The Big Tall Body-Shape Post

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 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.

Your hero shops: Long Tall Sally for feminine necklines and Miss Selfridge for killer bangles.


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 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.

Your hero shops: Next’s Tall range for beautifully tailored pieces, and Urban Outfitters for on-trend bags and jewellery.

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.

Your hero shops: ASOS Curve and Anna Scholz will tell you how tall their models are. Find the ones who are 5’11 (like the sexpot below) and stalk like mad!

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.

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25 Responses to The Big Tall Body-Shape Post

  1. I don’t quite think I fit into any of these to be honest! I am generally s.o.l. clothes shopping nowadays!

  2. Oh dear, that’s not a good start, he he! I’ve got your email by the way Laura… and your outfit is fab! Just got back from holiday to Corrnwall so I will reply shortly! xx

    • That’s fine, thanks for replying at all! And oh no, I’m just a very odd size, still growing and all! I do love this post though, so true! Part of the reason I have such a hard time shopping, I’m no cookie cutter size at 6’4″! xx

  3. Thanks for this post! I couldn’t agree more. There is no one “tall size”. We like “normal” women come in all shapes and sizes. I also love how you said that it is about taking little bits of advice from here and there. It should ultimately what you like and what works for you. I am bottom heavy with a narrow waist and I love jackets with shoulder detail but I also love skinny jeans. It’s just my style and what I like.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  4. I’m a boyish pear, which is quite the sartorial adventure… But I couldn’t agree more about finding your own style by finding the bits that work for you. Like Elayna I mix and match, I love my skinny jeans too but I like tailored stuff on my top half because it gives me more shape. I can also own up to feeling like I have to be super feminine all the time to counteract being “big” (having spent my formative years probably being mistaken for a boy in the back row of school photos!!) Those suggestions are all so fab I want to be all of the shapes now please. X

  5. Long in Paris

    I’m tall and boyish – and to my surprise (not being much of a fashionista, really) already doing a lot of the things you say are good for my shape: skinny trousers, loose tops and big necklaces are all very much part of my style! Loved this article; found it really interesting and well documented.

  6. I’m pretty much boyish and really thin. Your advice is good. I also layer the tops, which also works as it is never very warm here in København. Really large jewelry – I even link necklaces together and layer them – add a bit of interest. Big belts and I play with hardware on the belt. And really big handbags too:).

    And there are hats – I love hats and use them to pull attention up. And speaking of drawing attention, I moved to a new haircut in December that works much better with my current style. I consulted with a very experienced hair dresser for what seemed like way too much money at first, but it was completely worth it!

    • Yes! I second spending money on your hair. (Although I’ve never found one who quite ‘gets’ my issue… maybe I need to find a tall hairdresser!) I think it’s crazy to spend a small fortune on a dress for a special occasion when you’ll maybe wear it once, but baulk at a £40 haircut… you wear your hair every day! Invest in it! x

  7. I am an odd pear – hips are definitely wide, but waist is not particularily defined. And despite my shape being quite feminine, I actually prefer an androgynous style. Horizontal stripes (wherever you need them) tend to do a lot to balance a shape. I have also found it helpful to take photos of questionable outfits to see whether or not they actually work. Somehow everything becomes clearer on a photo. And style stalking is an excellent advice! Even if you do not agree with the choices of someone with a similar body shape, there is still a lot to learn from it. At least what NOT to wear. 🙂

    Still – the only advice I have – walk tall! It’ll make any outfit better looking.

  8. Thanks for another lovely post! I’m somewhere between all of them I think, so am picking up on a lot! broad hips (including backside), defined waist, not very busty so a bit boyish…
    With my short haircut I tend to go for statement earrings to make things more feminine instead of bangles and necklaces. When it comes to clothes, always emphasizing my long legs: tight jeans, skirts, and dresses!
    Still find myself clueless quite often when it comes to what to wear, but that might not be a exclusive Tall thing 😛

    • allthetallthings

      LOVE that you have the confidence for a short hair cut Steph. I’ve always fancied a pixie crop myself, but I don’t quite have the killer bone structure to pull it off unfortunately! xxx

  9. Just discovered your blog and loving it! I’m a weird shape, I need three different sizes – my boobs are a 14, waist 12 and hips 10. I don’t really have a defined waist, my shoulders are broad and my legs are very long in proportion to my height – I’m 6ft tall with an inside leg of 36″. At least there is a bit more choice for us tall ladies now, as a teenager in the early 1980s I had to make a lot of my clothes!

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  15. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “Love is made in heaven and consummated on earth.” by John Lyly.

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  17. I’m a sort of plus size pear shape, that’s 6’2 and feeling like a giant marshmallow with legs, this cold weather usually means I’m 99% of the time freezing so layers usually means loss of waist!

    So, 6’2, Chunky thighs at a 20, length 38″, size 16 and a 12/14 waist! All clothing wont stay up straight I have no shoulders!

    I mostly suit the 50s dress look, but I’m finding more and more often – since Dorothy Perkins closed their in shop Tall Range, there is ABSOLUTELY nothing that suits! I’m only 23, everything in LTS looks like it’s for an older generation. I’m totally disgruntled by clothing at the moment, doesnt help I cant bring myself to pay more than £30 for any item, and that’s a push for my budget.

    *big ol’ sadface*

    However it’s nice to find something upbeat to read :).

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