This week, Star stylist Derick Chetty and fashion editor Bernadette Morra discussed tunics and sweater dresses. You can still send your thoughts on their discussion to firstname.lastname@example.org, and join us again next week for another Naked Lunch.
Derick, you must have looked at every tunic in the city for today's cover story, but you only showed one, in black from Club Monaco. Why did you choose this one for your story? Bernadette
The tunic showed up in many designers' fall collections and was styled differently at each show. However, once I started looking for tunics, I found many retailers/designers/showrooms were confused as to what a tunic was. So many varieties arrived at our office, I had to look up the definition in the Fairchild Fashion dictionary just to make sure what a tunic was! Some people sent me jumpers instead of tunics. The jumper is also a fall trend, but has two straps over shoulder that fasten with a button and must be worn with something underneath, ie turtleneck or blouse. A tunic is a straight loose fitting knee length dress. The dress at Club Monaco fits this description to a tee. Derick
Did you see any other tunic dresses in stores that you also liked? Bernadette
Not really, no. There were other dresses but they had darts and were more shaped. So I didn't feel that they fit the definition of a tunic. Derick
Could you not substitute a regular dress for a tunic and style it in the same way that you did on today's cover? Bernadette
No. A dress is more limiting in terms of how you can style it. You can put a jacket over it, or wear it with leggings. But because of the fit, you can't really layer under a dress. That is the difference. Derick
Okay, now what is the difference between a tunic and a sweater dress? They look quite similar to me. Bernadette
A sweater dress is bulkier than a tunic so you shouldn't use it as a layering piece. Also, sweater dresses often have a roll-neck or cowl, so you can't put anything under them. The most you can add to to the sweater dress are leggings. Derick
I read in several fashion magazines that the jumper dress is coming back for fall. I had one many years ago and would like to buy another. Do you know a store in Toronto where I might be able to find one?
You can find a tweed jumper dress at Aritzia right now. Also check Holt Renfrew which has several by different designers. I highly recommend the one by 3.1 Phillip Lim. It looks modern worn with a crisp white shirt or a black turtleneck underneath without coming across like a private school girl. Derick
Also you should look in your closet and see if there are any sleeveless dresses that can be worn as jumpers. For instance, I have a glossy denim scoop-neck dress by Joeffer Caoc that I wore this summer with bare arms. For fall, I plan to wear it with a black turtleneck. I also bought a brown jersey Grecian-style empire dress at Banana Republic recently. I love this dress! I have been wearing it as a sundress this summer, but plan to layer it over turtlenecks right through winter. Bernadette
What is with the gorilla sleeves on these dresses? How are you supposed to wear them when the sleeves come down to your knees? I'm not a fashionista so please forgive my naivete. Jackie
Hi Jackie. I agree that some of the sleeves in Derick's sweater dress story on page B5 look extra-long. I saw the dresses and even tried the brown one from Vince on (but it added too much extra bulk!). I do not recall the sleeves being gorilla-like but yes, they do appear exaggerated in the newspaper. I think gravity might have played a factor. Some of the dresses are knit from heavy yarn, so when they were placed on the judy the weight of the sleeves may have stretched them slightly. Also, I think that the photographer's angle may have further exaggerated the sleeve length. Bernadette
I saw the sweater dress feature in the paper today and wondered why would any woman want to wear that? Wouldn't it stretch out around the bum and would it not make you look fat?
The sweater dress is indeed a tricky thing to wear. And no, you don't have to look fat wearing one. Pick a knit that is a fine gauge rather than a chunky cable variety and stick to a solid colour in a turtleneck style that is actually very slimming. Derick
Try TNT in Hazelton Lanes or Eglinton Ave. for fine gauge sweater dresses. TNT has a knitwear collection called Line and as I recall it includes fine gauge knits. But I sympathize with the reader below. I have not yet found a sweater dress that doesn't cling to my hips and tummy! Bernadette