13 Ways to Flatter a Super Long Torso or Long Rise

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Hey, Imogen, I’ve got a reader question for your data banks, perhaps you’ll have a slow month over the holiday season or something. 🙂
…I’ve searched your blog and found very little joy for the long-torsos amongst us. (though the blog’s fantastic, and I’ve really learned a ton!).
Here’s the sitch: I’ve got a very long torso, with average waist length and very long rise (I’m a seamster, so I happen to know it’s ~2″ longer than average–that’s a LOT in a vertical body measurement!). I’m also very thin, so tall sizes are unavailable to me, and I have no bust to speak of, so it does nothing to balance the hips.
With my long rise, I have to wear lower rise pants, which are very low rise on my body. Higher rises give me instant long-bum, plus they are SUPER uncomfortable, because they expect my waist to be 2″ lower than it is! I imagine tall women have this problem a lot too. As a result, the distance between shoulders and the visual “waistline” is incredibly long and looks very strange.
I work in a nearly all-male, conservative, business casual environment, and I’m really having trouble making all this look halfway professional. I must wear long pants, sleeves, and close toed, low or no heel shoes. I feel my long-torso coping mechanisms just look sloppy (untucked button-down over a tucked shell) or ill-fitting (a blazer that shows a wide flash of white shirt above my belt every time I move).
I’m willing and able to make things to fit me, but I’ve about given up trying to figure out what to make. Any ideas to mitigate the long-torso pain?

Thanks for your question. This body shape can feel tricky to dress, and ideally one of the aspects you need to consider is finding (or making, have altered) jackets and pants to fit your shape, rather than accepting you currently have in your wardrobe if they are ill-fitting.  Anything ill-fitting will not make you look professional.

A higher rise pant in a straighter cut (rather than something curved) is more likely to work better on you as it doesn’t assume that the waistband is to sit on a narrower waist.

OK, a long torso and long rise will look something like the body proportions of Natalie Gruzlewski  which you can see on the left below is wearing low rise jeans with an alternate coloured belt, which makes the torso look even longer.   When she’s wearing a skirt and top like on the pic on the right, you can see that suddenly her proportions appear balanced.  I understand that many feel they need to wear pants, but really can’t you wear a skirt every now and again as it will make you look professional very easily and also work better on your proportions.  There are many skirts made of stretch fabrics that are easy to fit and don’t look like suit skirts.

How to flatter a long torso and long rise
Example of a Long Torso and Long Rise

13 Ways to Flatter a Long Torso with a Long Rise

how to flatter a long torso - Inside Out Style blog

A long torso and in particular a long rise can make your upper body look unbalanced.  Here are 13 tips on how to flatter your long torso and long rise.

  1. Wide belts a the waist or even curved at the hips over the top of longer top or blouse will help to break up the space, of your longer torso.
  2. Leave your tops untucked so you don’t see the length of your rise.
  3. Make sure your jackets are long enough to cover the hem of your tops
  4. Draw attention up to your face with a statement necklace, brooch, scarf or earrings
  5. Wide horizontal stripes on your top will help to balance your body shape.
  6. Uneven hems – curved either concave or convex are also a great way of disguising your long rise without making your legs look short
  7. Scattered patterns can help to distract the eye and make your torso look shorter
  8. If you have shorter legs, pinstriped pants will make your legs look longer – balancing your long torso.   Blending your shoes to your pant colour will also help to make your legs look longer
  9. Look for tops that are made to be worn out rather than tucked in.
  10. If you love to tuck, then ensure that any belt you wear tones in colour to your pants rather than your top
  11. Wear a mid-rise – if you can find (or make one) that is comfortable for you rather than a low rise as it will break up the long rise proportion
  12. Wide waistbands on higher rise pants also help to break up this space
  13. Wear skirts rather than pants as you can’t see the length of your rise at all – honestly wear skirts – it’s way easier to get them to fit and your long rise issue will disappear

whats my body shape

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23 Comments

  • This is not my body type, but I read everything you write b/c I always learn something. To me, the no-brainer idea for any length torso is a dress!.

      • I agree Imogen. I am a petite with short legs and a long rise and I can never find a dress with a waist in the right place. A great article.

      • I have a long torso/short leg combo & find that dresses with set in waists often are about 2 inches above my waistline. To deal with the issue, I find that dresses without a set in waist, like a shift or princess style work well. I have also had success with the “tall” sized dresses Ann Taylor and Banana Republic sell. The extra length in the body allows the seam at the waist to come to the level of my natural waist. Then, I just hem the dress to the correct length for me.

  • Regarding the question about wearing skirts occasionally: from the sound of the dress code she describes, the person asking for advice may work in a lab or medical center. I had a colleague who tried to finesse our (identical) dress code with long skirts + knee high boots. Unfortunately when a beaker hit the ground the solution splashed up underneath her skirt and gave her legs a chemical burn. Since then there are no exceptions allowed (people have been sent home.)

    • Bingo Dorothy! I submitted the question, and yes, I have to be able to go into laboratory areas, so long pants and closed shoes are not optional. At this point I haven’t worn skirts/dresses (or been around people who do) for so long I would never do it–but Imogen’s right, it would solve the weird proportion problem!

        • Hee hee, I probably shouldn’t admit this on a style blog, but though I try to look good at work, my non-work clothing follows the “whatever random items happen to be clean” school of “fashion”. 🙂

  • Great advice! I’m long and thin also, with the length coming from my torso & rise, not legs. Skirts and dresses almost every day. I find that a moderate empire waist can work on a slightly flared dress. Attention stays at the shoulders, bust, neck, and face, while the exact placement of the waist is vague. Feels very pretty.

    I also wear a lot of tone-on-tone with mixed textures, for example a cream, ribbed, cotton pullover sweater with light-oatmeal heathered pants and light brown boots is a favorite outfit.

    • I feel like muslimahs have raised this look to an art form, the dress/tunic with a slightly raised waist. There are lots of great muslim fashion blogs with looks for inspiration.

  • This explains why, even though I’m a V shape, I love patterned and wide-striped tops, and why tucking in just feels wrong. Thanks for solving my fashion mystery!

  • Oh, Imogen, thank you, thank you!!! I have struggled with a short waist, long rise, all my life. Pants are impossible!! Would you please take this untucked concept a little further with a variety of skirt styles for your petite, long rise fans?

    You are the best!
    A faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Skirts are easy as they don’t show where the rise is. You would just want to make sure they fit at your waist and the shape would relate to your body shape.

  • Imogen,
    What would do you call term where there is a long space between neck and bust, the decollage area (sp?) I mean? Often in pictures I notice that my bust looks VERY low apart from my neck, I dont have “hangy granny boobs” though! Haha (D cups with a small underbust and 27). But I wonder does this area affect your torso or neck as far as clothing and accessories goes?

    Apart from this, my body shape is rather balanced and my neck is also average. (Turtleneck & Collars looks better than crew/off Shoulder necklines while Necklaces doesn’t matter much). So I find it a bit tricky what clothing guidelines this area applies to. My torso is certainly not long rise, but its not exactly a neck issue either.

    “Long decollage”?

  • Thanks, Imogen!! I LOVE the green jacket that you paired with the pinstripe pants!! How would you describe that jacket?

  • Kate Middleton has a super long torso, and is nearly always dressed sort of business casual when you see her in pants. Admittedly, she uses high heeled shoes most of the time – but still, you could google and get a few ideas.

  • I have the same issue except short legs. I don’t quite understand why the writer says she has to wear low rise pants. I wear stuff labeled as high rise, and it ends up being more mid rise for me. Absolutely nothing labeled as low rise. That’s my best solution (also work in a lab), though I admit it may not be perfect for everyone.

    • I think this is to do with her finding it hard to find the right waist size so that high rise are not comfortable. And high rise is more often mid-rise on a long rise!

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