Out of proportion: Dressing a short torso

An empire waist with a flared bottom will mask your short torso

Try a dress with an empire waist and an embellished bottom. 

When it comes to genetics, I think I got a pretty good hand. I tend to distribute weight evenly, and build muscle evenly, but there is one problem area that drives me batty when choosing clothes – I have a teeny, tiny torso. My legs are approximately 55% of my height, and there is barely a thumb width between the bottom of my ribs and the top of my hips.

Boo hoo – you say. Well, I agree that being leggy isn’t all bad. I look pretty good in mini skirts and can afford to pack on a few pounds on the caboose without it throwing off my whole aesthetic. But I also have to mind this body when following trends. High waisted pants come up to my boobs and make me look more like Urkel than Rachel Bilson. In college, I wanted to be like J.Lo, so I rocked a booty shorts bikini… huge mistake.

If you’re like me, and don’t think that spinal implants are something you’d endure just to look better in clothes, then remember these fashion tips:

1. Low Rise Pants Are Your Friend: I know. Low rise pants immediately reminds us of the whale tale era, AKA Britney Spears ca. 2001 (although we should all be so lucky to look that good in those jeans). When you have a short torso, low rise pants help to elongate it and make your frame look more proportioned. Just make sure you choose a size that flatters, or you’ll end up with major muffin tops.

2. Don’t Tuck in Your Shirt: When you have a short torso, tucking in your shirt merely draws attention to this fact. Your body will look adorable in clothes with little cut outs, but when it comes to tops and bottoms, you’ll look best with a longer, tunic style shirt that is untucked. This will also elongate your torso.

3. Say No to Booty Short Bikinis: Booty shorts are awesome for camouflaging problem areas on your derriere, but if you have a short torso, the excess fabric will cut your mid section, making you look boxy. Stick with a low-rise brief with high cut outs, and turn the attention to your gazelle-like stems.

4. Fake the Line: Shirts and dresses with asymmetrical hemlines can help make your torso look longer. Rocking a shirt with diagonal line will draw the eye down to the leg, and an asymmetrical dress can help create definition.

You don’t have to have a perfect body to be stylish, but you should be familiar with your shape and how to dress it. Of course, you can wear whatever you want, but knowing what flatters you most will help you put your best foot forward.


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