If you’re looking for a buy-now-wear-now item to boost your summer mood, go for a sheer blouse or tunic. The stores are filled with great styles at all price points, grab one to freshen up your favorite white pants or black pencil skirt. Wear it with a smile and a great layering piece! Here’s how:
Generally a blouse will hit from about 4 inches below the waist to mid hip. Tunics can go from 27 inches to 30 or even longer. To minimize hips look for a style that stops around the top of the hips or covers them completely. Anything that stops mid-hip is likely to accentuate because it creates a horizontal line at the widest part of the body.
If you’re petite, (5’2” or under) a tunic should measure 25 to 27 inches at the center back neck. If it’s too long, it will swallow you up and look dowdy. The taller you are, the more length you can get away with. In fact, if you’re tall, a tunic looks best when it hits below the hips; otherwise it can look like the equivalent of wearing pants or sleeves that are too short.
Wear these garments out. Tucking them in inhibits their free-flowing simplicity. The more sheer the fabric the more volume it needs to look right. Wearing them a little loose adds to summer comfort anyway.
1. Chiffon Peasant Tunic, HSN, $30. 2. Sheer Blouse, Lauren by Ralph Lauren Plus Size, Macy’s $129. 3. Starfish Chain Belt, Boston Proper, $78. 4. Tassel Tie Belt, Shopbop.com, $105. 5. Monaco Tunic, Soft Surroundings, $90. 6. Linen Gauze Blouse, Eileen Fisher, Garnet Hill, $178.
Blouses and tunics can both be belted, even if you’re not rail thin. When belted, the garment should still hit no higher than mid hip and you’ll want to avoid heavy, dark leather belts on light airy fabrics. If you’re petite and trim, a thin tie belt with tassels, or a chain belt would work well. If you’re a bigger or taller gal, have a tummy, or want to create the illusion of a waist, go for a wider belt and push it lower on the hip to form a V in the center front. This is a little trick learned from staging fashion shows using real women as models: that little V is magic!
Belts should always be worn on the loose side. The very LAST thing you want to do, no matter what size you are, is to pull a belt tight around your waist. It’s supremely uncomfortable and looks odd. NOTE: PeeWee Herman uses this trick to look uptight and awkward.
Of course, all depends on what’s underneath! You don’t want to play peek-a-boo, the object is to cover up without covering it all. For that, you need the right layering piece and it’s usually a camisole or tank top that doesn’t look like an afterthought or underwear. White looks best under white or a print with lots of white ground. For some reason, wearing colors under sheer white usually ends up looking cheesy. With bold colors or black, you can be more creative and go with a contrast color.
Steer clear of nylon as much as you can when it’s hot. This includes most shapewear, As much as we love it’s magical holding power, shapewear can feel like a tourniquet on hot summer days.
1. Talbots summer weight cotton tank,$24.50 (misses), $29.50 (plus). 2. The Yummie Tummie Tank ‘is soft cotton with a spandex tummy control panel, $62 to $68. 3. J. Jill Pima Cotton Camis and Tanks, $22 (regular sizes) to $28 (plus size). 4. Natural Leather Woven Belt, Chico’s, $69. 5. Jockey Cotton Tank in multiple colors, $12 at Macy’s.com and Macy’s stores. 6. O Ring Chain Leather Belt, Talbots, $69.