Change the look of your tunic by adding a belt.

How to Belt a Tunic

by Mercedes Valladares

Wearing long length tunic tops creates a sleek and stylish look. Certain designers featured the stylish top in their spring and summer 2013 collections in a variety of ensembles. Graphic prints, bold solid colors and elaborate embellishments flooded the runway mixed with different pieces. Whether tunic silhouettes include embellished necklines, structured collars or length variations, the style is also adaptable to belted looks. Since most women choose styles that enhance their best body features, belted tunics can also camouflage those areas you do not want to accentuate.

1. Creating Shape

When styling your tunic ensemble, it is important to strike a balance with the look. This is especially important given that certain tunic silhouettes are cut in a straight body style creating a boxy shape. Belting the tunic creates a defined shape while keeping the tunic look. Choose belts that have sufficient stretch to ensure a balanced look without cinching the waist. Tight waists can distort the look of the tunic. For example, the upper portion of the tunic can balloon or bunch up while the bottom flares creating an unflattering look.

2. Tunics and Your Body Shape

For those ladies concerned about wearing tunics with their body shape, choosing tunics with specific silhouette details prior to belting eliminates the worry. For instance, rectangle shaped women -- shoulder, waist and hips with similar widths --can benefit from a tunic style by adding a skinny belt to create a shaped waist. Look for tunics that have a structured collar, shoulder and sleeves. Pear shaped women -- narrow upper body with wider hips -- can draw attention to the upper body by creating a blouson effect -- a fitted waist blousing the upper portion -- with a wide belt worn loosely just above the hip line. This look camouflages the bottom while accentuating the top.

3. Patterned and Textured Belts

Given that tunics are available in a variety of colors and patterns and are finished with a myriad of embellishments including embroidery and appliqué work, choosing belts that do not clash with the this extended length top is something to be aware of when styling your ensemble. For instance, mix patterned belts with solid color tunics. If you want to mix patterns together, make sure patterns do not compete against each other. For instance, pair a wide white and black plaid tunic with a white and black zebra pattern belt for a modern twist.

4. Belted Tunic Ensembles

Pairing different pieces from your wardrobe with the belted tunic creates a fresh looking casual style. For instance, pair the belted extended length top with skinny jeans creating a long lean body-line. Active on-the-go moms can instantly look stylish wearing the belted tunic with leggings and ballet flats. For a trendy, hipster look wear the belted tunic with patterned tights and chunky platform shoes.

About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.

Photo Credits

  • Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images