Shopping Tips For Short Waisted Plus Size Women

Posted on April 25, 2018 by Jen Anderson | 5 comments

People come in such a wonderful variety of sizes and shapes. Unfortunately, this can make getting dressed an exhausting hassle. We each have to know our height (petite, regular, or tall), shape (apple pear, etc.), skin undertones (warm or cool) - and that might not be enough. You may be short waisted or long waisted. If you've been doing all your homework, but still struggle with fit, your waist may be longer or shorter than average. Or maybe you know that you're short waisted, but you're not sure how that should affect your wardrobe.

We'll get to the long waisted ladies in a future post, but now let's get into short waists and how to dress them.

How Can I Tell if I'm Short Waisted?

cobalt blue plus size shawl collar jacketPut the measuring tape away. Australian Stylist/Blogger Imogen Lamport has an easy trick to figure this out. First, find your natural waist by bending to the side. That spot where your body creases as you bend? That's your natural waist. Next, place one hand on your torso right below your bust. Then place your other hand below it.

A balanced torso has two hand widths between the bust and the natural waist. Less than that and you've got a short waist. More and you're long waisted.

Which Styles Work Best on Short Waisted Women?

An empire waist dress or top is going to fit you really well if you have a short waist. That's because an empire waist is meant to hit you below the bust instead of the waist, so the length of your waist is a non-issue.

A top, jacket, or dress without a sharply defined waist also works well on a short waisted woman because there's no waist shaping that will hit you in the wrong spot.

tribal ikat plus size maxi dressMost Vikki Vi Classics don't have waist shaping. For the pieces that do, such as the Deep Scoop Neck Top, the shaping is so subtle that they may fit you just fine.

If you're looking for empire waists, our Jersey collection has a Cross Over Tunic and Faux Wrap Maxi Dress. The Shawl Collar Jacket may be especially flattering on you - we make it in Black Jersey and you should keep an eye out for it in our color collections. (We have it in Powder Blue and Cobalt at the moment.)

What Styles Should I Avoid?

Wide belts will look like a corset on you, so you may want to stick with narrow belts. High waisted jeans will have a similar effect. I wouldn't be concerned about how these look as much as how they'd keep you from bending at the waist. I'm short waisted and wear wide belts on occasion - I just have to remember what I'm getting into.

Dresses with a waist seam or elastic waistband may leave you with excess fabric above the waist.

But what about?

Most of the other advice out there about dressing a short waist is focused on making our torso look longer. Which sure, an empire waist can make your waist look longer. But when did you ever look at someone and notice the length of their torso? There's nothing wrong with having a short or long torso, so there's nothing to conceal. This is about fit.

When your clothes fit properly, they're more comfortable. People do notice ill fitting clothing when they should be paying attention to the clever things you're saying, so it's a little bit about appearance, but not in the sense of creating illusions.

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Check out our other plus size shopping tips.

Posted in plus size shopping tips, plus size style tips, short waisted



5 Responses

Christine Dukes
Christine Dukes

August 12, 2018

I am short I weigh 197. And it’s hard for me to find something to wear. I get tired of going in and out of different stores. I love my height is this my midsection I think I were size 16 in pants. I just want to look nice and be comfortable even if it’s formal or dressy or just something comfortable.

Texas rose
Texas rose

April 25, 2018

What about large breasted short but large waist? Empire not flattering nor belts.


April 25, 2018

WE, tall—short-waisted—long-legged gal’s, ‘go-everywhere; outfit’, is a VIKKI Vi solid DUSTER! FYI! Thanks, for making them in as many solid colors as possible! I, LOVE VIKKI VI! Thanks, also, for long tunics; and, the high-neck column maxi dresses; and, tall-pants! You, are awesome! BRAVO!

Rosemary Coates
Rosemary Coates

April 25, 2018

Thank you for clarifying. You have an uncanny ability to describe an issue that I have always struggled with but never clearly defined. Over the years so many people have recommended styles that just never worked for me and I ended up pulling at my clothes all day because they did not fit well.


April 25, 2018

Thanks Jen! As a short waisted woman – these comments are very helpful. The more comfortable I feel, the better I can handle my day!

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