No, I’m certainly not referring to you gorgeous lot.
I’m merely having a teeny weeny little rant about retailers who claim to create items that are perfect for tall women and… quite frankly…. don’t. What many fashion designers/buyers incorrectly assume about their tall clients, is that their clothes simply need to be longer, and their shoes bigger.
I was recently flicking through a fashion catalogue when I found THIS page.
As lovely as some of the clothes in this catalogue are, the suggestion that an item of clothing could be “Designed for women under 5ft3 and over 5ft9” is a little bit nonsense really, isn’t it? I really do believe that if you’re going to deliver a range for tall women (or petite ones!) then you should do just that. Different heights come with very different size and style needs.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Alice and Emily of Long Tall Sally HQ, who took me through their A/W 2011/12 range. The girls told me that a great deal of research has gone into the sizing of their new jeans; not just in terms of leg length, but regarding the sizing of the pockets, the rise to the waist or hips, the length of the zip… important elements that contribute to our overall comfort and that many retailers sadly overlook.
Most stores aren’t quite so meticulous in their investigations. Take shoe shops; a lot of retailers — even those that do have the good sense to create shoes in sizes larger than an 8 — will merely increase every element of the shoe when making it in a larger size. Anyone ever noticed that the heel on the size 3 shoe is often a LOT smaller than the one on the size 9 in the same style? Which really makes very little sense, when you consider that most tall women want flat shoes or diddy heels. I’ve also noticed that I seem to get through shoes like I do pairs of tights… after a couple of wears mine are already tearing apart — largely because most “plus-size” shoes aren’t made with the correct amount of support at the back or sides, so that more often than not, (contrary to what Nancy Sinatra/ Jessica Simpson might tell you), my boots are NOT made for walking.
And it’s not the just sizing that’s all wrong in many ranges… it’s the style. Clothes that feature in a tall range should be those that flatter and make the most of a tall figure, not make you feel awkward and gawky.
Phew. Rant over. Although I do feel like I’ve drawn a little dark rain cloud over what is normally a super up-beat and celebratory blog. So let’s have a gander at the styles that are very flattering for tall women. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with (based on the advice of kind stylists I’ve spoken to/ trials and errors I’ve made myself). Would appreciate your thoughts on this one too…
CHUNKY ACCESSORIES I do love a bit of bling. And big accessories will really complement a tall frame. Longer necklaces will also break up the length of your long torso and add interest to an outfit.
STRUCTURE Tailored jackets with interesting angles/ tops with shoulder pads… these will break up the long line of your body and look sensational.
MAXI NO ONE looks as jaw-droppingly fabulous in a floor-skimming skirt as you do. Fact.
LAYERING is your best friend. Leggings and tights stop short dresses looking too obscene, and thin knits/ kaftans/ waistcoats/ shirts over long tees will add interest and soften your look.
DROP WAIST If you’re blessed with endless legs, then dresses/ trousers that are cut high on the waist can sometimes make your top half look tiny in comparison. Find dresses where the waist is cut lower, and make sure your tops fall a few inches below the waist-line of your jeans, to balance the look.
And don’t be nervous about wearing clothes that actually accentuate your height… skinny jeans, high heels and shorts might make your legs looks longer…. but they’ll also look BLEEDING fabulous. That’s a win-win situation right there my friends.
Have you got any style ideas that you think might help our lovely leggy community? Perhaps you’ve had problems finding clothes to fit… even in specialist Tall stores. I invite you to have your own little rant here. Although the next post will much more sugary and sweet, I promise. (And to all you retailers who are already doing a stellar job… and those who are at least trying to help us out… I really am very, VERY grateful. Big THANK YOU kisses).