What's Your Vertical Body Type?

What's Your Vertical Body Type?

If someone were to ask you what your vertical body type was, would you know what that meant?

You might respond with your horizontal body type like, hour glass, pear, or apple, but did you know that you have a vertical body type as well? This is determined by the proportion of the bottom half of your body compared to your top half. There are 3 basic vertical body types: “balanced”, “long-waisted”, and “short-waisted”. Knowing your vertical body type is key in determining what styles look best on you and make going shopping a lot more fun.

Here’s a simple formula to help you figure out your vertical body type.

  1. Place one flat hand (or something of equivalent width) just below your bust.
  2. Place the 2nd hand (or equivalent) just below your 1st
    • If your belly button falls between your two hands you are balanced from top to bottom.
    • If your belly button is well below your 2nd hand, you are long waisted.
    • If your belly button is just under your 2nd hand you are short waisted.

Now that you know your vertical body type, here are some helpful tips.


Your top to bottom ratio is relatively equal. Choosing the wrong styles with this body type can make you look shorter, so be careful.

balanced vertical body type

What to wear

  • Tops that accentuate your waist.
  • Belted and banded tops.
  • Form-fitting and wrap-style tops.
  • Tailored shirts and jackets.
  • High-waisted pants and pencil skirts.
  • Skirts just below the knee.
  • Boot cut, straight leg pants, skinny jeans, and ..you can wear almost any pant.

What to avoid

  • Clothes that shorten either the lower or upper half of your body.
  • Tops that end below the hip.
  • Low-rise bottoms.


Since you have a longer torso & shorter legs which can make you appear shorter, you should avoid styles that elongate.

long-waisted vertical body type

What to wear

  • Tops that are tucked.
  • Empire waistlines.
  • Medium to wide belts.
  • Straight and boot-cut pants.
  • Medium to high-rise bottoms.
  • Jackets and tops that end higher up on your torso

What to avoid

  • Low rise bottoms.
  • Dark tops.
  • Light bottoms.


Since you have a shorter torso & longer legs you tend to appear taller, so choose styles that elongate.

short-waisted vertical body type

What to wear

  • Tops that are untucked to elongate your torso.
  • V-necks and tops with interest at the neckline.
  • Dark colored tops and tops with vertical stripes.
  • Accessories that hang, again to elongate your torso.
  • Tops and jackets that fall around your hips or slightly longer.
  • Mid to low rise bottoms.
  • Flat or medium heeled footwear.

What to avoid

  • Wearing your shirt tucked in.
  • Cropped tops.
  • High-waisted bottoms.
  • Belts which cut your already short torso in half. If you have to wear a belt a thin belt works best.

These tips will help “you do you” as you rock whatever body type you were blessed with.

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