At this point in my life, I’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands, pictures of myself, but for whatever reason it was this picture (above) that Ryan snapped of me this summer that made me notice something totally new about myself. Could it be? Is that right? Right there in front of me, I noticed that I have a short torso. All of the pieces started to fall into place: high-waisted pants and empire waists always look flattering on me and longer tops always felt way too long. Right then, at the age of 28, I realized I have a short torso.
A friend and colleague of mine who happens to have excellent style and taste always says the first two rules of fashion are “Find your waist, and then find a tailor.” When I’m dressing clients or friends, I always consider their “lengths” first—it’s the easiest way to pull together outfits that truly look amazing on you. There are tons of little tricks to make sure that you’re dressing in a way that suits you proportionally, like always wearing heels with midi-length dress or wearing shorts with an oversized jacket to keep your legs looking long. Skinny jeans end up making lots of people looking stumpy when worn with flats, but so much taller with heels—something about that extra few inches of ankle and top of your foot make all the difference. Since I realized I have a shorter torso, I’m looking for more cropped tees to wear with high-rise pants so I look taller.
So how do you figure out where you fall length-wise? For one, if you’re always having to get your jeans hemmed or if they’re never long enough, you can probably gauge if you have short or long legs. If jumpsuits always result in a bit of a camel toe, you’ve probably got a long torso and if crop tops hit where a regular shirt would, I’m calling a bit of a shorter torso. Also note—I’ve discovered that this concept is incredibly difficult to express by writing, but I’ve found some articles that express it better than I do here and here.
I’m a list maker and getting dressed is so visual, so I pulled together some images (yay! my Illustrator skills on display!!) and a checklist of some super steller looks from some of my style icons. I’m deeply obsessed with how Kortney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Sienna Miller (I know, why not Kim? Probably because it’s hard for anyone I know to relate to her shape) dress. I know, I’m the worst, but I think they’re solid examples three different body builds: short torso + petite figure, long torso + long legs, and equal lengths torso + legs. Pulling images of them gave me such great inspo for my fall wardrobe too!
For my girls with long torsos – look to Kendall Jenner!
Ladies, you are the drop waist queens and can rock an oversize tee like no-one else. If you’re blessed like Kendall with super long legs, lean into wide-leg pants and flares, because it’ll just make you look more sky high! Make friends with a front tuck (Hi, Tan France) to define where your torso ends and legs begin. It’s also likely that you can wear a the ever-tricky mid-length bootie, just in time for fall.
For my girls with shorty torsos – go for Kortney Kardashian!
I’m so obsessed with Kortney’s style. She’s a tiny petite person, but still manages to look super fly and leggy no matter what. The biggest take away – cropped tops are your friend! And no, you don’t need a six pack to wear them. Even if they hit the top of your pants and show no tummy at all, it’ll still make your legs longer looking.
If you can’t decide if you have a particularly short or long torso, you may be “Equal Length! Good for you, this means life is a little easier for you, but not without need for tailoring or some nuances.
I think Sienna Miller, although petite still, is pretty proportionate. She’s just kinda fashion heaven too. Take a close look at wear pants hit her—even full length pants are expertly tailored to hit right at the ground to avoid “pooling” or having too much of a break. She almost always wear a high-waisted pant to make herself look long and lean.
There you have it. It’s a good exercise to survey your own lines! Consider this the next time you’re trying something on. And please, remember, just because something doesn’t fit you right does NOT mean that you’re body is wrong or bad, it might just mean that proportionally, it’s not the right fit, or you just need some tailoring or the right pair of shoes to make it right! Be kind to yourself. We all have different, beautiful bodies. I’m just here to help you get dressed in a way that makes you feel 100% you and 100% amazing.
xx – hh