Most people think their natural waist is the mid-point of their torso, which isn’t true. If you have a high waist, your “natural waist” will be closer to your breast. If you have a low waist your “natural” waist will be closer to your hip.
My grandma Doonie has been a seamstress for over 70 years. Every time I go home to Minneapolis, she drops little pearls of fashion/garment/shopping related wisdom. On a recent trip home, Doonie gave me these simple instructions on finding your natural waist.
Steps to Finding Your Natural Waist
Finding your natural waist isn’t hard (if you know where to look). Grab a fabric tape measure and follow these steps:
Place a tape measure around your middle torso.
Bend your body to the side (either left or right — it doesn’t matter)
Feel for a crease/indentation/fold below your breast, but above the top of your hips. For those of us with love handles, you’re looking for the fold closest to the the top of your hips.
Move to the tape measure to where this fold occurs.
You’ve found it! This is your natural waist. While you’re there, take a look at the number on your tape measure. It might come in handy to know your waist size.
Here’s a video that gives you a bit more detail on how to measure your natural waist.
And a Word on Finding Your Lower Waist
Thanks to the wonderful (or not so wonderful) invention of low-waist jeans, you might wonder how to find your “lower waist.” Don’t fret, your lower waist is simply the point 2 or inches below your natural waist. The easiest way to find your lower waist is to put your pointer finger on your natural waist, then add your middle finger and index finger. The point where your index finger lands is your lower waist. Most jeans (sad, I know) hit at your lower waist, which is problematic if you have a love pouch.
99% of waist questions are in regards to jeans. For the most part, if you’ve got a pouchy middle, a larger backside, etc., stick with the higher rise jeans. If you have a smaller backside, flatter stomach, stick with the lower rise. We found this awesome infographic on jean rises from the site joy of clothes.
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.