A New Twist on an Old Tunic

I bought this tunic last year from Old Navy but I never wore it much because every time I put it on the length and volume overwhelmed my body to the point of complete frumpiness! I really wanted to wear this top though the other day because it was pouring rain and I loved the pattern paired with my pink and black floral rain boots. I thought if I layered it over leggings and added my boots, it would look more like a cute dress. But again, frump-ville. So I started playing with the front of the tunic in an attempt to give it some shape.

First I knotted it at the side, but it is so long that it just looked kind of sloppy. Then I tried to tie a knot right in the middle like you would a button down, but the knot hung just at the wrong place right between my legs. Super awkward and weird.

Then I recalled this adorable little cinching hack that Christy of R Squared demonstrated to prevent a maxi dress from dragging on the ground. She gathered a bunch of fabric from underneath the skirt and cinched it with a hair tie on the underside. So I thought I would try this on the front of my tunic…and it created this adorable little cinched front effect. I did have to knot the two little hanging ends together and tuck them under, but I love the way it turned out! My frumpy tunic has been transformed in a super cute high-low type of shirt with a gathered front and long back!

After adding a pair of black skinny jeans, a bright scarf, and my old and trusty rain boots, I was ready to tackle the rainy day!










Outfit details
Tunic: Old Navy (from last year, nothing similar is currently on the website)
Jeans: Target (no longer available)
Boots: Payless (from about 10 years ago)
Scarf: I have had this scarf for so long, I have no idea where it came from!
Necklace: Icelandic Sterling Rune Pendant for Strength

Do you have any cinching tricks that transform an otherwise ordinary and unflattering piece of clothing?

Keeping it on the edge,


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I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

60 Responses

  1. I never would have thought to cinch something like that! How fun and I love the result!

    • Me neither, Laura! And then I remembered reading about it on another blog. After playing around and scrunching my shirt all up, I found this brilliant solution! I am excited to reinvent some other old tunics in my closet now! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I love that you knotted the tunic to make it fit your body better. Great styling! I adore those boots too. 🙂


  3. Love the knot detailing! It definitely makes the tunic more interesting!


  4. I love the idea of temporarily or permanently transforming clothes through a little bit of nip and tuck. So much so, I’m thinking a doing a series on it. Your ‘twist’ on it with the tunic looks fabulous. Bravo!


  5. Amy Arnold

    I think tunics are tricky myself. This is a great way to style it.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  6. Haaa, I see what you did there with the title. Clever way to revive an old piece! Loving that scarf too.


  7. I love re-working items! Such a cute look!

    xx Leah / http://www.eatpraywearlove.com

  8. Such a genius idea! It looks great, and I love the print!

  9. What a clever cinching trick! I love it!

  10. Omg…Shelbee this is genius!! It looks super cute. I’m going to have to try this on my maxi skirts, since they are all five miles too long on me!

  11. What a fun print! Happy Hump Day!

  12. Fabulous idea—see, another good reason to read blogs!!

  13. Smart idea!! Tunics can really be so hard because they don’t hug the body at all. This solves that dilemma!


  14. I used Christy’s trick with a skirt recently and it was PERFECT!!! Never thought to do it with a shirt!! smart

  15. Karen Shannon

    Love the way how you restyle it! Nice! 🙂

    Stay in Style
    Karen @ Lookbook Store Blogspot

  16. I love this! Thanks for sharing and keep up the fantastic posts!

    xx Ohiamiht Blog

  17. Like your top, dear 😉
    Mónica Sors

  18. Sometimes i buy stuff and then never get to wear it because of one thing or the other. I love how you combined the tunic with the scarf. So pretty.


    • It’s all about thinking outside the box, I think, and finding ways to style pieces that work for you! Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the compliment, Uzo!


  19. You look really lovely and I’m loving your blog! xoxo


  20. Great idea! And it looks great on you!

  21. What a cute and clever idea!! You look great and I just adore the rain boots!!

    Wishing you a great day!

    xo, Erica
    Casually Styled

  22. What a cute and unique idea to add a ‘twist’ to this tunic! Love it! I also love those fun rain boots!!!


  23. I love that you used Christy’s tip to tie it off 🙂 Looks great, and can I say that I absolutely LOVE your hair, that color, gorgeous!

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! Christy’s tip is amazing! But I am actually contemplating making my hair black again! I had black hair for so long that I still just don’t feel like myself with the red! Thank you for the lovely compliment!


  24. What a genius idea! Love the print of your tunic and your pretty scarf!

    Doused In Pink

  25. Sometimes you have to take a piece into your own hands and make it work for YOU. Kudos, lady!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  26. Such a unique tying technique! Cool!

    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

  27. Cute tunic and it looks great with your scarf.

  28. Loving how you tied your scarf around you next that way! Neck ties are so in right now <3


  29. What a cool idea! I hadn’t seen that post before, so thanks for sharing :). I love the print on your tunic, and I think you did a great job using the trick to make it work for you in a way that you felt more comfortable in it!


  30. What a clever way to wear a tunic. I have a tunic that I don’t wear for the same reasons so I have to give this a try.

    Thank you for hosting and hope you are having a fab week!


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

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