Tunics are of one of the trendiest garments in women’s fashion right now, but few people realize that this fashionable piece of clothing has actually been around for centuries. In the west, it was the Ancient Greeks who wore the first versions of these tunics, while in India these garments are called ‘kurtis’ or ‘kurtas’ and have been paired with pajamas or salwars for many years. Silk tunics have a unique ethnic vibe since silk is a classic Indian fabric. Moreover, the silk tunic style popularized in the west as part of the ‘hippy movement’ was influenced by Indian fashions and is in fact just another version of the kurta.
Today a diverse range of lengths, neck lines and sleeves are available for tunics though the classic design always includes full sleeves. The length for kurtas would be till the knee while kurtis are much shorter, reaching mid-thigh at the most. In western style tunics the square neck is the most common style and this has been imitated by Indian designers as well. However the distinguishing factor for all tunics is their comfortable and breezy feel; when made of soft silk fabrics, this aspect is accentuated even further.
Silk tunics for women have a unique historical significance both in the west and east and have in fact become iconic casual wear. The most common usage for silk tunic tops is as casual wear in the summer, though there are many varieties available that can be styled more formally and even be worn in the winter. For instance, a silk tunic dress is usually longer, reaching to the knee and will typically come with a fitted silhouette while a silk tunic blouse would be short, reaching just till the hips and with shorter sleeves as well. Silk tunics from India always come with straight lines while western style tunics tend to be a bit more fitted. The emergence of fusion or indo western fashion means that now, one can have the best of ethnic designs and western silhouettes.
In terms of color, the norm is the single color silk tunic top, usually white, pink, yellow and other lighter colors. However, silk is a highly versatile fabric and can support many colors, designs and patterns. Nowadays darker colors like black, blue, brown and navy are seen as well as neon hues of pink, yellow purple and red; those with a preference for softer color palette will love the beautiful pastel shaded tunics.
Silk tunics can either be plain, printed, embroidered or embellished according to how fancy the outfit is. Indian tunics often come with borders of patch work, Resham work, zari work and much more. Even more elaborate embellishments like stones, sequins, Aari, Booti and Phulkari may be used. Casual wear kurtas and kurtis frequently come with interesting ethnic prints, from the traditional Warli, Madhubani and Batik to the more modern abstract and floral prints.
Styling Silk Tunics
A silk tunic is very versatile and as such can be styled in a variety of different ways and for different occasions. The most popular casual wear look is the tunics and leggings look. Not only is it stylish, a few different tunics and leggings can be paired up with different pieces of jewelry to create an array of diverse looks. For instance, the addition of a long beaded necklace and dangling earrings can instantly up the glamour quotient while silver bangles and a chunky Indian necklace can add a funky ethnic vibe. Color contrasts are all the rage right now and the tunic look is no exception. One can pair up contrasting prints and colors; for instance, a black silk tunic with red leggings and large gold necklace would be a comfortable yet chic party look. Similarly, pairing up a white silk tunic with colorful printed leggings will create a bright and pretty day time look. The same tunics can then be paired up with more sober leggings or jeans for office wear.
Tunics are also becoming very trendy for winter wear. This may seem counter intuitive since silk is typically a thin fabric; however, this aspect actually fits in well with the trend of layering different pieces. Thus silk tunic dresses can be worn with a cardigan, shrug, jacket or sweater, scarf, woolen leggings and boots for a stylish yet warm and toasty winter look. In spring and autumn, a simple stole may be all you need.
A stylish and in-vogue way to accessorize a long silk tunic is to pair it with a metallic belt. In fact the trendiest tunic design right now is with a drawstring around the waist and collar neck. This creates a fun, feminine silhouette and the look can be perfectly completed with some metallic bracelets.