6 July 2010

good vs bad clothing

The clothes we chose to wear can hide our faults and greatly enhance our good features, stylist and costume designers have been saying this forever, and it really is true. Here is long torso/short legs Christina Ricci showcasing three great and three poor fashion choices.

-The first black dress elongates her total height making her seem less petite thanks to those yellow and white stripes, and that very important black horizontal stripe under her breasts gives the optical illusion that this is where her legs begin making them appear supermodel length. Her top half is beautiful with nice arms and cleavage.
-The second more casual look, is good because her dark denim jeans are matched by the pointy toed shoes and the dark under shirt, creating a good long line from where the white jacket ends all the way down to the floor. (Although the jeans could have been a little longer to avoid the little stripes of skin.) The jacket itself is cute with its shorter sleeves focusing the attention upward.
-The blue dress has a bit of a high neckline, however the black stripe at the waist (or perhaps above the waist) has the same effect as the stripe in the first yellow and black dress, creating a lovely high waist and masking where the legs actually begin, making them appear quite lengthy. It is also good that the dress is not tight.

-The red dress in the bottom row is too tight, showing us where her butt is, and therefore her long long back, and together with that awfully high neckline it really looks as though her torso is the length of that large expanse of red fabric. If the neckline was lower like in the first "good" dress, and the heels were skin colored then it would be better, (but still too tight).
-The look with the skin tight jeans and the long shirt is clearly quite unflattering, her legs are not long enough to pull of this look. If the shirt was shorter it would be a little better. But it would really be better for her, and us to not wear skinny jeans unless paired with tall boots.
-The last look with the black dress, is similar to the red dress, but with an even higher neckline. It's a turtle neck, the biggest taboo for us Lady Short Legs! Once again, the entire dress looks like one long torso.

In conclusion ladies,  as one of our readers said "almost anyone can look bad with the right clothes", we really can mask our flaws and insecurities, all we need is to be aware of them and consequently make the right fashion choices.


  1. Thank you so much for this blog! I´ve been feeling a bit unsecure of how to dress with my long torso and short legs. You´ve given me lots of tips on what (and what NOT) to wear. Greetings from Finland, Cami

  2. Thank you Cami from Finland, your English is very good, and I am happy to have helped you feel better, writing this blog has done the same for me too.

  3. hi, thankyou so much for this blog! it's really made me feel better about myself. i'm fairly tall at five feet nine inches and i often feel like a freak because of my proportions, when i sit down i'm taller than all but one of my girlfriends. i felt like i'd drawn the short straw, being tall but not having model proportions, as people often overlook the plight of long waisted but tall girls . also i felt like i had the longest torso in the world. i don't feel alone anymore.

    thanks, claire

  4. Yes, I agree with all your points except maybe the skinny jeans. Isn't Christina wearing them in the top picture with the jacket? This is one of my favorite silhouettes - wearing a short jacket layered over a longer shirt. I think she gets away with the skinny jeans because she has skinny legs and hips, and she pairs it well with her short jacket. And the skinny jeans are not too low rise which help a lot.

  5. -Clair I too am 5 feet 9 inches. I think the benefit of being tall, is that people don't generally notice the disproportion, they just see height. However I do of course understand everything said.

    -Anonymous, in the top "good" photo she appears to be wearing jeans with a straight leg, where as in the bottom "bad" photo, they are tight all the way, kind of like leggings. I believe the best type of jeans for us, are the boot leg kind, that reach all the way to the ground. However on Christina, she does have good legs, quite slim, so the straight leg looks good. That is quite a darling outfit with the little jacket, indeed.

  6. wow really??? i've met very few people of my height who don't have ridiculously long legs, it's nice to meet someone with similar proportions. i'm just curious, would you mind telling me what your inseam measurement is, or is that a closely guarded secret?


  7. Claire, no it's not a secrete of course, the measurement from my crotch to the floor is 32 inches, but I read somewhere that the correct way to measure an inseam is from crotch to ankle, so that measurement on me is 29 inches. I feel that my legs are of good length, what I mean is that they are not particularly short, it's that my torso is very long.

    How about you Claire, what is your inseam?

  8. According my search, leg´s inseam are the measurement from crotch/groin to the floor/ground an the leg's lenght is the measurement from floor to the ilíaco bone.
    So your inseam is 32 inches. Is not too bad like my inseam. Your number is around 2,14.


  9. Hi, I came across your blog a while back, and thought I would join in.

    I've always wanted lovely, long legs, but sadly will never have them (although of course I am grateful to have working legs!).

    I'm wondering though when you would say some one is disproportionate. I guess it must be down to the simple legs to height ratio. I am 5'2" and my legs are 29" (from crotch to floor), so the ratio is 0.4677419. I calculate yours at 0.4637681, so proportionally slightly shorter than mine.

    So what ratio would you say would be considered short, what normal, and what long? I guess to appear to have long legs they would need to be at least half of your height.

  10. To really know, your measurements have to be very accurate and then you need to compare to norms of a given population (not just one or two people you know).

    Usually, the shortness of legs is indicated by sitting height/overall height ratio. It's called the Cormic index.

    Measure your sitting height (sit as high and straight as you can) from the floor to the top of your head. Then measure your overall height - feet to the top of your head. Divide your sitting height by your total height. If your ratio is .52 or .53, you are completely within the normal range, and also very average too by the way (which you are from my rough calculation). You should have a longer torso than your legs by the way, most humans do. (Torso here defined as length from butt to top of head).

    If you're below .52, then you have very long legs for your torso. Usually, only some select Africans and Aborigines from Australia have ratios below .52. Africans and aborigines can have averages of .49 to .50 although the range of their ratios will follow other human populations.

    And many with proportions of .50 and lower can look spidery (in real life), with the appearance of having almost no torso. A very low sitting height/height ratio can also indicate that you have a disorder called Marfan's syndrome, although other signs and symptoms are included in this diagnosis. It can run from mild to more severe (google it - there's quite a famous actors/people you may see suspected of this).

    Ratios of .52 and lower are also very common in a lot of very tall models and basketball players. Furthermore, men compared to women also have lower proportions of .52 or lower, because they are generally taller. In general, lower ratios correlate with increased height. So, contrary to popular perception, it's men who have the longer legs not women.

    However, in general (because there are always exceptions), Caucasians both women and men have proportionately longer torsos than people who are of African descent.

    Hope it helps. Personally, I think we are setting up for ourselves an unachievable, unrealistic view of how we should look. We see so many people with .52 and lower ratios on TV (think of all the models, tall actresses and actors, basketball players, athletes, TV anchors), etc. we get confused about what's 'normal'. Even the beautiful models we see (and they are beautiful) have been airbrushed and photoshopped to perfection.

  11. Wow, you readers are amazing, I love these long comments, and with such thought put into them, thanks folks. I will certainly do, a post on measurements and proportions and percentages soon.

  12. Actually at last I have a reason to be glad I'm actually just under 5'2" as this would make my leg to height ratio longer lol Unless my my leg measurements are also a bit off. I know my height is exactly 157cm, as a nurse told me after using one of those height measuring machines, but my inseam was done myself with a tapemeasure hehe.

  13. You and your long legs.