How to Dress for a Short Torso

How to Dress for a Short Torso thumbnail
Skirts and pants in lighter colors and with border details draw the eye down.

Unless you're one of the lucky 2 percent of people with a perfectly proportional body, you probably want to choose clothes that will be the most flattering to your body type while still maintaining a sense of style. If your legs are longer than your upper body and your hip line is higher than half your height, you proportionally have a short torso. You may notice that when you try on tops in stores, they tend to bunch or bag around the torso. Your goal when dressing your frame may be to balance your proportions to create the illusion of the "perfect" shape. You want to choose clothes that will visually elongate your torso, creating an overall longer and leaner you.


    • 1

      Choose v-necked or open tops, which visually elongate the torso, in sleeveless, three-quarter and long-sleeve varieties. Short sleeves can be tricky since they draw the eye up, which is the opposite of what you want to do.

    • 2

      Wear shirts untucked to avoid drawing attention to your waist.

    • 3

      Select tops that are medium-long to long, but if you are on the short side, avoid going below knuckle-length because you'll look even shorter.

    • 4

      Choose pants that are low-rise or, if those are not comfortable for you, at least avoid high-waisted jeans and trousers. Remember that the goal is to draw attention down and to create a proportional appearance.

    • 5

      Select pant styles that are straight or flared; tapered legs give your body an inverted triangle shape, drawing the eye up. Pants that have cuffs draw the eye down and also shorten your leg line, which helps balance your proportions.

    • 6

      Choose dresses with drop waists, which flow over your natural waist. Fitted dresses will often bunch or bag around your waist. Shorter dresses will help show off your long legs.

    • 7

      Use long accessories, such as long necklaces and scarves, that create a longer body line rather than drawing the attention up. If you need to wear a belt, choose a skinny one; a wide belt draws attention to how high your waist is.

    • 8

      Choose swimwear that helps balance your proportions. If you feel comfortable, a bikini helps create visual space between your top and bottom half. A one-piece with straps and coverage in the front are OK, but avoid halter shapes. Cutouts can also be helpful in visually lengthening your torso.

    • 9

      Use color and pattern to your advantage; the eye is drawn to lighter and brighter colors, so choose pants and skirts in lighter colors. Border details will also draw attention to your bottom half.

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  • Photo Credit James Woodson/Photodisc/Getty Images

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