How to Wear Petite Tunic Dresses With Leggings

Find out how to wear petite tunic dresses with leggings

Are you interested in dressing to compliment your body type? Trends often come and go, but not all clothes suit all bodies. This can be frustrating, as the models we see on TV and in magazines always seem to rock the latest trends. 

Unfortunately, we don’t all suit the same clothes, but this can be a good thing too! Learning about your body type and proportions is a great way to take your wardrobe to the next level. Instead of trying to rock any garments, you can focus on which ones suit you best.

A great example of a staple piece that suits all body types is the tunic dress. While it’s very rare that one garment will suit many body types, this versatile piece does.

You can wear these dresses on various occasions, and they also pair well with other garments like leggings. 

Keep reading to explore how you can style a petite tunic dress to suit your body style.

A Short Tunics Guide – What They Are and How to Style Them

Before we jump into the styling guide, we’ll quickly look at what tunic dresses actually are.

The name tunic dress refers to a dress with a straight shape, and it’s often made with one or two large sections of fabric, unlike other dresses that are created from more pieces. Tunic dresses are often mini-length and emphasize the wearer’s legs. 

Here are some of the most common tunic dresses:

Flowy Tunic Dress


A popular style of tunic dress is the boho cut. This is baggier than more traditional tunic dresses, and it often features intricate prints or small embroidery details. These boho-style dresses often have long bell sleeves or gathered sleeves. Everything about this style is free-flowing and comfortable.

You can find these dresses with colorful prints or in plain colors too. Popular versions include white linen tunic dresses that can be paired with statement jewelry. You can also add heeled wedges to this outfit for an evening-ready look. A flowy sunhat is also a perfect accessory to go with the boho aesthetic too.

Straight Tunic Dress


Perhaps one of the most common styles of tunic dress, the straight dress is the most versatile option you can find. Whether you’re having a casual day, an office meeting, or an evening party, you can wear this dress for all occasions. 

A straight tunic dress can have short or long sleeves, but it’s characterized by its straight shape and lack of tailoring. This slims your body and accentuates your legs. Also, this style doesn’t cling to your stomach or bottom, making it flattering and comfortable to wear too. 

The styling options for this dress are endless! However, we recommend buying this dress in a bold color and adding contrasting jewelry and accessories to make the look pop. Add heels for an elegant look.

Tunic Dress With Different Details


While the boho style tunic and the straight tunic dress are the two most common silhouettes, you can find tunic dresses with extra details. These are a great way to combine your style with a tunic silhouette, so look in your favorite stores to see what their take on this dress is.

Popular modifications to tunic dresses include added zips, lower necklines, puffy sleeves, and even added collars and cuffs. These designs keep the flattering shape of the tunic, and the extra details elevate the design of the dress. Ideal for anyone who wants a look that’s more high fashion. 

Wearing Tunic Dresses – a Guide for Every Body Type

Though it’s true that tunic dresses suit every figure, there are certain modifications and styling points you can use to make them look even better.

RELATED: How To Wear A Shirtdress Based On Your Body Shape

Want to tailor your tunic dress to your figure? Find your silhouette from the list below, or read more about body types here

Apple Shapes


Women with apple-shaped figures should avoid tunic dresses with a tight or clingy top. Instead, find a dress with a flattering neckline and hem to accentuate your long legs and a full chest. You can even add chunky necklaces to bring attention to your face too.

Pear Shapes

Photo: Josue Ladoo Pelegrin / Unsplash

For ladies with a pear shape figure, you may want to opt for tunics with slightly flowy shapes or side vents. This is to prevent the tunic dress from clinging to your bottom or thighs, and the loose fabric will balance out your overall figure. The boho-style tunic dresses are a great way to get this look. 

Strawberry Shapes


Strawberry shape body types may opt for tunic dresses that accentuate their bottom half. This body type should avoid any tunic dresses with detailed necklines or halter neck designs, as you want the main attention to be on the lower half of the dress to even your silhouette. Dresses with hem details or ruffles are great ways to switch the focus of the outfit. 

Banana Shapes


If you have a banana-shaped figure, you might want to add curves to your look. This can be difficult as tunics often have a straighter shape. You can do this by opting for tunics with slight waist tailoring, or you can opt for styles with lower necklines to flatter your bust instead.

Hourglass Figures

Though tunic dresses are popular for their lack of shape, hourglass figures benefit from dresses that have some shaping around the waist area. 

You can find tunics that have ruching or gathering at the waist, so it’s best to experiment with these dresses to compliment your balanced figure well. You can even try layering belts or waist ties on top of the dress to get this balanced look too.

When To Add Leggings To The Tunic Dress

It’s popular to pair tunic dresses and leggings, especially in cooler months, but what is the best way to style this outfit?

Well, it really depends on the type of leggings you’re adding and the style of your tunic dress. 

For example, a standard pair of black leggings will go with most options and, by the way, black is a slimming color. 

We always recommend starting with black leggings for those that want a simple look. However, if you want to go bolder, you can add printed leggings or even color-clashing leggings too. This isn’t for everyone, but it is very effective when styled well.

The Rule of Thirds, and How to Use It to Your Advantage


Another great way to balance your outfit is to consider the rule of thirds.

This rule divides your figure up into three sections. Stylists often state that you should have two-thirds of your body covered by one garment, and the last third can be uncovered or in a separate garment.

Following this guide helps you look more balanced and less bulky too. 

Most tunic dresses tend to be the mini length, so this already ticks the two-thirds covered box. You can easily leave your legs bare, however, adding leggings also works well as this covers the final third. A tunic dress and leggings is an easy go-to option that follows this styling rule. 

When you follow the rule of thirds, the look will work 99.9% of the time. When it doesn’t work, it is usually due to fabric textures or clashing prints

Shoes to Wear With Tunics Over Leggings

Adding a pair of shoes to the outfit is often the final touch, but it’s still important to put thought into this too! If you’re unsure which shoes work best, try some of these ideas to see what works for you. 

Casual Sneakers

Casual sneakers are a great day-to-day shoe option for a tunic dress outfit. These pair exceptionally well with leggings for an overall informal style. This combination is best suited for a casual lunch or time away from work, allowing you to be comfortable and on-trend at the same time.

We love high-top converse shoes for this look!

Combat Boots

If you would rather add some edgy style to your outfit, try some chunky combat boots. These pair well with black leggings for a sophisticated style, but they also work well with dark-colored leggings (e.g., burgundy or navy). You can pair these boots with a boho tunic dress for a mixed aesthetic too.

Wedge Heels

Tunic dresses can be styled for smart-casual events or even formal occasions, but you need to make sure your shoes are also ready for this dress code. Wedge style heels are the ultimate pairing for these dresses as they give you extra height and make your legs look shapely.

Find a pair that color matches your dress for a cohesive evening outfit. 



If you don’t want to be walking around in heels all night, flat pumps are a good alternative for evening events. Whether you wear traditional ballet pumps or opt for some platform chunky pumps, they add more elegance to the dress outfit than sneakers do. 

The Takeaway 

Tunic dresses always tend to be available in stores, so why don’t you start experimenting with this versatile piece today?

Whether you find a straight tunic or a dress with added details, these garments pair well with leggings for a daytime and evening look. Make sure you try different styles to find one that compliments your figure well. Happy shopping!

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