just pretty.
Bell sleeves specifically are gorgeous on tunics, because the bottoms tend to also “bell” out and flare from the body.
Bell sleeves can reinforce this flared shape on places other than our belly, and create more visual harmony in the garment.
SO Many Patterns
I gravitate towards uniform patterns on tunics, because these patterns do two things:
1) draw attention toward the overall beauty of the pattern and shirt
2) take visual focus away from any one body part – usually my big ol’ gut!
The rose-colored tunic here with the scoop neck and bell sleeves is just about everything an apple-shaped woman could ask for.
Can I Sex It Up?
Shoulder cut-outs draw the eye up to the shoulders and face.
That, and they’re suggestive in all the right ways. Great for clubbing!
Ok, ok- what do I wear WITH all these tunics?
Tunics are good because they’re easy.
Apple shaped women look best when pairing tunic shirts with leggings or skinny jeans. But, of course, tunic dresses can stand alone, and some tunics can be worn with wide-leg slacks – focus more on the button down and “artist shirt” tunics with slacks.
If you’re uncertain how best to wear this bad boy, try on your tunic with multiple bottoms and ask someone to tell you what looks better. Look at yourself in the mirror from multiple angles. Or, email me a picture – I’ll give you honest feedback!
Like most shirts, tunics can pair with dramatic jewelry, handbags, and stylish shoes. Some tunics are such a blank slate, such neutral and staple articles of clothing, that whatever you do pair with it, and how you build layers on it, will define whether your outfit is casual or dressy.
Example: a plain, solid, scoop-necked tunic. It may look like nothing special, but this puppy is a workhorse. Why?
- You can pair it with jeans and a great handbag
- You can pair it with vest and leggings
- You can wear it over a pencil skirt with heels.
- You can wear it with bermuda shorts and a fun hat on vacation
- You can wear it under your favorite little jacket.
- You can wear it with a flowing scarf and big earrings
Each time, and in each of these examples it’s your other articles of clothing and your accessories and shoes which dictate the overall tone of the outfit.
This allows you to get a shocking amount of mileage out of one comfortable, flattering item.
Ta Ta, Tunicologists!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed the long and winding road to Tunic Expertise! Give yourself a pat on the tunic-covered back…you’ve earned it!
To see more recommended tunics for apple shapes, check out my Special Tunic Pinterest Board!