More Ways to Flatter Your Body Proportions


Choose nude shoes to lengthen proportionally shorter legs

Following on from my video on how to measure your body proportions yesterday, I want to share with you more ways to flatter your proportions.

Here are some posts I’ve written about some of the more common proportional issues.

8 Top Tips to Dressing a Short Waist

Short Legs, Long Rise How to Define Your Waist when Wearing Jeans

Body Proportions Explained – Long Rise

Body Proportions Explained – Small Bust, Long Decolletage

Body Proportions Explained – The Effect of a Large Bust

I’d love to know what you’re discovering about your proportions and how you’re using this information to change the way you dress. Please share!



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  • thanks again, imogen! this is genius stuff! i just read your post on short legs/long rise – would these rules apply to an H shape as well? As an H i try to disguise my lack of waist rather than cinching it. (i don’t have a lot of luck with belting anyway – squares me off.) and while i love some empire waist tops for flattering my middle, they can make my legs look stumpy – and i just figured out that this might be because of my short legs/ long rise? are there any strategies i can play around with?

    • Jenni – body shapes are different from body proportions – so you can have any proportions on any body shape – this is why body shape is only a small part of the equation to work out what really works for your unique body.

      Make sure your tops end around 1/2 way between your waist and crotch – too long, and your legs look shorter, too short and you look strangely long in the rise and boxy in the body. Around your hip bone or an inch lower is often a great place to end tops.

  • Thanks so much for the refresher, Imogen! I just found your earlier posts on body proportions and body shapes few weeks ago and have been studying them over and over again, but this quick video helped, too.

    I THINK I’ve got a balanced chin to bust line, short bust line to waist, short waist to leg break (we’re talking about the top of where the leg bends at the hip, right?), short leg break to knee, short knee to the floor. I think that means I’m long in body, and short in legs, with a short waist?

    I’m also X-shape, and busty (roughly 30H). I looked at your guidelines for dressing “long body, short legs”, but then I also looked at your guidelines for large bust which recommends dressing as if my body was “short body” so now I’m a bit confused–don’t they cancel each other out?

    I’m guessing that the hip bone is the sweet spot for my tops’ hem–but can I go higher or lower at all?

    • Hi Juliana – without seeing you it’s very hard for me to really know what you’re describing. Which proportion is longer – head to legbreak, or legbreak to the floor? That will give you a better idea if you’re longer in your body or legs. Sweet spot is an inch each way on hip bone often.

      • *embarrassed* Oh dear, now I feel like the kid who thought she was being smart, only to be called out on it by her teacher.

        Okay, my head to legbreak proportion is definitely longer! I’ve always thought my legs were short, now I’ve got proof! ­čśÇ

  • These posts have been so enlightening! I’d never heard of this way to measure proportions…when I did mine I found myself to be short on the bust –> waist measurement (and a very small chest to boot, 30B bra), but long on the waist –> leg break measurement. I think that means I’m short waisted with a long inseam (?). I read to go for low-mid rise pants for a short waist but then to stay away from them for a long inseam. I’m wondering if I’ve misunderstood something? (or perhaps just found the reason why I gravitate so heavily to skirts/dresses– I am just not meant to look good in pants).

    • Jenn – the inseam (as far as I’m aware) is the inside leg, not the length of the rise. If you have a long rise and shorter legs, then skirts and dresses usually do look much better than pants! Mid-rise is probably best in pants – neither too high or too low for your longer rise and balance your shorter waist.

  • Imogen , I love your site, it is so helpful and through you I have discovered that I am an 8 shape which explains why so many skirts and trousers were too tight on the hip and loose round my waist. I am also very short waisted with a big bust and I am 5 feet 4 inches so I look really lumpy very easily and since I don’t like to wear belts at all – they awlays make me look like I am all bust I tend to dress in quite a dull fashion, necklaces and scarves do me no favours either and layering makes everything worse, I try to use the column of colour ideas but it means I am disguising my small though high waist all the time. Please help, thank you.

    • JBear – I’m not sure why a column of colour would disguise your waist if you clothes fit well. Also, not sure why necklaces and scarves don’t work – maybe they’re not the right ones. Without actually seeing what you are wearing it’s hard for me to make any suggestions about what is or isn’t working and why.

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