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short waisted dresses for women

The right fashion for short-waisted women

Maintaining balance is one important key to flattering your figure and dressing for your body type. If you’re short-waisted, you’re going to look out of balance with a top half that appears smaller than your bottom half. Finding ways to make your top half look proportionate to your bottom half, by making your waist appear longer, helps you achieve balance.
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Try a top with vertical lines. These lines give the illusion that your top half is longer than it is. The stripes can be as subtle as a pinstripe blouse — anything that keeps the eye moving up and down right over your waist works.

Wear tops that you can leave untucked. This is another way of hiding where your waist actually is.

A deep V-neck draws the focus upwards and away from your waist (this is a little tip that works for everyone — not just short-waisted women).


Avoid dresses with a waistband. If you do need a belt, choose a narrow one that’s in the same color as your outfit to minimize the attention to the waist area.

If you wear prints, limit it to your top and make sure your top ends by your hips. This hides your true waistline, and the break between the pattern and the solid bottom make your waist seem longer than it really is.

What you don’t want to do is draw attention directly to your middle, like the left-hand model in the following illustration. The wide belt at the waist accentuates the short waist, making the top half look out of proportion with the bottom half. The tunic top, on the other hand, elongates the waistline and makes the body look balanced.

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If you’re “top heavy” because you’re short-waisted (bigger breast, broader shoulders and back, thicker arms). Wearing darker colors on the top and lighter colors on the bottom works miracles! You obviously don’t have to always wear a black top but try wearing a top or jacket in a darker hue or pattern then your skirt or pants.

When wearing separates, pairing the same color top and bottom will give you a clean, classic look and “unifies” your appearance. Making you look longer, taller and slimmer – without any apparent differences noticed in the height of your upper body to your lower body. That’s a very good thing in my book!
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When wearing shirts and tops. Get them altered (hemmed/shorten) so that they hit you right at hip line. Most store bought tops and shirts will be entirely too long for women with short waist lines. Alterations is a great way to make sure these items look neat on you, compliments your figure and hide any tummy issues you may have, without looking sloppy and ill-fitting. The shirt will lay on your body nicely without looking all bunched up because it’s too long. If the sleeves are also too long have the cuff area removed or shorten. The main idea is to have the top or shirt altered to fit your specific body type instead of “wrestling” with a top that is too long because it was designed for an person with a longer waist line. (Note: If you are small boned or short in statue you can also purchase shirts from the Women’s Petite section or from the Juniors department.)
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Beware of tops and shirts with an excessive amount of large ruffles and over embellishment. Best practice is to wear tops with clean and basic necklines. Scoop neck tops that end around the collar bone looks great. (Note: Too low of a neckline for women with large bust can appear to take away inches from your upper body area, so be careful, ladies.)
short waisted dresses for women
Belts and belt loops. If you purchase a dress or top with a belt and the item has belt loops. Move those suckers! In my best Joan Crawford impression…“take those belt loops off and move them where they are suppose to be!!” You can remove them entirely with a seam ripper and/or move them UP to the position of YOUR natural waist line and sew them back on. Many style guides tell you not to wear wide belts. That is a no-no for short waisted women. Glad I didn’t listen to them. Do not shy away from waist cinching belts. I love them and they give me the appearance of having an feminine body with womanly curves when in actuality I have boyish hips. I try to keep my belt height under ’3 inches. You can wear the same color belt as your top or jacket to keep the appearance of a longer waist line. Low hip slung belts do not work! They will hang low in the front but will sit up too high when the belt meets your behind in the back, not a flattering look for anyone who doesn’t have a flat ass! Bringing even more attention to the fact that you have a short upper body – only from the back! It’s better to have the belt rest at one even position on your waist, then to wear a low-sung belt that hangs low in the front, but high in the back. When using waist cinching belts, keep the fit comfortable and not so tight as to look confined or have “muffin top” going on.
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I encourage women with a short-waist line (like myself) to have your tops and blouses shorten by a seamstress, tailor or alteration shop and wear them out instead of tucking them in. Tucking in your shirt, blouse or sweater will only make the unbalance between your upper and lower body more apparent. This is something I try hard not to do. Once you alter your blouses to sit at the right position on your body, they will look fabulous and neat and there will be no need to tuck them in!
short waisted dress styles for women

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Buy your size! This is very important for women with a short upper body. A comfortable and non-tight fit makes you look neat and well put together. Most short waisted women have problems with their weight accumulating around their middle, stomach, back and arms since there is a limited amount of room for the upper body fat to distribute. Even more reason to make sure any tops, dresses and jacket you buy are your size and not two sizes too small.
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Having a proportionally short waist (small distance between rib cage and top of pelvis/hip bone can make you look boxy and squat, so how to make it appear longer, and give the illusion of having a waist?

1. Low to mid rise jeans and trousers

2. Empire waist tops and dresses

3. Avoid belting at the waist, instead you can belt at the hip if you want to belt and don’t contrast belts

4. Avoid gathered (dirndl) waist skirts and dresses

6. Don’t tuck tops

7. End tops around your hip bone or a little longer

8. Look for tops, cardigans and jackets that don’t have any detail or pockets around the waist area to avoid drawing attention to your lack of waist.