Indian tunics (also know as Indian tunic tops and tunic dresses) are summer staples – chic, breezy garments that are practical and comfortable. The beauty of tunics is that they can be worn as is, with shorts or with a pair of pants; so versatile that they can be styled to suit almost every occasion. A tunic is nothing but a long top that fits loosely. While it can be of varying lengths, it will suffice to say that a tunic should cover the hips – it cannot be shorter but can most certainly be longer.
In case you are mixing up shirt dresses or mini dresses with tunics in your head, we’ll tell you the one way to recognise one. Just ask yourself the question - can it be worn with pants? If the answer is yes, then you are staring at a tunic. Of course, the pants are optional depending on how comfortable you are with the length of the tunic. Tunics are ideal to wear with leggings and tight trousers, jeans or pants. Avoid wearing them with something baggy, since this will just make your outfit appear ill-fitting.
Tunics come with a variety of necklines ranging from V, U to collared and square. The neckline and the sleeve length you choose would depend on your body type. Similarly, you will be astounded by the number of silhouettes that they come in – straight, tapering, asymmetrical, layered, boxy, fluidic – we could just on! When picking a tunic, you would have to pick a silhouette that flatters your shape the most. Pick styles that camouflage your problem areas and highlight the best ones. For instance, a tunic in a solid colour that falls well below the hips can help hide your love handles and give you a leaner look. A tunic with a deep V neck can take the focus away from your waist. A longer tunic with pencil pants can make your legs look slimmer. If you want to flaunt your killer waistline, then pick a tunic with a belt around the waist that will accentuate it further. So you see, it is easy to play up your best feature with tunics.
What’s more, depending on the way in which you style your tunic, it can be worn for casual, semi-formal or even formal occasions! Cashmere, tweed or silk tunics paired with smart pants cut a crisp look for work. The same silk tunic you wore for work will be impressive even when you are entertaining in the evening. Simply pair it with more loosely fitted pants and gilded trinkets and you are all set to play a charming hostess. For a more casual look, wear floral tunics with denim shorts or Capri pants and funky accessories. Cotton tunics tend to be extremely comfortable and can be worn through the year, be it during the day or the night.
If you are planning to wear something comfortable for a brunch or a day outing, then go for an embroidered tunic top in a flattering cut. Embroidered tunic tops have a feminine appeal that is hard to miss. Delicate embroidery along the collar, yoke and cuffs add a classy touch to tunics, making them all the more appealing. Embroidered tunics with strategically placed motifs can also help you hide flaws and accentuate your best features. To make a statement with embroidered tunics, wear them with solid leggings or a pair of palazzo pants. Skip the neckpiece if the top features embroidery around the neck. A pair of high heels can add some oomph to your ensemble.
Cotton tunics are versatile outfits, in that they can take you from day to night with little effort. Cotton tunics are comfortable and chic, perfect to be worn on a pair of denims or pants. Wear the combination to work with little or no accessories for a breezy and casual look. The same tunic can be dressed up with a layered neckpiece and a pair of hoop earrings for dinner afterwards.
The reason we love cotton tunics is that they can be worn through the year since they work well during all the seasons. In summers, make the most of their breathability while in winters, layer them with a scarf or a waistcoat to be snug and warm. Cotton tunics without slits on the sides can even be worn as dresses and look especially good when teamed with sneakers. Whether you like regular A line silhouettes or prefer something boxy or asymmetric, there are cotton tunics for every kind of preference. Pick tunics that are well tailored and fits you well and you will have a wardrobe that your friends will be envious about!
The summer heat calls for outfits that are breezy and cool and what better way to celebrate the sunshine than with tunics? Summer tunics made from cotton and other natural fabrics in pastels and white work very well to beat the heat and keep you comfortable.
Summer tunics in printed fabrics are ideal for a casual day out when teamed with open toed sandals, sunglasses and a statement bracelet. Since side slits in tunics have been done to death, lately the trend has been to place a slit in the front in summer tunics for both ventilation and to give the tunic an edgy appeal. Such summer tunics are best paired with palazzo pants or a skirt that are in keeping with the chic and contemporary look of the top.
The motifs on summer tunics are predominantly bright - flowers, paisleys or other quirky accents that add some fun into the outfit.
What do you wear when you want the comfort of a tunic but the extravagance of a dress? You wear a chiffon tunic which exudes a rich appeal even in the absence of embellishments. Chiffon tunics look classy and sophisticated owing to the fall and texture of the fabric. Chiffon tunics work brilliantly as formal wear, especially when trimmed with elegant details like pearls, sequins or even tiny ruffles. You can pair chiffon tunics with cigarette pants for a formal look or wear them as is like a dress and get into the groove for a party. Team them with high heels and a pair of sparkling earrings to make a lasting fashion statement.
Indian kurta meets a western top to become medium length topwear called the kurti. Akin to a kurta but shorter in length, kurti tops are the go to fashion uniform of most Indian women today. They are so versatile that they can be teamed with leggings, skirts, salwar bottoms, a pair of denims or even trousers.
Kurti tops are a must have in your wardrobe if your style is fusion oriented. You can put together a collection which is a combination of cotton and silk kurti tops with interesting embellishments and details like sequins, zardosi, zari and thread embroidery. Embroidery on the yoke is the most ubiquitous design on kurti tops. Go sleeveless during summers and pick half or quarter sleeves when there is a nip in the air. A few kurti tops and some basic bottomwear can actually take you through an entire week without effort. After you wear an outfit, add a stole or a scarf over it for an entirely new look.
While you are building your wardrobe, once you have put together some basic bottom wear that fits you like a dream, it is time to jazz up your collection with some colourful tops. This is where printed kurtis come into picture. Printed kurtis in cotton, georgette and silk can be worn round the year owing to their vibrant appeal. Of late, the trend is to have quirky and interesting prints like owls, cycles and buildings on the kurtis that make them conversation starters. Some leading designers like Anita Dongre have also made printed kurtis their canvas to display the rich architectural heritage of India. The prints on these kurtis make up for the lack of embellishments and also make them easy to maintain.
If you invest in a few such printed kurtis, they will last you a few years without going out of style. When you are pressed for time and want to dress up in style, simply throw one over a pair of pants, slip on your favourite shoes and you are all set to take on the day!
It is quite possible that you already own a few beautiful Indian tunics that you simply love to wear. It wouldn’t do any harm in stocking up on a few more to build a better-rounded wardrobe. A good mix of tunics to have is a few basic solid tunics in white, black and blue, a few printed ones in breathable fabrics and most definitely some in lush fabrics like silk and cashmere. That way, you are covered for work, play and gatherings. Wear them with accessories that are feminine, elegant and match the occasion. Once you start wearing tunics regularly, you will be blown by their simplicity and beauty and very soon, they will become your go-to garments whenever you are confused about what to wear!