What to Wear and Where to Shop as a Tall Woman

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It would be interesting if you had some things about what to do when you are NOT petite or “regular” but are a*TALL Woman* and *long limbed*.

For example, you had a blog post recently about getting things tailored that was all about how to make things smaller. You didn’t have anything about what to do when things are too short or undersized.

What about when your pants don’t have any hem to let down? What about when “long sleeves” are an inch above your wrist bones. What about bangle bracelets that are so small you can’t even get them over 4 fingers much less your whole hand? Shoes above a certain size and in half sizes – hah – forget about it? What about when and if you can find something in tall or long you have to pay so much more for it – when it exists?

In my younger days I towered over most women, but I’m not alone these days. Lots of younger women are even taller than me!

I’m a tall, long limbed, short torso, big boned, big busted, curvy X and I hate shopping with a passion just because the world thinks women only come in short and “regular”.

thanks and btw I do like your blog. 🙂

Michele

24 Places for Tall Women to Shop and 7 Style Tips To Help You Look Fabulous

Being out of the ‘average’ whether shorter or taller can be tricky – particularly when looking for clothes that fit.    Shopping is a frustrating exercise for many.  So how to deal with the issues of being a tall girl?   There are way more online options that in store and not all retailers are in that super expensive basket (in fact I’ve linked below to a bunch of retailers who have tall options available).

7 Style Tips for Tall Women

Style tips for tall women

 

1. Pant Length Particulars

Pant length – options are – purchase from a retailer who specialises in tall fittings.  Add a false hem to your trousers. Add a cuff in an alternate colour or fabric if you can’t find a fabric that is the same – this will enable you to add extra length to the hem.  Alternatively, if your pants are too short, make it look intentional by rolling/cuffing.

2. Sleeve Length Matters

Sleeve length – Add a false cuff to a woven shirt or turn your long sleeve tops into 3/4 sleeve by pushing them up.  Do try lots of brands on – some regular sizes have really long sleeves!  With jackets that have too short a sleeve, roll them up for a more casual look (and it makes them look shorter intentionally, rather than that you just can’t find something that fits).

3. Shoes and Feet

Shoes – the only option is to stalk the sales of the larger sized shoe retailers.  And high heels will make your feet look shorter.   But wear great shoes.  More people will look at your feet than at the average woman’s as when they realise your height they will look down and then scan your body!  Make your shoes a featuretall girl accessories

4. Make it Yourself

Learn to sew (or find a great tailor/dressmaker or even look at marketplaces like Etsy where you can have garments made for you) – make it yourself – that way you have the opportunity to make it fit right from the start.

5. Accessory Choice

Accessorise with scale – tiny or delicate pieces will get lost on you.  Look for larger accessories to balance and harmonise with your naturally larger scale.

6. Pick Your Patterns

Avoid tiny patterns – instead go for medium or larger scale patterns.  A dense pattern is more slimming, a more sparse pattern will create additional curves.  Pick the one that suits you best.

7. Belt Up

Break up your body with a belt – if you have a longer body, then break up the expanse with a belt.  Adding a horizontal line or two will help balance your shape.

24 Places to Shop if You’re a Tall Woman

Shopping Options for Tall Girls Include:

  1. Boohoo Tall
  2. Topshop Tall (they even do maternity tall!)
  3. Asos Tall
  4. Banana Republic Tall
  5. JCrew Tall
  6. Gap Tall
  7. Old Navy Tall
  8. Ann Taylor Tall
  9. Loft Tall
  10. Tall at Boden
  11. Height Goddess
  12. New Look Tall
  13. Dorothy Perkins Tall
  14. MissGuided Tall
  15. Long Tall Sally sells clothes and shoes
  16. Zappos has a range of shoes up to size 20
  17. Big on shoes
  18. The Shoe Garden
  19. Sole Searching
  20. Angels Shoes
  21. Shoes of Prey – design your own styles and get what you want
  22. Fancy Shoeland
  23. Katie Long Shoes
  24. After 8 Shoes
  25. Alloy Apparel– tall clothing, jeans and tops from 32″ to 39″ inseam  – also includes a “curvy” shop for those 5’8″ and under

7 steps to style solve the style puzzle

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I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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25 Comments

  • Good post. I’m 5 ft 11/180cm and one thing I would add is that often tops are too short. Several years ago I had the revelation that you can wear a tank top or cami underneath a too-short top to “cover the gap”. Not a favourite look anymore, but sometimes useful – and less glaring if you are wearing all black for example. I do struggle with finding trousers locally. My best best is usually Country Road, although their lengths are variable. Shoe-wise, local (Melb) brand Bared (Armadale but also online) is brilliant – they go up to a size 32 I think, and their shoes are both comfortable and stylish. I even know small-foot people who shop there!

    I must add that I HATE the new trend for cropped trousers – surely anyone like me who has grown up tall and struggled to find trousers in the past does not want to look like they are wearing knickerbockers!

    • It’s also lucky that the longer top under cropped is a current fashion trend. I Ojay always did long tops (they are pretty much only online now but you can have a look) as standard.

  • I’m 5’10” with a very long torso and an “H” shape, and built on a larger scale than most women. Almost every single “regular-sized” top is too short, and I also need a 34 inseam in pants. I’ve had good luck with the tall range at Lands’ End and J. Jill (acceptable quality) and Old Navy (ok to cheap quality). My saving grace has really been my ability to sew. I now make most of my own dresses and tops. I think sewing is even more important for tall folks than for petite, even though altering RTW clothes will almost always make them look better for everyone. But for us larger folks, you can’t add fabric that wasn’t there to begin with, so it’s much easier to just make your own from the start – at least for me it is!

  • Wow! Thanks, Imogen! Many of those stores you linked are new to me. I’ve relied mostly on Gap and New York and Company for tall pants/trousers. Unfortunately, they rarely have jackets or blazers that match for suiting.

    Gervy, my sentiments exactly: cropped pants/trousers make me cringe.

    • Glad to be introducing you to some new avenues to find clothes that fit. Pants are hard to fit for every woman, no matter her height too! So don’t give up.

  • Good post!

    I’m new to your blog, 181 cms and, like Michele who wrote to you, have a short torso and long legs. Finding trousers to fit is next to impossible, and jeans are a nightmare! I’ve given up trying to find shirts that fit and are womens (sometimes I have luck finding business shirts in the “slim fit” menswear stores, so give that a go – the buttons are back to front but you really can’t tell with a placket shirt), and instead opt for 3/4 sleeves, which at least look like they’re *meant* to be short!

    Re the shoe issue: Being ahead of the season can help a lot. I shop for summer shoes weeks before most people do, and winter shoes are the same – I start looking here in New Zealand in February for winter, and ask sales people on a regular basis when they’re going to get their new stock in. Some even know me and let me know when the large sizes come in 🙂 For sneakers and hiking boots (size 11), I’ve just given up completely, and shop in the men’s department.

    When I buy from overseas, I buy from America, and holidays to America have been really worthwhile. For anyone who is a larger scale (either upwards, outwards, or both), it’s worth going with an empty suitcase – or two!). Lane Bryant does larger sizes as well as talls, and I’ve even found designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren to do much larger / taller sizes than I can find in NZ and Australia. Closer to home, City Chic’s dresses seem to come in longer lengths, and their sizes run from an Aussie / NZ 1416 through to much larger, so most taller women will be catered for, unless you’re very slim. And, as noted, things are much easier to take in than out!

    Don’t bother with Asia at all – tall women won’t find anything – and Europe can be hard.

    I do agree that tall women are hugely under-catered for. I find it hard to look good where here in Dunedin, a town of 130,000 people I literally cannot find a single pair of trousers that is long enough, or even one pair of sandals in summer unless I’m lucky. Last year I actually managed to find a pair of black ballet flats that fit, and I was outrageously happy! *sigh* It shouldn’t have to be this hard…

    Like Michele, I’m finding your blog fantastic and useful, and t, so thankyou, and thanks for taking note of we tall women! We DO exist! We’re an increasingly large segment of the population and women are getting taller generation by generation, but finding clothing to fit seems harder than ever for us, despite there being more of us. Michele, you’re not alone! 🙂

    Lee in New Zealand.

    • Fortunatley there are more and more online options. But I know it’s tricky to find well fitting clothes if you are outside the average – particulary in a small city.

  • Eddie Bauer and LL Bean in the US have tall clothing in their catalogs. LL Bean even has a medium tall range for pants for those of us who are a ‘little tall’. 😀

  • Thank you. And I love your blog.
    I am 180cm, leggy, busty, size 43 feet. I have a short torso and find that often ‘tall’ size pants have a too-tall rise. Infuriating. I second the frustration with this current cropped pant nonsense. I have been brought to tears attempting to shop so so many times. I now avoid the shops and am trying to learn to sew. I’m hoping to attempt to take in the inner thigh/crotch seam to lower the rise (and increase the leg length) on some jeans.
    I often feel I have to buy the shoes first and build outfits from there – which seems backwards to the concept of accesorising.
    I’d like to add Willowshoes.co.nz uncommonground.com.au and frankie4.com.au all go up to size US 13. And http://www.tallmaternitystore.co.uk do tall and tall plus maternity (found them at 32weeks with my final baby!!).

  • Thank you for this article. There are so many articles and shops that help petite women, but it seems we tall gals are expected to just go around looking like all our clothes shrunk in the wash! That list of tall retailers is wonderful! Eddie Bauer also has some nice-quality, affordable tall basics (tee shirts, sweaters, coats, jeans). I have found that the men’s section is sometimes an option, especially if you can tailor it in yourself or have it professionally done. I was so happy when I discovered men’s socks!

  • Thanks Imogen, but adding false cuffs? This is what we’ve been putting up with since we were children. We don’t want to do this any more! Pushing up sleeves so they look meant – again a lifelong necessity – and sometimes it gets cold! You can’t add cuffs to jumpers, well not without it looking like your Granny did it for you because the sleeves were TOO SHORT!
    Having got that off my inconveniently sized chest (30EE), I would like to offer up Bettina Liano jeans to my fellow over-stretched lasses. They are deliciously long! The first time I’ve ever had that rumpled at the ankle thing. Brilliant!
    They are not cheap, but they come up on eBay regularly for a fraction of the price. Just make sure you check the inside leg measurement with the seller – they’ve often been shortened.
    Sorry about the rant Imogen. I do enjoy your blog but this piece just brought back horrible childhood memories of Mum saying, ‘Never mind, we’ll just put a little decorative cuff on it’, and me in tears.

    • Hi Mags, The cuff doesn’t have to be overly decorative. It’s just adding an extension to the sleeve. The choice is, find suppliers (which I listed) that makes stuff longer, or add some extra fabric. Petites are always tired of always having to shorten everything. It’s just the way it is. Good to know that Bettina Liano makes longer Jeans. Saba is also often a longer cut too.

  • Even I, vertically challenged as I am, recognize these as great suggestions. I have a few female friends who are supermodel height; all of them are tall and thin, so they own many pairs of men’s jeans.

  • Thanks Imogen for the article. At 5ft 9.5 I have often had trouble finding clothes that fit. BUT the maxi skirts from Birdsnest ARE maxi! As a size 10 shoe it used to be impossible to find a fashionable shoe to fit, but Diana Ferrari have always been a good place to get shoes for the longer foot.

  • I shop at Lands end, being 186 cm tall and a size 18 US I find they are well fitted and really worth being called ‘tall’. Dresses fit perfectly, with the waist at the right place and shirts and cardis have long sleeves. They have less tall clothes in the UK but still some, and the US branch delivers worldwide.

  • This is gold! I am 177 cm tall and have never find any post about it on fashion blogs… all my friends are short so they don’t relate/understand how hard it can be to find clothes that fits you properly… 🙂 Loved the article.

  • As a large and tall women, I found these tips extremely helpful. Even though they’re not my preferred style, I’ve learned to love bigger accessory pieces that you wrote about. This is especially true because I have bigger breasts so, as you said, smaller accessories are just not an option for me.
    Also, in the future, I’ll definitely incorporate your tip about larger patterns as well.

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