Styling High Waist Clothes When You Have A Short Waisted Figure

Body, Casual hourglass, Struggles, Wardrobe planning

If you’re wanting a bit more information on whether you have a short waist or not, a really good resource is Joy of Clothes.

In brief, a short waist means you just don’t have much length in the middle part of your body between where your ribs end and your hip bones start.  It’s apparently a defining feature of our hourglass shape, as it creates the dramatic out-and-in effect of an hourglass (as opposed to a longer waisted lady with similar measurements, who will have more gentle out-and-in ‘cello’ shape).  A short waisted girl will often not look great in a thick waist belt, but looks great in a skinny waist belt, which is one easy way to test.

I describe the impact the short waist has on your outfits in another post, but one of the key styles impacted by the short waist is the high-waisted trousers/jeans/shorts/skirts trend that prevails.  I personally love the look of high waisted stuff but I can remember the fateful day in Primark when I marched proudly towards the changing room with an armful of floral and denim high-waisted shorts ready for my beach holiday.  This was the day I realised that high-waisted shorts looked more terrible on me than I could’ve predicted.  I had no explanation why I hated how they looked on me, as I loved the look in general, had picked lovely shorts and great tops to go with, and generally knew what shapes and styles would look great or hideous on my frame.  But the information I was missing was the short waist concept.  It explains why some high waisted stuff just looks really ‘off’ on me.  I wonder if you’ve found the same.

I have come up with several strategies so far for wearing high-waist trousers/shorts/skirts in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing.  This is still an evolving aspect of my wardrobe, as several years ago I thought I couldn’t wear high waisted items, and now I’ve realised there’s ways I can enjoy this look without looking like just boobs stacked on legs!

-Wear matching colour top and bottoms; this reduces the visual torso-shortening impact of the high waistline, but still allows you to benefit from the put-together, waist-emphasising effects of the garment.

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-Wear high necklines so you lengthen the torso.  So, a classic torso-shortening move would be a low neckline with a high waist.  The opposite effect occurs with a high(er) neckline, but the proviso here is that if you are full busted, the high neckline emphasises the boobs and you can look bulky up top if you’re not careful.  I often counteract this by wearing a necklace over my high-neck (eg, roll-neck jumper) which creates a visual lower neckline effect and breaks up the boob silhouette.  Alternatively, wear a sports bra (or two) and be sure to scoop and swoop your boobs towards the middle in the bra, to minimise the volume of your boobs so you can wear the high neck without looking too big up top.  An important note here is that if you have quite a short neck, which I think I probably do, and many hourglasses might, you will not want a neckline that goes higher than your collarbones, lest you make your neck look too squat and chunky.  Not a great look, been there done that.  Photos were burned and sent to bad photo hell.

-Lift your boobs: ie, get a really effective, professionally-fitted bra, shorten the straps and lift your bust away from your midriff, in order to lengthen the waist area.  Small to medium busts will find this most effective.  Larger busted ladies will not be able to see because the boobs will be so high they’ll be blocking the sunlight.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya….:p. No but on a more serious note, I find Freya is an excellent brand for lifting larger boobs, and their bands are firm enough to hold you up.

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My latest Freya purchase, the Rio Underwired Balcony Bra in nude – perfect for perky lifted boobs

-Play up the proportional mismatch by creating a very long legged look.  Like, stuff all the rules, who cares, lets just maximise the weird proportions.  This is currently one of my favourite smart outfits: long palazzo/wide-leg trousers with platform heels; and any top (I still tend to colour match with the trousers but I’ll get braver eventually).  This combo makes my short lil legs look like they go on forever, and combined with a short, teensy-looking torso, can look quite girlish and elegant.

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I have no idea who this lady is but blimmin’ Nora she’s perfect…anyone know if she has a blog or Instagram??

Anyway, my next outfit plan is to get hold of some cute high waist, cropped ankle skinny jeans (like these I’ve seen in Forever New like this or more likely this (the mid-rise version) but I prefer the buttons on the first pair.  Then I was going to see if I could find a blue chambray or denim shirt to pair it with for a bit of a Kim K double-denim type look.  I’ll keep you posted if the jeans work or don’t work on my micro body 😀

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Notice that Kim actually has mid-rise jeans on here, and has created space in her torso by wearing less-than-high-waist jeans – the proportions of her outfit look great to me.

Hope these ideas prove useful!  Let me know if you have any other tips!

Paisley skirt for seventies-esque style

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits

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Hi all, thanks for bearing with me recently with the paucity of posts.  I’ve not had time to dedicate to blogging as much as I’d like to.  Hopefully in another month or two, I’ll be able to make more regular posts.

So here in the Southern Hemisphere we are entering Spring, and my outfits will likely reflect that.  I’m loving this beautiful paisley maxi skirt for its versatility and have worn it during the end of winter (with leggings underneath – I am actually becoming my mum!) and in sunnier weather as it’s so lightweight and easy to wear.  I bought it a couple of months ago from Boohoo – they are not selling the exact same one currently but below I’ve posted a few very similar, equally attractive maxi skirts.

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This skirt was very long when I first bought it – I’m 5’2 and in this shoot I was wearing 5″ platforms (sorry not very ‘casual’ of me….must do better) but I’m not sure Boohoo uses pre-shrunk cloth, as it was about 5 inches shorter after its first wash (I didn’t tumble-dry).  You can iron it back out a little, maybe gaining 2-3 inches back again, but now I’m wearing it with flats so that suits summer a bit better anyway.

I’ve paired the skirt with a simple navy vest top to bring out the background colour of the skirt, and the skirt came with a co-ordinating tan fabric belt.  I’ve got an adhesive silicon bra on here which adds a bit too much projection, hence the very-slightly Dolly Parton look here :/

I winterized the look by adding a V-neck cardigan from Glassons, which would make this quite summery outfit suitable for cooler evenings, or colder seasons.  As I mentioned above, tights and boots, or leggings beneath the skirt are an easy way to add warmth too.  Oh, this is also probably the best time to acknowledge that my facial expression in the cardigan pics above is odd, but I managed to do that in all the shots with cardigans so….!

Here are some similar boho maxi skirts on sale from Boohoo currently:

Luella paisley ruffle hem maxi skirt

Sari mono paisley double split maxi skirt (this one is on sale – only $14 currently)

And I love these boho maxi dresses (turquoise with pretty detailing on the upper back, autumnal colours), both of which would be lovely for autumn with the sleeves, and perfect for the hourglass figure being nipped in at the waist.  I find Boohoo waistlines to be in the right place for all the items I’ve bought so far (anyone else have that problem commonly where everything that is meant to sit on the waist ends up in an unflattering empire-line position?!)

Oh, and this one is bound to flatter an hourglass figure, being fitted all the way down, and is quite wintery too for my Northern Hemisphere readers.  Don’t forget Spanx if you have too many lumps n bumps xD (and who doesn’t, being curve-shaped…my entire body is a lump or a bump!).

So, are you guys still loving the seventies trend?  Not sure when it’s going to end but as long as they keep selling it, I’ll keep buying it!  Wishing you all a great week, I’ll be back soon.

 

Two looks with Topshop trainers on an hourglass body

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews

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Here’s a couple of ways I’ve been wearing my Topshop trainers lately.  These flat soled type of trainers are surprisingly easy to style with our type of body, even though I haven’t yet tried them in that typically Instagrammy style with an A-line midi skirt (see pic below).  I’m too scared to try – just thinking about my cute (body acceptance) but chunky (body realism) ankles and calves poking out the bottom of the skirt ha!  I’ll work up to it eventually.

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Now I bought these trainers from Topshop in NZ a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t find them online now, so either they’ve been sold out, or we just get sent all the nine-seasons-ago stuff the rest of the world didn’t buy….option two is a veritable possibility in NZ, you should see what we have to work with over here :p  But currently online is an almost identical pair of trainers to mine, here, if you’re interested.  But I love these gold-tipped trainers too (Topshop again).

For outfit one, I’ve paired an old burgundy leopard print crew-neck sweater from The Warehouse, and some old black skinny jeans from Primark.  I tend to buy a size or two up in skinny jeans, just to house my thighs and calves – anyone else have to do that?  I will hopefully be testing out jeans meant for us curvy girlies eventually so I can report back to you whether they’re worth your investment.  For this look, I rolled up the ankles just a bit, but found that too much of a roll up is just emphasising a weak area for me, so I kept my roll up low and only showing the slimmest bony bits of my ankle.  My leather cap is from The Warehouse too, two seasons ago, but any black cap would work.

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In look 2, I’m wearing a khaki stretch dress from Cotton On in NZ, bought a size up so I can also wear it to work without it looking too spray on.  I’m laughing at our blurred photo editing in the second pic – when preparing some of these pics for Instagram and Pinterest, me and my husband thought it would be *really good* to blur out the photo except for focusing on the footwear, that being the emphasis of the outfit.  And, er, now I’m just cringing!  Anyway I’ll leave you with outfit two, hope you enjoyed the quick ‘two ways to wear’post, and that you can use it to judge how well the trainers work with an hourglass body.

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Surfy look with Aztec prints and Topshop Africa Moccasin Booties

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews

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I’ve been wanting to put together a Western/Native American type of outfit recently, but I wanted it wearable, not too costumey and suitable for autumn/winter style.  So I settled on making it a little bit surfy with warm layers.  This outfit obliterates my waist so to create a more flattering look you may want to find a gilet that gives you more of a waist, or swap the gilet for a parka jacket, cinched in at the waist.  I can see this outfit being the sort of thing I want to pull on when me and husb are heading out on errands or to the beach for a cold day walk, or if you have kids it’s the sort of thing you might put on to take them down the park.

I found these boots a particular challenge to style, despite me loving them, because they don’t do any favours to short chunky calves, cutting you off high on the ankle.  I tried them with black tights and a shortish skirt but felt it made my legs look too dumpy, but I quite liked the look with black jeans.  If you have slimmer calves, or are a bit taller than me you’ll have no issues with styling these.

The boots are extremely comfy, made of real suede leather, and feel very solid in construction.  The Western-style tassels and moccasin detailing are an awesome update for the upcoming season and can be worn throughout the year – in spring/summer, just pair them with lighter weight clothes.

Outfit details

Puffa jacket and scarf – old, from Primark

Burgundy leopard print sweater – old, from The Warehouse

Ripped jeans – jeans from The Warehouse, DIY-torn

Suede moccasin booties – Topshop this season

Cross-body bag – old, The Warehouse

 

 

That is one stunning outfit…

Casual hourglass, Outfits, Wardrobe planning

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This is just a quick post I meant to write a while back when I did my Kim Kardashian Style Hits piece.  I came across this outfit of Kim K, and I know I’m on a casual blog and just about nothing of the above outfit is casual, but just aaaaaaaaaaah (heavenly music whilst gesturing towards the photo above, in case you were wondering)!  It’s.  Such. A. Beautiful. Outfit.  I love it and think it’s actually pretty achievable for an hourglass.  I found some pretty good look-alike-y pieces for next to nothing on a quick search of Boohoo (Missguided could be another option for this sort of thing). No affiliate links yet by the way, I’ll let you know in any post that I’m using links that I profit from.  But anyway, maybe this could provide some cute outfit inspiration for an evening at the theatre, a posh meal out with family, office wear, or just randomly walking across STOP signs like Kim K above.

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Boohoo Megan Cropped Sweat – if you want to make the look a touch more casual

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Boohoo Amber Roll Neck – plenty of these ribbed cropped tops online at the moment.

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Boohoo Sophia Twist Front Pencil Midi Skirt – could be good for tummy coverage if needed

 

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Boohoo Esme Ribbed Midi Skirt – get your spanx ready for this little number…!

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Not cheap these ones, Sam Edelman sandals for $322.75 USD, but seem more wearable with blocky heel and are real suede.

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Stiletto heeled nude ‘Caged Faux Suede Heels’ from Forever 21

Styling brogues when you don’t have skinny legs

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews, Uncategorized, Wardrobe planning

Brogues. They strike fear into the heart of many a curvy girl. Undeniably mannish in style, they contradict our feminine bodies to the extreme but here lies the draw: they’re hard to style. Every woman likes a decent challenge, a way to prove that despite her manly attire, she can still come off as a beacon of femininity.  Or something like that.

So, in short: challenge accepted, on behalf of all the short, chunky-legged, womanly-shaped women out there who would like to try a brogue or two.  Now as a proviso before I set off, if you are after a brogue this season to update your look, I would (now) completely encourage you.  Before I bought a pair and played around with some outfit looks, I would’ve said avoid completely if you’re an hourglass.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how it’s possible to style them fairly easily, and they got the husband seal of approval :p

The brogues to buy would be black patent ones like these from ASOS (as I’m typing this I realise I may be lumping in loafers alongside brogues – sorry about that.  I’m going to change my title to reflect the mix-up and for future reference, apparently brogues have little perforations/holes in, whilst loafers are slip-on and have the tassels.  Trust me to find a pair of shoes with both features – I’ll call them broafers).  Anyway, back to those patent brogues, they should be super shiny and I think they look awesome with a white sole, kinda reflecting the sport-luxe trend gently.  If you can’t get or don’t like shiny black ones, get some cool cut-out metallic ones, these often look a bit girlier too and gold or silver can be treated as a neutral when it comes to pairing with outfits.

I on the other hand thought about getting my ideal pair of black shiny loafers ($189 NZD), but instead had to invest in a couple of other bits and bobs for other posts, so I settled for some tan ones that were cheaper and I fell in love with them a bit.  Anyone else a sucker for a tan shoe?  No?  That will just be me then.  My brogues were from Novo on Queen’s street, Auckland, and I got them reduced for $40 NZD.

Here’s three looks with brogues that I felt reasonably happy to leave the house in; see what you think.

Look number 1: All black, city style with a tailored jacket

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This was probably my favourite look of the three – trust an hourglass to migrate towards the smartest possible option.  Bah, I’m unproving my own theory that ‘hey hourglasses, we can all look awesome without resorting to the smartest possible option’!  Anyway my jacket is from H&M (yonks ago – they usually have some current options year round however), button-down cotton polyester shirt from Primark (old) and the jeans I bought from K-Mart cheaply and added in some knee rips myself – search Pinterest for how to do this if you’re interested.  You’ll see I’m putting together outfits with a lot of pieces already from my wardrobe – it’s partly because I’m not a billionaire buying new clothes all the time (‘we never would’ve guessed’ I hear you cry), but it’s actually a deliberate policy to represent outfits that don’t cost the earth or require constant expenditure – I’m a believer in a good-quality basic wardrobe, that gets updated with key pieces as and when needed (e.g, brogues).  My sunglasses are new from Topshop – the round shape is an easy update this season.

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Look number 2: Laid back Saturday leather jacket and jeans

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This comfy look would be great for any number of daytime events, pottering round the shops, running errands, having a coffee out with your husband.  I kept the white top fitted (it’s a peplum style top from Pagani a year ago) so that my waist wasn’t completely lost in the loose leather jacket.  My jacket is old, from Miss Selfridge and is falling apart now!  But everyone needs both a black and a coloured (p)leather jacket in their wardrobes, they’re so versatile.  My jeans are my good ol’ Primark Lift n Shape.  Oh and my handbag was from The Warehouse, but any tan handbag would work here, to bring out the tan in the shoes.

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Look number 3: Back to school preppy styling with fedora and tights

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I bought this fedora from Topshop very recently, and am in love with it.  I’ve been wanting a floppy-brimmed light brown hat forever, and then found this one which combines a floppy brim with up-to-date fedora detailing.  I paired this hat with an old stretchy dress from Primark – the short length helps keep the brogues from looking too frumpy.  My bag is old, no clue where from but you can get a nice tan bag from anywhere these days.

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Hope you enjoyed my three brogues outfits, if you’re interested in some super comfy stylish shoes, I can definitely recommend brogues as a worthy update to your hourglass closet.

Football crop top casual look

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews

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I thought this look would be good for transition weather such as Spring or Autumn – I’ve paired a football style cropped T-shirt (recent purchase, Valley Girl again! Total bargain too…) with some grey moto jeans from Primark (old) and last season’s faux leather jacket from Forever 21.  This look is easily replicated with pieces from just about any high street store.

Accessories include a faux leather cap and chunky rose gold watch from The Warehouse, and bracelet from Forever 21.

Red body suit for spring/summer

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews

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Even though its winter in New Zealand, I thought I’d include a summery outfit of the day for Northern Hemisphere readers! I was lucky enough to get a gorgeous sunny day to take photos without goosebumps :p and felt this outfit worked well for an hourglass frame.  The cut-out detailing at the back manages to draw in the waist visually and makes the look super casual.  I would probably wear this outfit to a beach or festival as I’ve styled it here, but I’ve also been wearing the bodysuit under a blazer and black trousers to work (with red lips), and for lounging at home with a checked shirt thrown over.  I love the pop of bright colour this gives for a spring/summer outfit and the sporty styling – it’s also too tempting to pair red nails and lips with this lovely orange-based red. I bought this several days ago from Valley Girl in Auckland (its not the ONLY shop I go to, I promise!) but this type of bodysuit should be readily available online currently from Forever 21 (here are some) or ASOS (here too).

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My jeans and belt are old, from Primark, watch and sandals from The Warehouse, and bracelet from Forever 21.  Sunglasses are Céline.

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Outfit for a casual beach walk

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Uncategorized

I recently bought this cosy cardigan from Valley Girl in Auckland, and it’s already come out multiple times when there’s been a slight chill in the air.  It’s warm like a blanket (some may even go so far to say it resembles their grandmother’s blanket,  knitted in the 1950’s) but undeterred by such observations, I have been loving its slightly surfy laid-backness.  It doesn’t do a jot for the figure though, so I compensated by having a close fitting underlayer to ensure I still looked more hourglass than blanket-shaped.

I’ve paired this chunky cardi with my favourite old Primark jeans (lift and sculpt style) and some Converse look-a-likes from The Warehouse.

Jewellery is from Glassons and Swarovski.

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This jumper looks rubbish

Casual hourglass, Outfits, Reviews, Struggles

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I was in Valley Girl recently and thought I’d demonstrate for you exactly the style of jumper that an hourglass ought to avoid.  What’s wrong with this cut and style?

  • It’s in an unflattering colour for me – I’m a ‘soft summer deep’ colouring, and this means grey/soft based cool toned shades rather than warm tones like this rusty orange.  Have a look at Colour Me Beautiful to research your colours if you’ve not thought about it before, it can make a marked difference to how your outfits work against your skin, hair and eye colour.
  • It’s high neck, which doesn’t break up the upper chest at all, visually creating a large expanse of boob.  The cowl neck on the other hand can be quite flattering on the bust, but needs to drape lower on the chest to work well.

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(This style of cowl neck from Venus clothing would be far more flattering)

  • Back to the orange top, the cut is too loose around the waist, meaning the jumper drapes from the bust apex to the hips, creating a blocky shape.
  • I quite like the length and crossover style at the lower end of the jumper however, but some would say it’s a bit too long for my 5’2 frame.  A jumper/top that ends at the widest point of the hip is usually best and doesn’t take any length off your legs unlike this top.

The style of this jumper may work if I minimized my bust to avoid it dominating and ruining the drapey style – see my post on boob strategy for more information.