Right, let’s get one thing straight. “Tall” is not a body-shape. The word “Tall” describes body length, and it actually means diddly-squat in terms of assessing where your curves are.
There are thousands of tall women, and they come in as many incarnations as women of average height. If you’re reading this blog post, I can be pretty certain that you’re tall. But what I don’t know is whether you’ve got big whammers, little boobs, a massive booty or a pancake-arse. (I’d jolly well love to know though, and you can tell me about it at the bottom of this blog post).
While it can be useful to look at advice in magazine “bodyshape” features about dressing a “Tall” figure (usually about how to balance out your height), it’s also important to consider the other things that make you YOU. So here are a selection of clothes for us girlies who are tall and…. something else…
Tall and Boyish
If you’ve got a straight up-and-down figure, then you can add curves with this season’s peplum shapes and waterfall jackets. Look for clothes that will add volume, but cinch them in at the waist to create a more hourglass figure. With your model-esque physique, you can really experiment with the trends, so don’t be afraid to try loud prints and off-the-wall designs. Skinny jeans will emphasise your enviable pins, and you can balance them out with a looser top. Use a big necklace to add interest and bulk to a small bust.
Your hero shops: Topshop’s Tall range for trendy styles, and quirky boutiques for something a little different.
- Tall Jacket, Topshop £55
- Necklace, Urban Outfitters £16
- Tall Jeans, Topshop £38
- Tall Dress, Next £25
- Tall Dress, Next £70
Tall and Top-Heavy
If you’re top-heavy, you’ve got broader shoulders than hips, and more than likely a big pair of boobs. On jackets, avoid structured tailoring and shoulder pads which will make you appear boxy, and look for details like pockets and interesting zips which will draw the eye towards your middle. Dark colours will soften your top half, while brights and prints can be used on trousers to draw attention to your slim legs. Over-sized clutch bags and chunky bangles will also draw the eye downwards, so opt for these rather than statement necklaces and bold earrings. Don’t strap down your chest with high-neck tops; go for (slightly!) more open necklines and drapey fabrics to draw the focus towards your fabulous cleavage and away from broad shoulders.
- Bangle, Miss Selfridge £12.50
- Tall Floral Jeans, Topshop £45
- Tall Biker Jacket, Topshop £55
- Bag, Miss Selfridge £28
- Tall Dress, Next £28
- Tall Dress, Long Tall Sally £75
Tall and Pear Shaped
Pear-shaped ladies have a narrow top-half and wider hips and bum. Make the most of your slim shoulders and décolletage with strappy tops and strapless dresses. Jackets with shoulder-pads or detail on the shoulders will broaden your top half and balance your silhouette beautifully, but choose styles that finish above the hip-line for a more flattering look. A flare at the bottom of your trousers will balance out your hips, and if you’re concious of your bigger half, wear darker colours on the bottom. A-line skirts and prom dress shapes will skim over your bigger bits and make you look super slender. Add a thin belt to show off your waist.
Your hero shops: Dorothy Perkins for ladylike dressing, and vintage shops for authentic prom dress styles.
- Tall Biker Jacket, Dorothy Perkins £38
- Tall Top, Topshop £26
- Tall Flared Jeans, Dorothy Perkins £15
- Tall Dress, Dorothy Perkins £32
- Belt, Miss Selfridge £12.50
- Tall Maxi Dress, Long Tall Sally £60
Tall and Hourglass
Hourglass girlies are considered to have the most desirable bodyshape, but it can be tricky sometimes to work the trends when you (shock horror) have got boobs AND a bum. Make the most of your delicious curves with classic tailoring, and nod to the trends with your choice of accessories and colour. Choose jackets and dresses with a nipped-in waist, or add a belt to show-off your shape. When choosing jeans, note the wash… a fading down the middle will have an optical illusion effect, and make the wider part of your leg appear slimmer.
- Tall Jacket, Next £35
- Bag, Urban Outfitters £48
- Tall Jeans, Topshop £38
- Tall Dotty Dress, Next £65
- Tall Pink Dress, Next £45
Tall and Plus-Size
If you fall into this category, then you might have had trouble finding long-length clothes in a big enough dress size. It’s very possible that you also identify with one of the categories above, so you could still find some of the previous advice useful. I hear from a lot of women who are Tall and plus-size, who say that there is no escaping the feeling of being ‘big’. So it’s really important that you choose items that will make you feel feminine. Take your time over your hair and make up (we women were born to be pampered — so don’t feel guilty!) and choose clothes that you LOVE… not ones designed to make you fade into the background. Go for soft fabrics that drape well, semi-fitted styles, and show some skin with a peek of cleavage. If you’re too scared to unleash your inner fashionista in your clothing choices, then go absolutely crazy with your accessories.
- Biker Jacket, Long Tall Sally (Up to a size 22)
- Clutch Bag, ASOS £40
- Jeans, Long Tall Sally £45 (Up to a size 24)
- Dress, Anna Scholz £229 (Up to a size 26)
- Dress, ASOS £140 (Up to a size 26)
So, as you all bleeding well know, we’re not just “Tall”. We also have body-hang-ups/super-fabulous assets that put us into sub-categories as well. And to further complicate things, you might — like me — identify slightly with two categories. For example, I’m quite broad shouldered (top-heavy) but my waist could do with a little more definition (boyish). It’s all about taking little bits of advice from here and there, knitting them together and embellishing with your personality to find your perfect style.
Which body camp do you fall into? Or perhaps you’ve got another body-hang up that needs addressing in a leggy way. Maybe you want large-size shoes that hide your cankles? Or your short legs and long torso have left you feeling stumped. Share share.
Most of us don’t fit the cookie-cutter exactly. And life would be pretty bloody dull if we did.