Where to End Tops to Make Your Hips and Tummy Look Slimmer


Where do you end your tops?

  • Where they end because of how long they are when they come home from the store?
  • Do you pull your tops down to hide your butt?
  • Do you fiddle and adjust the length to find the perfect spot for you?

The Horizontal Line Rule

Because the hems of most tops are horizontal lines, you want to take this into consideration when making your choice about where to end your tops.   As you’d be aware from this post, horizontal lines are broadening, so you generally want to end a top on a narrower point rather than a wider one as hips are often a wider point for many women (though if you are a V shape your rules will be different).

where to end tops to slim your hips and tummy

Where to End Tops to Slim Your Hips

Don’t end tops at the widest point of your hips (see above left) as even though you may frequently pull down your tops to end here (or things just may be this long) what it does is not hide your bottom, instead it draws a horizontal line across your hips and makes them look wider.   Plus unless you have very, very, very long legs, it creates a less than flattering proportional ratio of body to leg length as it makes your legs look shorter.

Instead, end your tops around your hip bone (or just below, no more than 1″ or 2cm) as this will keep your legs looking longer and still give your upper body enough length so it doesn’t look short (unless of course, you have a super long body which I’ll talk about in a moment).

Where to End Tops to Slim Your Tummy

where to end tops to slim your hips and tummy

If you’ve got the pouchy protruding stomach like I do, ending your tops at your waist is too high and short, as it exposes the tummy bulge.

Ending your tops past the bottom of the pooch isn’t great either as the fabric tends to cup your tummy and actually make it appear more prominent.

Instead, end your tops just below the peak (but no lower) of your tummy pooch and you will find it’s the most flattering point.

If you have a straighter waist, as I do (H shape, some V shape, and O shapes) ending tops at your waist draws that horizontal line across what we expect to be a narrower point  and highlights it (which is why the defined waisted amongst us look great when we highlight our slim waists with belts or tuck in), just another reason why the waist length doesn’t work on my body.

Take Body Proportions Into Consideration

Whenever you’re making decisions about top lengths (actually the lengths of any hems) take your body proportions into consideration as this will impact on your decision.

Get some more tips on the right length for tops with skirts and pants here.

And watch the video here for some easy to remember guidelines.

More Tips on Top Hem Lengths

How to Find the Best Point to End Your Tops and Jackets

To Tuck or Not To Tuck – That is the Question

Body Proportions Explained – Long Rise

Bad Design Find – Horizontal Line Rule

Choosing Prints to Disguise Your Tummy

Where to End Tops to Make Your Hips and Tummy Look Slimmer


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  • Where to end your top with a pendulous belly (below the crotch)? I where jeans regularly and unless I wear a column of dark color with a topper, will wear the top to cover the overhang. Any tips to improve proportions?

    • If you have a very low belly, you may want to wear skimming tunic length tops rather than fitted tops. A column of colour will disguise the proportions, particularly if you do an inner column and then an alternate colour at a proportionally good length topper.

  • You’d think this is not important but those three pictures could not illustrate it better !
    Thank you for always allowing me to learn something new Imogen.

  • Great blog, Imogene! I have learned a lot.
    This is a helpful post, & confirms why I prefer tops that are not too long or too short. My question is this: does the 1/3 2/3 rule not really apply in the case of a top with jeans, slacks, or shorts? It seems that the best I can do in these instances is to try to make my legs look longer than my top half and define my waist. With dresses I can achieve the 1/3 2/3 silhouette. I am a petite figure 8, balanced with a short mid-body and full bust.

    • Go uneven (you may not be able to get 1:2 or 2:3 ratio – but things -shorts are a short garment, wear a longer top, or jeans are a longer bottom, go for a shorter top.

  • Fabulous, thank you Imogen.
    Like you, I am an H shape, undefined, short waist. I have been struggling with lengths trying to figure out: high hip, low hip, widest point etc, oh dear!
    Then got it; “just below peak of tummy pooch”. A quick look in the mirror and I instantly found my ‘sweet spot’.
    Hallelujah, thank you. Am now going off to change the length of all my tops.

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