Shopping Tips for Long Waisted Plus Size Women

Posted by Jen Anderson on

Shopping Tips for Long Waisted Plus Size Women

There are so many reasons why a specific piece of clothing might not look or feel good on you. If you're petite, tall, apple shaped, pear shaped, etc. you're going to encounter a lot of clothes that just aren't for you. In fact, anyone who isn't hourglass shaped and between 5'3" and 5'8" has had this problem. (And if you are that shape and height, go sit in the corner and think about how good you've got it.)

The length of your waist can have a big effect on how clothes fit you. But we all tend to forget about that because we're already remembering so much about colors and styles and does this fabulous top go with anything I already own. The result is that short waisted and long waisted women end up with clothes that don't fit well and no idea why.

woman wearing a blue maxi tank dress

Last week we talked about the short waisted ladies, so now let's get into what the long waisted ladies need to know.

How Can I Tell if I'm Long Waisted?

There's a quick way to find out thanks to this trick from Australian Stylist/Blogger Imogen Lamport. First, bend to the side - that spot where your body creases if your natural waist. Next, put one hand on your torso right below your bust. Then place your other hand below it.

If you have two hand widths between your bust and natural waist, you have a balanced waist. Go sit in the corner with the hourglasses. If there are more than two hand widths between your bust and waist, you're long waisted. Less and you're short waisted.

What Styles Work Best on Long Waisted Women?

woman wearing a black sleeveless maxi tunic

First off, try the regular length pants and maybe even the petite pants. If you're tall and long waisted, it may be that a lot of your height is in your waist. So if you wear tall pants, the crotch will be lower than it should be. If you've been having that issue, measure your inseam or just try on the pants that you thought were too short.

 When it comes to tops, you need to remember one word - tunics. Tunics offer the extra length you need to keep your middle covered. The bottom hem of a regular tunic will hit you where a regular top hits balanced waisted women. In other words, tunics will fit you like shirts. 

Dramatically long tunics like handkerchief hem tunics we have will still be dramatically long on you.

Try high waisted jeans - they won't look high waisted on you so they won't look dated when they go out of style again.

woman wearing a zebra print duster

An empire waisted top or dress will fit you just fine no matter how long (or short) your torso is. The same goes for dresses and tops with no waist shaping like the Maxi Tank Dress.

What Styles Should I Avoid?

Dresses with an elastic waistband or a waist seam are not your friend because they'll hit you above the waist.

But What About?

A lot of the tips you'll find about dressing when you're long waisted have to do with making your legs look longer and other tricks that may or may not create the desired optical illusion. I'm much more concerned with making sure your clothes fit well so that they're physically comfortable. There is absolutely nothing about your body that needs to be compensated for or mitigated.

Check out our other plus size shopping tips.


Our Pull On Pants have a relaxed fit that may work well for you. You can call Leslie at 818-223-8853 for help figuring out which of our pieces will work best with your shape.

—Jen anderson,

I am long-waisted, short length and need plus size. I have heavy thighs. I cannot find any pants that don’t kill me in the crotch when I sit down. I wish I could custom make my clothes but can’t sew. Any suggestions?


5’9 and can wear petite pants. Wide shoulder loooooong arms (74inch span) and loooing waisted and plus sized…. I hate shopping


Wish i could design my own tops

—Debbie wood,

I am 5’10". Long legs long torso and wear 2x-3×. I wouldnt mind tunics but they’re not that sexy. If they were more flattering up top that would be one thing. Wish they would just lenghten most plus size tops to at least a 30 or 31"length


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