Everyone has their own hacks and tricks for dressing their figures. For me, the focus has always been on my shoulders and my long torso. I’m a little over 5’4 with a svelte frame and throughout my many years of fashion experimentation, I’ve come to realize that some pieces just don’t work they way I’d like them to on my body (read: boyfriend jeans). And while I’m all for wearing what you love — whatever shape you are — picking pieces that suit my proportions is what makes me feel best. Learning how to dress with a long torso, of course, has been a process of trial and error. It’s tricky to find items like a one-piece swimsuit or a pair of white jeans that fit my midsection and don’t leave me feeling disproportionate. Often I found that whatever I wore on the bottom only emphasized how long my top portion was.
Over time, I’ve discovered how to create the illusion of a balanced “shape” so that I could wear all of those aforementioned styles the way I wanted. Throughout the process, I’ve found that I don’t have to wear what everyone else is wearing simply because it was cool, nor do I have to subscribe to some kind of body type descriptor (i.e. when the internet tells me I have a “spoon” or an “inverted diamond” figure) to box myself in. I simply have a long torso and it’ll always be a physical trait that makes me uniquely me.
Ahead, some tips and tricks I lean on while putting together a look.
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High-Waisted Bottoms Give The Illusion Of Longer Legs
High-waisted shorts, trousers, jeans, and swimsuit bottoms will be your long torso’s BFF. Since the style naturally sits higher up on your waist, it magically shrinks your torso in half. (I swear by Reformation’s Cynthia High-Rise Straight Jean and Everlane’s Stretch High-Rise Skinny jeans.) Currently, my go-to non-denim for the summer is a super high-rise pair of brown trousers. Though the silhouette can sometimes become uncomfortable — especially after a heavy meal — it’s the one style that continuously works with both my bum and torso so the minor discomfort is worth it. (I’m also not afraid to undo a button at the table.)
Break Up Your Frame With A Crop Top
When worn with high-waisted pants or a skirt, crop tops can cut your long torso in half, thus creating a symmetrical illusion. As for what kind of crop tops to shop for, any style goes, whether that be halter neck designs (they’re trending for Summer 2022) to a one-shoulder wrap-around piece.
Belt Your Outfits To Create Dimension
Don’t forget the power of a belt as it can help break a long torso up into sections. In the case of Aimee Song, she used her accessory to define her waist while she wore an all-white outfit. The wrap-around style also served to break up the single tone of her tops and bottoms.
Look For Dresses That Flow Or Bring Up Your Waistline
Dresses that flow when one walks look great on everyone because they don’t cling to the body. Your long torso won’t be the star of the show anymore once it’s underneath an animal print or floral frock. If you want to wear a more form-fitting dress, however, look for wrap or belted styles that sit higher up on your waistline. This will draw the eyes upwards and to the top half of your figure rather than bring the focus around your midsection. Alternatively, opt for dresses with cascading tiers and ruffles, which create more volume everywhere.
Heels Make You Look & Stand Taller
To balance out a long torso, add length to the lower half of your body with a pair of heels. Not only does this make your legs look longer, but heels add several inches to your overall stature. You don’t need to walk in six-inch stiletto pumps every day, however, as a simple two-inch mule or even bootie works. For summer, I’m loving the combination of a heeled sandal, high-waisted faux leather pants, and a crop top.
One-Piece Swimsuits With A High-Leg Design Or Cutouts
Although I love one-piece swimsuits, it seemed like every style I tried on felt extra tight on my torso and didn’t work for my shape. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I bought a striped one-shoulder, high-cut leg design, that I found the key to mastering this look. A high-cut leg is a must for me, so more of my legs and hips are revealed as opposed to them being hidden underneath fabric. In addition, one-pieces that don’t cover up your body — think a simple side cutout or even multiple cutouts — deemphasizes a long torso because your eyes don’t focus on a single point. The eyes, instead, travel all over your frame and the cutouts create dimension on your silhouette.
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