Empire waist tunic tops have stood the test of time as a flattering, feminine wardrobe staple. The empire silhouette cinches directly under the bust, highlighting the smallest part of the torso before gently draping over the stomach and hips. This creates an elongated, slimming profile on all body types. Tunic tops are also extremely versatile – they can be dressed up or down effortlessly. It’s no wonder this top style has maintained popularity for centuries!
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about rocking empire waist tunic tops. First, we’ll highlight the top 5 empire waist styles on the market right now. Next, we’ll go over some tips for choosing the tunic that flatters your figure best. Finally, we’ll answer frequently asked questions about fit, styling, and dressing up this closet staple. Read on to embrace this iconic look and make it your own!
Top 5 Empire Waist Tunic Tops
The empire waist design lends itself well to a variety of necklines, sleeve lengths, and stylish details. Here are 5 of the best-selling and most beloved empire waist tunic tops available today:
1. Floral Print Chiffon Tunic Top
This airy chiffon tunic top is perfect for breezy spring and summer wear. The lightweight fabric has a soft, flowy drape that flatters curves. The relaxed empire waistline sits right below the bust, while the V-neckline and elbow-length sleeves balance the floaty shape. An allover floral print adds a feminine touch. Pair this tunic with everything from jeans to skirts for the ultimate warm weather staple. The chiffon fabric requires gentle wash care, but the payoff is worth it for the ethereal effect. Pick up this tunic in an array of charming floral prints.
2. Solid Color Cotton Tunic Top
For casual everyday wear, you can’t go wrong with this classic cotton tunic. The soft, breathable cotton knit fabric skims over curves in a flattering way. A wide scoop neckline shows just a hint of skin. Short sleeves and a drawstring empire waist add comfort and definition. This tunic comes in a spectrum of rich, saturated solids, making it so easy to throw on with jeans, leggings, or skirts. The cotton material is durable yet smooth against the skin. Skip the dryer with this top to prevent shrinkage. Affordable pricing makes this a wardrobe essential.
3. Long Sleeve Wrap Waist Tunic
This long sleeve tunic top combines the relaxed empire silhouette with an elevated surplice neckline and cross-wrap waist detail. The soft jersey fabric hugs curves before draping loosely from the waist down. Long sleeves provide coverage while the V-neckline flatters the décolletage. Extra length in the back enhances the fluid shape. Cinch the wraparound ties at the waist to customize the fit. Dress this piece up with ankle pants and heels, or wear it casual with leggings and booties. The stretch jersey fabric allows for easy wear.
4. Printed Peasant Tunic Blouse
Bring boho vibes to your wardrobe with this printed peasant tunic. Billowy fabric, a tassel-trimmed V-neckline, and elbow-length sleeves channel 70s-inspired style. Intricate embroidery and globally inspired prints give this blouse its artisanal flair. Gently smocked shoulders lead to the relaxed empire waist. A sweeping high-low hem completes the effortless look. Wear this peasant top with cutoffs for a festival-ready ensemble. Or tuck it into a midi skirt for an elevated evening option. The lightweight fabric requires gentle laundering to preserve the vivid prints.
5. Satin Kimono Sleeve Tunic
For luxurious loungewear or night out glam, reach for this satin tunic. Shimmering satin fabric catches the light, while the loose silhouette keeps the vibe relaxed. Fluttery kimono sleeves complement the wide V-neckline. The optional sash belt cinches the waist for definition. Drape this tunic over slim leggings and heels for instant evening chic. It also looks equally luxe paired with cropped sweatpants for at-home elegance. Dry clean this top to maintain the satin sheen.
How to Choose the Right Empire Waist Tunic Top
Now that we’ve highlighted some stellar empire waist tunic options, let’s go over a few tips for selecting your perfect match:
- Consider your body type. What works for your best friend may not be the most flattering silhouette for you. Petite and pear shapes often shine in empire styles. Apple figures can benefit from the defined waistline. Choose tunics with enough room through the bust and hips to skim curves for optimal drape.
- Pay attention to fabric. Breathable, flowy fabrics like chiffon and soft knits work well for empire waist shaping. Stiff fabrics won’t drape properly over curves. Seek out soft, comfortable materials so you’ll actually enjoy wearing your tunic.
- Mind the waistline. The waist must hit at your natural waist – the narrowest part of your midsection – for that flattering, elongated look. Getting the waistline right ensures the tunic flatters rather than overwhelms your figure.
- Look for ease through hips. Tunics should skim over hips and rear without pulling, gaping, or clinging. Seek styles with subtle A-line shaping for comfort and coverage.
- Consider your sleeve needs. Sleeveless and short sleeve styles great show off arms and keep you cool in warm weather. Long sleeves provide more coverage for self-conscious wearers. Split the difference with 3/4 or elbow length.
- Evaluate versatility. Solid colors and minimalist prints can transition seamlessly from a casual lunch to date night. Embroidered, embellished, or bright patterned tunics make more of a style statement.
- Use size charts. Since empire waists are fitted below the bust, rely on size charts instead of your usual size. Measure under your bust to get the right fit.
- Read reviews. Online reviews can reveal how the tunic fits on various body types. This helps figure out which styles run large or small.
- Consider cost per wear. A high quality tunic in a neutral color can become a cost-per-wear all-star of your wardrobe. More embellished or printed tunics may serve occasional statement purposes.
- Check care instructions. Tunics that hold up with machine washing and drying make easy care options. More delicate fabrics require a gentler hand but deliver beautiful drape and movement.
Empire Waist Tunic Top FAQs
Empire waist tunic tops are extremely versatile, but you may still have questions about fit, styling, and flattering your unique figure. Here we answer some frequently asked empire waist tunic FAQs:
Q: What body types do empire waist tunic tops work best for?
A: Empire waist tops are renowned for suiting a wide variety of figures. Petites can avoid being overwhelmed by volume up top. Plus sizes benefit from the waist definition which avoids tent-like shapes. Apple figures flatter their bottom half with a nipped in waistline. Pear shapes balance out curvier hips with a streamlined bust and shoulders. Even tall or athletic builds can rock tunics by selecting the right fabric and fit. The key is paying attention to your unique proportions.
Q: How should an empire waist tunic fit properly?
A: At the waistline, the tunic should fit snugly without squeezing or cutting in. You should be able to slide two fingers side by side between your torso and the garment. The waistband should sit right at the narrowest part of your natural waist. Wearing the waist too low defeats the purpose of the empire silhouette. From the waist down, the tunic should lightly skim over the hips and stomach area without pulling or gaping.
Q: What bottoms do you wear with an empire waist tunic top?
A: The possibilities are endless when it comes to pairing empire waist tunics with bottoms! For casual cool, try skinny jeans, leggings, or cutoff shorts on the bottom. Flowy maxi skirts or circle skirts balance the tunic shape perfectly. Cropped wide-leg pants show off a hint of ankle. Culottes or gaucho pants work for a boho vibe. For evening, tuck your tunic into a faux leather miniskirt or high-waisted skinny pants. Even layered over a slim dress, the tunic adds dimension.
Q: How do you dress up an empire waist tunic for work or going out?
A: It’s simple to take a tunic from daytime casual to chic evening out. Swap flats for heels to instantly elevate the look. Add some sparkle with delicate jewelry like layered necklaces or hoop earrings. Pop on a blazer or cropped cardi for some polish. Cinch in the waist with a skinny belt or fabric tie belt. For night, try ankle slacks and strappy heels, or tuck into a leather mini skirt. Finish with a wristlet or clutch bag and bold lip color.
Q: What jackets and cardigans complement an empire waist tunic?
A: An array of jackets and cardigans can complete your tunic look. For casual wear, go for oversized cardigans, jean jackets, or drapey kimonos. Cropped cardigans are perfect for showing off the waistline. Blazers, both fitted and slouchy, offset the tunic’s relaxed vibe. Long dusters maintain the easy elegance. Leather moto jackets bring in edge. The safest bet is to match jacket and tunic hemlines. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different proportions.
Hopefully this empire waist tunic guide gave you plenty of tips for choosing and styling this iconic top in a way that celebrates your body. The empire silhouette flatters all different shapes and sizes while still being comfortable for everyday wear. Dress your tunic up or down to suit any occasion. Layer it with jackets and cardigans as the weather cools. With the right fit and styling, this versatile closet staple can be your new go-to for effortless chic.
What are your favorite ways to wear empire waist tunics? Do you have a flattering brand or style you adore? Share your tunic tips and insights in the comments below!