19 May 2011 – Swapped

May 19th, 2011 § 17 comments

19 May 2011 - Swapped


  • Tunic Shirt: Edme & Esyllte via clothing swap
  • Shirt (under): Banana Republic
  • Belt: BR Outlet
  • Skinnies: Anne Taylor LOFT
  • Shoes: Dolce Vita via endless.com
  • Necklace: Accessorize (gift)

Nothing too exciting about this outfit other than the fact that I nabbed this great tunic shirt at the clothing swap I had recently. I have been having major problems getting excited to get dressed this week since it has been raining and in the 40s and 50s every day. Oh yeah, did I mention that it’s MID-MAY!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I’m going bonkers and am absolutely fed up with freezing in my classroom, so after my valiant attempt at spring tights last week, I’ve thrown in the towel on skirts in favor of pants until I see some serious sunshine.

19 May 2011 - Swapped closeup

My verdict is still out on this outfit, but in theory it was great. The loose tunic top, stretchy comfort of Anne Taylor ponte pants, and my new Dolce Vita flats! How cozy? How comfy? How not tight on my tumtum! Alas, the tunic seems a little too flowy (it is a size 12, but you can’t be too picky when it’s swapped/free!) and the belt I added to tame things just wasn’t sitting right on my torso no matter where I put it for some reason. I tried using a skinnier belt that was colorful, a looser belt that sat low, and a wide stretchy belt to pull it all in, but nothing worked. This was totally one of those outfits that left my room in a shambles because I had pulled EVERYTHING out of my closet to try to make it work. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Any ideas on how to make this tunic work in my wardrobe before it get’s put back in the swap-pile?


19 May 2011 - Swapped side

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§ 17 Responses to 19 May 2011 – Swapped"

  1. Becca says:

    That shirt is a really good shape and colour on you. I diiiiiiiiig it.

  2. Judi says:

    I was actually thinking I like this outfit better than most of your recent ones, it is slimming and lengthening even with flat shoes. I do have a question, every time I try the “over belt” I wind up with the sticking-out belt end like I can see in this photo. It annoys me and I think it looks weird. Do you have any ideas on how to deal with that issue? Thanks!

    • Chelsea says:

      Judi, the “over belt” happens to me a lot too. With thick belts, I always just tuck the end back under, towards the buckle. Even pretty stiff belts will do this if you have enough of a tail. For skinny belts, I go up and under the part around your waist (often seen in J. Crew catalogs) so the tail points down or mostly down. With some skinny belts, I do a variation on using the buckle, but not the holes of the belt which usually has the tail pointing in somewhat down direction.

      • Jenn Lessmann says:

        You can also use a bobby pin to tack the end down – this works best with a woven belt though

        • Melissa says:

          I have a tendency to find a matching hair elastic and put that at the necessary point to serve as an extra belt loop. The end stays down and, if you’ve matched the belt, it’s fairly invisible. I leave the elastic with the belt so that it’s always available. For skinnier belts, I just double the elastic over.

  3. Christina says:

    Another way to fit the top is to gather a portion of the back around the waist and use an elastic to tie it off. That gives you a nice little round gather to create a waist. Another option is to layer a tank dress over it, or a sheath dress over it. You can also tuck it in to a pencil skirt, roll up the sleeves, pop a tank under, and wear it as a casual option.

    I run into the belt problem all the time, but I usually just stick a bobby pin in there at the end to clip the two ends together.

    • Jenn Lessmann says:

      I’ve seen students do the elastic thing, and it does look cute from the front… but then they walk away and it looks like they have some kind of growth coming out of their lower back… a vestigial tail or something.

      I had an outfit just like this on this morning (except my tunic top is really an oversized tuxedo shirt), but ultimately I took it off because the belt wouldn’t stay put. I felt like I was going to be pulling the shirt down all day, since it came up when I raised my hand, but the belt kept it from going back down again. Maybe I’ll try it again when I’m not going to be in front of judgey teenagers all day.

  4. Miss B says:

    Tucked into a full skirt? I have a shirt like that too, it just doesn’t sit right. However it may feel the pictures make it look fine!

  5. Miss B says:

    Oh, and about the extra belt, I use a clear rubber elastic hair band. I got the trick from another blogger, but no one can tell and it keeps it in place all day.

  6. Eleanorjane says:

    I think the belt you’ve got on looks good, but what about a little tailored waistcoat as another option? It’d keep you warmer too… Could a clever tailor do something like put some elasticated gathering in the small of your back area? Or just take in the seams a bit? Or create a little criss-cross tie thingy at the back? The colour is lovely with your hair. (Love red hair…)

  7. Kate says:

    I like the detailing on the tunic — what if you wore it unbuttoned and belted with a few-inch gap, over a dress? Maybe something in black or white to keep the focus on playing up the shapes and textures?

  8. Julia says:

    I’d tuck it into a full or pencil skirt or a waistcoast–I have a very similar shirt which is far too big but I use it like that and it works great! A long dangly necklace never hurts either. :)

  9. Anna says:

    I feel like this tunic is very “beachy” looking. Try going with that theme – leave it unbuttoned and pair it with some white capris and a very light-colored tank top – stick to neutral colors! Add natural-looking necklaces in colors that pop. I live in Greenville, SC and I see this look here all the time! It’s a very casual look! I LOVE the tunic, I hope you can make it work for you! :)

  10. I actually LOVE this outfit! I think that a tunic button-down is exactly what’s missing in my own wardrobe, so I’m looking at yours with envy. I think it did work well in your case.

  11. Judi says:

    Thanks for all the belt tips, ladies! I never thought of either the bobby pin or hair elastic ideas, but I will be trying them both. Belted outfits here I come!

  12. Rachel says:

    I really like this sort of style of tunic tops actually! Has an almost resort feel going on, could see it being great for holiday trips with jeans and a floaty contrasting scarf. For work, have you considered trying a sash instead of a belt? Sashes tend to stay put better than belts and are more comfortable.. you could just leave the ends of the sash at the back and it would be similar to the style/fit of these tunic shirts which come with drawstring at the waist area to cinch it in.

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