Thursday, October 20, 2011

Short-waisted in a sea of belts

Garnet Hill printed cardigan and gray suede obi that would look terrible on me
Ordinarily, I eschew belts. I'm short-waisted, meaning there was a mix-up at the parts factory. I'm 5' 7", and apparently (and I'm not blaming anyone, parents) someone took a torso designed for someone who is 5' 5", and matched it with a pair of 5' 8" legs. I'm not complaining about having long legs, exactly, but being both short-waisted and busty creates quite a wardrobe challenge.

What Not to Wear if you're busty

Short answer? Everything.

OK, seriously, here's what I try to avoid wearing anywhere near my balcony: pleats, ruffles, pockets, shirring, or gathers over the bustline. Huge collars. Decorative appliqued rosettes. Big splashy prints (yes, I love Lilly, but not the blouses.) Anything double-breasted. Those long necklaces that you see all over the place these days. Statement necklaces unless they end at the collarbone.

Basically, everything that's been in style for the past five years.

What Not to Wear if you're short-waisted

Here's what I don't wear because I'm short-waisted: tuck-in tops. Belts. And suspenders, no matter how adorable and Urkel-ish I'd look in them.

But this outfit from Eileen Fisher has a great work-around.

Eileen Fisher sleeveless ponte dress, leather obi belt, and merino wool shawl-collared cardigan from Neiman Marcus

Yes, it has a belt, but it's an obi, meaning there are no belt loops. That means I can place the belt slightly below my actual waistline. And it's much narrower than the gray one from Garnet Hill. Also, in this case, the belt is the same color as the dress. Contrasting colors break you up and make you look shorter and wider. Wearing all one color head-to-toe is the most slimming and lengthening thing you can do. The long laces hang down in the front, adding to the vertical effect. Also, only the center of the belt is showing, because the whole thing is covered by a 3/4 length shawl-collared cardigan.

I'm delighted with this outfit because I took a chance and ordered it on-line, but it works brilliantly, so no trip to the post office, yay!

Also because I went through the entire line of reasoning in the paragraph above, and it turns out I was right, which proves I'm smart.

Also all of the pieces will work with other things in my wardrobe. Except maybe the belt. It might not play well with others.

Hmmm. I'll be keeping an eye on that belt.


  1. I so relate with this post!
    V necks are my best friend,
    aside from a great fitting bra...

    Eileen Fisher does have a great line of clothing that works so well at skimming the body and her fabric choices are swoon worthy!

  2. I too suffer from the no waist, long legs syndrome. I never wear anything tucked in!

  3. We should check our parents. I'm like your sistah. Except I have little belly to go along with all you described.


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