Not sure what to wear to the office? This is dilemma more common than you think, especially for women with a short torso. I know this from first hand experience, as I am 5’2″, so my torso is shorter compared with taller women. I also have a petite clothing line for women 5’4″ and under, so I work with petite models of different body shapes and sizes.
Based on the feedback from thousands of my petite customers, I’ve put together this officewear guide for women with a short torso that includes a list of seven top styles that you can rock to the office all day, every day.
We also have some tips on styles to avoid to get the best results.
Table of Contents
A-line pleated skirts
For most women with a short torso, your waistline appears much higher on your body. Therefore, this will make your legs appear shorter and to combat this, you need a clothing style that will elongate your legs visually.
One of the best options out there is the a-line pleated skirt which flares out from your waist and makes your leg appear longer thanks to the triangular shape it creates with the flare. It also effectively elongates your silhouette, so your short torso is not so visible.
The pleats also come in handy. Since they add a lot of texture and volume to your skirt, this adds more to the illusion of a longer torso. Both of these work together to give you a flattering feminine silhouette that’s perfect for a day at the office.
Caution with Empire waist
Empire waist dresses are one of the best dress styles in the fashion world due to how flattering they are on several body types. However, since this style visually shortens the torso, women with short torsos should avoid empire waist dresses.
It will only create an unbalanced look due to the high waistline that’s below the bust area. The fabric then falls loosely down to the hemline, which is a great look if you have a long torso. However, the long flowing line down to the hemline will create the illusion of a shorter torso and make the legs look longer in a disproportionate way.
Empire waist dresses are also known for making the bust appear bigger, which accentuates shorter torsos more especially if the dress has drapes below the waistline. Opt for other dress styles that are more flattering for your torso.
V neck blouse
Create a more balanced and longer silhouette with v-neck blouses which are a great choice for women with a short torso. However, with a v-neckline, the depth is super important. The deeper the neckline, the more the elongation effect.
However, this is completely reliant on your personal preferences. Not everyone appreciates a plunging neckline and a moderate v-neckline will still have a flattering effect on your body. They help in breaking up the chest area, which creates a more defined waistline that is proportionate with the rest of your body.
V-neck blouses also elongate your torso visually by drawing the eyes downward. With this, you can balance out your body proportions effectively.
Just like most of the clothing styles we recommend, mid-rise pants help in balancing out your body proportions and do a good job of creating the illusion of a longer torso. You’ll love the fact that this pant style sits at the narrowest part of your torso which helps in creating a defined waistline.
The direct result is a more balanced silhouette for women with short torsos. This is a much better effect compared to high-rise pants that make the torso appear shorter. You’ll get a similar result with low-rise pants too, as they make the legs look longer.
Overall, you should shop for practical mid-rise pants which is comfortable enough for a day at the office, while making you look feminine and stylish all day long.
How would you like to look like the woman in charge with a power suit that’s incredibly flattering for your torso length? You can achieve this with vertical striped suits that create the illusion of a slimmer and longer silhouette.
Since vertical stripes are known to have a lengthening effect, the unbroken vertical line they create which draws the eyes up and down gives you that desired balanced look. This is perfect for women with short torsos who need help achieving a more proportionate look with an elongated torso that doesn’t look out of place.
Vertical stripes are also known for their slimming effect. If you don’t mind having your body appear more streamlined and narrower, you can use this style of suit to achieve a flattering lean look.
To do this flawlessly, the width and spacing of the stripes matter. Opt for stripes that are closely spaced and narrower as wider stripes don’t have an elongating effect. Also, dark bold colors are a better option compared to lighter colors.
V-neck shift dress
Here’s a flattering and versatile officewear option for women with short torsos who aren’t sure what dress style will make them look amazing at work. The V-neck shift dress is perfect for formal occasions, and you can easily switch things up to rock this to casual daytime events.
It’s so easy to fall in love with this simple yet classic style as shift dresses usually flow straight from the shoulders to the hemline. Therefore, the dress style creates a streamlined silhouette as the clean line elongates your body without adding any extra unwanted volume.
Elongate your upper boy and neck seamlessly with a v-neck shift dress which has a simple yet elegant style that works great for office settings. The goal is to look chic and stylish, and all you need is the right pair of heels to complete your ensemble.
Drop waist dress
A drop waist dress will make you look stylish and feminine, even as a woman with a short torso. The goal is to balance out your body proportions and make your torso look longer than it actually is.
This style of dress makes it possible by visually elongating your waistline in a way that’s proportionate with other parts of your body. Therefore, what you have is a flattering silhouette and a more defined hip line.
Even better, it can create an hourglass silhouette which is perfect for any woman that would love to pull off a curvaceous and feminine look. However, be sure to choose drop-waist dresses that have a perfect fit on your body without being too tight or loose. It’s important to choose the right size as baggy dresses will not have a flattering silhouette.
Faux wrap dress
Faux wrap dresses are both stylish and flattering for women with short torsos who still want to look chic without going over-the-top. This style is great for creating the illusion of a more proportionate silhouette and it is so much better with a v-neckline.
Usually, the wrap style comes with a cinched waist that skims over the body and creates a vertical line along the way. This means that it elongates the torso and makes the upper body look longer without the risk of having the dress fall open.
Women with short torsos can benefit from the overall feminine look when the cinched waistline creates an hourglass shape with a breathtaking silhouette. Some faux wrap dresses can be flowy while others can be formal.
Pair this with the right accessories and you’re ready with fantastic officewear to help you stand out elegantly.
Avoid thick belts
It’s a great idea for women with short torsos to completely avoid thick belts as they do a good job of shortening the torso. Usually, these belts are worn at the natural waistline. For women with short torsos, this is much higher on the torso than it should be.
Therefore, the belt creates a horizontal line that cuts the torso in half. This leads to a shortening effect where your torso looks unflatteringly short. Apart from this, thick belts mercilessly add more volume and bulk to the midsection.
If you have a muffin top, the thick belt will make it more visible. Overall, what you have is an unbalanced look that becomes much worse if you put on a dress or top with a lot of volume. If you must wear a belt, a better option is a thin belt that is stylish and creates a more elongated line.
Your officewear doesn’t have to be boring or monotonous. You can easily switch things up with the styles on this list, and you’ll definitely be happy you did. Be sure to choose styles that are not too tight on your body frame.