When I started out this article, I can’t say I could’ve told you exactly what a tunic was. Is it a long shirt? A type of sweater dress? Some sort of tank top? Well, the answer, I found, is yes to all of the above. The term "tunic" is incredibly varied and can be applied to numerous different types of pieces. While this may be frustrating to some (hmm…like a trend reporter trying to find out about the latest tunic trends), it’s also exactly what is great about them: the variety. So while the following pieces may or may not fit your definition of what a tunic is supposed to be, keep in mind that each piece is definitely a useful and stylish addition to your closet.
Event: Class or Casual Lunch with the Girls
Piece: Free People’s Peter Pan Tunic ($49.95)
For any daytime event, this top from Free People is sure to be both appropriate and fashionable. Paired with leggings or jeans, it is simple, but still put together and refined. The lace trim around the collar also adds a very feminine touch, while the print is playful, yet sophisticated. Be wary of adding too many accessories to this piece though — with a collar like this it could end up looking too top-heavy.
Event: Late-Night Study Session
Piece: Victoria’s Secret Cotton and Cashmere Contrast-trim Tunic ($29.00)
Who says fashion and comfort don’t mix? This casual tunic is incredibly soft and perfect for studying in the library, lounging around the apartment, or running errands. For a relaxed look, pair with leggings and a long necklace (as shown in the picture). If you’re looking to dress it up a bit, grab a pair of black flats, skinny jeans and a knit beret to channel your inner Parisian. Plus, the comfort of this low-key outfit makes it perfect for traveling long-distances over fall break.
Event: Date Night
Piece: Top Shop’s Tulip Print One-Shoulder Tunic ($70.00)
While I started this article thinking that tunics were mainly sweater-like, bulky tops, this piece certainly proved me wrong and opened up my eyes to the multifaceted world of this closet staple. This light, sexy top is perfect for a night out. The colors are bright and bold, but not so much so that people assume you think it’s spring already. Perfect with black leggings or black skinny jeans, this adorable top is sure to be a hit.
— By Kristy Shaulis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign