It is absolutely amazing how much difference an inch can make. What? Oh, get your MIND out of the GUTTER, I’m talking about clothing! Here, check this out.
This skirt falls slightly above my natural waist:
It doesn’t make me look disproportionate but since it’s got a high hemline, it DOES visually shorten my torso.
This skirt sits right atop my hip bones:
Similar shape to the previous skirt, but because the waistline is lower it creates the appearance of a slightly longer torso. It’s also quite short overall, so my proportions aren’t completely distorted nor are my legs shortened.
This outfit features an untucked shirt that, in my opinion, is slightly too long to be worn with a skirt at all. (Hey, we all have our off days!):
And my perceived torso length is yet longer! Again, the hemline is a bit above the knee so I still look more or less proportionate but were edging toward distorted territory.
Let’s see all three lined up:
Check out that migrating waistline. Interestingly, although the center look may seem like it would be the most balanced of the three, it isn’t my favorite. I prefer to emphasize both my legs and my waist when I dress, so the look on the far left is the one I’m most likely to re-create.
The difference between these three skirts is absolutely tiny. Mere inches. None of these skirts is extremely high- or low-waisted, and even the look with the untucked shirt isn’t all that extreme. And yet the impact on how my figure is perceived is noticeable. Those of you who seek to visually balance long or short legs, or a long or short torso will likely already be aware of how placement and length affect proportion. Skirts that hit above, at, and below the knee will play with your leg proportions. Pants that sit at your natural waist, at your bellybutton/wearing waist, and at your hip bones will monkey with your torso and leg proportions. Cropped shirts, shirts that hit at your hip bones, and shirts that slide down past your butt will affect your torso and height proportions. And playing around with those proportions is not only fun and fascinating, but a great way to learn about your figure and how you’d like to present it.