Feel like your legs are a bit longer than usual? Even if you’re not necessarily “tall,” having a short torso and long legs can present a challenge for some women!
Knowing your body type will help you choose clothing and accessories that complement your shape. An easy way to love your body love your body is to understand your shape and find clothes that make you look and feel fantastic. This blog post covers how to dress a body for a short torso.
It is important to note: there is nothing wrong with having different proportions than the average body.
There are so many body types, and we are all beautiful in different ways. There are a lot of petite women who really wish their legs were longer. You have a feature (long legs) that is highly popular among fashion designers! You can celebrate that and keep visual balance through your fashion choices.
What is a Short Torso Body Type?
A balanced body type will have the hip joints right in the middle of the head-to-toe measurement. If your spine is just a few inches longer or shorter than that, then your proportions will be unbalanced with a long or short midsection. If your legs run longer or shorter in proportion, you will have an appearance of a short or long torso as well because your natural waistline will run high.
With a visibly shorter torso, you will have a high waist that is above your bent elbow line. You will also likely have a round, high bottom. When you gain weight, it will typically start to settle right around the waist area (front or back). A short midsection will make you feel like shirts always run long and pants are typically too short.
If you aren’t sure about whether or not you have a short torso, measure from the top of your head to your hip joint. Then measure from the top of your head to the floor. If your torso is within an inch of half of your total height, then your proportions are balanced in that regard. If your torso is less than half, then you have a short torso body type.
And congrats if you do! Now you get to learn some easy tips to help you dress in a way that’ll help you feel and look better. Let’s bring out your inner confidence with some style tips.
Style Tips for a Short Torso Body Type
A big part of dressing a short torso is in lengthening the upper body and not visually shortening it further. Rather than draw attention to your short torso, you will want to draw attention to your long legs. My styling tips will increase the illusion of a longer torso.
What Clothing Should You Avoid With a Short Torso & Long Legs?
There are a number of clothing options that will increase attention on a short torso. While you should always feel free to wear whatever makes you comfortable, here are clothing designs that will highlight your short torso and make it appear shorter.
Boat-Neck Tops: Shirts that have a wide neck will draw an invisible line right across your shoulders and make that line between the base of your neck and mid-point appear even shorter. (If you’re a Type 2 woman in my Energy Profiling system, this kind of neckline will naturally look good on you because of your energy and body movement. Just make sure you follow the other tips in this post!)
Contrasting Colors: Colors that are drastically different on the top and bottom will draw attention to the uneven proportions. If your top is bright and bold, it will look shorter. If you want to show off your legs, you could put the contrasting/popping color on your bottom half. (Color is crucial in Dressing Your Truth. For example, Type 1 colors are naturally bright and popping, and Type 4 colors are bold and contrasting. You can’t change this! If you’re one of these Types of women, just make sure you’re following all the other tips in this post!)
Cropped Jackets: A short jacket is a great way to break up a long torso and draw attention from short legs. But, with a short torso, you pieces that will elongate your silhouette.
High-Waisted Pants: The last year or two has shown an increase in the popularity of high-rise pants. But, for short-torso builds, this further exaggerates the uneven divide. Low-rise pants or mid-rise pants are a better option if you have a short torso.
Wide Belts: When worn around the tummy, a wide belt will draw attention to the higher midline of a short torso body type. A rope belt, or something loose and hanging more around your hips, will help draw your eyes down further and elongate the appearance of the top half.
What to Wear for a Short Torso
There are so many things that will look fantastic on your body type! Here are just a few of the styles you should be looking for when you shop for fashion.
Drop Waist Structure: Popular with flappers in the 1920s, you will still find these drop waist styles today. These fit loose from the shoulder to your hip, transitioning to a pleated or gathered skirt for a long waist that pushes the midline down to your hips. These comfortable designs are some of the best dresses for short-torso body types, offering a sophisticated silhouette at the same time.
Shift Dress: A shift dress drops straight down and takes the focus completely away from the waistline. These simple cuts are often very comfortable and will look flattering to a body shape that has a shorter upper body. For a fall or winter look, pair the shift dress with leggings and booties that will visually break up your legs even further.
Elongating Accessories: We already talked about looser belts, but keep looking for accessories that lengthen your appearance. Long, skinny scarves work well—as do long necklaces with visually heavy pendants. (“Elongation” is typically a Type 2 style and movement. If you’re a dominant Type 2, or your secondary energy is Type 2, you can follow this tip for accessories! Otherwise, we recommend steering clear of elongated items for the other Types.)
Low V-Neck Cuts: Drawing your eye down the body will help stretch out the appearance of your torso. If you are comfortable with a plunging neckline, try out a deep V. (While any Type can wear v-necks, if you’re a Type 3, this will look especially awesome on you!)
Untucked Top: A quick solution to lengthening the torso is in keeping your shirt out and over the waistband of your pants. Not tucking your top will make the midline look further down, elongating your torso. Always choose longer tops that will cross your midline and give the appearance of a longer midsection.
Vertical Lines on Top: Choosing shirts that have vertical stripes will help push the eye down the body and give the appearance of length. Vertical lines can often make your body look longer overall, which is flattering for most body types.
Flowy Pants: Picking a trouser that is a flowing wide-leg will emphasize longer legs. Paired with a simple top and elongating accessories, you can highlight the length of your legs without calling attention to the shortness of your torso. (Just like the elongation, “flowy” is typically a Type 2 style and movement. If you’re a dominant Type 2, or your secondary energy is Type 2, this will work great for you! If you don’t have Type 2 in your profile, just pay attention to how you feel in flowy pants. It could work, and it could not!)
How to Choose Clothes for Any Body Type
I am all about helping you look fabulous and feel fantastic! I want women to stop feeling unsure about what to wear. Your confidence will be boosted when you know your body and what clothes fit best on your shape! Your goal should be to have a wardrobe that contains only clothing that makes you feel incredible. It’s not just about dressing your body type.
So many women aren’t aware of how their Energy Type and body shape play into their personal style. While we all have our own tastes, there are certain rules that can make style less of a guessing game that leaves us frustrated and defeated in the dressing room. As a stylist that takes more than body shape into account, I can help you find the perfect style that feels as good as it looks on you.
Check out this blog post to read more about how your personality and shape should influence your style.
Next, take my FREE Dressing Your Truth Before and After Course to get started on finding the style that fits your Energy Type!