The Common Points to End Tops and Jackets
High Hip – is where the top of the pelvis is – you have a hip bone that juts out at this point. It’s often areally good place to end tops, unlesss you are an 8 shape.
Hip Break or Leg Break – is where the leg bends – often lots of creases on your trousers will be at this point, you may find that this is a good point to end tops, provided it’s not your widest point.
Low Hip – is the top of the thighs, for A shapes and X shapes and some H shapes this can be the widest point of your hips and the worst place to end tops. For V shapes and I shapes and some 8 shapes it can be a good point to end tops.
Standing in front of a mirror, try ending your top at each of these points and seeing which is the most flattering.
Because we look for horizontal lines because they make us feel balanced (looking for the horizon), the point where you end horizontal lines (such as hems) is really important as they can easily become focal points. And where you put a horizontal line looks wider – it slows the gaze down and emphasises the area.
Ideally, we end our hems for tops and jackets on the narrower points that also work well with our body proportions, so that our legs don’t look overly short, or our bodies don’t look overly long or short.
Quick Tip on Finding the Right Length
The Hip Break or Leg Break is the point you use when measuring your body proportions and it ideally is around the halfway point of your total height (top of head to leg break is half, then leg break to the ground is your lower body proportion).
So if your hip break to the ground is shorter than your top of head to hip break proportion, end tops on the high hip. If it’s longer, you can go down to hip break or longer.
And if you really want to understand how to find the right length for your tops and jackets if you haven’t figured it out here, why not do my 7 Steps to Style program where I am happy to give you my professional opinion on your body shape and proportions.
So what is the best place for an 8 to end?
Somewhere around Hip Break and Low HIp – depends on your unique shape – do the test I mention in the mirror with a top to see which is the best length for you.
Great tip as usual Imogen – I shall be posing in the mirror with each of my tops from now on…any excuse huh?
Very interesting. Do some hem lengths make you look taller/shorter?
As an 8, nearly every length is “widest” for me. What is your thought about combining different lengths of shirts and jackets? (Which should dominate?) What about breaking the line with a belt inside the jacket?
kathleen – the more horizontals (hem ends) you have, the more you’ll draw attention to that part of your body. Where possible create a column of colour, on the outside, you can belt at your waist which is narrower to draw you eye upwards
Good thing I saw this post! Seems ending tops at the hip/leg break is my only alternative of the three, otherwise I have to tuck at waist or have hems go down to mid thigh area. Low hip placement is just below my widest point and seems to visually bring the widest point down and extend it while also shortening my legs. High hip placement cuts my torso off while also being just below my tummy’s widest point (and I don’t feel like extending that either).
I’ve been away (in Australia, actually, for six weeks and am way behind on my blog reading. I’d really like to read what you published while I was gone, but can’t find anything like an archive. Do you have one? Don’t find a ‘older post’ link either… Fingers crossed I’ve just overlooked them?
Shelley – there is an archive down the right side – you can read posts by the month, also at the bottom of the home page you can click on the previous or older posts option
What about those of us that are fairly equal in leg length and head to hip break length?
Go for around the hip bone as this is the “all purpose” length that suits most people. Not too long and not too short – just right!
I’m a petite V/H, with body and legs of equal proportions. I was wondering about crop jackets and jacket collars. You’ve said, in the past, that I should go for collarless or narrow collars. But I’ve seen a crop jacket that I love that, while it does have a wide collar, the widest part is low down on the jacket, so I was wondering if that would work for my body shape or not.
As far as the length goes, while it would end at or above my waist, the cut of the jacket means it stands away from the body, and as it isn’t buttoned, I think it could give the illusion of a smaller waist, in contrast with the jacket (?)
I was also wondering what you think about a standard length peplum jacket, for my figure type and proportions. Would it help create an illusion of a waist? I think it might work for me with a pencil skirt or fairly tight pants; with a fuller skirt or pants I would look like a dumpling, lol!
I’d be happy to send you some photos, so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about. I can’t see a way to do that here, though. I’d very much appreciate any feedback you can give me!
Beth if you’d like a consultation with me I’m happy to give you personal advice that way. You can get my professional opinion either with my 7 Steps to Style program https://insideoutstyleblog.com/7-steps-to-style-system or with me directly with a style consultation – http://www.bespokeimage.com.au/personal-stylist-women-melbourne/bodyshap/
cropped jackets can make your waist look narrower in comparison if they sit away from the waist – https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2016/02/wear-cropped-top-dont-defined-waist.html is an example (top not jacket – same principle). Peplums generally don’t work well on H shapes. Of course there is always an exception to every rule – so every garment has to be assessed on its own merits.