3 Ways to make your waist look smaller

styling skirts

No matter what body type you have, you’ll always look slimmer and shapelier by creating the look of a smaller waist or hourglass figure. Here are 3 ways to try out:

1. Look for garments with seams at the waistline. I know it sounds counterintuitive to point to your waist if you don’t think it’s as small as it “should” be; however, it draws the eye inward to the middle of your body and creates definition.

Here are several fantastic examples on my Pinterest board of how a seam can whittle your waist. And a few examples of what not to do.

If you don’t think you have a waist or don’t know where it is, look in a mirror and do a side bend. Your waist is where you bend. I know I have a lot of clients who used to think their waists were much lower than they are.

Note: it’s important for the seam to be at or near your natural waist. And like all of the tips I ever give, proper fit is exceedingly important. If the bodice of your dress or top is too large and falls away from your body too much, you’ll end up looking boxy.

2. Wear jackets, cardigans and tops that end at or near your natural waist. A cropped top that hits at the waist of your skirt is another flattering option, (especially for short waisted gals.) Want an edgier yet professional look? Pop a sleeved cropped top over a sleeveless dress.

flared skirt


3. Add some “flare” by wearing garments that “cinch” in at the waist and/or flare out below it. Styles to try include: 

  • Peplums
  • Fitted blazers, especially ones with shoulder pads.
  • Blouses tucked in then bloused over the top of your skirt. Shrink your waist even further by adding a black belt and a flared skirt.
  • Belted trench coats (Trust me here! Tie the fabric belt tightly!)
  • Wrap dresses with flared skirts
  • Fit and flare dresses
  • Deep V-necks (um, just not for work, please.)

I encourage you to try some of the combos I’ve listed…even if you’ve shied away from them in the past, thinking you won’t be flattered. You may not like all the ideas, but I guarantee you, you’ll find a couple that make you exclaim, “Wow, I never knew my waist could look so small!”

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2 comments on “3 Ways to make your waist look smaller

    1. Hey Elizabeth! 2 ideas, alterations. I have had a lot of dresses taken up at the shoulder. If that isn’t an option, I would look to one of the other techniques. Lots of possibilities!

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