Actress Emma Stone wears a belted dress to the 85th Annual Academy Awards nomination announcements in January 2013.

Best Clothes for a Small Waist

by Pamela Simmons

Finding your best look depends, in part, on finding the right pieces for your body type. Several body types have small waists. For each variation of the small-waist body type, certain tips and tricks make your shape look its best.


Women with hourglass shapes generally have a larger chest, narrow waist and wider hips. To best show off your shape, don't be scared to wear fitted dresses. If you're wearing a dress that's not so fitted, use a belt to cinch your waist. Slip on a pencil skirt paired with a tucked in top, which will enhance your waist and show off your curves. Straight-leg pants work if they're cropped at the ankle, while bootleg cuts help to balance out your frame. Add a heel for an extra slimming effect.


Pear shapes are narrow throughout the upper body and down to the waist and wider in the hips. Just as with hourglass shapes, wearing a belt shows off your slim waist. A-line skirts minimize the appearance of hips while showing off your tiny waist. When it comes to jackets, pick ones that are cut above the hip line. Wearing darker colors on the bottom minimizes your hips and thighs, while bootcut jeans elongates your legs.


Women with boyish shapes don't just have small waists -- they're slender throughout their entire body. The key to dressing boyish shapes is to add volume. Ruffled or frilly pieces do the trick. Go ruffled up top, on bottom or both. If you're wearing a tunic, belt it to define your waist and create the illusion of curves. Skinny jeans and pants are ideal for a boyish shape. They'll give you extra volume on your bottom half.

Inverted Triangle

Inverted triangle shapes have broad shoulders and a narrow waist and hips. Make your body appear more proportioned by wearing bright colors on the bottom. Wide-leg pants and full skirts also create this effect. Don't be scared to try high-waisted pieces, which also add volume to your bottom half. A statement belt brings attention to the center of your frame. Tops should soften your shape. Look for waterfall necklines with ruffles to pull this off.

About the Author

Pamela Simmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles on fashion, beauty and other topics have appeared on Denim Therapy and other websites. Simmons serves as an editor and public relations manager for CHIC.TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international affairs from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University.

Photo Credits

  • Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images