The 5 Best Dresses for Ladies with Short Torsos

Ladies with short torsos, you know how it is: Waistline seams never sit right, high-rise jeans reach comical heights and don’t even get us started on one-piece swimsuits. But when it comes to dresses, there are a few key silhouettes we’ve found that help short torsos look their absolute best. Here are five dress styles to try next time you shop.

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woman wearing a red mini dress
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Shift Dress

The lack of structure through the body of a shift dress means no one will even be able to see where your waist begins and ends, which ends up bringing the focus to your legs. Look for one in a mini length that hits somewhere between your mid-thigh and your knee to get the effect without a scandalous hemline.

Get the look: Lulus ($59); Boden ($70); Halogen ($79); CeCe ($99); J.Crew ($118); Tory Burch ($130); Rebecca Taylor ($295)

woman wearing a drop waist dress
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Drop Waist

Sometimes the most obvious answer is also the best. But how low should you go? Opt for one where the waist seam sits just where a T-shirt would end (typically at your hip bones). Stay away from drop waists that go too low, however. If it lays somewhere around your bum (the widest point for many of us), it will lose its flattering slimming effect.

Get the look: Mads Norgaard ($43); American Living ($50); Norr ($66); Vince Camuto ($99); 1901 ($119); Eliza J ($138); Danielle Fichera ($550); Red Valentino ($695)

woman wearing a faux wrap dress
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Faux Wrap

A true wrap dress will emphasize where your natural waist is. But a faux wrap, i.e., a dress that gathers fabric to one side and can’t be adjusted, is a great option for faking a longer torso and masking the situation with the added fabric.

Get the look: Superdown ($66); Eloquii ($100); ASOS White ($119); L'Academie ($238); St. John ($478); Joseph ($717)

woman wearing a v neck black dress
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Ask any of your fashionable petite friends and they’ll tell you how magical this neckline is for creating the illusion of length. Opt for dresses that don’t have seams at the waist and instead make a smooth, line-free look from shoulder to hem.

Get the look: Missguided ($38); Chelsea28 ($99); Eliza J ($148); French Connection ($168); Sundress ($169); Donna Mizani ($238)

woman wearing a fitted midi dress
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Body-skimming Midis

So, how can you show off your lovely figure without emphasizing your waist? Choose dresses that skim your body (as opposed to hugging it). They should be formfitting without being too tight and fall straight after your hips rather than curve in again like a pencil skirt.

Get the look: ASOS Curve ($27); Dressbarn ($36); Mango ($53); BP. ($59); Alice + Olivia ($247); Saloni ($298); Mother of Pearl ($990)



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...