I’m 6ft tall and everything about me is long – arms, legs, neck, even my feet. When you’re tall literally everyone you meet will tell you you’re “lucky to be model height”. Apparently, we can “wear anything” and yes, whilst I understand that thinking to an extent (I admit it, clothes do sit well on a tall frame), it doesn’t mean that dressing my frame (or shopping for it), comes without challenges. I’m NOT a model, and whilst I am slender (size 10/12), I certainly can’t chuck anything on and look good.
As someone who loves fashion, I’ve learnt (over time, and not without some major wardrobe clangers) what suits me, or actually, more importantly, what I like and feel good in. Like Sarah, I have now come to rely on a ‘uniform’ of sorts. More on that shortly. But first, a disclaimer…..
I have to hold my (big) hands up and say I’ve never purchased anything from a dedicated tall girls retail store. I’m not sure why, I suppose they just have never appealed to me. Just wanted to share that, as whilst I’m sure they cater brilliantly for us 6 footers, I don’t have any experience of their clothing to share.
So, onto my tall girl uniform…
I spend a huge majority of my time in jeans. I love Zara for denim – I recently purchased these. They are super long and are a wide leg style and so with a tall frame I find I can carry them off without looking swamped. I pair them with a more fitted top half (not tight) to balance out the look – a pretty blouse tucked in, or a vintage tee – so my waist is visible, and there’s a break in the overall silhouette.
I also buy denim from Topshop as they offer leg lengths and a ‘tall’ dept. I regularly buy their 34inch jeans or their Tall dept 36in Leg. I like their Editor and straight leg/raw hem ranges. I also suppose it’s lucky that I like a cropped jean. I love a bare ankle on show – so often if a style is meant to be full length, it’s cropped on me and that suits me just fine!
Designer brands tend to be best for trousers/jeans in that most cut a longer length as standard. I live and die in a few pairs of Isabel Marant trousers from from about 4 years ago, and I also love her ‘paper bag’ waist denim. Like the Zara jeans, they are oversized, but on us 6-footers, I find they work brilliantly. This style does showcase your legs and their length – so if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, maybe leave this style to one side.
I like to ‘soften’ my height by pairing denim with blouses with feminine details/prints and a light palette. Lots of pretty collars (we can carry off the large collar trend without looking like we’re being eaten by one), interesting fabrics and design details (ruffles, scalloping, smocking, peplum etc). And then a trusty Breton is often pulled out for days when I’m just not sure what to wear.
I buy full length/maxi dresses and wear them as midi dresses. It’s my preferred dress length anyway, as again I think a flash of ankle gives some proportion and context to my height (I find in scraping on the floor maxi length I look like I could be on stilts under there!).
I also buy (certain styles of) mini dresses and wear them as longer length tunic style tops over jeans (or denim cutoffs in summer). This recent purchase being a case in point. I adore the Miu Miu-esque collar, and the fluted/ruffled hem adds interest/distracts from my boyish up and down frame. Paired with denim the overall look is simple but (hopefully) chic.
I also look for other design details on dresses that throw the eye away from the straight up and down; be that a peplum base on a midi dress, some kind of waist detail. Or dresses that are loose in shape that are belted or I can add a belt to. This means I can cinch in the waist and create some definition.
As with blouses I look for simple, pretty dresses but nothing too puffy/oversized, otherwise I end up feeling like Grayson Perry (not necessarily a bad thing, but not exactly the look I’m going for). So Broderie Anglaise, ditsy flower prints, lovely necklines or back details etc. And although I think tall girls can carry off bold prints and love them on others, I generally avoid them – preferring a more subtle look for myself.
I often add a simple shacket over a dress too and cinch with a belt over both items. Again, it just gives me some shape and breaks up the silhouette.
In winter I can basically be found in men’s cashmere sweaters (Uniqlo/M&S) – I like the looser fit and the sizing suits my longer arms. I then pair with one of my blouses with a pretty/oversized collar (this is a current favoutite ), or I throw a sweater with a pretty detail over one of my longer dresses so it looks like a skirt and jumper combo. Alternatively, I add one of my Alex Gore Browne Bows to a jumper or cardi for a unique addition that feels feminine and fun.
In the main it’s just a dressier version of my day uniform (denim in winter/ dresses in summer). I add a small heel (I can mostly be found in some variation of a flat or my trusty Comme de Garcon Converse in the day) and just pair denim with a top and a tux jacket or blazer (the sleeves pushed up for a nonchalant/informal look – a style tip picked up from fellow tall girl Jenna Lyons in her J. Crew days).
In summer I still wear day time dresses out in the eve; just with a blazer or denim jacket over my shoulders and some kind of open toe heel.
I then add a swipe of lippy, grab a basket clutch and feel good to go.