Largely gone are the days of waif-thin supermodels—now, the ladies whose style we most covet encompass a broad range of body types and figures. With curvy ladies like Kim Kardashian rising through the ranks to achieve modern style star status, having a noticeably tiny waist seems to be something worth aiming for these days.
We’ve got a little secret to share: hitting the gym and doing thousands of crunches is only one way you can achieve the small-waist look. You can also use this incredibly easy styling trick: Wear high-waisted skirts, pants, and shorts to cinch in your natural waist and emphasize the smallest part of your body. It’s all a magic trick of perspective: your waist will instantly look smaller if you draw attention to it with a horizontal line right at your natural waist.
Scroll down to see what we mean, and to shop pieces that will help you get a smaller waist in no time!
The fastest route to small-waist territory: a full-bodied, midi-length skirt worn right at your waist. The voluminous shape at the hem only serves to make your mid-section look that much smaller by contrast.
You can try this trick when you’re wearing a dress, too: Wrap a belt around your waist to mimic the look of a high-waisted skirt and blouse, achieving the same minimizing effect of wearing two pieces.
It’s a common misconception that wearing more fabric makes you look bigger—au contraire, if done properly, extra material will minimize your waist more than wearing a body-contouring look.
ASOS Premium High Waisted Skirt in Jacquard ($105)
Wear this feminine full skirt with a crop top for extra minimizing effect, or dress it down with your favorite white tee.
Kate Spade Saturday Two-Bar Wide Leather Belt ($29) in Dark Green
This cool belt would be great cinched in at the waist of your favorite LBD, or holding up a floral full skirt.
Every woman needs a really great pair of high-waisted black skinny jeans in her wardrobe.
Band of Outsiders Coated Sleeveless Trench ($438)
This is the most warm-weather-friendly trench we’ve ever seen. Tie the belt snug around your waist for maximum, well, minimizing.
Maison Boinet Wide-Glittered Belt ($244)
Can you say: party belt?
Burberry Stretch Virgin Wool Pencil Skirt ($995)
The gorgeous color of this wool skirt will carry you through the fall.
Jenni Kayne Pencil Skirt ($345)
The mid-thigh horizontal lace detailing will make your waist look even tinier by comparison!
Lucy Paris Fishnet Pencil Skirt ($58)
The fishnet detailing on this skirt adds just the right amount of sex appeal.
Gucci Patent-Leather Waist Belt ($640)
We're in love with the oversized buckle on this classic style.
Mango High-Waist Short ($40)
If you don’t already have a great pair of high-waisted trouser shorts in your wardrobe, you need this pair.
Phillip Lim Rounded Folded Floral Skirt ($475)
The asymmetrical cut and print of this pretty skirt gives it great movement, which will envelop your waist and make it newly tiny.
Mango Hook-Fastening Belt ($30)
The vintage-inspired hook-and-clasp has us swooning.
Rick Owens Oversize-Neck Belted Shirtdress ($467)
We adore the utilitarian influences of this sheath dress—tie the belt tight at your waist and pair it with a classic pair of strappy sandals.
Silence + Noise Logan High-Rise Trouser Pant ($69)
We love both the cut and print of these classic tartan trousers. The ankle length is ultra-modern.
Gap Wide Leather Belt ($21)
A simple leather belt in a must-have cognac color: yes, please.
Tibi Embroidered Full Skirt ($769)
Never was there ever a skirt so pretty!
Keepsake Wallflower Belt ($50)
There's something equally utilitarian and badass about this all-black belt.
Various Projects Belted Dress ($475)
If you’re into trying something new, reach for a square-cut kimono dress and cinch it in with a belt at your waist. (Here’s where that extra fabric rule comes in.)
Lisa Marie Fernandez Genevieve Zip High-Waisted Bikini Set ($245)
Yes, even swimsuits can make your waist look small. Buy yourself a brand new bikini with a pair of truly high-waisted bottoms. Thank us later.
Helmut Lang Side Slit High-Waist Leather Skirt ($655)
The slightly-wider-than-pencil cut of this leather skirt give it just enough body to make your waist look impossibly small.