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Styling for long or short-waisted women

Styling for long or short-waisted women

In styling, it's all about trying to achieve a balanced body shape. Balance is when your torso (upper body) is a similar length to your legs, giving you balanced proportions. Some of us are long in the torso, some are short. Here we offer you some styling suggestions to help balance you up.


  • Short-waisted (high-waisted) is when the space between your shoulders and waistline is shorter than average. Some people measure the distance between the waistline and under the bust - if there isn't a lot of room, it is likely to mean you're short-waisted. Being short-waisted can mean you have longer legs, and who doesn't love long legs!


  • Long-waisted is when this gap is longer than average.  Likely to mean you have shorter legs.


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Here are some suggestions to help you achieve the look of a balanced, well-proportioned body shape.





If you are long-waisted, it’s about lifting the visual appearance of your waist line to provide greater balance between your torso and legs.


  • Belts, especially wide and contrasting (colours, textures) ones - if need be, you can sit them higher than where your waist naturally lies
  • Wide waistbands on skirts and trousers are also good for visual deception
  • Consider shorter jackets and tops to give the illusion of a higher waist
  • Colour-blocking can work well - large blocks of contrasting colour as part of the design of the garment or separate clothing pieces, helps to visually break up areas of the body
  • High-waisted skirts and trousers are good (when they’re in)
  • Mid to high-rise jeans will look more balanced on you than say low-rise
  • Heels to add visual length to your legs


  • Drop/low-waisted trousers, tops or dresses are not ideal as they will only accentuate your long torso. You are much better off in shorter jackets and tops
  • The combination of a high neck and a drop waist on a top is not good - it elongates the overall look of your torso, which is exactly the opposite of what you need to do.






If you’re short-waisted, the idea is to lengthen the appearance of your waist.


  • Trousers and belts that sit on the hip
  • Longer line jackets, vests and long tops that sit below the waist
  • Layering of clothes at different lengths works well, as long as it doesn't widen you too much
  • Be careful tucking tops into trousers and skirts, this can accentuate that you're short-waisted



Avoid anything that is going to shorten the appearance of your upper body.


  • Avoid high-waisted trousers or skirts
  • The combination of a low neck-line and high waist or a crop top 






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