How to dress a short torso
I can honestly say that many of my clients, regardless of their height, have short torsos. More commonly you’ll hear it referred to short waisted. I am included in this group of fabulous women. If you’re still unsure of what this means, basically the length from your shoulders to your natural waist is shorter than average. If you’re short torso’d, you usually know it.
Clothes can often be difficult to fit. For example, when you try on a pull over sweater, you get bunching in the torso; it’s especially evident from the back. Another garment that can be hard to get to fit right is dresses. A lot of dresses will have a fitted waist. If your torso is short, again you’ll get bunching or bagging. Or you may have the urge to pull up on the shoulders and exclaim, “There, now it’s perfect…if my shoulders were just 2 inches higher!” (Yes, I do it sometimes.)
Don’t despair! I have an option you might not have thought of. First, even if you are average height, consider checking out the petite department for tops and dresses. I went shopping Saturday and found a great Tahari cardigan…in the petite department! I’m 5’6”, and believe it or not, the sweater is still a tiny bit long. I have a hard time believing this sweater is really going to fit many true petites. I almost wonder if it was mis-marked. The sleeves come right to my wrist bones, which might be a tiny bit short, and would definitely be too short if it were a jacket. In reality, long sleeves kind of bug me, and these will most likely get pushed up. Overall, I feel like I hit the jackpot!
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to check out petite dresses. I bought my best fitting dress ever from the Nordstrom petite department in California, eleven years ago when I was getting married. The dress appeared to be made for me! Petite dresses will be shorter in the torso. They’ll be shorter in the skirt as well. I often prefer my skirts a bit above the knee. If the dress is too short for you, you may have the option of letting the hem down, making it a perfect fit for you!
If you’re short waisted or short torso’d, I can’t promise that petites will fit you every time, especially if you are averaged height, but it’s certainly worth checking out to save you what can be a costly alteration.