Belfast-based, style loving mum of 3. Fashion, Lifestyle, Food & Fitness

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

By Request - Tunics

This is the first of a regular series of blog posts that feature requested items from readers of the blog. I get lots of emails every week asking me for fashion advice so I thought it would be a good idea to blog about common themes coming through in these emails.
Today, it's tunics/long tops to wear with skinny jeans & leggings - asked for by Stacey. This is a great look for busy mums - avoids the dreaded builders bum and skims over the tummy/hip areas. Firstly I'll share some links to my favourite tunic stockists and further down, I'll share some do's and don'ts when wearing this look.

Kicking off with a bargain from Dorothy Perkins. Love DP's for longer tops - this one is a good mix of autumn colours with a touch of animal print. I'd wear with grey or black skinny jeans/leggings and a long black cardigan in the cooler weather. Only £9 too! 
Pebble Print Tunic - £9
Boden is always a good place to look for a tunic but they do tend to be long so in petite Stacey's case, it might not be the best place. However, have you ever considered buying in the Johnnie B (teenage) range? Provided you are small in the chest and no larger than a 12, you should be able to fit into a JB age 15-16. This gorgeous tunic is only £32.30 at the moment with the Boden mid-season discount:
Johnnie B Spotted Dress/Tunic - £32.30
Another of my favourite stores - Seasalt with another of my favourite shapes, the cowl neck. This nautical inspired tunic is perfect for throwing on with a navy cardigan and a striped or animal print scarf..
Seasalt Tara Tunic £39.99
Stand by for another Dotty P bargain. This tunic is so cute. Long sleeves too and only £16!
Pink Dainty Dolly Tunic - £16
Every wardrobe should have a cosy knitted tunic, especially at this time of year. Dorothy Perkins has this one in 4 different colours but this is my favourite.

Mocha PU Trim Slash Neck Tunic - £22
If you're petite or don't like your tunics too long, this scarf print beauty, also from DP's is perfect with it's high-low hemline. Great navy/camel colour way that will look lovely with navy blue jeans/leggings and brown boots
Blue Chain Printed Tunic - £25
I spied this ASOS tunic the other week and love the textured effect and exposed zip. It's a bit more rock-chick so would need black leggings and ankle boots just like it's styled here:
ASOS Textured Tunic £35 
Now this is the investment piece. My good friend and fashionista Claire H bought this last week and has done the best ever clothes mathematics with it to justify the cost, as it is really very wearable in lots of different ways. Needless to say, there will be a blog post about that but for now, here is a sneaky peek. Great shape, colour and quality and a little shorter which is great for petite frames. Use AB219 for free delivery and 10% off all orders over £75.
White Company V-Hem Tunic - £85
To finish, a few from H&M - great for an on-trend bargain. Firstly, check out gorgeous blogger Laura wearing her striped H&M tunic on this link - looks 100 times better on her than it does on the website! If you fancy any of these H&M ones, check out the School Gate Style Facebook page for the latest H&M discount codes - there are two I know of at the moment and you can use both on the one order!
Lace - £29.99
Knitted - £19.99 (3 colours)
So the guide to wearing tunics? 
  • Make sure they nip you in at the right place. If you're an hourglass or pear, wear a belt. 
  • A tunic should be shorter than you'd want a dress to be. If it's too long, it will look frumpy with jeans or thicker leggings
  • Ensure your jeans or leggings are snug fitting
  • Wear jeans/jeggings with side zips for a streamlined look
  • If you're petite, match your boots with your leggings for an elongated leg
  • I tend to avoid large floral patterns or anything that might work well as curtains - this is not a style rule as such - it just looks frumpy. Look for more edgy on-trend patterns or stripes. PU/pleather trims are very on-trend too
  • My number 1 dress rule also applies to tunics. Unless you have a wash-board stomach, wear a control vest or high waisted magic knicks underneath. People ask all the time how I regained my flat stomach after twins. I didn't - you know my secret now!
If you would like to see something on the next By Request blog post, leave a comment or send me an email schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks to Stacey for inspiring this one - hope you enjoyed it!

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28 comments

  1. I've always believed that at just under 5ft 4, I'm too small for tunics .. as lovely as some of them are. I think they make my legs look even shorter, which is the last thing I want. Having said that, I love the White Company one. Could definitely see myself wearing that. Really wish they'd open a store in Dublin!

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    1. Yes Helen, you would be better going for a shorter tunic like the White Co. one to keep the proportions...but they are as flattering on petite girls, if the length is good and if you keep the leggings/jeans and shoes all the one colour to elongate the legs. Avx

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  2. I like the first one, the scarf print one from DP's and typically, the Asos one! Anne's daughter Laura had a lovely long H&M tunic on her blog at the weekend and I have seen it in H&M and it is lovely, stripey and 20 quid so worth a look xx

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    1. Thanks Sharron, I saw that one on the H&M site but it didn't look as good as it does on Laura! Must go and add a link to Laura's post...thanks for the tip-off! Avx

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  3. Nice selection there - I like the idea of tunics and leggings but its the leggings I have a problem with firstly the ones I have spotted always seem to thin i.e. if you bend you see through them - even expensive ones!!! and the other I worry I look like Max Wall (remember him) so I tend to stick to black skinny jeans but if you or any of your readers know of good quality thick black leggings please let me know :-) xx

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    1. Boden leggings are great - and I say that as someone who doesn't really do Boden! They are good thickness and length and hold their shape. Best I have found and I must have spent a fortune looking for the perfect legging over the years. Having said that I wouldn't wear them with anything that didn't cover my backside! They are £22 full price but always codes going around.

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    2. Thanks Jill - yup I'm a bum coverer too lol.

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    3. I have no idea why my post now has a link to some stripy trousers on eBay. - I certainly didn't put it there!

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    4. Jill...the blog picks up on certain words and links them - it's to save me doing it while I blog but 9 times out of 10, the links are rubbish so I have to over-ride them. Sorry about that - didn't realise it did it to the comments too!! Thanks for letting Ali know about Boden ones - I had heard they are good quality so good to hear from some-one who has them. Avx

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    5. Thanks Avril - I was a bit confused! Love the ASOS tunic- I never think to look there. Have already blown the budget however!

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    6. I can endorse the Boden leggings too - I love them - well worth the extra bit of money - I tend to size down though as they fit quite big.

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  4. I love The White company one also! I might have to steal a wear of Laura's H&M tunic jumper when she is at work!! Great post!
    ~Anne xx

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    1. Thanks Anne - I'll pop on a link to Laura's one...it's way nicer on her than on the website Av x

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  5. Great post Avril! I love Tunics but with a tummy no magic knickers are fixing in any way and a bum bigger than any Kardashian they can be tricky. I find skimmers are great. Ones that are close to the bust and drape the hips. Need some knits though definitely!
    Can't wait until the next By Request! xx

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  6. Love the tunics,my favourite one is the dolly one a great buy for £16-00 :)

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  7. I've got a nice black&grey tunic and black leggings but I just don't know what kind of shoes would look good with it. any advice?

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    1. Hi Evi, this time of year, ankle boots or long boots and if you're petite, try to keep the colour the same as the leggings to elongate the leg. Hope that helps! Avril x

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  8. Great post as usual! I have tried a few tunics but always bring them back or don't wear them and eventually they go to Oxfam!
    Maybe being hourglass I need that belt you mentioned Avril?!!
    Cant manage leggings or skinny jeans either..... there might be a challenge in this for me to tackle!

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    1. Well, I do wear some of mine with boot-cuts and it works but only if the legs of the jeans are tight to the knee...don't do with baggy jeans...some part of it needs to be neat. And yes, you could try them with a wider belt...your LK Bennett one maybe? Avx

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  9. I have bought some dresses in my time which ended up like tunics because I'm much too tall for them. For me I tend not to wear them as they never sit quite right on me :)

    dp
    x

    www.inanityandthegirl.com

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  10. Tunics are hard to find when you're tall but I do have a couple and I just love them. Great selection (as always).

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  11. I find tunics don't do great things for my shape but a useful post. Thanks.

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  12. Thanks for the mention Avril! Highly recommend that tunic, it's so comfy! I might go back and get it in the black too :)

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  13. i love tunics and leggings/skinny jeans - large part of my wardrobe :)
    ive never had a washboard tummy but its still pretty big and wobbly even though Jake is 18 months :( so tunics hide my wobbly bits :)
    loving DP at the minute & they have a sale on now too :)

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  14. Great post - really helpful! I struggle with tunics as I am straight up and down so have to add shape somehow - a v neck or a belt . Control under garments a must after 3 kids too - shhhhhhhh! X

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  15. Glad I found this post. Have been after some more tunic style tops to wear with leggings this winter.

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  16. Thank you so much. Loving the DP one. I'm off to investigate
    Stacey xx

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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