Casual Outfit Formula: Leggings + Tunic + Tall Boots

Hello, friends. Happy Hump Day! I’m back with another easy outfit formula for women on the go!

This is a basic outfit formula that almost anyone can wear. The key is to make sure your tunic is long enough to cover your lady parts, but not so voluminous that it adds visual weight. Some women can get away with an oversized look, but I prefer my tunics to fit closer to the body, and I think they look best when the material drapes nicely and follows my curves — not that I want it tight, but I also don’t want it totally hiding my shape.

This Lush tunic is one that I’ve shown several times before, and it’s a nice year-round top. The material is very thin, so I tend to wear it more in spring and fall, but sometimes we get mild winter weather. Because it’s sheer and fairly low-cut, I usually wear a tank top under it. It’s definitely long enough to cover the essentials, and it drapes really nicely. Best of all, this tunic is super affordable at $27, and it comes in a gazillion gorgeous colors. For size reference, I’m wearing the medium.

And please pardon the wrinkles. I did steam it before we went out, but an iron definitely works better on this fabric.

These are the Hue ultra high waistband leggings from Nordstrom. They’re my favorite leggings because they’re thick enough not to be see-through, and the wide waistband lays nice and flat and holds everything in place. I have these in the medium, and they fit great.

You can certainly substitute skinny jeans in this outfit formula. In fact, I usually opt for skinny jeans instead of leggings, but we wanted to include at least one legging outfit in our 5 outfit formulas because so many women like them, and let’s face it, some days you just want to look cute without having to button your pants!

With this outfit, you can wear riding boots or over-the-knee boots, flat boots or heeled boots, or whatever tall boots you have in your closet that are comfortable. I went with my cognac suede OTK boots because I liked the contrast of brown boots against black leggings, but black boots would certainly work too. I think the chestnut color is particularly pretty with the olive top.

Now, I know some of you are going to tell me it’s too cold in your neck of the woods for this top right now, but this is just a basic formula. Feel free to swap out the blouse for a cozy sweater tunic. You can also swap out the necklace for a pretty scarf to add warmth without sacrificing style.

olive tunic // favorite leggings // similar OTK boots // similar layer necklace

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25 Responses

  1. I think you hit on a great point Jo-Lynne—having your tunic not be too voluminous!! We don’t need to look like a box!
    Even my step mom, Nancy (the 60’s model on my blog) was just saying to me that she thinks she’s been buying her clothes too big!! And it’s true. We think we don’t want things too tight but they opposite isn’t good either!!
    This outfit looks great!!
    I think the OTK boots are the bestest for this formula—at least for me because it feels like more coverage!!

  2. Jo-Lynne , I couldn’t get your email to open today on my iPad. It goes to an error meage. I thought you’ d like to know

  3. I tend to wear skinnies rather than leggings, too. Bought a blk pair last year during the Nordstrom sale in July and finally wore them this week. I had forgotten how comfy leggings with a wide waistband can be. They will never be my go-to, but I need to keep them in a mind on a day when I want to be cozy, but need to look decent to run errands. Have you noticed the trend of wearing leggings with nordic prints? I have to confess, I don’t care for them. The prints stretch where the leg is larger, creating a not-so-flattering affect. And they look like you’re wearing your PJs in public! Also not my thing. (Although I have been know to run to a girlfriend’s for a quick glass of wine in the evening in cute pj bottoms and my Ugg booties I wear for slippers in the house!)
    Happy Wednesday!

  4. Another great post Jo-Lynne! Due to a very sensitive & tender abdomen area, I prefer pants, jeggings, etc., without zippers and a button. So, I need to have more tunics and longer tops in my closet. I am seriously considering ordering one of those tunics due to the versatility.

    It’s going to 80 here, again today, but with that comes the chance for severe storms this weekend.

    Happy Hump Day!

  5. This is my FAVORITE outfit formula! I love it! And those ultra wide waistband leggings from Nordstrom…perfect. I have them in all 3 colors. I feel so comfy but also totally put together when I wear them. Thanks for another great post!

  6. I love Hue leggings! They stay up and hold their shape without being see thru. This formula is a frequent one for me. I have the most problems finding tunics that are long enough that flatter. I’m no a tall person so I expect a lot of women have this problem. They just don’t cover like I want and not be gigantic. I can’t see to pull off the bi-level top so that doesn’t help. I do use infinity scarves in winter to cover that neck gap for warmth. Love your id as!

  7. Hey Jolynne…i love the leggings and tunics. Problem is I am 5′ tall and they don’t look as good on me. What changes can I make to alleviate the stockiness in the look. I love your big!! Keep them coming. Thank you!!

    1. I think leggings and tunics are tough because they tend to be boxy and don’t create the ideal proportions. You really have to find the right length of top to create balance on your body, and that can also require playing around with different boots – different shaft heights, heel heights, style, etc. It’s a very individual thing. I find it helpful to take selfies in a full-length mirror and compare with different combinations of pieces. For some reason, taking pictures is more telling than just looking at oneself in the mirror. It takes some trial and error. 🙂

      1. Thank you Jolynne. I will try on some different tunic lengths and heel heights. Hopefully this will give me an idea of what looks the best on me. Thank you again and have a lovely evening!! ❤

  8. Thanks for your blog, your outfits are great!
    This is a great top but I have don’t like myself in leggings. My height is in my legs and torso and legs are skinny. I feel I look like stilts!

    I do wear skinny jeans some and like selections you have posted in “Favorite Things” but they are too expensive. Any suggestions?

    FYI-I am older than you so I don’t want to seem like I am trying to look too young, etc.

    1. Hey Jes, you could easily pair this top with bootcut jeans or straight leg jeans, if you like them better on you. If it looks too baggy, try the front-tuck. Sometimes we have to play around until we find what looks best on our bodies. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  9. For those who want to buy tunics but find them unflattering to their shorter height, I recommend shopping in Petite departments. The tunics there are scaled to the proportions of a shorter woman. I only have a few tunics, and they’re all Petites.

    I always think of Dorothy on the Golden Girls when I think of tunics. She was tall and they were a great look for her. At 5’4″, honestly I’m better off avoiding them. I do like the burgundy top – that seems like a nice compromise!

  10. This is my uniform of choice in the winter; in fact I am wearing it now! I have an asymmetrical tunic which I love with leggings Glad to know it’s still current.

  11. Hey JoLynn,
    I love your style and look forward to your daily e mails. Then today it dawned on me that I hadn’t received your e mails in a few days. I thought for sure they were going to my junk folder but that turned out to not be true. I dunno what happened. I re-signed up for them so hopefully I’ll start receiving them again. Anyone else mention this?

    Best from Chicago,

    1. Hi Ann, I was having trouble with my email provider – people weren’t getting emails – so I switched to a new one. I will make sure you are on that list so you start getting emails today. Sorry about that!

  12. This tunic looks great on you. I bought it in the olive color when Nordstrom had their anniversary sale and it was totally shapeless and unflattering on me. I was disappointed. I rarely find shirts long enough for leggings so I would love to see more options!

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