Can be next year's tunic.
There are so many variations... shirring...buttons... varied sleeve lengths.
To add buttons to the front:
Make a fake placket of contrasting fabric and attach it to the centre of the front before gathering the neckline. (You add the buttons after the neckline is gathered).
Or why not ribbon?
(I was inspired to copy this overly pricey top by Matilda Jane)
A single gathered row down the front?
The sleeves are easily varied. You can shirr them (elastic thread in your bobbin) to get the bell sleeve look:
Or shirr them lower for a cuffed effect.
The humble short sleeve:
My favorite trick is mixing fabrics. Just cut different pattern pieces from coordinating fabrics.
Many of the dresses above were made using Sandi Henderson's out-of-print Claire pattern.
My other go-to favorite is this: