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How to measure if your torso or legs are longer

Updated April 17, 2017

You may be familiar with the common categories used to describe body shapes such as "apple," "cone," "ruler" or "hourglass." However knowing your "vertical body type" is also beneficial. Vertical body type is determined by measuring the length of your legs and your height. Knowing the proportions of your body will help you select clothes that flatter your figure, by creating an illusion that the length of your torso and legs are balanced. For example, if you have longer legs and a short torso, you'll want to dress to create an illusion of having a longer torso to balance your long legs. This can be done by avoiding short tops and choosing trousers that sit low on the waist.

Wrap a piece of ribbon around your hips at their fullest point; this will be approximately 6 cm (2.5 inches) above your crotch. Place a piece of adhesive tape horizontally on your hips at this point, and mark it with a pencil.

Measure the distance between your hips at their fullest and the floor to find your hip-line to floor measurement.

Measure your height. Stand barefoot on a hard, solid surface with your back against the wall. Look forward with your chin level. Have someone make a right angle from the top of your head to the wall with a hardback book. Make the point on the wall with a pencil. Measure the distance to the nearest cm (or 1/2-inch) using a tape measure.

Examine the results. If the length of your hip-line to floor measurement is half your height, you have a balanced body. If your hip-line to floor measurement is less than half your height, then your torso is longer than your legs. If your hip-line to floor measurement is more than half your height, your legs are longer than your torso.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Adhesive tape
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About the Author

Based in New York, Foziya Khan has been writing health and fitness articles for more than six years. She is a nutrition counselor by trade, specializing in weight management. Khan holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master of Science degree in nutrition and food management from the University of Huddersfield.