How To Define The Shape Of Your Waist

So, um… do I have a short waist or a long waist? And how do I tell?

Good question. Thank you to Voodoo for asking it.

I did a quick search online and there seems to be a lot of consensus that a short waist is matched with long legs and long waist with short legs. But I don’t agree with that. I definitely have a short waist and also short legs with a long body in between. My daughter has long legs and a long waist.

I should say, I think my daughter has a long waist as I understand Trinny and Susannah define it. Which is what exactly?

Its all in where your waist sits, or doesn’t for that matter. Your waistline is the narrowest part or your torso. For some women it’s clearly defined and for others it isn’t. Lets look at that first.


If your waist is not defined you’ll have more of and up and down look through your middle. There may or may not be an actual waist line but either way it’s not particularly dramatic.

If you have an undefined waist you may have issues with feeling shapeless. When you try things on you feel boxy through the middle.

In Trinny and Susannah 12 shapes if you have an undefined waist you’re likely to be either a Brick or a Column. If your widest part is your stomach, you’re an Apple.


A long waist by contrast is defined but more of a long gentle sweep. The curve is definitely there but its gentle and elongated through the whole of your torso, sort of like taking a long sweeping curve in your car.

If you have a long waist you may have issues with clothing riding too low on your frame. Or equally you may find it difficult to find clothes that mould your waist.

In Trinny and Susannah’s 12 shapes if you have a long waist you could be a Vase or a Pear.


And finally the short waist. If a long waist is a sweeping curve a short waist is a dangerous curve. There’s no mistaking a short waist; it’s there, it’s seriously curvy and it’s, well … short. It’s also likely to be higher and did I mention short. If you have a short waist you’re more likely to have wider hips.

If you have a short waist you may experience skirts riding up and swallowing your middle. You may also find that clothes swamp your middle and make it disappear since the difference between your waist and hips and breasts is so defined.

In Trinny and Susannah’s 12 shapes you’re likely to be an Hourglass a Bell, or to a lesser extent a Skittle.

So there you have it. I hope it’s helpful. And remember, it’s only important if you’re having difficulty finding clothes that flatter you.

Still not sure which Trinny and Susannah body shape you are? Take the body shape quiz.


  1. Elena says

    I have a short waist, small shoulders and wider hips and saddle bags. I find it nearly impossible to find clothes that fit and flatter. I shop and shop and have the absolute hardest time finding anything that works. It doesn’t help that styles change all the time. It takes me hours and days and days to find one thing that works. Jeans are easier than trousers and tops are awful. Everything hits wrong at th waist.
    Just wish there was a designer out there that made clothes for women like me. I’ve yet to find one…

  2. says

    I’m right there with you Elena. I’d love to find someone who could make clothes just for me, since I’m such an odd shape.

  3. Wonda says

    I have wide shoulders my pants are alllways low cut no matter what my ribs go forever down dnd then it’s like 2 inches from my hip to my ribs I look boxy but my legs look really short I gave bowed ribs were they sink in the middle I wonder if that could be affecting my measurements I am invetween short and undefined I sm clueless now

  4. says

    Hi Wonda

    It sounds like you have a really long waist, which again, will make your legs look shorter. Look at the ideas for Column. You want to break up the expanse of your body. Also look at petite ideas to lengthen your leg.

    It’s about ratios and find the best that work for you.


  5. aspa says

    i still have no clue if my waist is somewhat defined. my waist measures 68 cm my widest part around the bottom 94 cm and i have a wide ribcage and shoulders-with small boobs. (some lovehandles as well, nothing excessive though). i can never determine my body shape properly!

  6. says

    Hi Aspa

    The reason you can’t determine your body shape properly is that you don’t fit exactly into any particular shape. Most of us don’t. There are around 4 billion women in the world and only 12 shapes we come in? I don’t think so.

    You’re most likely a combination of two or three different shapes. Focus on your issues with clothes.


  7. anuya says

    Hi! I’m mostly not so sure what to wear. I’m only sixteen years old, 1, 70 tall and not a plus size or overweight but curvy. if I compare myself to other girls at my age they normally don’t have a D cup like me or those voluptuous curves….so I normally donot fit in the kind of clothes “to wear” at my age. my measurements are about 38-28-40 so I guess I’m an hourglass since my waist is very short and my shoulders about the same width as my hips. any tips for me maybe ?? thank you for a reply…

  8. says

    Hi Anuya

    Its very difficult being a different shape when you’re young. Especially as an hourglass, since you’ll stand our from your peers. The best thing is going to be to find a look that works for you, and maybe that’s going to be something a little different from what other girls your age are wearing.

    Maybe you could go a little dressier than the casual look that others have, since that’s a look that works well for hourglasses. Which is not to suggest don’t wear jeans, definitely do, just maybe team with a nice top that accents your curves rather than a simple tshirt. Or wear a dress instead.

    I know its difficult to stand out, but I guess you do anyway, so find a look that makes you feel really good. Find someone on tv or movies or the internet that has a body shape and style you like and steal it :)


  1. […] WAIST: Do you have a waist? Are you long waisted? I have a short, narrow waist which is overemphasised by large breasts and hips. Think Jessica Rabbit, but, you know, after she’s scarfed a couple dozen tubs of ice cream. Is this a good feature for you? […]

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