Permission To Wear Heels Granted!
For a kid whose pants were always too short, I didn’t end up being a ‘tall’ woman, not by industry standards anyway.
Now there’s a can of worms – what the heck are industry standards? Was that something that went awry during the Janis Joplin era? When I started at Ann Taylor at the age of 15, a size 8 was an 8, was an 8; if you catch my drift! I could drift within the mall from Ann Taylor, to Jordan Marsh to Filene’s and I would still be an 8! Granted, many of those stores are now gone, but did they really have to take the industry standards with them?
Height-wise, the average woman is 5’5, and tall women are usually considered to start at 5’9. Currently less than 5% of US women measure up to 5’9, and not all tall ladies are created equal. For me, it was only my legs that were tall and my torso was average. So as a consequence all of my pants were too short, trapping me in Geeksville! Mom simply stated, “You are lucky to have pants, roll them up and make them peddle pushers.” (Not helpful). On a side note, possibly because it was the Twiggy era, my skirts were never short enough! There was a lot of rolling in that category – rolling the waistbands up, once out of the house, and rolling them back down, once inside the house! Dad was a Marine and my household was full of strict policies and procedures. But I digress.
Back when I was struggling, tall options were not an option at all! Luckily that is not the case now with clothing for tall women being more accessible than ever with both in-store and online options.
Here are a few tall tips to help you tiptoe on trend:
Embrace your height – don’t downplay it! Be the powerful presence in the room. Don’t be tempted to dress quietly, in fact make the most of the inevitable glances and provide the wow factor!
Don’t fear heels as they add confidence and status to any outfit. Stop thinking about how your height makes others feel, and start loving the view!
Check out this client makeover – with just a few tweaks we brought her from dressing quietly to dressing confidently and stylishly!
Use Oversized Accessories:
- Shop for a larger handbag that is in proportion to your figure. The right bag can accentuate your assets – the wrong bag – well we all know that will accentuate the liabilities! If you are tall and thin, then buy rounded or slouchy.
- Shop for statement jewelry, something that is in proportion to your size. Think longer necklaces, chunky bangles, larger earrings. But don’t pile it on; one set does the trick. Plan earrings/bracelets, necklace/bracelets or earrings/necklace combos. For those of you with long arms, bracelets can pull double duty by filling the gap when you’re feeling like your sleeves are too short.
- Belts are a great addition to break up the long torso by creating a horizontal line, and will add color, texture and shine to your look.
- Don’t forget longer scarves that can be looped, tied, twisted or draped. Use your scarves as inspiration and connectors. Pull out a scarf in the morning and then create your outfit around that by pulling those colors out of the closet and seeing options present themselves.
Expose some skin by showing off your neckline, which is no doubt an asset. Wear your hair up and pop some dangle earrings. When shopping for tops, look for v-necks, interesting lapels, patterns and even ruffles to visually break the length of the torso. When wearing turtlenecks, always accent with a statement long necklace or beautiful scarf.
Think color and add a pop of red with a shoe or a belt, or a pop of turquoise in a statement necklace to highlight your face. Every outfit should have color, texture and shine. The use of color in your daily garb not only flatters your overall appearance, but it can influence your mood as well as the mood of others around you. The first thing that people notice about you is the color you are wearing! Work with strong blocks of colors to help define your body and break the vertical line.
Infuse one oversized item into your outfit such as an oversized sweater paired with a skinny jean, or a fitted jacket paired with wide leg trousers. But wear only one oversized item so you avoid looking overall, well, oversized. Your knits can have shawl collars, textured tweeds, chunky yarns, long silhouettes, short sweater jackets and styling details like zippers, leather buttons and grommets. The options are endless! The asymmetric sweater tunic is a perfect option for layering over slim pants or long pencil skirts. The asymmetric cut is ultra flattering for any figure, whether angled side-to-side or front-to-back. This silhouette ads fluid movement to your look, softening the lines.
Play the role of a minimalist by remembering your height is already a statement so don’t over do it by piling on lots of layers or accessories.
Buy a fabulous pair of jeans. Most designer jeans carry longer inseams and if they don’t have them on the sales floor, ask the staff to check to see if they are available online in longer lengths. Most often they will ship free if you are in the store and they don’t have the size you need. Be sure to ask at the register for free shipping, after all you did make the trek into the store, you shouldn’t have to pay extra just to get the product. Link here for my 4 Point Checklist To Great Fitting Pants. Although at your height you can wear many styles of trousers, you will look particularly good with trousers with a slight flare.
Create a nice silhouette. Although being tall can be a real plus when you are dressing, you may find it challenging to create a balanced look. You will want to give your silhouette more shape by introducing some fitted blazers that define the waist. A single breasted, low button placement is a flattering style on tall women. Double-breasted jackets can sometimes look too boxy because they create hard angles, so shop carefully within that category. Peplum jackets are flattering as long as they fall below the hipline. If you like to tuck in your blouses, combine them with a longer tailored jacket or blazer.
Try a maxi dress or maxi skirt! You will be the envy of the room as many women feel overwhelmed by anything floor-length.
Find stores that sell tall! You will be surprised how many stores have added tall sizes to their clothing lines. Here are some options by category:
If you’re shopping for…
Alice + Olivia
Jeans with inseams 32 +
7 For All Mankind
Calvin Klein Jeans
Earl Jean, Macy’s
NYDJ Not Your Daughters Jeans
Suits and Jackets:
Diane von Furstenberg
New York & Company
Tops and Sweaters:
Skirts and dresses that flatter a tall frame:
Long Elegant Legs
Long Tall Sally
Search by Inseam
Tall Girl Shop
Tall Womens Clothes.
Need your own style guide? www.ConfidenceIsAlwaysInStyle.com
In Need of Virtual Styling?
You are among the growing number of women who are virtually outsourcing their style. Updating your image, your wardrobe and finding your authentic style is a very personal journey and you shouldn’t be limited to your local resources. That goes for both stylists and stores! Link here to get this party started with a complimentary phone consult! Virtual Styling
Book a complimentary Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session with me. We’ll chat about your new style resolutions, your closet challenges, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!
Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist, professional speaker and author. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.
And of course, let’s keep the conversation going below. Comments are golden!