June 4, 2020
Today’s interesting warning – if you’re wearing a mask frequently, be ABSOLUTELY sure that you’re washing both the mask(s) and your face every 5 minutes or so. I currently have a really painful broken-out face from mask irritation. It’s both ugly and sore…
But let’s look at helping one of our friends get some good use from a beautiful garment, eh?
This isn’t the exact tunic, of course, but it’s sleeveless, and includes the colors royal blue, black and white, just like our friend’s tunic. So I’m hopeful that any advice I can think of will be useful!
With a little bit of thought, this top could be worn for most of the year – I know it’s odd to think of wearing sleeveless things in cooler weather, but stick with me…
First up, the most obvious way to wear this tunic, to me, is to pair it with narrow cropped pants or capris. You can tell if pants are meant to be narrow if they have slits at the hem of the legs. But always check if you can get a good measurement for the leg opening size. This top, with the flared hem, might look odd with pants that are also flared…
In hot weather, one still has to wear long pants from time to time. Maybe it’s a question of bugs, or of sun, but very lightweight pants can be important! The nice thing about wearing a tunic over white pants is that the tunic covers all KINDS of things you might want to cover!
2 thoughts about the accessories – I love the whimsy of the cat earrings! They’re subtle – you might have to actually show them to your friends for them to see the fun…
And until and unless we all get haircuts on a regular schedule, having a pretty headband in our favorite accent color is just plain smart. It could prove to be your most-worn accessory of the summer!
It’s definitely possible to wear a tunic with shorts! Just make sure that your shorts are longer than your tunic – nothing looks more peculiar than an outfit in which your “bottom” garment isn’t visible! (of course, having your bottom visible isn’t good either…)
Here’s a way that you can carry this tunic over into cooler weather – wear it under a sweater! So long as the hem of the sweater or cardigan doesn’t squeeze in and bunch up your tunic fabric, the print hem will hang out below the hem of your cardigan and look cool. Balance the printed hem with a necklace of some heft, and toss in some fun blue socks!
So with these 4 outfits, we have this little, very poorly-balanced, capsule wardrobe:
But this is a great base for a real travel capsule wardrobe – just add some tops:
NOW, this is a travel capsule wardrobe! I could toss this in a bag and go right now…
Of course, all 4 “new” tops are versatile:
Do you have an neglected garment that needs a little bit of attention? Let me know…
p.s. Seven years ago, I was struggling to get myself sorted out in the morning, but I DID have time to share one of my all-time favorite mottos!
I adore the colours and clean lines of this wardrobe. I have one concern: how do you feel about the bottom of the tunic peeking out of both the white and black cardigan? It appears that the cardigans might be shorter than the tunic. This bothers me. Am I the only one?
Keep up the fabulous work. Your posts have been a welcome escape for me in the past three months. Thank you.
Oh, the cardigans are deliberately shorter than the tunic – it would look like a ton of fabric if the cardigans were as long as the tunic, so I thought that I would take advantage of that pretty printed tunic fabric that could show below the bottom of the cardigan. Once you get used to that whole “bottom layer showing below the 2nd layer” thing, it’s very comfortable, and I like the way it looks. I offer it up as an idea for our heroine who wants to think about ALL of the possibilities for this top…
Sally in St Paul says
Like Janice, I am very comfortable wearing a top that is longer than the cardigan. I mostly don’t worry at all about mismatched lengths there, even when I am (was?) going to my business casual office. And I actually find a longer shirt or tunic with a shorter cardigan pretty cute and fun on myself and others. That said, I do think that some combinations of longer shirt and shorter sweater can challenge traditional figure-flattery ideas, especially with a buttoned up cardigan or pullover sweater. In the example Janice shows us, some heroines might feel like breaking up the column of black with a bright contrast at the widest point of their body is doing them no favors…while others don’t mind at all (or have a body shape where this isn’t an issue). I expect that I would be perfectly happy with this combination if the cardigan is worn open, but I would have to see what the buttoned cardigan or pullover sweater would look like. Now since this is an outfit for warmer weather, I would probably add a long blue scarf down the front because I love scarves and wear them as much as I can. Happily this also adds an element of verticality to the outfit and would probably be enough for me to feel that the overall balance is just fine.
Sally in St Paul says
I meant to say “since this is a warmer outfit for cooler weather”!
Cardigan open – might make ALL the difference! For a cardigan that’s roomy and doesn’t nip in at the hem, buttoned might be great, but if there’s any sense of constraint or being hemmed in, leave it unbuttoned!
Sally in St Paul says
Cobalt or royal blue is possibly my very favorite accent for black and white. That blue striped T is kind of genius in how well it blends at the bottom with darker pants/skirt. And I am increasingly convinced that a warm-weather wardrobe benefits a LOT from a higher ratio of prints to keep things interesting without needing to add a scarf or statement necklace.
I can understand why a person could find it difficult to fit a tunic into her wardrobe. For me, tunics look best with the skinniest possible pants. Depending on how a heroine’s body is shaped, this can make it a little hard to wear the same pants with tunics and with normal length tops. On me, skinny pants look very similar to leggings on the back side and upper thigh, so I would struggle a bit to wear that tunic and those Ts with the same pants, without having pants that are too baggy for my taste when worn with a tunic. My mom, who is very slim from the hips and down, might find it difficult to find any pants to work with a tunic at all…she would probably look best in leggings with tunics. Again, this is reflecting my strong personal preference for a skinny pant silhouette with tunics. Some people can really pull off a tunic + voluminous pants look, but it’s harder to get right and doesn’t work well with everybody’s shape. I wonder if a knit pencil skirt would be a good alternative. On me, this kind of skirt works with a lot of different types of top because even though it is close fitting, the exposed back side does not look attention-grabbing or semi-scandalous in a close fitting skirt the way it does in tight pants/leggings.
I’ve been wearing headbands daily since the shutdown, but those rigid headbands that stay in place through pressure on the sides give me a headache just looking at them! (I gave up headbands very early in life because it wasn’t worth the pain.) So for people like me who struggle more with headbands being too tight and comfortable, and are willing to forego a little bit of sticking power to alleviate that tension, I have found alternatives. A scarf worn as a headband can be very comfortable and quite chic, but works best with smaller/shorter scarves in my experience. You can also purchase (or easily make using an online tutorial) headbands that are made entirely of a stretchy fabric…these vary from wide headbands with a very sporty/casual look (geared more toward yoga/athletics etc. but that I think look pretty good when they are folded in half to a narrower band) to a more traditional look. My favorites are those that are part stiff-but-flexible material on the top but that behind the ears have an adjustable elastic band to provide a more custom fit. Googling “stretchy headband” or “elastic headband” will show you what I mean. There are also online tutorials for making those yourself…I have already unearthed my sewing supplies to make face masks so I’m eager to try my hand at making my own headbands.
Thanks Janice for offering up some great ideas for wearing a printed tunic. I transposed a picture of my tunic on top of yours in PowerPoint and it looked great with all of your suggestions. Would you add a French 5 in a second accent colour, your example being red, mine an emerald green?
Beth T says
I dont have the height or figure to pull off the tunic and trousers look. I did try but it was unforgiving in every way. If the tunic was a midi dress I would wear it with a red belt, blue and silver accessories and blue or red sandals. I’m surprised Janice that you haven’t included a pop of red somewhere.
Normally, I would have included red, but this was a special request; and the tunic that our friend owns has some leafy greens in it, and not the red. But you’re starting to think the way I do!
Please be careful with all of that facial touching ! Hope that your sore nose heals quickly !
Tunics and leggings on me — not on this pear shape of mine, despite wishing it to be otherwise !
Pat from Sarasota says
I love these ideas, but you lost me on the ‘wash your face and mask every five minutes.” If you are out and about, wearing a mask, surely you’ll be gone more than 5 minutes, and how do you wash your face and mask when you are out? What am I missing? So sorry you are suffering. I hope it gets better soon.
Five minutes might be an exaggeration, but it’s no joke that wearing a mask can really mess up your face! I’m heading to the dermatologist (1 block from here) tomorrow to have cortisone injected into at least 1 spot that’s SO inflamed and sore that it’s frightening…
Nothing like looking ugly when you’re stuck at home with your Belovedest all the time!
Pat from Sarasota says
Aha! Makes sense. I hope the dermatologist can help you And I’m sure Belovedest love you no matter what you look like. Why it it so hard for us to believe that? Take care.
I love these colors – the blue really helps bring sophistication to the black, white, and red combination. Janice, I wonder if you could wear a cotton kerchief instead of a mask for a few days while your skin settles down? My husband is wearing a Buff (neck gaiter) which he finds very comfortable. – nancyo
Mask rash – ugh! I hated the way the lower half of my face was sweating while the upper half was not. Masks are required in our area so I took a chance and made a new mask lined with China silk. I wore it for the first time yesterday and it is by far less uncomfortable than masks with 2layers of cotton.
I’ve read really good things about silk-lined masks – you’re ahead of the curve!