Dressy Tunics

dressy beaded tunic

Not just for casual wear, dressy tunics prove that this comfortable, relaxed garment is more multipurpose and versatile than ever before. Perfect to add a little spice to a dull outfit or even to throw on over a swimsuit, tunics have become standard parts of women's wardrobe over the past few years.

About Tunics

Tunics are perennial favorites. These loose, airy tops flatter most figures thanks to their simple cuts and pretty patterns. Available in a wide range of colors and prints, tunics move nicely from a casual summer day running errands to a dressy evening out with the girls. It's more multitudinous than it's ever been before, thanks to designers who understand the growing need of women to make the most of their clothes and get the most bang for their buck.

How to Wear Tunics

Tunics - both casual and dressy - are quite simple to wear. They simply go with just about everything, and their versatility is a great part of the reason they've been popular for centuries. (It's true: the ancient Greeks and Romans were big fans.) Today, women are wearing them in many ways:

  • They're ideal with a pair of skinny jeans. A tight pant balances the loose top beautifully and allows it to stand out.
  • Similarly, a pair of simple leggings or skinny pants allows an airy tunic to really shine.
  • On the beach, nothing is more appropriate for a walk on the boardwalk or a quick stop to the café than a fun, bright tunic worn over a bathing suit.
  • Many women wear their tunics as mini dresses, belting it loosely at the waist to create a cohesive, polished look. This works, but it's a look best suited to younger women.
  • Petite women look best in styles that hit the hip - no further. Taller women, though, can opt for a longer cut that extends to the mid-thigh area.

Dressy Tunics Stand Out


In case you aren't familiar with dressy tunics, you're in luck. The once-ubiquitously casual piece associated with the dog days of summer has been strongly updated to reflect the tastes of fashion-forward women who follow runway trends. From sexy styles with sheer panels and sequins to cutesy looks adorned with polka dots and other fun prints, flowy tunics easily move into dressy territory with just a few changes here and there.

The cut can also transform a tunic from basic to dressy. Think of the everyday tunic: it's quite loose, a bit baggy at times and not at all shaped to hug a woman's curves. Dressy versions aren't designed to do this either, but many styles do offer some more definition. A gathered tunic, for example, features a bit of banded fabric at the waistline or beneath the bust.

For truly dressy tunic options, consider an Indian kurta. These tops are lavishly decorated with all manner of embellishments, including sequins, beads and rich, vivid embroidery. They are available in a rainbow of bold, mouthwatering hues, like electric orange, deep crimson and metallic gold. All of these are beautiful for dressier occasions, and can stand out in a crowd in a way few other tunics do.

Where to Shop

You probably don't come across too many dressy tunics when you're shopping at the mall - and if you do, the selection is likely somewhat limited. Shopping online is your best bet if you want to choose from a more diverse selection. Look to the following Web sites for great options to appease your inner tunic junkie:

  • Free People is known for its youthful, colorful designs, and the company carries an impressive selection of tunics that may fulfill the needs of younger women quite well.
  • Kaneesha carries an exceptionally wide range of dressy, Indian-style tunics. Intricately worked, these tops are heavier than traditional tunics and quite substantial. They pair nicely with solid bottoms or jeans.
  • Net-a-Porter is worth a look, especially if you don't mind spending a pretty penny on your tunics. From brands like Miu Miu, Marchesa, Tory Burch (who is heavily responsible for the return of the tunic) and Anna Sui, to name but a few, the tunics here are lavish and elegant, perfect for the most glamorous of special occasions.
Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Dressy Tunics