Tall With A Long Torso?

I recently received an email from a reader with a quandary:

I often find myself flipping through fashion magazines that point out ideas for shapes, etc. & what is best to wear… But they NEVER EVER have anything about long torsoed tall women. I would LOVE it if at some point you could address this on your blog. Oh, I would be ever-so-excited, because I am in hell in the world of low-rise jeans. … I love skirts & prefer them, but it’s winter here and sometimes I just can’t attain the same warmth with skirts & slips & tights, etc..

Darling-heart, I feel your pain. I’m not tall but I certainly identify with the long torso dilemma. My major problem in that arena is finding a t-shirt that covers my bellybutton. Sometimes (actually, often) I just don’t want it on display, you know? Normal t-shirts make me feel like the jolly green giant, or a toddler who’s outgrown its first lot of clothing. Not a good look. What you really need (on the top half at least) is something with a bit of extra length.

Henley shirt from American Apparel for girls with long torsos

I personally have had good experiences with Henley shirts. They’re sometimes referred to as “grandpa shirts” but who cares, they look good. They usually have very light vertical ribbing (very flattering) & they’re always long enough for my needs. I think they look fantastic with well-tailored, wide-leg pants. You can buy them at all sorts of places but American Apparel has one reshaped specially for “tall people”. It comes in 14 colours & is $24 US. Here. They also do it in a short-sleeved version, but it features a cap sleeve, so beware. Cap sleeves aren’t a good look for most people.

Another option if you don’t see a lot of girl’s shirts that you like is to try men’s vintage tees. A men’s small is usually approximate to a women’s medium, though of course you should try it on if possible & if you’re buying online, check the measurements! I love browsing on Ebay for old men’s t-shirts with cheerleading & gymnastic club logos. I once tried on an authentic men’s vintage Michael Jackson t-shirt which was perfect, I LOVED it, but it was over-priced so I let it go. I often think back to that t-shirt & how it could have transformed my wardrobe. Boo.

California hooded dress by American Apparel for  girls with long torsos

More American Apparel. This is really cute & I love it: a super-long hoodie that can be worn as a dress. It comes in white, black, cranberry, navy, evergreen, forest & slate & is $39 US. Made of fleecey cotton, it should be pretty warm though it’s hard to tell without seeing it in person. For Winter I’d wear this with a warm long-sleeved top underneath, dark textured stockings (lycra lace Chevrons which are going to make your legs look long & lean, over-the-knee length O Chevrons if you’re feeling slightly more daring, or Angel tights, for example), & big slouchy high-heeled boots. To make the outfit warmer, team with slim-fitting dark trousers — wide, loose pants will tend to make this look a bit sloppy.

Layering & long tops are your friends. The main thing to remember is that the eye is drawn to wherever you have flesh showing (in our case, below a too-short t-shirt & above low-rise pants). If you don’t want people to notice it, cover it up!

The most exciting thing by far though is the fact that high-waisted trousers are coming back into fashion! & not a moment too soon. Thankfully designers are sick of seeing butt-cracks & underwear too. ASOS has some & so does Topshop, & it seems like they are filtering their way into other stores too. Here’s a discussion on how to wear them at The Fashion Spot. As a long torso’d gal, you will probably know that finding pants that fit you tends to be a bit of a nightmare. Really, the only solution is to have them altered to fit you. It might seem excessive or ridiculous, but that’s how celebrities manage to look so good (except for, uh, Britney) — they all have the same body issues we do. Plus if you invest the money in having something tailored, you will wear it so often that it will pay for itself.

I hope this helped you! I will keep you posted on any discoveries I make in the quest to cover up my own belly-button!