Known for its generous shape, the tunic, long a favorite swimsuit cover-up, has evolved into an everyday figure flatterer―if you choose the right one for your body (at right, a great tunic for women with straight figures). Here’s how.
To buy: Rebecca Taylor silk-blend tunic, $350, 813-254-5740. David Lerner Collection leggings. A.P.C. boots. Robindira Unsworth ring. Alexis Bittar cuff.
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If You Have a Tummy
Choose an Empire waist or a drawstring or elastic waist that sits low on the hips. “Both options are good for hiding a full middle,” says Sharon Haver, founder of FocusOnStyle.com, an online fashion guide. Steer clear of details around the midsection―particularly pockets, which add bulk.
To try: This shirtdress-inspired tunic ties low on the hips instead of cinching at the waist. To buy: Forever 21 polyester tunic, $30, forever21.com for stores. Wear it with: Opaque black tights and boots to show off lean legs.
To try: Thanks to strategic blousing, this sophisticated design conceals any muffin top. To buy: Sophia Eugene silk tunic, $282, 212-488-2124. Wear it with: “Bold chandelier earrings to add drama away from the middle,” says stylist Barbra Horowitz, author of Closet Control ($17, amazon.com).
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If You Have Full Hips and Thighs
“Wear a slightly A-line shape that glides over the lower body,” says Kristiina Salminen, the creative director of Adrienne Vittadini. Opt for a longer style with a shirttail or an asymmetrical hemline, which won’t cut straight across the widest part of the thighs.
To try: This button-down hits at the most flattering part of the thighs (inches above the knees). A sliver of sequins gives it an elongating effect. To buy: Pure DKNY cotton-blend tunic, $175, dkny.com for stores. Wear it with: A pair of high heels to streamline the legs.
To try: A lively geometric print keeps the eye from zeroing in on problem areas. And “the soft fabric won’t add extra bulk,” says Haver. To buy: Tucker silk-and-spandex tunic, $310, Billy’s Tarzana, 818-343-5367. Wear it with: A wide black belt to accentuate a slim waistline.
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If You Have an Hourglass Figure
Look for a tailored cut that skims over curves without concealing them. Play up the bust with a V neckline.
To try: A modest slit neck elongates the body and flatters an ample bust, says Salminen. To buy: Vittadini linen tunic, $398, nordstrom.com for stores. Wear it with: Pointy-toe flats to slim the legs.
To try: The A-line cut traces the curves of the body while subtle beading enhances the chest without exaggerating proportions. To buy: Banana Republic cotton tunic, $79.50, bananarepublic.com for stores. Wear it with: Burgundy leggings to play off the color of the beading.
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If You Have a Straight Figure
Try three-dimensional embellishments, like ruching or gemstones, to add depth and enhance the chest or the hips, says Horowitz.
To try: The draping of this jersey style helps make the body look more curvaceous. To buy: Akiko modal-and-silk tunic, $175, shopakiko.com for stores. Wear it with: A pendant necklace to further accentuate the bustline.
To try: Layered appliqués and a cinched waist add oomph to a boyish frame. To buy: MK2K cotton-and-rayon tunic, $121, Red Pearl, 718-599-0023. Wear it with: A cardigan buttoned just under the bust “to create a nice break of fabric at the hips,” says Horowitz.