|From Wall Street Journal Article - "The Quest for the Perfect Pants"|
I decided to do a quick trouser inventory of my fall/winter pants last week. Waaaaay in the back of the closet I found two pair of high (i.e., natural) waist pants that I must have had for over 15 years. I had completely forgotten I still had them.
|Hepburn in her Signature Beige, High-Rise Trousers - Getty Images|
They brought back great memories, so I tried them on, just to see if they would still fit. Drum roll, please!! They did, although a tad more snuggly than I remembered. But the big surprise was that I’d forgotten how flattering they looked.
“Hello, there, Miss Waist, it’s lovely to see you again.” Although she no longer measures 20 inches, she’s still there, and I figure we have a few more good years together before we go our separate ways.
In the meantime, it would be nice to show her off; however, the fashion gods have decreed that those of us with a waist and curves should just shut up about them and be content with low-rise/mid-rise pants, which put the emphasis squarely where we do NOT want it – on our hips and tummies. Even when I get that nasty gap in the back fixed, I still find myself tugging at the damn things every time I stand up.
For some time now, designers have been designing women’s pants for models built like 12-year-old boys, which is fine for the runway, but where does that leave real women with real bodies and real curves? Until about 10 years ago, we could look at those models in low-slung trousers, chuckle to ourselves and run off to our favorite retailer and find a pair of pants that actually flattered our figures. Hélas, those days are gone, and the best we can now hope for is something that sits below our belly buttons that retailers laughably call mid-to-high-rise. HA!
|Theory's Max 2 Urban Trousers Available at Bloomingdale's|
|French Actress Polaire - famous for her taille de guêpe (wasp waist)|
The woman in the pew in front of me at church last Sunday was wearing low-rise jeans. She was of average height and slender, but because she was obviously long-waisted, the low-rise jeans only served to accentuate her long torso, making her legs look even shorter. Definitely NOT a good look.
When I first went into the image consulting business, I thought I would be dressing mostly pear-shaped women; however, I quickly discovered that the majority of my clients were either apples or tubes, without a well-defined waist, so the idea was to create the illusion of a waist by choosing well-structured clothes that did the work for them.
For my client with a waist, it’s important that she know where her waist falls in relation to her torso. In other words, is she average, short-waisted or long-waisted? It does make all the difference in the rise of your pants and the length of your tops.
Here’s how you can determine that for yourself.
First, take the measurement from your armpit to your waist, then from your waist to your leg break (roughly where the hip ends and your leg begins). Ideally, there should be no more than 1 to 1 ½ inches between the two measurements.
If the distance from waist to leg break is longer than from armpit to waist, you are Short-Waisted.
If the distance from armpit to waist is longer than from waist to leg break, you are Long-Waisted.
The short-waisted woman looks best in mid-rise pants and longer tops. (M-T Tip: Match your belt to your top to elongate your waist slightly.)
The long-waisted woman looks best in higher-rise pants and shorter tops. (M-T Tip: Match your belt to your pants to shorten your waist slightly.)
Remember: Where your waist falls has nothing to do with your height. Tall women can be short-waisted, and short women can be long-waisted.
The point is, if you’ve got one, show it off. We don’t have them forever.