Where to Shop for Long-Waisted Tops
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 www.dressforsuccess.org 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:
- Target (duh)
- Old Navy (buy big, they shrink)
- H & M (unfortunately, no stores in South Carolina. But if you’re ever traveling and spot one, check it out)
- Gap (the “Favorite T” tends to be a good, long-waisted choice, and there’s almost always a couple colors on sale)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
Published March 6, 2009. Last updated April 23, 2017.