How to Wear High Waisted Pants if You’re Short Waisted

Want to wear high waisted pants, but you're short waisted?

If you’re short waisted (other wise known as a short torso) and you’ve been shopping for jeans, skirts, or pants lately, perhaps you’ve gone home in tears! You scoured the racks to find these bottoms in your size that you like…only to try them on and find out they were high waisted…and you couldn’t wait to tear said styles off!!!

I KNOW! It’s happened to ME!

Unfortunately, I have some bad news. It doesn’t look like these high waisted styles are going away any time soon. Women resisted high waisted styles (especially us short waisted ladies) for a long time. Now that they’ve taken hold over the last few seasons,  they’re here to stay for a while. 

Luckily, I’ve done a little personal experimenting (along with my style training/knowledge) and have come up with some ways  to wear these high rise bottoms and still look sleek and stylish.

How to wear high waisted pants & skirts if you’re short waisted

  1. Create a partial tuck.

A prevailing silhouette right now is a shorter top tucked into pants. But since your torso is short, tucking your top with high waists makes your torso look even shorter. You end up looking really disproportionate.

Enter the partial tuck! You can do the partial tuck 2 ways:

-Tuck the top in most of the way across the front, leaving the back out

-Tuck just a small area on your right or left side in.

A few things to know about partial tucking: 

There's no hard, fast rule as to which of these tucks to use. You just need to play with it and see what you like.

Both of these tucks, should be ever so slightly messy. Don't try to make it works better when you're being effortless.

Either of these tucks is slightly on the casual side, so they won’t work with super formal clothing, but otherwise it can be a miraculous solution. You’ll also be most successful using tops and blouses that are thinner fabric that drape well.

By showing just a bit of the waistband, you’re showing off the style of pant and giving a little structure to the outfit. But since the rest of the top is longer, the eye is drawn down, and your torso looks longer!

I’ve used this technique with clients many times. It has especially saved a lot of tops that were just too boxy. Plus, it’s a youthful, modern look. Try it, you’ll see!

How to tuck tops in if you're short waisted

Here are examples of a front tuck, side tuck and a full tuck bloused out.

  1. Tuck your top in and blouse it out A LOT. When you pull a lot of your blouse out of the waistband, it naturally hangs down, automatically lowering your waistline and lengthening your torso.

One last trick for this trick is when you’re doing a full tuck like this, keeping the contrast low between your top and bottom makes the waistband less obvious, making you look longer and sleeker. For example, red and pink are a lower contrast than red and white.

All one color in the same intensity, like a hot pink top tucked into a hot pink pant, furthers the effect. If hot pink seems a little bright for you, try white on white. I promise you’ll love how slim you look! (You so don’t have to stick to black any longer!)

5 Tips to wear the high waisted fashion trend and still look tall and slim.
  1. Tuck your top in, blouse it out (see #2) and add a longer blazer. 

So yes, your torso is a little shortened with the high waist pant/skirt, but then you draw the eye down with the longer jacket.

The perfect length jacket will be a little different for everyone, but in general, aim for mid to low hip length. And be extra sure to choose a blazer with a deep V, or low stance. In other words, think about the button(s) being low on your torso (unless you’re larger busted in which case a higher stance may fit better.)

  1. Ignore that your skirt/pants is high waisted, if it fits you, and wear your top on the outside. As I mentioned in 6 Style Tips for Short Waisted Women, a V-neck top worn on the outside lengthens the look of your torso substantially.
  1. Lower the waist of those high waisted skirts and pants! I did this with a cute pair of pants and it made them a lot more comfortable!

I can’t guarantee this can be done to every bottom, but if you’re having trouble finding pants and skirts to fit you with the prevailing high waisted trend, I urge you to talk with your tailor.

I will whole-heartedly admit that the high waisted trend isn’t ideal for us short waisted gals, but if you follow these tips for wearing high waisted pants and skirts, you’ll feel stylish and look great.

And I’m guessing you’ll feel a bit sneaky and smart knowing how to wear this trend you never thought you could!

Not sure if you're short waisted? Head over to Discover Your Body's Vertical Balance.

Want more ways to dress to flatter your beautiful short waisted self? Check out Check out 6 Style Tips for Short Waisted Women.



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