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More Options For The Midlife Midriff, Date Night California Style


Last weekend we took my father and stepmother out to dinner at a local restaurant. I couldn’t quite figure out what to wear because my blue shoes were in San Francisco. As will happen.

Rummaging through my closet I found this pink linen tunic, from UNIQLO, and threw it on over a pair of 7 For All Mankind bootleg jeans and old pinkish-red suede Stuart Weitzman kitten heel pumps.

Kitten Heel Stuart Weitzman

A pair of gold, opal and diamond earrings from Hawaii, the Céline bag, straight hair and out I went.

(Side note: I did not plan this as an outfit post, my husband obliged me with an iPhone snap on the steps of an old building. Well, old for Woodside, California. So please forgive the various anomalies of light and focus.)

This is a look that warrants refinement. In other words, I felt great in the tunic and jeans, and plan to repeat — with tweaks. Time to batten down the hatches. The long hair, which I appreciate as an aesthetic object in and of itself, threatens to take over my head. Where it lives. Haircut on the horizon. The linen tunic, while comfortable and forgiving, could use a teeny tweak to the silhouette. Some shaping.

The shoes were good. So was the bag. So were the earrings. I just needed a little less wind in my sails, or more precisely, a little less sail all around.

Tunic Time

I now endorse a casual night out tunic over jeans. Such an excellent way to treat the midlife midriff. So comfortable for a dinner out, especially in jeans with a touch of stretch. But do try to find a tunic with a teeny tiny bit of tailoring – a placket at the neckline, seams on the side, for example. These show potential.

We ate early, finishing at dusk. The night had grown cool, I had no jacket. But good food, good wine and good company keep one warm long enough for a hug goodbye and the walk to the car.


A Little More California Date Night Shopping, Offer Good Around The World

You amy prefer to wear your tunic over skinnies, I like the look with a boot leg. I do think a kitten heel offsets tunic billows well, and geometric jewelry counterpoints better than the expected boho chandelier.


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42 Responses

  1. Great outfit! Love tunics for all the reasons you list. The problem for me is what to wear over or under as it gets cooler. Many jackets don’t work, not a fan of waterfall type cardigans, a tee shirt under works with the aesthetics, but not easy to add mid night out.

    1. @DocP, I was thinking as I left the house that a wrap would be the best option. Which, of course, I don’t own.

    2. @DocP, I wear a lot of tunics – in the winter, I wear a knee length down coat, in the spring and fall, a knee length (or a bit above) lightweight trench coat and in the summer, a wrap.

  2. I’ve been admiring tunics that are a bit vented on the sides. They tend to flutter, more than billow. Personally, I don’t mind a short jacket (biker, denim, something with a bit of structure) over a tunic. I’ll admit I’m a fan of skinnies or even leggings if the tunic is very long, verging on mini dress length. I find tunics stylish and comfortable, but those of us with prominent bosoms have to be careful with proportions and fabrications, lest we appear to be wearing a tent (or a maternity top).

  3. I like the tunic over boot cut jeans look. I may have to explore that idea. But then tunics are great, although shape and fit have become more critical with age.

    1. @Mardel, Yes, and I realize on second thought my broad shoulders mean that I need a larger tunic than someone else my weight might, which may mean tunic tailoring is in my future.

  4. I love tunics as well. I found a Tory Burch one on sale last year and wore it a ton. They work for me because I’m so short waisted; Hubby says I have high hips. Ha. So funny, that man! But I do like them cut quite narrow, or tailored. Don’t cut that hair too short, now, you hear.

  5. I consider my Equipment silk shirts “tunics” as I wear them out over jeans, and they have that “tomboy” look that I love. I do like full shirts better with skinny jeans, but your outfit works, and that soft pink is beautiful.

    1. @Kathy, Thanks. I always shy away from pink, it’s so dang WASPy on me, but, I think/hope the long gray hair and kitten heels provide some leavening.

  6. Your outfit works. I think a lot of what we wear has to do with attitude and how we carry ourselves. The kitten heels work with the pant silhouette.
    Personally I opt for a skinny jean NYDJ with a tunic top…I am very short so it is better.
    Always nice to see your posts pop up Lisa!

    1. @Frances/materfamilias, Don’t you love how with the right getup we can make our old clothes “on trend?” Ha! I feel like there’s a slogan in that. “Trending Since 1966, In The Same Damn Pants.”

  7. I love your look! I like tunic tops too and usually wear them with a skinny jean from Madewell. However, I just bought a white cotton tunic from BLL New York, style: Andrea what is slightly shaped so not so much “sail” which really looks great but still loose. I will wear it with a newly purchased pair of Levi 501 ct jeans (ripped – eeek!) with the cuffs rolled up tomboy style. My husband, of course, thinks the rips are stupid (his word). His style is the ultimate prep and button down. I am still going to try out this look. I also am trying out a pale washed jean from Madewell that is much like the Levi ones, same style, same real denim fabric with no stretch. They call it their ultimate summer jean and I am rolling the cuffs up tomboy style. Again, I think you look great in that outfit. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Oh, and yes, I agree with wearing a wrap with this look. My go-to is a White + Warren cashmere wrap that goes with me everywhere.

    1. @Jane, I think ripped jeans and a tunic makes for what we could call great “island style?” Especially with sandals and a good pedicure. And White + Warren, I like that brand, I’ll have to go see what they’ve got these days.

  9. Pretty in pink!

    Love tunics, they cover a multitude of sins. In my case, that would be wine and chocolate.

  10. Lisa, I do love this casually chic look! Luckily tunics are in style right now, with lots of choices!

    Featuring Artist Scott McBee

  11. I like a long pendant necklace with a tunic – it draws the eye away from the “billow” and creates a long line, making one look taller and thinner.

    Lately I’ve been belting my tunics and wearing them over high-waisted flares (I’m getting tired of “skinnies”).

    I also have a coral silk, button front, tunic length shirt that I’ve been tying at my waist, which I think looks good with my white bootleg jeans and block heeled sandals.

    1. @Diane, That outfit with the coral silk tunic sounds wonderful. The sandals, they are a tan leather? Or something else? I can totally see how a long pendant would anchor a tunic. I have a long family locket pendant thingie I could try.

    2. @Diane, The sandals are, in fact, tan leather. They have a two inch heel (the highest I can handle). They’re from Cole Haan – I bought them last year.

  12. Agree with Kathy about shirts(and long shirts! ) as tunics,they can be open and show a tee or tank,it suits me better,but love tunics on others. A wrap is always a good solution (no matter what might be “in” or “out ” of fashion,I like them and they add movement,warmth or cover,whatever you need in particular moment). I could just throw a sweater,too.
    I have Seven for All Mankind bootcut jeans (it is the same as bootleg,or?) :-)
    Really nice combination (like the shoes,-and jeans of course-), it suits you great and your hair is perfect!
    I like the photo, almost symmetrical,and you balance the little window on the left with your move to the right,unawares I pressume. Interesting!

    1. @dottoressa, Yes, bootcut, bootleg, same thing. Thanks for the kind words – the photo was unintentionally, but, on the other hand, chosen from a couple of options;).

  13. I, too, love the tunic. I agree some tunics are made very full, especially for someone, like you, with fine bones and a slim frame. I have, on occasion, had a tunic tailored (slimmed down) and this works well.

    My favorite tunic is made by Armani. Silk. Long sleeves that are easily folded up for a 3/4 or shorter sleeve look. Very slim cut with 6 inch slits on each side. These are very old. I have had them forever.

    I wear my tunics with jeans as well as black tailored pants. They are a good staple in any wardrobe.

    1. @Susan, I bet the silk Armani tunics are gorgeous. I had one too, but, unfortunately, I’d bought it in a rush and it was not the best color for me. Otherwise I’d own it still!

  14. I am loving tunics more than ever these days. I think you’re right about the little heel and the tunic flow factor. Great point!

  15. I’ve been trying to wear tunics since I was about 30 and they are always disastrous (I’m now 60). First the layering thing is a disaster as I never know what to wear and always want to layer and unlayer several times a day. Secondly they are not relaxing at all because I have to worry constantly about whether the tunic has ridden up and is sitting on the shelf of my bottom. And thirdly being an entirely different shape from you – hourglass with thick thighs – they make me look enormous. My legs look short and fat, and if I lose my waist I look the size of a house. So fitted all the way for me, even if that does mean revealing some less than washboard stomach. Tops to mid hip are relatively forgiving but that is it.So the lesson I suppose is that there is no age appropriate dressing – just self appropriate dressing. And yes, you look great and stylish as always.

    1. @Ruth, Absolutely. It’s all about the self-appropriate dressing. Great term. And the self-awareness to change as you age, with an eye on self.

  16. Your tunic outfit is lovely, you look very chic and comfortable in it. I’m thrilled tunics are in fashion, and agree with your comments about not having too much fabric to make it look like a tent. I have one that is a little more fitted with 6 inch side slits that looks a bit more polished. I’ve also found a few tunic length suit jackets and sweaters that look nice for work, as well. I’m a pear, so love that a tunic covers the bottom.
    So you really love your Stuart Weitzman pumps?

    1. @Candace, Thanks! And yes, I really love my Weitzman pumps. I’ve had them for 10 years – they seem to work no matter the trend, and are just classic enough but just fun enough to be useful over and over again.

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