If you have a short torso, then wearing the wrong top can sometimes leave you looking like your upper half has been rudely interrupted by the waistline of your pants. If your proportions aren’t naturally even, there are a few tricks you can keep in mind when shopping for tops that make your trunk seem longer than it really is.
First, aim to draw the eye either up or down—rather than toward your middle. Interesting details at the neck or a longer hem can add inches of vertical height, whereas tops that draw focus to your center (like a cropped graphic tee) just compact your torso. Second, look for details that hit slightly below your natural waist, like a faux wrap. This will also help to create the illusion that your waist is lower on your frame than it is in reality.
Now, onto the fun part: shopping. Here are 18 tops that will both flatter and lengthen a short upper half, in the most stylish way.
Draped Plaid Shell
The side-tie adds at least a few inches of illusion to your torso. That, plus the vertical lines, will have you looking long and lean in a snap.
Vince Camuto ($42)
Pussy Bow Blouse
The combination of a floppy bow at the neck plus billowing sleeves creates one continuous line from your shoulders to well below your hips.
7 For All Mankind ($195)
Ruffled Smock-Neck Top
High-neck details are a short torso’s best friend. Plus, those pretty ruffles at the shoulder and a matching trim at the bottom make this top as gorgeous as it is flattering.
Ulla Johnson ($275)
Dark Floral Blouse
Loose, long sleeves and a flowy cut make this top both lengthening and easy to throw on with jeans.
Apiece Apart ($275)
Keyhole Tank Top
Don’t worry, it’s not all long sleeves and turtlenecks for gals with brief upper bodies. This halter actually combines the two best necklines for you: a high neck and a V-neck.
Buckled Wrap Shirt
Hot tip: Wrap tops are fantastic at whittling waistlines and slimming you out, especially when they’re not too form-fitting, like this crisp office-appropriate blouse.
Mini Pleated Shell
It’s no secret that vertical stripes have magical lengthening powers, but if you’re not much of a print person there’s another way to reap the same benefits. Just look for sweaters and tops that are pleated or ribbed for the same effect.
Eileen Fisher ($138)
The V-shape of this tie-dye pattern is a figure-flattering gold mine. Universally, it helps create the appearance of an itty-bitty middle thanks to the angle of the V.
Free People ($78)
Ruffled Floral Blouse
We like to think of this beauty as a fun way of dipping your toe into the prairie trend without venturing too far into pioneer-woman territory. Plus, pretty ruffles will add inches of height to your top-half.
This double threat has both the flattering length of a tunic and the bonus effects of vertical stripes and mini pleats at the front.
Alex Mill ($125)
The fail-proof way to make it appear as though you have an endless trunk? Just go with a long hemline.
Free People ($65)
Striped Faux Wrap
Wear it with jeans on the weekend, or dress-pants and a blazer to the office.
Vero Moda ($45)
Don’t worry, you’re not relegated to high collars and long sleeves for the rest of your life. The plunging neck and the ruffle from shoulder to hip both create that endless line we’ve been looking for.
Lovers + Friends ($118)
This beauty insinuates that your waist hits where the fabric gathers (even if it’s higher in reality), while the tunic length keeps the eye going, going, going…
A deep V combined with the ambiguous location of a natural waist makes this top both flattering and sexy.
Rag & Bone ($295)
Much like the tie-dye top from earlier, this particular blouse has a whole lot of good things going for it. Vertical lines? Check. A V-pattern? You bet. Corresponding lace trim at the hem? Why of course.
Divine Heritage ($345)
If you decide to try a totally different neckline, like one-shoulder or boatneck, just be sure that the shirt doesn’t hit too high on the hips.
Now that you have all the tools you need, you might as well have some fun with your picks. Look for tops with interesting embellishments, new textures or funky prints, like these leopard spots.
Treasure & Bond ($42)
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