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Question for Christopher: What do I do about a wider waist?
June 25, 2009 – 9:25 AM
Question: I don’t really understand the body types - my measurements are 38” 33” 38” but my waist is very high (short torso, long legs). I can’t dress for an hourglass, I’m not really a rectangle......can you advise me please?


Answer:  Janette, you're like being 14 years old, you're sort of in between.  But you should go with the idea of the “rectangular” body type (I prefer using letters...“I” body type). Using my guidlines from the book, you are an “I2”  — thicker waist proportionately to bust and hips, with short torso/long legs.  Even though not totally even in measurements, (don’t take the measurements literally, take them according to how far you are from “standard” sizing).

Generally it’s better to not draw attention to any figure flaw that is out of balance to what is generally considered “balanced.”  

The biggest thing you can do is NOT draw attention to your waist.  Avoid belts or any detail at the waist area (like pockets, pattern detail, draw strings etc.)  Try an inverted pleat A line in skirting (the inverted “A” narrow s can create the illusion of a narrower waist...they are...also...coming back!!)  

Higher cut armholes will help give you some waist length, and consider shaping at the waist (leave the jacket open) all working in harmony to create the illusion of a smaller waist.  

Blouson styling in blouses and dresses should work well.  Drop waists and tunics should work for you as well as they elongate the body while balancing longer legs.  Longer jackets (thumb length to below the derriere), concave belting (hip belts), and gathered dropped waists will give interest without settling AT the waist.

Wrap (surplice) styling can work for you as the diagonal line across the torso elongates and slims.  Shapewear can help.  Waist cinchers and even corsetry (oh yes, it can be fun) can guide that waist in as much as 5 inches.  And lots of fun in private (so I hear).  

Here are a few sites with great corsets:

Corsets Diva
Glamour Boutique
Lingerie Diva


The always flattering choice (and yes, sometimes this seems boring, but attractive is attractive, boring or not) is to match your blouse, tank, T or shell to your trouser and wear a jacket, vest or over blouse to create a strong vertical color line from your neckline to your hem allowing the eye to skip anything in between.  (i.e. the waist).  

As always have fun with accessories that are above the waist.  Create a strong deep V with a pendant necklace, or lapel and sing or double (best matching or covered) buttons on a jacket.  

Long answer, but I hope that helps!  You ARE SO NOT ALONE in this situation!!  And as always, anyone who wants to chime in to help...PLEASE DO!


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