Vertical Silhouette – How To Determine Your Vertical Body Type And Style Tips

Laura Tolentino

Updated on:

How To Determine Your Vertical Body Type And Style Tips

Understanding your body will help you to choose the right clothes and will make you look your best. As you all know, we wrote about body shapes and the importance of wearing the perfect clothes for each body shape. The five well-known body shapes are: hourglass, apple, pear, inverted triangle, and rectangle but in order to determine the best clothes for you, you also need to know what your vertical silhouette or vertical body shape is.

Things are easier to understand here since we have only three vertical silhouettes. But first things first! You need to determine your vertical silhouette then to learn how to balance your vertical silhouette and how to combine clothes to highlight your assets and hide your flaws.

How to determine your vertical silhouette

The easier way to determine your vertical silhouette is to measure yourself from the top of your head to your hipbones (upper body) and then from your hipbones to the ground (lower body).

You can also divide your body into four segments and to determine your vertical body type based on these measurements:

  • The top of your head to your nipples line (with bra on);
  • The nipple line to the hip line (fullest part of the derriere);
  • The hip line to the center of the knee;
  • The knee to the ground.

Wrote down your measurements and keep reading to find our your vertical silhouette and how to make the best of it with some easy to follow style tips.

Balanced Body Vertical Silhouette

  • Your upper body length is almost the same as your lower body length;
  • The short segments (bust-to-hip and hip-to-knee) are similar in length. Your long segments (head-to-bust and knee-to-floor) are also similar in length.

How to dress the balanced body type:

  • Usually, this body type is common in petite women so we highly recommend clothes that will make you look taller, high waistlines, accentuating the waist etc. This is not a rule, just a simple recommendation.
    You should also take into consideration your horizontal figure since your vertical silhouette is balanced and you don’t need to create illusions here unless you want to.
    If you decide you want to make your legs look longer, check out the Short legs/ long torso section of this article.
  • If you want to make your torso look bigger, check out the Long legs/ short torso section.
  • Focus on the area you want to slim down and use elongating tricks! If you are a pear, elongate your legs. If you are an inverted triangle, elongate your torso.
  • Make sure you pay attention to the clothes you buy because the wrong clothes can make you look shorter.

Short legs/ long torso

  • The upper body is longer than the lower body;
  • Sometimes, women with this body type have a low, heavy bottom;
  • This body type can usually be seen in women who are short to average height.

How to dress the short legs/ long torso body type:

The main idea is to choose clothes that will make your legs look longer. Low waist jeans, pants and skirts are not a good idea for you because they will make your torso look bigger than it is.

  • Empire cut tops, medium to high-waist pants, accessories in the upper part of your body can help you to create a more balanced silhouette.
  • Wear socks, shoes, and pants in the same color.
  • If you prefer skirts and dresses, try to find tights and shoes in similar colors.
  • In the summertime, wear shoes that match your skin tone.
  • Heels can help you a lot, especially if you use the “same color” trick we mentioned before.
  • Prints are also a good idea if you wear them in the upper part of your body.
  • Adding a shorter blazer over a longer blouse can also create the effect you want.
  • Wear dark colors in the lower part of your body to elongate your legs.

Long legs/ short torso

  • Your lower body is longer than your upper body
  • The height from ground to hip is higher than half your full height
  • Most women who have this body type are tall. However, there can be exceptions, of course.

How to dress the long legs/ short torso body type:

The thing is you have those amazing long legs so first of all, be happy! You had your happy moment? Ok, now let’s talk about how you can make your torso look a little bit longer:

  • Don’t tuck your blouse into your trousers or skirt
  • Wear long jackets and tops
  • Wear printed pants and skirts to draw the eyes down
  • Low and medium waist pants/ skirts are better than high waist pants/ skirts
  • Wear flats, kitten heels or medium heels
  • Wear dar colors in the upper part of your body to elongate your torso
  • High necklines are a good idea if your horizontal body type permits it
  • Vertical stripes on tops are also a good idea

Vertical silhouette + Body Shape Style Tips


Many women prefer to create the illusion of longer legs no matter if they have a balanced vertical silhouette or Short legs/Long Torso vertical silhouette. If you like the idea…

  • wear high waist trousers and skirts or empire cut dresses and tops;
  • wear heels or flats in the same color as your trousers;
  • accentuate your waist with a belt;
  • wear prints and vibrant colors in the upper part of your body and darker colors in the bottom part – this will only slim your legs.

Inverted triangle

Inverted triangle ladies have broad shoulders and smaller hips. Their vertical silhouette is usually balanced or you have the Long legs/ Short torso body type.

To look your best…

  • You can either respect all the hourglass tips from above if you want to show off your long legs and embrace your body type;
  • Or you can try to create a balance and do the exact opposite.


Your silhouette is usually easy to dress since the rectangle body shape has the same characteristics as a model’s body. Dressing your body is not difficult. You just have to allow yourself to try different styles to see which one you like the most.  

  • If you have a balanced vertical silhouette or Short legs/Long torso, you can make your legs appear longer by wearing high-waist pant and skirts;
  • You can also play with proportions and add volume where you want it – make your shoulders appear broader with shoulder-pads or wear a peplum skirt, dress or top to add volume around your hips.

Apple body shape

The most important thing you need to know when it comes to how to dress your body type is the fact that shapeless clothes won’t do you any good. Avoid them as much as you can or, if you really like a loose article of clothing with no particular shape, find an interesting color pattern and avoid adding extra inches around your waistline.

  • If you have the Long Legs/ Short Torso body type, long tops will make you look very good since they will elongate your mid-section, accentuating your beautiful legs.
  • If you have the opposite vertical silhouette aka the Short Legs/ Long torso, layering is a great trick for you. A long top + a short jacket will elongate the waist and tummy area but the jacket will create the illusion of longer legs.


Pears usually have full or muscular legs and a Short legs/ Long torso vertical silhouette. Having a big bottom is actually celebrated these days. What great news, right? So…

  • wear clothes that help you show off your booty and maybe find ways to make your legs appear longer for a more balanced look;
  • if you don’t want to draw attention to your derriere, balance out your body shape by adding volume to your shoulders with ruffles or shoulder-pads and wear A-line dresses, skirts or pants that won’t accentuate your curves.