Sunday, April 10, 2011

FASHION FIX: Dressing a tall figure

None of us is perfect. My friends and I spend hours over a bottle of wine fantasising about what it would be like to look like a supermodel but, short of surgery or endless sessions in the gym, we are stuck with what we were given. We all moan that we‘d like to be a little slimmer, have a smaller bottom or bigger breasts - and at the top of our (extensive) wish list is the dream of being just a few inches taller? I suppose, that‘s why so many of us fail to find a shred of sympathy when taller girls complain - yes complain - about their height. I know that time spent envying others is, of course, a complete waste of one‘s numbered hours on the planet but, seriously, what DO tall women have to moan about?

Ask a tall woman if she‘d swap her 36in legs for a shorter pair and she‘d probably say no. But that doesn‘t mean they don‘t cause her grief. Being female and tall doesn‘t just cause problems finding trousers long enough and shoes to fit. It can also make it hell in the dating arena as well. Take, for example, poor Carla Bruni. At 5ft 9‖ she is aware she 'towers‘ over her husband Nicolas Sarkozy. The decision has evidently been made to stick to pancake flats in a bid to make him look less ludicrous; I can‘t say that it‘s worked.

And if you think that Carla‘s got problems just spare a thought for Mick Jagger‘s girlfriend
L‘Wren Scott who is a vertiginous 6‘4 - she may be slim and beautiful but she‘s also had to rethink her footwear choices since she started dating Mick. Whether its heels, trousers or tops - these women are living proof that being tall causes more than a few problems in the wardrobe department. So if you want to know where to find the best jeans, cutest shoes, smartest suits or slinkiest evening wear, don‘t worry, I have it covered.



Tall women can be especially challenged when it comes to finding clothes to fit their frame but you only have to look to the likes of 45 year old Elle McPherson if you are lacking inspiration. Even if she‘s snapped by the paps, walking the dog or on the red carpet, she always looks effortlessly cool, never garish or overdressed. At 5‘9 inches tall, Elle knows how to dress her famous body by wearing longer length jeans cleverly cut blouses and oversized accessories. But where do you find the kind of clothes that fit a tall body like hers - without having to spend a fortune? You‘ll be glad to discover the answer to all your sartorial woes is to be found on the nearest high street.

When it comes to trousers, tall women must adjust for long torsos and long legs. Make sure that pants, particularly jeans or denim, have a lengthy rise and inseam to give adequate room in the leg and crotch. If there is enough fabric in the garment, a seamstress can alter ill fitting clothes at a minimal cost. Accessories should be large, as they look best on tall women. Hoop styles and chandelier earrings work particularly well.

Long necklaces flatter tall women and one can go in for a chunky bead necklace or a necklace with a funky large pendant. Finding contemporary clothing that caters for long-limbed ladies can prove a tall order - this is where Tall Zone comes into play. A stunning collection of stylish separates and knockout evening wear, the range offers trouser lengths of 84 to 91cm. The line is a sister company to the more classic label Long Tall Sally, but the designs are slightly more fashion forward with a wider range of fits and styles.

A hot pair of jeans is the quickest way to update your look without overhauling your entire wardrobe and the good news is there are plenty of brands that cater for people of your height. At MiH, (the style mavens‘ label of choice) both the Marrakesh, £130/ €150, a fared shape with front pleat , and the Loon, a mid-rise style with wide leg for £132/ €155 come in the desired length and are available from Another great wide-leg style is the Laurel Canyon, £158.50 / €185 euro ( not only does it cater for the long of leg, it also makes your bottom look just peachy.


Taller girls may bemoan their towering height when it comes to romance, but being taller than average has nothing short of a miraculous effect on your career. It may be hard facts to swallow but shorter females earn less than their loftier colleagues, according to recent reports. Those who stand at 5‘8‖ in and above are twice as likely to earn more than 30,000 a year - or up to 5,000 more than their vertically challenged friends. It‘s true that being tall is a big help when you need to stand out from your colleagues - but on the downside, shopping can be a nightmare for leggy ladies. Just 1% of the £1billion fashion business caters for their style needs and they‘re often left short, especially, when it comes to skirt and trouser lengths.

The most important rule for tall women, regardless of your body type, is to make sure that pants fit properly and dresses hit the knee or a little higher to flatter your tall frame.Badly fitting or too small clothing can make a tall women look sloppy or unprofessional at work. Want to know how to look professional yet stylish? Then, look no further than 45 year old Michelle Obama - the woman how has redefined power dressing. Michelle - all glorious 5ft 11in of her - is the first woman in the public eye to celebrate so defiantly both her height and her curves. Not since Jackie Kennedy 50 years ago has there been such a fashion-forward American First Lady. From the moment her husband Barack hit the world stage, Michelle Obama has looked consistently chic and confident, mixing designer labels with high-street brands.

It‘s taken a tall, toned black woman to show women the world over that if you are one of the most influential females in the world it‘s OK to look like you enjoy your clothes, to indulge in the pleasure of fashion and to take risks with your wardrobe. Michelle Obama dresses to suit her shape and she clearly knows what works on her figure and what doesn‘t. The first lady admitted that she was not naturally slim. ‘I have hips,' she told The New York Times - and I have them covered up with these pleats.'The secret of Mrs Obama‘s success has been picking outfits that are stylish, but not contrived or elitist.



It may look like a cross between a baby grow and a pair of mechanics overalls, but, on a tall woman the jumpsuit is the ultimate in evening glamour - no really it is. Remember Jerry Hall in the 70‘s? Texan sex appeal, tumbling blonde waves, endless legs - and silk jumpsuits. The evening jumpsuit has made a comeback - and I‘m not at all surprised - it is the ultimate in sophistication and it really flatters your long figure. Today, styles range from shorter playsuits to wide-leg jersey versions, similar to those last seen in the Seventies. These look great with strappy sandals and bright-coloured purse and/or jacket.

Choose dark solid coloured jumpsuits like black, dark brown, dark navy blue or olive green. With jumpsuits, it‘s really important to choose the right fit, so go for one that drapes your body, rather than anything to tight. If an evening dress is more your thing, preference should be given to long dresses from the shoulder having a continual flow. Grecian style dresses look incredible on taller women but a mini dress is also a great option is you want to show off those endless pins of yours. Remember, only wear a mini dress if your legs are still in great shape , also, choose a style that has long covered up arms , otherwise there‘ll be far too much flesh on show - remember to leave just a little to the imagination.


If you want trendy yet elegant clothes for the office - why not try the high street chain Next, which has a great selection of longer length trousers and smart suits.Monsoon is not a specialist tall shop ―but the occasionwear dresses are real head turners. Principles stock 34‖ inseam jeans and trousers and Miss Selfridge has some lines of trousers and jeans with a 34‖ inseam. Miory (0845 056 3545, has really sharp trouser suits at very good prices for tall women, and plans to extend the range. Tall Girls (01420 587400, is an online boutique that sells up-to-date clothes and shoes at reasonable prices. Long Tall Sally (0870 990 6885, has stores nationwide, and a huge range online.

Aged 12, I was the tallest in the school, which I didn‟t like, but I soon learnt that tall is, in fact, an asset: no matter what I put on, it looked good.‟ Jerry Hall, the 6ft model and ex-wife of Mick Jagger

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