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W for Waistline: Fashion A to Z

Welcome back to another edition of Fashion A to Z. In just a couple more weeks we will have covered the entire alphabet in fashion terms. Where did the time go? This week we are exploring the waistline.

Waistline– The part of a garment that covers the arbitrary line encircling the narrowest part of the waist.

It might actually be above or below the natural waistline of the body on a garment, depending on the style. It’s the line that separates the upper and lower portion of garments like dresses and jumpsuits. It’s also where skirts and pants rest on the body.

Does the waistline of a garment make a difference?

You bet! You can draw attention to yourself or camouflage an expanding waistline. Keep reading to learn about 5 different types.

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  1. Natural waistline– This one rests at your natural waist. This is perfect for those with tiny waists that want to show it off. This dress has a natural waistline. These garments look great accessorized with a belt.
Banana Republic dress with natural waistlinePin
Banana Republic Flounce Hem T-shirt Dress

2 Antebellum waistline V shaped. The anetbellum begins at the natural waist and then dips about 2 or 2.5 inches below the natural waistline at the center of the front bodice. A good choice for wedding dresses or formal gowns as it can make your body look slender and longer.

This is not the best example but the embroidery gives the same effect.


3 Asymmetrical one side of the waistline may drop lower than the other

Printed faux wrap dress

4 Dropped waist– sits below the natural waist – it could be 3 inches to 12 inches down from the natural waist.

A dropped waistline can bring eyes and attention down to your hips, especially on a fitted dress with a drop waist. If you have large hips, look for some other style. The advantage of the dropped waist is that it can elongate the torso and can make you look taller, so good for petites and short torsos.

dropped waistline dressPin
Petite Floral Smocked Shift Dress

5 Empire starts just under the bust line. The empire waist will emphasize your bust so those who do not want to draw attention to this area, avoid this style. Those who have a small bust can benefit with this style.  It can help petites look a little taller by drawing the eye up. But beware, if a garment is heavily pleated with this waist, you may look pregnant!

empire waistline dressPin
V-Neck Cap Sleeve Empire Waist A-Line Dress

What’s your favorite waistline style?


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