Most of us can look in the mirror and determine whether or not we’re short-waisted or long-waisted (aka short torso or long torso). But even if we know which category we fall into, some still have difficulty determining what to wear to lengthen or shorten the look of your torso. We all have something(s) about our figure that we just can’t stand. Working in the business of dressing the best with the best, we’ve heard ladies voice concern over things we’d never even thought about or even noticed. But the fact that the smallest of imperfections concern you, we’re here to educate you on how to diminish or conceal those little nagging flaws.

Short-waisted (you wear petites on top) and long-waisted torsos rank as one of the issues women voice concern over the most. Keep reading, we’re going to help you understand and then tackle this issue once and for all.

First off….how to determine your natural waistline:

1. Stand straight facing a mirror and bend to the side.
2. The line that forms at your waist is your natural waistline.

Short-waisted or long-waisted?  Here are two simple methods to determine which you are.

Method 1Image1
Stand straight facing a mirror
With palms facing your body, line your hands one on top of the other from under your bust to your natural waistline.

If you can fit less than two hand widths between your bust and waistline, you’re short-waisted. This also means you’re a petite on top.
If you can fit more than two hand widths, you’re long-waisted. If you can fit exactly two hand widths, you’re balanced – lucky you!

Method 2
Facing a mirror, stand with arms hanging down by your side. Bend your elbows so that your arm is at a 90 degree angle. Where the bend of the elbow hits your natural waist will determine if you’re short or long-waisted.

If the bend sits above your natural waist you’re short-waist (thus Petite on top).
If the bend of the elbow hits below your natural waist you’re long-waisted.

Tips and Tricks for Dressing:

Short-waisted body types (Petite on top)

  • Wear tops on the outside of your skirt/pant – DO NOT tuck in!
  • Wear longer jackets and sweaters to elongate your torso. Try to keep your top and bottom the same color or same color tones.
  • Wear narrow belts and preferably low slung belts.
  • No empire waist.
  • Wear longer pants. Avoid capris if you’re also short in stature.
  • Wear heels when you can.

Image2 Image3








Long-waisted body types

  • Tuck your tops in!
  • Wear tops that cover your natural waist only slightly.
  • Wear shorter jackets (you’re the lucky one that can wear cropped jackets) and cardigans (boleros look great on you).        



  • Wear wide belt and wear it high and snug giving you an empire waist.
  • Wear high-waisted pants and skirts. Avoid low-rise pants and skirts.
  • Empire-waist dresses and tops are your best friend.
  • Wear dresses that re-define your waistline. i.e. inverted “V” waistline.


When buying new items or getting dressed each morning, considering these tips specific to your waistline and you’ll always look and feel your best!

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