Do I have a long torso?
Anyone with a long torso knows the struggle of finding a one-piece that doesn’t crunch us up like a prawn due to the shortness of the middle section, but there are actually a few other considerations when dressing a long torso in swimwear.
Having a long torso could mean you are just tall in general, but it could also mean you are longer in the torso in proportion to the rest of your body.
To see if you have a long torso and measure this against the rest of your height, you can either measure yourself and calculate your measurements against your height.
But there is also a shortcut method:
Long torso body types
There are many variations of body types when it comes to having a long torso.
It could be paired with equally as long legs, proportionately shorter legs, or a short waist.
Figuring out which variation you have will make it a lot easier to determine the right swimsuit for you.
Long torso with short legs
If the height of your hip is less than half of your height and your waistline sits lower than your elbow, you most likely have a long torso with proportionately shorter legs.
This is the most common pairing for people who are shorter than the average but find they have a long torso.
Related: The Petite Woman’s Swimwear Manual >
Long torso with long legs
Just because you have a long torso doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of proportion, you could just be taller than the average and also have long legs.
This is often referred to as a “balanced body”, and your struggles will probably come from the fact that clothes are too small lengthways.
You can tell if the height of your hip is half your height and your elbow is in line with your waistline.
Lastly, there’s the body shape where you have a long torso, but a short waist where despite having a long torso, the space between your ribcage and hips is small (less than two inches).
Things to look for in a swimsuit if you have a long torso
High-waisted bottoms will always be a win for people with long torsos, as they raise the waistline and allude to more balanced proportions.
This will be especially effective if you also have short legs, as it will make your legs look longer, and it’s even more magic when paired with a high-cut bottom.
High-cut legs are the twin sister to high-waisted bottoms, as they have a similar purpose but are slightly different.
High-cut legs are when the bottom line is brought upwards to give the illusion of longer legs since it brings up the hip line.
This is perfect for making your legs look longer to give a more balanced look.
Moving to the top now and we have two main recommendations: crop tops (tankinis) and belted-in looks.
Tankinis work well because they draw a horizontal line across the torso visually cutting off some length.
Similarly, get a one-piece (one that is actually long enough for you of course) that has a cinched-in section just above the waistline, this will give both a more defined look and break up the torso to give a shortened effect.
Patterns and ruffles are also helpful at creating horizontal lines and therefore reducing how long your torso looks in comparison to the rest of your body.
Types of swimwear that look best on a long torso
High-waisted bottoms with high cuts
This powerhouse combination does wonders for an in-balanced body, as it will lengthen the legs while shortening the torso, creating the perfect look for people with disproportionately long torsos.
If you have long legs and don’t need to balance them out, you can pair them with a standard bikini top to keep that balance while accentuating your long lines.
Since one-pieces are often too short for those with long torsos, a tankini will be a better option.
It offers the long lines and coverage we love from a one-piece while giving the flexibility and movement of a two-piece.
Tankinis sit just above the hips, which shortens the torso by creating a horizontal line across the body.
Bikini tops with the banded definition under the chest
To create yet another optical illusion, having a bikini top that has a thick band right under the breasts will shorten the torso.
This can be especially effective when paired with high-waisted bottoms to shorten the torso even more and give more emphasis to the length of the legs.
One-pieces with waist definition
And when searching for the right one, consider a style that has a waistband, or even better, a band that sits right under the ribs.
This will bring up the line of the hips to shorten the torso. When paired with a high-cut bottom, it will bring the perfect balance.
Swimwear styles to avoid if you have a long torso
Short bikinis are when both the bottom and top of the bikini are quite small lengthways, like a standard string bikini.
If you have a mismatch in proportions (short legs, long torso), short bikinis will further accentuate the length of the torso without balancing out the length of the legs.
Whether in a bikini or one-piece, a high-neck swimsuit should be avoided since it will create unflattering vertical lines.
The boxy shape will create even more length in the torso area, which is the last thing we want when we are trying to balance out a long torso.
As we discussed above, it’s the opposite of high-cut bottoms, wearing a low-cut bottom is a big no-no, as it will lengthen the torso and shorten the legs.