Mary, great question and your instincts are right! It is an easier style option for women with short torsos to stay away from belts. They do shorten the torso even further, and can make you look all boob and leg – not ideal. I find the exception to this rule is if a short-torso woman is wearing a dress or tunic she can usually pull off a skinny waist belt with either of those pieces. (You want to choose a skinny belt to match the proportions of your torso, rather than going with the proportions of your height as you usually would.)
However, as an hourglass, you do not need to use a belt to define your torso. You can use clothing shapes to create definition, with no other work for you. I tend to find women with short torsos also have high waists. If this is the case for you an empire waist shirt or dress will work nicely (this is a garment that has a high waist definition right under the breasts and then flows out).
A shirt with any definition or details under the bust will also work very well for you. (The eye will see your torso as being longer because it appears to start higher.)
If you feel comfortable in all over figure definition, you will definitely show off your small waist by choosing body conscious fabrics. For an hourglass like you I would suggest a form-fitting fabric with movement, like jersey. A dress will always make a short torso appear longer (and it will also show off your shapely legs!)
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