Our beautiful bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing your proportions can make choosing what to wear and how to style it so much easier and give you a huge confidence boost. Today’s blog is for you if you recognise that you have a short torso and longer legs. I’ve also included tips for a short body and a bigger bust which can feel quite tricky to dress.
I identify with this body type, so what I’m sharing today has been very well tested!
Dressing for your shape is simply creating flattering shapes, using lines. It’s just an optical illusion. When you learn this for yourself, you stop trying to squeeze yourself into unflattering styles that you admire on others and you stick to what works for you. Body confidence is a huge topic and I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with your body, you might just need some tips on how to dress it so that you feel as amazing as you are.
1. avoid making your legs look even longer
Whilst you may love your longer legs, having a shorter torso means that you might not want to dress in a way that makes your legs look even longer… if you were to wear high rise, long length jeans with heels, your legs will look as though they’d reach the moon, but this would be at the expense of making your torso look even shorter. One of the most flattering way to dress for this figure type is to try to avoid adding extra length to your legs.
Ways that you might inadvertently add even more length to your legs are:
- Wearing high waisted skirts and trousers. These are for those who would benefit from lengthening their legs and are usually best avoided for those with a short torso. This high waistband doesn’t leave enough space between the waistband and your bust and can have the effect of making your torso look even shorter.
- Wearing super-long trousers and jeans. I have to admit that I feel great in a super-long trouser and a heel but I’m extra careful about how I dress my top half when I do. Longer lengths will add inches – great if your legs are on the shorter side, but this can feel too much if your legs are already long. Usually, super long trousers are worn with a heel (to avoid the fabric dragging along the floor) which obviously adds even more height/length to your pins. Another reason why you might think twice about this style of trouser.
2. choose an open neckline
A V neck top is a clever way of making your top half look longer. Or a shirt with the first few buttons undone can give the same effect. If you wear a higher neckline or a buttoned up to the neck shirt, you can appear ‘blocky’ and this will most likely emphasise your shorter torso.
3. wear a longer length top or USE the ‘half-tuck’
Avoid shorter length and cropped tops which will 100% shorten the look of your body. This is probably the most important take-away for dressing this kind of figure type. You want to do everything you can to give the illusion of a longer body, to look more in proportion. Longer line tops will really help.
If you don’t like the look of a shirt worn over the top of your waistband, try using a half-tuck where you tuck in just part of the shirt at the front.
This season’s trend for co-ord sets is a really great way of disguising where your waist sits, and can be worth giving a try.
What I love most about a co-ord set is the versatility. You can wear the top and trousers together for a brilliantly pulled together look or wear the top with a skirt, jeans or shorts and then the trousers with a plain t-shirt or simple top. That’s at least three outfit possibilities. This gorgeous set is from Boden.
4. avoid ‘waisted’ dresses
Your best shaped dress is likely to be a shift, a non-belted shirt dress or a drop waisted style. None of these styles will emphasise your waist so they can give the illusion of a more in-proportion figure.
If you have a curvy figure type (an obviously smaller waist than your hips), you will likely want to add a belt where your natural waist sits. Try a slimmer belt rather than a very wide one which might fill too much of the space and mean that your bust is sitting on the belt. And try to choose one that is in a similar tone to the colour of the fabric so that it isn’t breaking you up into two halves. Or, a belt which doesn’t interrupt the flow of the fabric can be helpful.
The belt pictured below is from Zara. The space in the circles allows the colour line to continue through the torso which can be more flattering than a solid belt.
5. get the foundations right
A well-fitting bra will be your best friend. When your bust is well supported, you create more space between your bust and your waist. Every so often, check the straps on your bra and see if they need ‘hoiking’ up a bit to give more lift. Daily wear and washing can make the straps loosen a little and just shortening the straps slightly can give you a magnificent lift!
I remember going to my first proper fitting as an adult in my 20s and being astounded at the difference a well-fitting bra made to my figure. The smallest part of my body (just under my bust) had been hiding for years!
I hope you find these tips helpful! Let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below. I’ll cover long bodies and shorter legs for you soon.
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Hi Helen, I would like some ideas for the ‘petite height but busty’ frame. I am an Adventurer style personality, so theoretically flowing lines and texture appeal, but at under 5′ I am easily overwhelmed by too much fabric and length. I have a short body but equally short legs so the advice above doesn’t really apply either.
Thank you for this wonderful advice. Since listening to your blog on Facebook last week I have been searching the Internet (John Lewis, Boden and M&S and local shops in Didsbury) for shift dresses and non waisted shirt dresses with open necklines. Plus I’ve been going through my wardrobe to find out what I’ve already got and what needs to go to the charity shop. It’s really given me a new outlook on how to dress. Thank you