Apr 202015


When defining a body type and the styles which harmonize, I will sometimes use the term “cinch waist”. Anatomically, what I mean is a body featuring a waist nipped in above a high hip shelf, the high hip appearing wider than the low hip/upper thigh. 

A cinch waist is flattered by, among other things, garments which are – ahem – cinched at the waist. The high hip accompanying the cinch waist wears narrow skirts and trousers beautifully.

To illustrate, I built you this Polyvore. 

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  5 Responses to “What Is a Cinch Waist?”

  1. One thing that I like about The Triumph of Individual Style is that it doesn’t try to tell people of one body type how to fake another body type. I think a lot of people want a cinch waist (I know I do sometimes), and there’s lots of tips around on how to look the part.

    For me, my waist is about 1-2 inches narrower than my hips and bust when I’m thin, and equal when I’m thicker. (Not complaining – I like my shape now that I understand it pretty well). Another fairly rectangular friend of mine said something along the lines of “a waist belt looks like a luggage strap”. Yep 🙂

    So, while I don’t have the shape for these in your polyvore, they do look lovely, and would look terrific on someone with a waist as you describe.

    • It took me a long time to figure out that belts at the waist don’t work for me either. There are so many articles saying if you have a waist to highlight it with a belt, but I always ended up taking it off. Now I get that I have an arc waist; if I want to wear a belt at the waist, say with a shirt and cardi, I would put the belt inside the cardigan. That maintains the arc shape through the side waist and the belt buckle becomes more of a point than a line.

      It is such a blessing to understand how to dress the body you have, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. Luggage strap! Good one. I have the cinch waist thing except that my hips don’t go narrower – just sort of straight down – and sometimes the tops of my thighs can go out a bit. I rather like that and am happy either way. However, I can’t wear any volume or thick folds, really in either direction up or down. If I wear a shirt waist dress – even a straight one – or a trench with volume I look like a loosely tied parcel, like when someone tied up their laundry to take to the cleaners or tried to gift wrap something without a box and of an awkward shape. .

  3. One of the things that helps me I learned from reading Imogen: wear a shirt (works for other items, too) that falls back on the body – would pool if you dropped it on floor. That’s the way I do volume now.

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