Dressing For Your Proportions

I think that most of us appreciate that to dress well we need to understand our shape. But did you realise it’s equally important to understand your proportions? Whether you are short-bodied or  long-bodied has a big part to play in putting together flattering outfits.

Broadly speaking, if you have balanced proportions you will measure the same from the top of your head to your leg break. (The leg break is the crease where your leg meets your body if you  raise your knee).  Few of us are lucky enough to be perfectly proportioned, but following these guidelines will help you appear more balanced.

Short Legs + Long Torso

If the length from your leg break to the ground is shorter than from the same point to the top of your head, the following will generally work best for you:

  • Shorter jackets
  • Shorter necklaces
  • Tucking tops in or, if wearing over skirts and trousers, ensuring the hemline finishes no lower than your hip bone
  • Keeping your bottom half fairly plain
  • Avoiding very full skirts and wide-leg trousers
  • Wearing a belt to break up the length of the torso (click here to see a short video  to help you determine whether a belt will well work for you)
  • High heels with a low front (vamp) and a pointed toe. Because of the shape of the thong, flip flops are also surprisingly flattering
  • Co-ordinating the colour of your footwear to your tights and/or hemline. Nude coloured  sandals with bare legs are great for Summer!

I am slightly long in the torso so, as you can see from the photos below, I look considerably better wearing my top tucked in and emphasizing my waist with a belt.


Long Legs + Short torso

If the opposite is true and you are longer from the leg break to the ground, then you have long legs – lucky you!  Long legs are generally considered desirable but if you emphasise your leg length at the expense of your torso, your body can look wider that it is and even a bit “squashed”. If you are blessed with long legs,  the following should work well for you:

  • Longer jackets
  • Wearing tops untucked or, if tucking in, blousing over your waistband.
  • Drop waistlines
  • Wearing pattern/colour on your bottom half
  • Longer sleeves
  • Longer necklaces

The model below has long legs in relation to her torso and you can see how much better proportioned she looks wearing a top that is untucked.

If you’d like to learn more about dressing for your shape, scale, proportions and style personality, why not book in for a style consultation with me?