1. Walk & sit with confidence
This first tip is a trick for everyone! Walking and sitting with confidence will always help you command attention. No one wants to hear from someone slouching away in the corner. For so many years in high school, I would shyly slouch because I was always the tallest one in the room. Oh what I wish I could tell my younger self now! I’ve learned that so much respect is garnered with keeping your posture upright and standing with confidence. Now, I smile as I tower over my boss.
2. Wear heels
Are you tall? Awesome! Stand taller. I used to never wear heels because I was so worried about being the tallest woman in the room. Now, I relish the thought of being the tallest. If I’m giving a presentation that day, I’ll wear nice 3-4″ heels to bring my height to 6’3ish. Stand tall and speak with authority. Trust me, people will listen.
3. Know where to shop
More and more shops are starting to cater to taller women. Banana Republic and all its sister stores (Old Navy, Gap), Express, Long Tall Sally, JC Penny, Lane Bryant, etc. So many more choices now than ever before! Not all styles need to be purchased in the tall version but it’s important in a few cuts, namely: crop pants, fit & flare dresses, A line cuts, blazers (long arms!), peplum tops or dresses and bathing suits. I have yet to find a bathing suit that is made for my extremely long torso but my search is never over. Anytime a piece of clothing is meant to highlight your natural waist (the thinnest part of your body) make sure the narrowest part of the clothing fits exactly on your narrowest part. Crop pants (and pants in general) look so terrible if not worn at the correct length. So many of my “full-length” jeans are now rolled-up versions of their former selves because they don’t fit correctly.
4. Short dress? Make it a tunic!
All is not lost if you buy a dress that’s supposed to be mid-thigh and it suddenly rises to mini-skirt hem. This happens to me all the time. Whenever that happens, I convert the dress into a tunic with black leggings underneath. When I order online, I sometimes will get a “surprise” when I try on the dress or skirt but if I can convert it, it works.
5. Roll it up or let it down
This is so frustrating! I’ll see the cutest blazer at a terrific price and I try it on and the sleeves are almost at my elbows. This happens more often then I’d like to admit but fortunately I have a remedy. Either I roll up the sleeves to camouflage their short length, or I slouch them up to create a gathered look at the elbow or I get an expert seamstress to take out any additional material in the sleeve. The last option doesn’t always work so make sure you double check how much extra fabric is available but I have some blazers that are in a permanent folded sleeve position. As for pant legs, I have the same trick. I’ll either roll up the pant leg for a cuffed look or I try to let out extra fabric if enough exists. There is another option but this one requires a little fancy footwork. You could buy some ribbon or lace (or another fabric altogether) and sew that to the bottom of your pants or sleeves for a cool boho look. I’m not a great sewer so I’ll leave that one to the pros.
6. Watch where darting hits
I don’t own many button-up dress shirts for several reasons. It’s almost impossible to find a long-sleeved shirt that’s long enough on my arms, doesn’t bulge at my boobs, fits my wide shoulders AND has darting that doesn’t end exactly where my breasts are (the waist darting is supposed to end below the breast line). The darting will end just where my nipple should be and ends up looking like a nipple that shouldn’t be there. Beware of the false nipple!
7. Watch for natural waist on “regular” sizes
Us tall girls have longer legs, to be sure, but it seems like clothing designers forget that we also have longer torsos/abdomens. This is the same reason darting issues (like #6 above) are a problem. The shorter torso is a huge problem on one pieces (best example: one piece bathing suits!) and tops meant to be about above hip length end up looking like crop tops on us taller gals. Any time a top has any kind of cinching or shaping around the natural waist, it always ends up too high on my torso. If you’re above 5’10-11, try on a “Tall” sized top and see the difference.
8. Jumpsuits and rompers…ugh
Jumpers, jumpsuits and rompers are SO popular right now. It’s a pity because I really want to try one on that actually fits me and doesn’t ride up my front and back side. I’ve even tried the jumpers in Tall sizes and I still get the dreaded wedgies. I guess having long legs and a long torso has basically prevented me from wearing this style. Oh well, maybe the jumper wasn’t made for us tall girls.
9. Regular length skirts end up like mini skirts
So many of the skirts that would hit mid-thigh for an average height woman end up way too short on me. I’m pretty conservative with my skirt length at work (I’ll venture out in shorter hems on weekends) because there’s literally nothing I hate more than to be in a meeting and constantly having to pull my skirt down. Also, if I cross my legs, I basically end up exposing myself. So if the dress is too short, I use the old leggings trick (where it doesn’t matter if I expose more of my legs) but I do generally try to purchase skirts and dresses that end knee-length for most women.
10. Embrace your height!
I’m serious about this one. Height is something (apart from chopping off your legs) you can NEVER change. It’s not like weight; not like hair color; not like facial features. Plastic surgery will never be able to shorten you. I realized that one day and it has helped me so much to accept my height. Instead of warring against it and feeling angry at my body for growing so tall, I accepted it as part of the uniqueness of me. I will always always be asked silly questions like “did you play basketball in high school?” (no, I didn’t) or have people exclaim “wow! you’re really tall!” (yes, I am) but I answer with a smile now because I’ve learned to be proud of my height.