10 Commandments for Ladies Who Are Tall AF
by Liz Gilbert
Okay, you're over 5'10''. Me too. Welcome to the Glamazon club. You need clothes that fit. But before losing yourself in the flat shoe section or skewing off into Petites, let me share some holy wisdom from the Tall Girl Bible. Here are Ten Commandments for Tall Girls.
1.) Tattoo SIZE TALL on the inside of your brain.
Size Tall clothes will always help you. Most clothes are designed for ladies who need to stand on their toes at concerts. We are big. We look down at the stage. We need clothes that enhance our fab features: you don't want to feel like Sasquatch in the dressing room. To find the holy grail of tall attire, know your measurements. For example, if you have jeans that say 36/32, the first is your waist length, the second your leg length. The second number is muy importante. IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE OVER 34. Anything less is going to look like a Capri pant.
2.) Cuff your pants.
Okay, so maybe you're just learning about inseams now and you already have three pairs of jeans that aren't sized correctly! Or better yet, you have a pair of fave pants that make your butt look J-LO insured. They're vegan-pleather leopard skin and they give you LIFE. But they're too short! No need to do the kicks, Rockette. With fab pants that don't have the correct inseam, cuff the bottoms and Voila! Throw on a wedge, boot or heel and your average-sized pants now feel custom made for long legs. Shazam!
3.) Longline blazers and cover-ups WERK.
A longline blazer or cover-up can complete any outfit, and are great for layering. If your legs are longer than your torso, try a longline top over fitted pants. With blazers, embrace a structured fit that accentuates your waist. Have a rack of three to four go-to cover-ups that you can throw over any tee or camisole. Mix and match with sheer, satin, color and bold prints. A few of these puppies will triple your outfit variations and expand the size of your wardrobe.
4. ) List your "safe" stores.
Dorothy Perkins. Long Tall Sally. Banana Republic. Top Shop. Net-a-Porter. Paige. These are your havens and safe houses. Why? These stores have entire sections that are Tall-Gal-Friendly. These shops tailor their clothes for your legs. If you go to Urban Outfitters, H&M and Reformation you might find yourself feeling like a long-necked swan in a store for ducklings. Blacklist stores that don't have Size Tall. Whitelist stores that are fans. Keep a list of your safe stores and don't stray off-path! The Petites-Only sections will get you!
5. ) High heels, please.
Flats are the drainage basins of mountain ranges. They don't belong on your feet, especially if you're a mighty mountain of a woman! You are not a twiggy-ballerina. You are not a coquette. You are Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and you take up space. Know your power, and embrace it. Don't play smaller than you are! Wear heels! Heels look amaze on long legs, and will prevent you from slouching.
6. ) Have your tailor on speed-dial.
Every French Fashionista knows the difference between Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter. Prêt-à-Porter (Made to Wear) is high quality, factory made fashion. Haute Couture piece is made to measure for a single client by their atelier according to measurements and fittings. Clothes hang and fit perfectly when they are custom made. How can you achieve this on a budget? A TAILOR. A good tailor is every tall girl's bestie. Learn tailoring vocab so you can communicate what you want. You may need to let a dress out, or alter the hemming or taper of pants. Find a tailor, and you can make your closet bespoke.
7. ) Wear Maxi dresses in the summer.
Headed to the cote d'azur for a summer spree? Roll up a few Maxi dresses, a longline blazer and a big hat, and you're Riviera-ready. A maxi dress is a floor or ankle length informal dress. Maxi dresses are formfitting at the top and loose flowing at the bottom, cut to flow over the body. They are usually made out of cotton or polyester and come in a variety of necklines, colors and patterns. They are a godsend for lovely, long-legged ladies. Caveat emptor: like white pants, they're not to be worn after Labor Day!
8. ) Wear skinny jeans (or leggings!), anytime.
The high-rise skinny jean accentuates long leg length and also highlights the waist. Skinny jeans work all day, all night, and in any season. If you become bored with wearing jeans, you can achieve the same look with leggings. With the explosion of "athleisure," and brands like Lulu and Kate Hudson's Fabletics, tall ladies can accentuate their legs with size-long leggings.
9. ) Yay skirts!
Skirts are just great. Pencil, mini, flair- you name it, it will work! When you're tall, skirts that hit at the waist are especially flattering. Avoid low-rise skirts that graze the hip bones. Calf-skimming midi-skirts aren't always made to fit shorter legs, but midi skirts look great on taller frames. Wear a high-waisted midi with a cropped or tucked-in T-shirt for the weekend or pair it with a tucked-in blouse at the office.
10. ) Avoid the dryer like death.
For tall poppies, air-drying is best. Dryers will shrink your clothes. Don't use them. For cotton dresses or wool, ALWAYS hang or leave flat to dry. An old-fashioned clothesline works wonders. Polyester and other materials (satin, silk etc.) are better when they air-dry anyway. Preserve your clothes and your wardrobe by avoiding tumble dry.