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Where to Shop for Long-Waisted Tops

By Amalah

Dear Abby, (I mean Amy‚ ha!)

I have recently switched careers from high powered NYC Fundraising Consultant to the Director of Marketing for a small family business in South Carolina. My clients used to be Museums and Universities and Diseases (I mean the great people trying to cure them, of course) and I literally went from the boardroom to a fairly dirty warehouse and I do a lot of driving from one dirty warehouse to another. Woo Hoo!

So I donated my suits to and am happily wearing jeans and t-shirts to work every day. Yay jeans! I am lucky, I know and right now there is a woman somewhere in New York about to stab her assistant in the eyeball with a fork because her feet are killing her and her pantyhose have a run and her latte just stained her suit jacket but did she iron her Anne Klein blouse this morning, no she did not, but that is me falling down memory lane.

Whew! Here is my problem. I am loooooong waisted. There I said it. I have other flaws, obviously verbosity being one of them, but I can deal with those. I need advice on a fairly inexpensive T-Shirt brand that is long enough to not show off my gorgeous sexy midsection (by that I mean my flabby stomach and 2001 Baja vacation tramp stamp).



Quick. Hit every inexpensive-but-trendy casual-wear store you can think of. Long-waisted tops are still in style right now, but they’ve been in style for juuuuust long enough that I have visions of walking into Old Navy for a nice long baby-bulge-hiding henley and finding nothing but 80s-style half-shirts again. Seriously, visions! They keep me up at night.

I’m mostly torso myself, and now with the postpartum midline (and yeah, my own upper-hip Tattoo O’ Regret), I am always on the lookout for long, loooong shirts. And since said shirts will always have baby puke or toddler snot or “klutzy 30-something who can’t get through a single meal without spilling something on herself” stains on them, I also like them to be fairly inexpensive. Places I’ve had great luck finding longer layering basics (tanks, tees, henleys, sweaters) include:

  1. Target (duh)
  2. Old Navy (buy big, they shrink)
  3. H & M (unfortunately, no stores in South Carolina. But if you’re ever traveling and spot one, check it out)
  4. Gap (the “Favorite T” tends to be a good, long-waisted choice, and there’s almost always a couple colors on sale)
  5. Land’s End (not always super trendy or fitted, but honestly one of the only places where I can get a dang polo shirt that doesn’t hit two inches above my jeans)
  6. American Apparel makes some long, plain t-shirts, although they aren’t all exactly what I’d consider “inexpensive.” (Plus I really hate their creepy sexual advertising.) They are, of course, one of the few non-sweatshop options out there.
  7. Michael Stars if you ever do want to really splurge on a dressier tee, this manufacturer makes beautiful ones and are some of my absolute favorite tops. They’re available at Nordstrom and Anthropologie, but every once in awhile they show up at places like TJMaxx and Filene’s and Ross. Rifle through the racks there and you’re sure to be rewarded with a ton of long-waisted options from all kinds of designers and brands.


I imagine your hunt for t-shirts will get easier — I bet you can spot a long-waisted button-down shirt or suit jacket from outside the store, after years of always being on the lookout for them. And the same thing will happen with casual clothes.

You’ll approach the sale rack at J.Crew by eyeing the bottom hemlines, and oh! What’s that black shirt hanging three inches longer than everything else? Since having Noah and realizing that showing off my midsection was simply NOT AN OPTION, AT ALL, I’ve developed my own sixth sense about what tops will cover (and not be too form-fitting to highlight the pooch) and what won’t. You will too.

But like I said, get out there while the getting is good, before the Fashion Gods take all the long shirt options away from us and leave us with no choice but to buy Mom Jeans with 11-inch zippers just to cover ourselves in at least one direction.

Don’t forget to visit Amalah’s must-read weekly Pregnancy Calendar.


About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Mary

    March 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I have a long torso too and just discovered the Old Navy and Gap tall sizes. They carry them in shirts and it’s awesome! The shoulder width is a little wider, the arm length is a little longer (good for long sleeve stuff when you have long arms too), and the length of the shirt is longer. All around better!

  • Katie

    March 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Land’s End just introduced a new “modern” fit–which is fitted and long waisted and wonderful! I also (hanging head in shame) am wearing a pair of Land’s End “premium denim” jeans. They’re boot cut, have a non-mom rise, fully cover my butt, and leave no muffin top! I had several honest friends vet them to confirm that despite the brand, they’re not mom jeans. So check out Land’s End!
    But I still tell myself that I only get the catalogs for the kids. And the majority of my wardrobe totally comes from the anthropologie and jcrew catalogs that also arrive. Just let me have my little delusion. At least I’m still on the mailing lists.

  • NGS

    March 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I have to politely disagree with your advice here Amy. I have a long torso and shirts from Old Navy, Target, and H&M are regularly just tooooooo short. If I buy them long enough, they bag around my shoulders and bust. The Gap perfect tee is perfect until you wash it (even air drying it!). If I buy it a size larger, it will never fit. American Apparel will do, but, as you point out, not inexpensively. Eeek!! I don’t know the answer as most of my shirts are shorter than they should be, but I don’t think these stores will be the answer for the long-waisted.

  • Beth

    March 6, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Gap does (or did) have ‘tall’ shirts for people who are ‘tall’ (duh) or at least like their shirts longer. I got a few before becoming pregnant and was able to wear them through the entire pregnancy.

  • Meghan

    March 6, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Two words: OLD NAVY.

    Their “Perfect Tee” is available in tall sizes, which truly makes it a perfect tee in my opinion.

    Their Long Layering Tank” is available in tall as well.

    Even better: Both of the above mentioned shirts are only $5 each at the moment.

  • Heidi

    March 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Three Dots (I usually find them on run nice and long, in the torso and in the sleevies. Yay.

  • anne

    March 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Another great suggestion is Old Navy or Gap online and selecting the “tall” size. The width is the same, but you get an even longer length! Score!!

  • Roberta

    March 7, 2009 at 11:53 am

    J.Crew t-shirts are also cut long in the torso. Look for the regular old t-shirts in the crew neck or v-neck. I bought a couple of these before I was pregnant, and didn’t wear them much because, well, they were too long. During pregnancy, I wore them all the time, and was able to wear them through about month 7. Now, with big ol’ milk cow boobs and post-baby pooch, I still wear these t-shirts all the time. If you’re near an outlet, you can find them cheap. They also have a lot of online sales where you can find them cheap.

  • Meri

    March 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Eddie Bauer sells Tall tees online, with a length of 26″, and you can usually Google for a 20% discount code. I like the Favorite Short-Sleeve V-Neck Tee.

  • Jennifer

    March 7, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I like the t-shirts from Shade Clothing
    They are a bit pricey but hold up nicely. They’ve also branched out to swimwear and other items. Oh, and they make maternity wear.
    They do great sales and have some different discount programs. Mine have held up for years!

  • caleal

    March 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I agree with the Old Navy recommendation wholeheartedly. They have longer lengths- particularly in their ribbed tank tops- which are perfect for the long-waisted.

  • JennyM

    March 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Another long-waister here — I have a drawer full of J. Crew basic ribbed tanks (they go on sale a lot and I buy ’em in whole rainbow of colors — whatever’s on sale!) because they tend to be long and I can wear them layered under t-shirts and sweaters that aren’t as long as I’d like…

  • Erin

    March 9, 2009 at 10:08 am

    About 50% of my old navy shirts shrink (even with air drying), so I’ve found them to be hit or miss (but really, when I only paid $5 for it, I can’t complain that much!). I’m about 6 months along and very long waisted, and my new favorite undershirt are men’s tank top undershirts. The bust coverage isn’t enough to wear without something over them, but the length (oh the length!) is nice and long to cover my expanding belly and the panels on maternity pants. Plus, the pack of black/grey at target was only $9 and there has been no shrinkage (even with drying).

  • Jess

    March 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I am 5’11” with incredibly long arms and while I don’t proportionately have a long torso (i’m mostly leg…so jeans are hard to find) I can say that I never have luck with anything from the “tall” collection of gap or old navy. They mean well but by “tall” they mean 5’9″ max. I have some tall clothes from J. Crew and love them. Good quality and long in the arms and torso. I also discovered Rhuel. Which is (hangs head in shame) owned by Abercrombie. They are geared towards post college men and women and they’re clothes have REALLY long arms and torsos. Not to mention they size their jeans like men’s size (waist by inseem). Just to add a few extra cents to the convo.

  • Isabel

    March 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I’m here to say go straight to and buy their basic cami’s. But don’t pay full price. Check out their sale page. I wear a Shade shirt everyday and don’t pay more then $5 for them!!

  • beth

    March 11, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I looove JCrew tees, they’re long enough and they do well maintaining they’re shape and color. The other thing I ALWAYS do is layer. I buy supa dupa cheap cami-tanks and wear them under everything. Not only do they give you exra coverage, they help to smooth bra lines too.
    And don’t tell me SC is too hot for that… I live in Charleston!

  • Jayme

    March 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I’m insanely tall as well, and I’ve tried just about every T-shirt brand out there. A few months ago while trolling Nordstrom rack, I discovered the most amazing label… Zella! Organic cotton, loooong, shapely fit. I even bought a hoodie that is cut slim and covers my ass. It’s a little on the pricier side, but totally worth it.

  • Chelsea

    May 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    The trick is not only to air-dry them, but to stretch them length-wise slightly after they come out of the wash, then let them air-dry. I even managed to fix some of my older shirts that had shrunk from the dryer by doing this!

  • Pats

    July 27, 2015 at 11:59 am

    My waist is 2″ below the norm. Guess t-shirts are usually long enough for me. The only place I can buy fitted jackets is Zara – they are as close as I can find. Gap vests are good, but buy a size larger as they will shrink a bit. Dressess with a waist seam are impossible, but Wallis’s maxi dresses in tshirt material are great – I cut off the belt loops and put the elasticated belt that comes with the dress on my waist. Thanks to all of you for the tips!