Women’s Figure Flattery Guide: Short Waisted

May 17th, 2005

Visually lower your waistline and re-direct attention towards your face or legs.

Look for…
  • Monochromatic and tonal outfits.
  • Vertical lines above the waist.
  • Narrow belts at the hipline.
  • Narrow belts that match the color of your top.
  • Jackets & Coats
    • Long jackets: hipbone, below the hips, three-quarters, and seven-eighths styles.
    • Single breasted styles.
    • High armholes.
    • Narrow lapels tapering to the waist.
    • Some shoulder padding.
    • One or two button closures.
    • Deep V necklines.
    • Jean jackets that hit at the top of the hips.
    • Biker jackets.
  • Tops
    • Long tops that end below your natural waistline.
    • Vertical detailing.
    • Deep V necklines.
    • High armholes.
    • Princess seams.
    • Tabbed collars.
  • Pants & Jeans
    • Wear pants slightly long and with a heel for added leg length.
    • Low-waisted bottoms.
    • Flat front styles.
    • Jeans with a longer rise.
  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Straight shapes with a dropped waistline.
    • Styles without waistbands.
    • Fluid fabrics.
    • Empire waist styles.
    • Straight sheaths.
    • Coat dresses.
    • Deep V-necklines.
    • Verticals on the torso.
  • Suits
    • Long jackets, which should reach below the waist or longer.
    • Fluid fabrics.
    • Narrow pants.
    • Short skirts.
  • Swimsuits
    • Two piece suits with bottoms that hit below your natural waistline.
    • Strong verticals on the torso.
    • High necklines.
    • Darker side panels.
Run from…
  • Belts at the waistline or above.
  • Wide waistbands or belts.
  • Any horizontal lines at the waist.
  • Jackets & Coats
    • Double breasted styles.
    • Flap or patch pockets.
    • Wide collars.
    • High round necklines.
    • Belted styles.
    • Bomber jackets.
  • Tops
    • Overembellished styles.
    • Anything cinched at the waist.
    • High-waisted styles.
    • Cropped styles.
    • Waistbands, especially those that sit at your natural waist.
    • Off-the-shoulder styles.
  • Pants & Jeans
    • High-waisted bottoms.
    • Cropped pants.
  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Dresses with waistline details.
    • Wide waistbands.
    • High-waisted styles.
    • Contrast color belts.
    • Horizontal lines at natural waistline or above.
    • Stiff fabrics.
  • Suits
    • Cropped jacket tops.
  • Swimsuits
    • High waisted bikini bottoms.
    • Horizontal detailing on the torso.

Entry Filed under: Features,Figure Flattery Guide,Figure Flattery Guide,Women

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carmen chinea  |  March 7th, 2007 at 7:43 am

    can you show examples of clothes to buy and where when you describe how to flatter your figure and problem areas. for example, i am short waisted, wide hips, tall and a size 14-i would like to just buy the clothes online that best fit my figure. show me all the dresses, skirts, tops you recommend for my figure and i’ll buy them.

  • 2. Trisha  |  March 7th, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Carmen,

    Thanks for asking. I’ll work on this and send you a set of recommended garments for your body type. What kinds of styles do you like? Are there any celebrities whose style you admire? Any info you could give me about your personal style would be most helpful :)


  • 3. Jennifer  |  May 25th, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Hi. This was a great article. Do you know if any clothing companies are known for cuts that fit short-waisted, thin women?
    Thank you.

  • 4. Trisha  |  May 28th, 2007 at 4:09 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    Many companies produce clothing that’s perfect for short-waisted, thin women. I’ve found that clothes from Express, H&M, and Gap, in particular, are good for those with a short torso.

    Hope that helps, Jennifer!


  • 5. Gay Pearson  |  June 2nd, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    I have a problem getting clothes that fit. I am a chubby short waisted woman. most blouses or shirts are way too long waisted for me which causes them to gap at the front. Can you help me?

  • 6. Trisha  |  June 2nd, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    If your shirts are gapping at the front, buy shirts from retailers whose fit features a wider waistline (this advice also holds true for those with no waist, like myself). I’ve had good results at Banana Republic and Gap for shirts. If you fall in love with a particular shirt, though, you can buy a larger sized shirt and have it tailored down to your shape.

  • 7. khadijah  |  August 23rd, 2007 at 7:04 am

    I wear shirts that fit at the waist and alot of belts at the waist to give an illusion of a hip. I have a no waist figure, no visible hips, tall about 5 feet 9 and look like a walking beam. I would appreciate pictuures of outfits that will give me a feminine look ie for casuals, corporate wears, sports, etc. I wear alot of tops that extend loosely over my no existent hips,it does wonders.

  • 8. Trisha  |  August 24th, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Khadijah,

    You’re doing a great job of creating the illusion of a waist and hips by wearing fitted shirts and belts. You might also try tops that end at mid-hip, as that creates a horizontal line that makes your hips look fuller. Here’s some more tips about how to flatter a boyish figure.

    Hope that helps–


  • 9. Lisa  |  November 23rd, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Trisha,

    I am 5′ 1′, short-waisted, 36D. Any advice on the type of clothes best suited to my figure. Any suggestions as to the designers I may try. I am a young 42 year old.

    Thanks for your help.

  • 10. Omiru.com: Style for All&hellip  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:38 am

    […] January 9th, 2008 The oversized collar frames your pretty face, while the dropped waistline flatters the shortwaisted (those with long legs). $98  at Nordstrom. […]

  • 11. Lauren  |  February 6th, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    I’m 21, 5’3″, and a 32B. I’m 110 pounds, but I have a short waist and sadly, big hips (I’m a 27). I know that low rise jeans are good for me, but are there any other ways that I can offset this awful luck of mine? :\

  • 12. valorie h  |  February 9th, 2008 at 5:57 am

    help! I am currently a size 10- with a short torso and long legs and CANNOT find work pants that fit. I have been able to find jeans and cords at Old Navy, NY& Co and Ann Taylor Loft. However I have been looking for months and have even ordered custom tailored pants from lands end to no avail. Everything has too high a rise so it is painful and my crotch is halfway to my bellybutton. This is even the case on supposedly low waist pants at Ann Taylor. I am at my wits end as I am trying to build up my professional wardrobe for interviewing. I have decided to give up on finding a suit with pants that fit and am trying to find skirts instead. I did not have this problem before and think it is bc post baby my body has changed and things have shifted. Can you please advise as to what I should do? I would even order custom pants if I could find ones that dont actually hurt! I am beginning to think I will never find pants that fit- last tally on what I have tried on is over 100.

  • 13. Jennifer  |  February 11th, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Hi, I was searching for styles that would flatter me and I came aross this question from Carmen, March 7, 2007 which describes me.”can you show examples of clothes to buy and where when you describe how to flatter your figure and problem areas. for example, i am short waisted, wide hips, tall and a size 14-i would like to just buy the clothes online that best fit my figure. show me all the dresses, skirts, tops you recommend for my figure and i’ll buy them.” could you provide me with the same advice? I struggle with the tallness,big hips, short waist. I’m also a size 14. I need help. Thanks!

  • 14. michelle  |  January 9th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Im 5 foot 1,and just had a breast augmentation. My inseam is 28inches and everything on me is short! The style of clothes that make me feel sexy are clothes that fit my body,tighter fitting. I’m into southwestern look. I do hair, so that has a lot to do with what I wear. Low rise jeans makes my torso look longer. Shirts that hit the top of my jeans and quater length sleeves that don’t hang. Again,tighter fitting. The material needs to breath,stretch.I’m not a skinny person,125 lbs,I like to go to the gym,eat organic,but I still manage to eat and keep wait on….thats an on going drama!

  • 15. Ballerinababe13  |  January 19th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    im 5″1, 150 pounds, short legs long torso. what can i wear that is stylish and i love purple i have dark brown hair blue eyes

  • 16. Anonymous  |  January 22nd, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    What you feel the best in.. But I think that if you get a pant that is not high and not th low but the in the middle…

  • 17. kerrie gebrayel  |  September 29th, 2010 at 3:44 am

    pls help i am a young 40 year old. i have a small frame small torso and a little tummy. my biggest promblem is trying to find clothes that dont make me look too busty as i am a double d. i look all bust as every were else is small.

  • 18. Roxane  |  October 26th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I am short waisted with 38ddd, and big waist and weight 165 lbs. I am 5/5″ tall what type of dress suit or pant suit would look best I was thinking black.

  • 19. cielo  |  August 26th, 2011 at 3:08 am

    this will surely helps me a lot!! i hope u can also show us images or pics of those right clothing for us.. thanx! more power!

  • 20. Catherine  |  September 4th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    THis has to be the worst advice ever! I have a very curvy figure (39-29-40) and you suggest I ignore my waist and hourglass figure in favor of looking like a tube. What a crock.

  • 21. Crystal  |  September 24th, 2011 at 9:38 am

    This is a great list.
    I am a sort, curvy, busty and short waisted women. I’m 5’2″ and a size 10 petite with a 34F. It took me a long time to love my body, and a longer time to figure out what looks best on a body like mine.
    At 30 years of age I am finally comfortable in my own skin.
    Any body type can be beautiful if the time is taken to choose styles that look good on it.

  • 22. laurie  |  August 25th, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I am 5 ft. tall, 150 lbs, big belly, butt and thighs. I need to find a brand of work slacks I can depend on to minimize these faults! Also, tips on shirts/sweaters? I am not sure if big and bulky stuff flatters or just makes me look pregnant. Help!

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