The Tunic Dress

Tunic dresses (also called “shifts”) are a must-have for a woman who enjoys her accessories. The simple, classic style is a blank canvas, inviting the wearer to be adventurous when it comes to accessorizing. A tunic dress is also practical, because it’s easy to create so many different looks from the same dress.

First, what is a tunic (or shift) dress? According to Mom Generations, it’s a dress that falls straight from the shoulders to the hem. Typically, they have no structural details like waist definition or rouching. Specifically due to that simplicity, they can be many dresses in one, changing completely depending on how you accessorize. So where do we start? Following How to Accessorize a Shift Dress on ebay, glamming up a this type of dress always starts with the cut.



Necklines are important because they determine what jewellery and/or scarves you should wear. Try these ideas:

.     A low neckline begs for necklaces. One long pendant is a classic look. Chunky necklaces are popular, too, but avoid chokers, which will break up the line in the wrong place. A low neckline is also a great opportunity to wear two or three complementary necklaces in different lengths. For some great examples of pairing jewellery with tunic dresses, take a look at this video.

.     A high neckline, on the other hand, begs for a scarf. If your dress is a solid colour, experiment with a boldly-patterned scarf. If your dress is a print, opt for either a solid scarf in a complementary colour or a scarf with a very small pattern that matches the accent colour.

.     Don’t wear a necklace with a scarf. It can catch on the material, and it just doesn’t look right. Instead, draw the eye up with chunky earrings or a headband.


Hem Length

Hemlines are just as important as necklines. They determine how much “blank canvas” you need to fill.

.   A tunic dress with a long hemline can look like a really long expanse of the same fabric. You need to break it up. The best way to do that is with a belt in a complementary colour, loosely fastened at your natural waist. Not only does that flatter your shape, it draws the eye away from such an expanse of a single colour. Solid colour belts work best with print dresses, while boldly patterned belts look sensational with solid dresses.

.   A tunic dress with a short hemline doesn’t need to be broken up. Instead, it offers a great opportunity to be adventurous with leggings or tights. There are fabulous patterns this year that can offer a lot of zing to an otherwise plain dress. For a printed dress, solid colour leggings in one of the secondary colours can really pull the outfit together. If you wear a belt, choose a thin one to accentuate the length of the dress.


.     Tunic dresses with short sleeves are the perfect opportunity to bring out those bracelets. Experiment with several thin bracelets or with a thick, chunky bracelet combined with one or two thin ones. Just make sure the metallic finishes coordinate and that any other colours pick up an accent colour from the dress, belt, or scarf.

.     Long sleeves present the same challenges as long hemlines: a long, unbroken expanse of fabric. This is a fabulous opportunity to draw the eye up with a brilliant scarf or chunky, eye-catching jewellery.


Polishing the Look

.     Don’t forget shoes. Shoes should blend in with the primary colour, pick up one of the accent colours, or make a bold statement in a coordinating colour. Some trend-setters are even changing the laces in their shoes to pick up an accent colour from their outfit. Be aware of what look you are trying to achieve—a casual, trendy style or date-ready evening wear. If you’re going casual in a short tunic, footless tights or leggings and flats keep your dress classy yet fun. If you’re going more formal, opt for full tights and heels. In long tunics, dress up your look without going full-on red carpet with eye-catching sandals that are the right balance of formal and casual.

.     Afraid a tunic dress still isn’t the right look for your shape? Set your worries aside and be creative. Tunic dresses are one of the hot looks for all shapes, including curvy women.  With the right cut and accessories, every woman can be stylishly fashion-forward.

The best thing about a tunic dress is the versatility. You could wear the same dress two days in a row with greatly different accessories, and no one would ever guess. It’s just as easy to change the same dress from a daytime look to an evening look. Just exchange accessories, and you’re ready for a date or a night out with the girls. You create the perfect silhouette for your shape using belts, scarves, tights, and shoes. Bring the eye to what makes you beautiful using just the right embellishments. Simply think of a tunic dress as a blank canvas where you can practice your inner fashionista skills.

Now, with the tools presented here, go raid your closet for and start mixing and matching your accessories to create your new style. Try different necklaces, scarves, and belts. Mix and match colours and finishings. Discover your new favourite tunic dress look… or maybe your favourite two or three.


This is guest post by Jamie Mcmackin

Author bio:  Jamie Mcmackin is studying his final year in clothing design. He has a passion for style. He enjoys keeping ahead of the latest fashions and he often blogs about fresh fashion inspiration and flattering looks.