Where are the long, fashionable "tunic tops?"


#1

In the recent discussions on modesty, some women have said that they’re uncomfortable wearing trousers because they believe that men’s eyes will be drawn to their private parts. I’m personally inclined to think this is a legitimate concern, and the few men I’ve spoken to about this to tend to agree. (Please note, though, that I don’t wish this thread to reopen debate on the subject of “what constitutes modest dress” in an absolute sense. I’m just talking about those of us who have personal preferences or convictions on this particular subject.)

In the same discussions, other posters have suggested that concerned women can “skirt the issue” :wink: by wearing tunic-style tops that come down past the hips. Such an outfit would also have the advantage of being easily adaptable for early pregnancy and postpartum. It’s interesting to note that, in those cultures where women have traditionally worn trousers, these types of longer tops have usually been the norm.

In today’s American department stores, though, such tops are next-to-impossible to find. One poster said that Kohl’s has them, but I was there recently and didn’t see a single one. Same with Mervyn’s… and a friend reports that JC Penney doesn’t have any, either. Macy’s web site does have quite a few “tunics” listed, but most of them are only slightly longer than a regular top. The few longer ones all seem to be immodest in other ways (low-cut neckline, etc.). They also tend to be dry-clean-only, which isn’t very practical for mothers of little ones.

Lands End’s “tunics” also don’t look quite as long and loose as what I’m thinking of. And they’re very casual, like an extra-long t-shirt. I’d prefer something with a bit more style.

Then there are the many online stores that cater to Middle Eastern or South Asian women. Some of their clothes are beautiful… but probably too “ethnic” for the average Catholic westerner. I’d feel more than a little strange wearing a salwar-kameez around my Indian friends, even if I do make a mean batch of pakoras! :smiley:

After all the searching, I’ve only found one that’s close to what I’m looking for. It’s $80, which is a bit much for many of us to pay for an everyday top. And the neckline might be problematic for some. But it’s the best I’ve seen.

I’m open to sewing my own, or paying a seamstress, if needed. But I think it’s a shame that mainstream clothing stores don’t give women the option of wearing longer tops.

Any ideas?


#2

[quote=maryceleste]In the recent discussions on modesty, some women have said that they’re uncomfortable wearing trousers because they believe that men’s eyes will be drawn to their private parts. I’m personally inclined to think this is a legitimate concern, and the few men I’ve spoken to about this to tend to agree. (Please note, though, that I don’t wish this thread to reopen debate on the subject of “what constitutes modest dress” in an absolute sense. I’m just talking about those of us who have personal preferences or convictions on this particular subject.)

Other posters have suggested that concerned women can “skirt the issue” :wink: by wearing tunic-style tops that come down past the hips. Such an outfit would also have the advantage of being easily adaptable for early pregnancy and postpartum. It’s interesting to note that, in those cultures where women have traditionally worn trousers, these types of longer tops have usually been the norm.

In today’s American department stores, though, they’re next-to-impossible to find. One poster said that Kohl’s has them, but I was there recently and didn’t see a single one. Same with Mervyn’s… and a friend reports that JC Penney doesn’t have any, either. Macy’s web site does have quite a few “tunics” listed, but most of them are only slightly longer than a regular top. The few longer ones all seem to be immodest in other ways (low-cut neckline, etc.). They also tend to be dry-clean-only, which isn’t very practical for mothers of little ones.

Lands End’s “tunics” also don’t look quite as long as what I’m thinking of. And they’re very casual, like an extra-long t-shirt. I’d prefer something with a bit more style.

Then there are the many online stores that cater to Middle Eastern or South Asian women. Some of their clothes are beautiful… but probably too “ethnic” for the average Catholic westerner. I’d feel more than a little strange wearing a salwar-kameez around my Indian friends, even if I do make a mean batch of pakoras! :smiley:

After all the searching, I’ve only found one that’s close to what I’m looking for. It’s $80, which is a bit much for many of us to pay for an everyday top. And the neckline might be immodest for some. But it’s the best I’ve seen.

I’m open to sewing my own, or paying a seamstress, if needed. But I think it’s a shame that mainstream clothing stores don’t give women the option of wearing longer tops.

Any ideas?
[/quote]

Sounds like a heaven-sent (if you’ll pardon a slight pun) business opportunity for you - try having a few made and taking them round to stores to look at and see if they’re interested.


#3

[quote=LilyM]Sounds like a heaven-sent (if you’ll pardon a slight pun) business opportunity for you - try having a few made and taking them round to stores to look at and see if they’re interested.
[/quote]

Thanks for the idea, but I was hoping for something that would be a little less work! :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously, though… if you have any patterns to recommend, I’d appreciate it very much. :slight_smile:


#4

There used to be some criticism when women wore their shalwar-kameez a little too tight … they were referred to as being “teddy”.

The only unsexy outfit that women can wear to de-emphasize their curves would be a very oversize, very baggy, set of sweats.


#5

I was talking about this with my 19 year old daughter just this week. We agree that the shalwar-kameez is both attractive, comfortable and modest (my Indian friend calls it Punjabi dress) and we would like to start wearing them outside of work.

Could start a new Catholic fashion.


#6

Try Lane Bryant.

I know that they have tops that are at least 28 inches long and I have seen them as long as 32 inches. They are a store for, shall we say, larger women.

I normally wear a size 12 pants and a M/L shirt in a regular store. At Lane Bryant I get a M shirt and I have gotten pants that are Medium.

If you are a small women, this will not work for you.

They are on line at lanebryantcatalog.com . I just ordered 3 of their sleeveless mock-turtlenecks. I know that many will not want sleeveless, but they are not tanktops. The shoulder is nice an wide and the arm hole is not too big. Great for the hot summer.


#7

[quote=maryjk]Try Lane Bryant.

I know that they have tops that are at least 28 inches long and I have seen them as long as 32 inches. They are a store for, shall we say, larger women.
[/quote]

Thanks! I’m on the smaller side, but I’m sure it will help someone else. :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth, I’ve done some measuring, and tops that are around 31" - 35" long seem to be about right for me. And I’ve also discovered that most stores DO sell fashionable tunics of this length. They just call them dresses! :rotfl:

Seriously, if you check Nordstrom’s web site, there are several above-the-knee styles that are pictured both as “dresses” and as “tunics.” I would have thought wearing slacks under a dress was the worst kind of fashion faux pas, but I guess it’s not a problem, as long as you have the confidence to proclaim it a “tunic” instead. Which makes a lot more sense than wearing those so-called “dresses” as is. :rolleyes:

This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities…


#8

Check out old navy. they always have tunics. I also seem to remember them advertising longer lengths in shirts. Also check out their maternity section for passable non maternity wearing.


#9

Maryceleste, I’ve been asking myself this same question for a while now. Although for me, it’s not a matter of privacy, per se, but, I’d like some camo for my big butt! I really dislike current fashions and have a hard time buying new clothes. Everything runs small and fitted and short. It makes me long for the 80s with all the long tunic-style tops, long stretchy skirts, long blouses with shoulder pads.

Affordability and ease of purchase are also factors. I’ll check out some of these links, so thank you to those who suggested them. Hopefully fashion will change soon!


#10

Simplicity 0590 “Destination India” line of patterns.

Just one example of many.


#11

oldnavy.com/browse/category.do?cid=5435&pageID=-1
Tunics in Women’s and Women’s Plus!


#12

I just found this on amazon Tunics

I have been looking at these for a long time now… I’ve had three babies and I have a slight mama pudge that I like to cover up. But because I’m short (as are most Indian women), tunics look nice. I’ve always admired those longer punjab dresses (as another poster described them).

Thanks to the previous poster for the information for sewing one. I’m getting into sewing so this will be a nice challenge for me! :smiley:


#13

on-line at Lane Bryant, Romans, silhouettes, Ulla Popken, Junonia


#14

I don’t like t-shirts and tank tops, too clingy, and I hate shorts, in the summer I wear sundresses, simple a-line sheath style, over shorts or capris. more modest, more coverage, more slimming.


#15

What a fun thread! Another super-flattering look is the weskit top. Very classic lines, and creates a waistline by the cut of the shirt. Modelst neckline and I think somewhat slimming to the hips. Here’s a link to one outfit at Coldwater Creek, which always sells a few weskits in a variety of colors all year round.

coldwatercreek.com/aspx/product.aspx?np=true&channel=1&productId=26696&deptId=1&ensembleId=29748

If you do a search on “weskit” you’ll find that they sell about a dozen or so different styles.


#16

Go to the Simplicity.com website. Under “women’s top” ther are a number of patterns for tunics. Specifically 4528, 5197 & 5684.

You can also look at Butterick and McCalls (I’ll look there next I think).

Even if you don’t sew there are people that will for a small fee, just ask at the fabric store. Before I did any sewing I had to have choir dresses/skirts made and it was just the cost of material plus $10. It may be more now though. All the patterns look super easy and could be made in an afternoon.


#17

You might do a search for “African clothing” either online or in a large city’s phone directory because there are many styles from a variety of countries that use traditional and other fabrics with long loose tunics with either an ankle length skirt or loose pants underneath. A lot of the outfits are clearly very “ethnic” while others are just pretty hand dyed fabrics or abstract embroidered fabrics. I’ve seen a number of gorgeous outfits on African women at my parish that anyone could wear and not feel odd. If you find a country whose traditional style of garment suits you then it is just a matter of looking for fabrics and/or trim that you like. Lots of natural fibers are used so the clothing breathes well.

I live in an area with a large Indian population and a pretty sizeable African population, so if anyone ever comes to the Dallas metro area you will find lots of beautiful, loose and long things to choose from right in the stores in the Irving and Carrollton areas.


#18

I have found some nice tunic styles at Target and Walmart they are more summery and in MN that is the only time I wear them, I would freeze in winter. I have also seen them on Ebay.
I like them because after having four kids I am so self consious about my tummy and butt and I hate anything short and I think they look dressy, I would love to find some for winter, I agree that it is next to impossible these days to find any longer shirts or even sweaters, I wore them all the time growing up in highschool and it is impossible to find them now and I think they are still very much in style.


#19

HAHAHA love your thread!

I also love the long tunic tops, and have found them everywhere! Look in shops such as TJMax and Marshalls if you have them, and I must say alot of them can be found in the “Women’s Dept” like a size 1X. I have bought several because I love that Indian cotton tunic with cute embroidery or sparkles. Love anything with sparkles (hence my name) – I wear them with jeans or cute stretch leggings. Or even a long flowing skirt. I just feel so much more feminine when I’m not in tailored clothes, like I used to wear when I had a career umpteen years ago. Love all the flowing skirts you find everywhere-don’t you all? And um–yes, they’re also much more modest!!!

God Bless~


#20

I forgot to add that they have a number of loose tunics online at spiegel.com

spiegel.com/shop/thumbnail.aspx?index=0&gp_coll_id=5001&gp_cat_id=5002&nav_cat_id=8379&category_id=8380


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