When it comes to dressing our body type, we often hear about the horizontal body shapes, pears, apples, triangles, rectangles or whatever other names stylists have conjured up. However, the vertical body type is just as important. It focuses on the balance between your torso and your legs. Today I’m suggesting some do’s and don’ts if you have a long torso and short legs; don’t worry, you’re not alone! These vertical proportions are more common in shorter people but I have assessed many tall men and women with these proportions. Their legs may be long compared to someone of petite stature but this is about THEIR leg length relative to THEIR torso length.
It’s worth noting here that if you have a long torso and short legs, the plus side is you are long-waisted and this gives you some styling options balanced bodies or long legged bodies don’t have. Think layering your tops – short jacket over slightly longer top.
Before I give you my list of recommended do’s and don’ts, remember that your horizontal body shape and other features like a sway back or large bust for example, may mean not all these do’s will work for every short legged person out there. So, with that caveat in mind let’s talk about some general styling tips that can create visual balance for the long waisted body type.
THE DO LIST
- Try hip-length, floaty shirts and blouses that sit away from your body to conceal the point where your natural waist starts.
Floaty tops disguise where your torso ends.
2. Wear a dress! Dresses make it less obvious where your torso ends and your legs begin. By the way jumpsuits can work just as well.
3. Add a belt higher up than your natural waistline to maximise the effect of rebalancing your proportions.
4. Wear longer length dresses, skirts or pants; it’s the continuation of colour that gives the illusion of greater length. If worn with heels, your legs will appear even longer.
5. Stick to slim or straight-legged pants.
6. Incorporate clothing, especially bottoms with vertical stripes or patterns into your wardrobe. Vertical lines have an elongating effect.
Vertical influence elongates the area where it sits.
7. Preference high-waisted pants, skirts, and shorts to visually lengthen your legs
8. Hip length or shorter length jackets balance the length of your torso more readily, especially when you’re not wearing heels.
9. Tuck your tops into your waistband.
Long waisted women can usually tuck in their tops.
10. Match the colour of your shoes with your pants.
11. When feasible wear heels, even a lower stacked heel or wedge heel can be a good compromise between comfort and style.
12. Choose a low-fronted shoe rather than one that covers your foot.
13.. Shoes with pointed or almond shaped vamps will visually add more length to your leg.
14. Opt for nude or neutral-coloured shoes. These shoes create a seamless transition from your legs to your feet.
AND NOW FOR THE DON’TS.
- Avoid low-rise pants or skirts.
- Avoid horizontal stripes, especially on the lower half of your body.
- Avoid overly loose, baggy or wide-legged pants.
- Avoid shoes with ankle straps, glamorous they may be but they visually cut off your legs and make them appear shorter.
- Low waisted styles may not be in at the moment but they may come back. These are your worst option.