I was watching the CHOW channel on the Roku the other night, and there’s a series called “You’re Doing it Wrong.” I was so inspired that I almost made that the name of this week’s posts, but I was afraid you all would stop talking to me. And now that I’ve added Fitness Expert to my already long list of accomplishments (wink), you’ll really want to stick around, because fit people are apparently friendlier and less cranky. (Disclaimer: I am still waiting for this to kick in, so if you happen to run into me, you might want to keep your distance. Not because I’m all sweaty or anything, because you know I’d never exercise long enough for that to happen, but because so far for me there seems to be a direct correlation between exercising and crankiness. I am cranky before, during and after exercise.)
Anyway, that was totally off topic. Instead of “You’re Doing it Wrong,” I decided to call this Fashion Questions & Conundrums Week, mainly because I’ve been getting a lot of great questions and I’ve been dying to use the word conundrum in a post. Conundrum. I’m just going to try to pepper my conversations with that word and see how people respond. I’m sure it will make me extra popular. Co-nun-drum.
Okay, on to the first question, and one I get frequently: How do you dress a long torso?
First, you’ll want to find out if you, in fact, have a long torso. Most women fall into one of the following categories:
Neither long nor short, your torso, legs and upper body are in balance.
Your torso is long and your legs tend to be relatively short. Women with long torsos tend to have flatter abs and curvier hips.
Your torso is short and your legs relatively long. If you have a short torso, chances are you tend to gain weight around the middle and not in the hips.
Not sure whether you are long waisted or short waisted? Here’s a quick tip courtesy of Imogen of Inside Out Style Blog (as told by Angie of You Look Fab):
“A very quick and easy way to tell if you have a short waist is to stand up straight, and see if you can fit two hand widths under your bust to your waist (narrowest point). If you can fit more than two hand widths you have a long waist, less than two, a short waist”. Imogen Lamport, Inside Out Style Blog
(Reminder: To shop any of these looks, click on the pictures. They’re all linked!*)
How to Dress a Long Torso: 7 Simple Strategies
1. Lengthen the Legs
Since a long torso means shorter legs, the key to balancing your torso is to make your legs appear longer. Try a monochromatic look from waist to toe. Tights are a great leg-lengthener, and so are platform shoes. Wear skirts a little above the knee to make your legs appear longer, and avoid ankle straps, ankle socks and other leg shorteners.
2. Try a Tunic
Longer length tops are very flattering to a long waist. Look for a style that hits above the crotch, or it will shorten your legs. Many of the extra long tunics that are popular right now will be just the right length on your frame. A 3/4 length sleeve, especially one that is cuffed or otherwise detailed at the sleeve, draws the eye upwards and further balances the frame, as does a wider neckline, like an off-the-shoulder or boatneck style.
3. Show Some Flare
Full, flowy and A-line skirts are flattering on you, as the fullness will visually shorten your torso and balance your frame. A pencil skirt, on the other hand, creates a long unbroken line that makes your torso appear longer.
4. Aim High
The new high-waisted styles that are everywhere are ideal for you! Depending on the length of your waist, they will appear trendy and high-waisted, or it may just appear to be a regular waistline on you. Your best bet. High waisted jeans in a sleek dark denim. Avoid high waisted pencil skirts, which will make your waist appear longer. Another trick? Wear your belt wide and high, and your torso will appear shorter. If it’s a bold color, even better. Empire styles can also have this effect. (Caution: Don’t try this if you’re big busted, or you will appear top heavy).
5. Try a Crop Top
6. Learn to Layer
Camis and tees are easy to find in all lengths, and they are essential layering pieces for women with long torsos. Wear them under too short tops for coverage and flattery.
7. Know Where to Shop
There’s no reason to force your frame into clothes that don’t fit when new brands seem to crop up every week designed just for long waisted women. Swimwear brands like Speedo, Magicsuit, and J. Crew design suits in regular and long torso lengths, and others, including Longitude, Great Lengths, Fit 4 U, and A Shore Fit are all designed specifically to accommodate longer torsos. And tankinis are always a good bet, as long as you keep in mind that the tank part is going to be shorter on you. One of my favorite sites, eShakti.com, offers a wide array of gorgeous, affordable styles in sizes that are completely customizable. You enter in your measurements and the dress is delivered to you in just a couple of weeks, or order from standard sizes. If you are tall with a long torso, Long Tall Sally will be your new favorite place to shop. The global leader in fashion for tall women, the site offers a huge array of clothes, from trendy to classic, and shoes (up to a size 15), and the prices are affordable. (Check out the new “TTYA x Long Tall Sally” capsule collection, a collaboration between British fashion stylist Irene Agbontaen and Long Tall Sally, which features on-trend pieces in prices from $49 to $179).
Long Tall Sally
Fit 4 U
This is the season to celebrate that long elegant torso, since trendy styles like crop tops and high waisted pants are made for you! As with any body type, flattery is about finding balance and learning to work with what God gave you! I hope these strategies helped you do that!
(*All Amazon links are to my Amazon affiliate store. )
Michelle Gill says
Nada Manley says
I agree with what you said about short torsos. I have a short torso myself and avoid high waisted anything. However, in my experience, high waisted items look best on those whose torsos are proportional.
“Avoid high waisted pencil skirts, which will make your waist appear longer. ” No, that’s incorrect. High waisted anything cuts up your torso so your bottom-half looks longer. High-waisted pencil skirts are particularly flattering because they give you a curvy shape. This extenuates your hips, bringing attention away from your torso. People with SHORT torsos are smart to avoid high-wasted pencil skirts.
Nada Manley says
You are so welcome Nicole! I am so glad that you found this helpful! You are certainly not crazy! LOL Many women are in the same boat, and are frustrated with the poor fit they find at many stores. A lot of tall women do have long torsos, but certainly not all of them, and it’s really important to know your torso length in order to find a good fit. It’s so frustrating that a brand that you like is starting to not fit as well, but I think this might be due to the fact that brands in general are making their shirts more cropped because shorter tops are trendy right now. For women like me, who are short waisted, these tops end up too long, and on long torsos, they are too short. Can’t imagine why the bathing suits would have changed, though. That is so frustrating. Perhaps my recent post on solving bathing suit problems (including long torsos!) will help. http://beautymommy.com/2017/03/your-bathing-suit-problems-solved.html Thank you so much for the comment!
I am sooooo happy to have found this post, thank you so much! I just purchased some items from Torrid, who “sware by the fit” and “nothing fits better”. MInd you, I have been shopping there for over 15 years, and not until recently did I have a problem with shirts being too short and swimsuits not fitting. This post helps me feel not crazy!. Apparently, I do indeed have a long torso, in addition to being 5’1’1″ and plus sized
Nada Manley says
Hi Kathann! I apologize for the delay! Have you discovered EShakti? It’s amazing because it lets you customize the details of your dress and your size. You can add or remove sleeves, change the length, etc. http://www.eshakti.com/
Based on your brief description, I am guessing that you are a Style Dial 1, so a proportional body type. If so, look for a vertical neckline and a consistent print. There are so many cute styles to choose from. I like these:
Great 70s silhouette that’s always in style: http://www.eshakti.com/product/CL0043592
KathAnn Warner says
I’m 5’31/2 152 lbs. 66 yrs old. don’t like old lady dresses but do llike style, Not the slouch that is so called fashion of today.
I do like the fitted styles and other such type fashions taught back in fashion colleges in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Even in the 50’s. There was Style in there.
I’d like to find a decent dress for Church. I’m finally tired of pants and jeans all the time.I’m long waisted, short legged. my Daughter in law is very up to date but even she doesn’t care for the “stuff” that they call dresses these days.
Nada Manley says
I did not know this story. Thanks for sharing! How cool! I’m obsessed with Edith Head. What a legend!
Film legend Barbara Stanwyck had a long torso…designer Edith Head would customize her dresses by widening the waistband in front and lowering it in the back for her gowns.
As soon as my kiddos are asleep I’m measuring my torso! I’ve always assumed my torso was long but never compared or measured… 🙂 Great advice and sites to check out. Thx Nada!!!
Thank you so much! I am buying a clothing gift for a tall friend, and these guidelines are exactly what I needed!!!