Sunday, April 17, 2011

Finding the Right Clothes for YOUR Proportions

It's All About the Right Clothes for YOUR Proportions...

For some reason women always think their bodies are not quite right, rather than--the clothes are not quite right. You are the way you are...therefore what you really need is to know what clothes are right for your unique proportions!

Do you try on pants only to have them rest practically under your bust line? If you are short-waisted this can happen. On the other hand, if you are long waisted pants can be snug in the rise and you find yourself constantly pulling at them. Why do some jackets make you appear shorter or heavier? Or, why do some shirts never seem long enough? Again, it's all about understanding your proportions--so you know what styles of clothes are best for you.

It is all about body proportions. How each part of your body relates to the other parts is what makes up your unique proportions. Generally speaking, you are always going to have the same basic body shape whether you gain weight or lose weight. That is why following fit guidelines for your body shape with help you dress your best. Along with your body's shape, you have unique proportions like a tummy, long arms, short waist, etc. These are also something you need to take into consideration when dressing.

The most common proportional issue when dressing is being long or short-waisted. Knowing how to “correct” your proportional waist imbalance will help you know what to look for when shopping.

Grab a tape measure and decide if you are long, short or balanced in your waist line. Measure the area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip bone.
Short-waisted—the space will be about 1-2 inches

Average-waisted—the space will be about 2-3 inches

Long-waisted—the space will be about 3-4 inches

A balanced body will have a crotch that is halfway up the total body length. Your waist is balanced when it is at the halfway mark between your armpit and crotch. If your waist is above halfway you are short-waisted, if it is longer, you are long-waisted.

Rule of thumb: when you have a body part that is short—look for long. When you have a body part that is long—look for short. For example, short-waisted? Look for a longer jacket. Get it?

Don’t forget your jacket. One of the best articles of clothing that a SYSter can have in her wardrobe--is a jacket. The right jacket for your body type (and waist proportion) can help correct your body imbalance and make it appear balanced and in proportion. Not only can you disguise an undefined waist, but you will make it appear more “hourglass” with a structured jacket that is “body skimming”. The right length of jacket can make your waist or legs appear longer. Generally speaking, if you are short-waisted, a longer jacket is needed. If you are long-waisted, a shorter jacket works for you. If you are petite in stature, then you do not want to go too long with the length of your jacket or it will drag you down.

Experimentation (in front of a full-length mirror) along with the fit guidelines for your body type will help you correct your proportional dilemmas (like a long or short waist).

Your goal no matter your shape or proportional imbalances should be to 'appear balanced' through the clothes you wear. Let me help you do that each week at!

Love, Leslie...your online fashion stylist


  1. Lately I've been stocking my closet with some basic cardigans and a couple jackets. One has a tuxedo cut, the other a standard regular cut. I opted for 2 so that I could balance details. Plain top + tuxedo cut jacket or detailed top + plain jacket.
    I think I'm average waisted, but I believe I have a longer rise. The rise issue makes fitting pants to my person a challenge. Well, that and the fact that my waist is one size, and my hips and thighs are a size larger. I am a skinny girl with curves, and much of what I find in my price range is stuff for someone else's frame. I find a predominance of low rise pants, which provides tush cleavage at times, even with a belt. Or maybe I just have a lot of junk in my trunk, and I need to find pants that address that.

  2. I just wanted to thank you again! Armed with your latest style tips, I went shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding. Since childhood, I've only liked one dress that I have owned. Being as tiny as I am, trying on dresses is so discouraging! But NOT today! I am wild with delight! Check out this treasure!

  3. Leslie, you should bold that last sentence in the jacket paragraph. I am long legged, short waisted AND petite (and 163 cm tall, which is actually pretty average!), so a jacket that hits around my hips (did I mention I am high hipped as well?) is the best length on me, making the most of my curvy top and leaving my long legs alone. Truth is, I feel almost naked without a jacket, as it downplays my rather extreme curves a little.

  4. Ok- If I measured correctly I am long waisted. WOW! That explains why the short jackets look better but I've always worn long ones to cover the tummy! Yikes! I was actually making things worse!

  5. Hi! I am petite (5'3") and have alot of trouble with dresses. I am long waisted, but with very short legs. What are some dress styles that would work for me? Thank you!

  6. Annie,

    You can try a very basic A-line or sheath dress all in one color. However, more than likely you will do best with separates. Try wearing a cute skirt and top or shell instead. The separate pieces allows you to adjust the lengths. For example, you'll want to wear a high-hip length top and a skirt that comes to around your knees for the best look!

  7. I have a question. I have a balanced body (waist halfway between armpit and crotch). I am long- waisted and have a high rise. What lengths should I be looking for in jackets and tops?

  8. Omni,

    Your best length in jackets and tops would be around mid-hip to a bit longer.

    Anything high-hip would highlight your long rise. Make sure your jackets and tops are longer to cut down the length and bring you into better proportion.

  9. Thank you for the tips. As a plus sized woman, for me It isn't easy to look for the clothes that would fit me but I chose meticulously the plus size fashion clothing to suit me best.

  10. It is really so difficult to find clothes that fit and look lovely. Thanks for share this post. Its really a great help for everyone.

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  12. Leslie, I am 5'7", long-waisted, and have a long torso. How long should my jackets be?

  13. Sandra...You'll need to play around in front of a full-length mirror to find your "right" length...however (as stated above) "Rule of thumb: when you have a body part that is short—look for long. When you have a body part that is long—look for short. For example, short-waisted? Look for a longer jacket. Get it?"

    Since you are long'll want a jacket that is mid-hip or shorter. A jacket that is long makes your legs look short and also makes you look out of balance. Again, go shorter w/ your jacket lengths :)

    Hope that helps! Leslie

  14. and if you're balanced --- what length jacket do you go with?

  15. Wearing long necklace is not suitable for those who have short height. Thank you for this wonderful article on finding the right clothes.

    Online Fashion Jewelry Shopping


Thanks for leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy my blog and stop by often!

Love, Leslie

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...