One of the best things you can do to look good after 40, or at any age for that matter, is to dress for your body type. The first step in that process is to know and understand your body proportions. Another important factor in understanding your shape is your vertical body type.
What is your vertical body type?
Have a look at the image on top. The body is divided into four sections:
1. The top of the head to the nipple line (with bra on)
2. The nipple line to the hipline (fullest part of the bottom)
3. The hipline to the centre of the kneecap
4. The kneecap to the floor
Almost everyone has different proportions and women can be placed in one of three main categories:-
The balanced body
Being one of the main vertical body types, you have this vertical body type when:
- your upper body length is almost the same as your lower body length
- your height from you hipline to the ground is equal to half your full height
- your waist is equal to your bent elbow
- the short segments (bust-to-hip and hip-to-knee) are similar in length as are the long segments (head-to-bust and knee-to-floor)
Many women with this vertical body shape are also petite (< 5'3"). As women grow older this body type can pose a problem as many women will gain weight around the waist, which may lead to a feeling of being short waisted.
How to dress the balanced vertical body shape?
Your dressing aim is to elongate the short segments (bust to hip and hip to knee)
- wear tops that are medium to long
- focus your attention on the face with accessories like jewelry and scarves
- do not tuck your tops
- get pants and skirts either without waistband or only a narrow waistband
- better to use tops and bottoms in one color and to avoid contrasting colors at the waistline
- wear dresses that flow through the waist
- avoid wide belts
- avoid empire waist dresses
Long legs short torso
Most often seen with tall women although there are always the exceptions. You have this body type when:
- your legs tend to be very long as compared to the torso length
- the height from ground to hip is higher than half your full height
- you appear high waisted, higher than your bent elbow
- weigh gain tends to be around the midriff
How to dress for the longs legs / short torso vertical body type?
Your dressing aim is to visually lengthen your short torso.
- you can leave your blouse tucked out to elongate the waist
- long jackets, top and over blouses
- accessories that draw the eyes down
- skirts and pants without waistbands
- wear low waisted skirts and pants
- narrow non-constrasting belt
- low to medium heels
Short leg / long torso
These women are usually short to average in height, you have this body type when:
- the upper body tends to be longer than the lower body
- often has a low heavy bottom
- weight tends to form on the thighs and bottom
How to dress the short leg / long torso vertical body type?
The dressing aim for this body type is to lengthen the legs and shorten the torso
- wear short to medium-long tops and jackets
- if your horizontal body type permits tuck in your tops
- accessories for focus on the upper side of the body
- straight skirt elongate more than a lines or flared skirts
- wear medium to wide belts
- classic wide pants will look great on you
- keep socks, shoes and bottoms all in the same color
- wear heels
- avoid cropped pants
- avoid tight tapered skirts and pants
- avoid skirts and trousers with a dropped waistband