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The best information on petite and petite plus clothing


Petite Body Types - Short Torso

If you're petite and looking for fashion tips to minimize your problem areas, you've come to the right place!

Whether you're perfectly proportioned or have a particular problem area -- like a short neck, short torso, or short legs -- we give you practical advice to help you look your best.

Dressing for a Short Torso

The basic concept to enhance a short torso is to create the illusion of a longer torso by hiding the exact location of your waistline and making the top half of your body appear longer.

Styles to Look For Styles to Avoid
  • Long, lean, tops, tunics, sweaters and jackets.
  • Shirts worn outside.
  • Tops with subtle, narrow, vertical stripes.
  • Dresses or tops without a waist, like empire styles or blousons.
  • A monochromatic color scheme or shades of the same color without much contrast between the top and bottom.
  • Belts worn loose and low around the hips.
  • V-necks and plunges, because they emphasize verticality.
  • Long necklaces and scarves left hanging or tied low
  • Sleeveless, long sleeves, or three quarter sleeves.
  • Short jackets, shrugs, and crop tops.
  • Wide tops like swings
  • Tucked-in shirts, except with a low-rise pant.
  • High-waisted pants.
  • Constrasting colors for top and bottom like a white blouse and black pants.
  • Defined waistlines and belts at the waist, especially wide ones.
  • Horizontal necklines like square and boatnecks that distract the eye from the vertical flow of your top.
  • Short sleeves, especially if wide - they draw the eye away from the vertical line you are trying to achieve.

blue blouson sweater    petite red georgette 3/4 length empire waist gown    short torso swim top over a swim mini
Blue Blouson Cotton Sweater    Petite Georgette 3/4-Length Gown    Short-Torso Swim Top over a Swim-Mini

This blouson sweater hides the location of the waist, making a short torso appear longer. The "almost 3/4" sleeve works better than the normal short sleeve for a short torso because the eye is drawn down rather than out to the side.


This emprire waisted gown in a monochromatic color scheme is perfect to disguise a short torso.


This long-line swim top over a tummy-control swim mini in one color hides the location of the waist to make your torso appear longer. Lands' End is one of the only retailers to make swim suits designed specifically for women with a short torso and this is a great example. Also comes in Short Torso Plus Size

More fashion tips for your petite body type:   short neck |  short legs

Fashion tips for all petite women:   The most flattering pants, skirts, shoes, and more