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Dressing for Your Body, Which Happens to Be Awesome: Tall Girl Edition


tall girls lead photo
Photo Credit

So a couple weeks ago I offered to write a post on style for tall girls, and people jumped on the idea in the comments. Today we’ll talk about how to dress your tall self, look awesome, and flaunt your assets! You don’t need to look shorter. Not one bit. You look great.

There are a few inconveniences to being tall, but they’re easy enough to work around. Finding jeans that fit correctly is a challenge for just about everybody, but tall girls have a particular disadvantage — many stores carry short sizes but don’t carry long sizes. I know American Eagle and Delia’s carry long inseams online, and most large department stores will have a wide enough selection that you can hopefully find what you’re looking for with enough time. As I’ve mentioned before, life gets easier when you try things on. And once you find your perfect jeans style, you can buy it in multiples.

The other sartorial dilemma that tall girls find themselves in is the issue of dress length. A dress that looks great on somebody 5’5″ is nearly obscene on a girl who’s 6’0″. Dresses that are billed as “knee-length” are likely to hit you mid-thigh, so keep an eye out for those, and – again – always try things on before buying.

The other issue tall girls run into is people who say things like, “You’re so tall! You should play basketball!” Those people are the worst. Your athletic preferences are none of their business.

These things aside, being tall is awesome. Two obvious reasons: you can reach things on high shelves, and on the off chance that you do play basketball, you have a certain advantage against shorter girls. Society has equated height with a certain amount of elegance these days, and while I’m usually in favor of taking what society says and throwing it out the window, you might as well reap the benefits of that particular stereotype. If you’re above 5’9″, you can be on America’s Next Top Model, or at least watch it and think “I could do that, because I’m tall enough” instead of waiting for another “petite” season like the rest of us (with shorties who are like… 5’6″).

But in all seriousness, your height is something that you should embrace, because it can make you stand out in a really great way. Below, I’ll share some tips to help you do just that.

3 Quick Tips on Dressing for your Height

1. Go for prints!

Sometimes people shy away from really out-there prints, because they’re afraid the prints will be too overwhelming. Because you’re tall, though, you’re unlikely to be outdone by the pattern on your dress. You can totally pull it off.

2. Wanna wear heels? Wear heels.

I hate it when people suggest that tall folks shouldn’t wear heels. My mother’s best friend is six feet tall, and one of the most poised women I know. She wears heels all the time. My theory is this: If you’re already going to be taller than most people, why not go all out? You don’t have to wear heels, of course, but if you want to, don’t let silly outdated ‘rules’ stop you.

3. Fortune favors the bold.

You can really get away with some crazy stuff. Try to incorporate one bright element into every outfit. This part is true for everyone, but particularly so for tall girls, because as mentioned above, you’re unlikely to have your clothes wear you.

Outfit #1: Classic

A classic timeless outfit for tall girls
Sweater – American Eagle, Jeans – American Eagle, Lipstick – Asos, Boots – DSW, Watch – Asos

This outfit is an easy, put-together look for going to class or hanging out on the weekend. Maybe it’s because I’m an Aries, but I’m all about the color red these days. (It probably has more to do with Taylor Swift’s new single.) Adding a pop of red lipstick to an otherwise laid-back look is always a fun way to catch people off guard. Also, these jeans are from American Eagle, and exist in Extra Long. That’s always a good thing.

Outfit #2: Going Wild

A wild outfit for tall girls
Dress – Modcloth, Ring – Asos, Jacket – She Inside, Shoes – DSW

Okay, guys, bear with me. Yes, this dress is insane. It’s junk food + pop art + clothing, which isn’t a combination that you see very often. However, if anyone can wear this kind of thing, it’s you. Plus, this dress won’t look micro-mini on you. Rock the fall look by layering a faux-leather jacket, and as long as you’re going wild with your dress, you might as well dress it up with red heels. Pull your hair back into a sleek ponytail to add a touch of elegance. You look awesome.

What do you think?

Would you ever wear a dress covered in pop art depictions of junk food? Where do you find jeans that fit right? What should I talk about next time? Let me know the answers to all these questions and more in the comments!

Posted on on October 7, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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44 Responses to “Dressing for Your Body, Which Happens to Be Awesome: Tall Girl Edition”

  1. 1
    October 7th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Love that Modcloth dress!

  2. 2
    October 7th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    love both looks!

  3. 3
    October 7th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I have also found that some designer and designer-ish brands are longer in length. I love vigoss jeans.

  4. 4
    October 7th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I totally agree with the heels thing. I used to think that heels would look ridiculous on me, but then i realised that I am already taller than most of people, so wear heels or not would not make any difference.

  5. 5
    October 7th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Everything you mentioned about tall people is so true- the basketball comments and how people act dumb about tall girls wearing heels. And i’ve always bought and worn heels even though I’m 5″10. Thanks for writing everything I believe in about being tall- I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments stated in this post.

  6. 6
    October 7th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I would wear outfit one, even though I’m petite! My sister is quite tall though. What she tells me she struggles with is shirts being too short. Any tips for that?

  7. 7
    October 7th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I love the suggestions! I have been 6 feet tall since 6th grade and have always struggled to find clothes that fit, especially jeans, that don’t make me look like someone’s mom or a hooker. Forever 21 dresses that graze my crotch? No thank you. I adore delia’s selection of jeans for tall girls like me and the store near my house even carries tall jeans in store which is more convenient than online or catalog ordering since you have the opportunity to try them on in-store. 7 for all Mankind jeans also run long but are not recommended as a staple if you’re on a budget, or a jobless highschooler like I am. Silver jeans are also great, especially bootcut.

    Thanks for the confidence boost! Oh, and those brown DSW boots are ADORABLE.

  8. 8
    October 7th, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Please do one for short girls! And not 5’6″ shorties ;) I mean *real* short girls– I’m only 5’0″ and it’s so frustrating trying to find things that don’t make me look like a munchkin. And don’t get me started on dresses– mini dresses that reach my knees, “above the knee” that hit at that awkward point between calve and ankle, and maxi dresses that I would need a train bearer to wear!! Yes, please help us “height challenged” sistas out!!

  9. 9
    October 7th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    i’m short and slim but i would still wear both outfits
    They are simple but still eye catching
    btw I love the modcloth dress

  10. 10
    October 7th, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Yes! Yay for tall girls :) I mean…maybe 5’9” isn’t that tall but I LOVE wearing heels to make me taller. And I’m all about prints.

    I just went thrifting and scored some awesome patterns. I’m beyond excited to wear them!

  11. 11
    October 8th, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I’m not all that tall (5 ft 6 in.), but I love the outfits here, ESPECIALLY the dress in outfit #2!! I love bold patterned things so I have my eyes set on my new wishlist item!

  12. 12
    October 8th, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I love these outfits! And I agree that tall girls shouldn’t be afraid to wear heels. I’m 5’10”-5’11” barefoot, and I love wearing heels (even if it means I’m up to 6’4″). Like you said, I’m already taller than everyone else, so what’s a few more inches? I refuse to let my height keep me from wearing what I like

  13. 13
    October 8th, 2012 at 5:57 am

    That is really interesting, buy i need serious help! Im 5’8 & very skinny! Im ashamed of my legs omg i cant even wear my skinny jeans unless i wear a leggings underneath it to make my legs look fatter! Help me what to do? My top body is bigger that my bottom part ! Its like the topper half of me is a fat lady, and the lower half of my body is a 13 year old kid!! Help me

  14. 14
    October 8th, 2012 at 10:41 am

    i have the jeans problem too but i’m not tall though. i just have pretty long legs so they’re all too short.

    I think heels look really great on tall girls

  15. 15
    October 8th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    You should do a petite girls edition as well as a flat chested girls edition.

  16. 16
    October 8th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you so much for writing a TALL edition! This is so awesome! #tallgirlsforlife

  17. 17
    October 8th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    More affordable (between $15 – $50) options for jeans can be found at Rue 21.

    Their jeans come in all colors, cuts, and styles. The “Long,” in every style, fits perfectly!

  18. 18
    October 8th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    please do a short & curvy version! like kim kardashian, salma hayek please!

  19. 19
    October 8th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    This is such a great post, Carla. Totally helpful and I’m sorta obsessed with that Modcloth dress. lol. I hope you’re having a fabulous day, love. xo

  20. 20
    October 8th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    5″11 here and I love being tall! My boyfriend is only 5″9 and I’m not afraid to wear heels around him, either… just got to rock it with confidence!This is a great post and thank you for the ideas (especially the inspiration to rock a bold print).

  21. 21
    October 8th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The article is encouraging, thank you))) Because I’m really tall (6’1) I’ve read many typical advises in my life like to wear horizontal stripes but your approach is smth fresh and interesting.
    I live in another country but, guys, I struggle with the very same rubbish!
    ‘How tall are you?’ (as almost the first question) Usually I say: ‘Oh, I will tell you but after you guess how many times in my life i heard this question’.
    And about basketball as the second one…
    And my ex-boy-friend who always looked uneasy when i had on shoes with heels half-inch higher. (He started to fall on tall girls as a type because of me though:))
    To share my experience… well, the most ambiguous thing for me is that I’m always ‘exposed’ and attract many eyes. Sometimes it is an advantage but sometimes I feel just tired or not well or my makeup/hair/clothes are not ideal…
    That is why elegance is a key word. Don’t go too far with just casual, sportswear, careless outfits with lack of form. Use something bold and structurizing. Being too girly or too counry-girly is not you choice. Feel youself one of the European princesses))
    And as a princess I really don’t think it is a good idea to open much body if you’re tall. It’s not a matter of shyness but you will feel much better in a bit ‘wraped up’ style like ‘casual lux’ of Donna Karan. A bit closed, a bit mysterious – you don’t have to show all you legs to be noticed. And YES you can use large and unusual accessories like Donna shows on her models)))
    Monochrom looks and prints will be equally good on you – a great field for experiments.
    And one more thing. You can’t get weight. It makes upset every girl but for you it means lose everything. So… the form, the form and the form.

  22. 22
    October 8th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I am 5’10”-5’11” and adore my heels. I don’t really care if my dresses and skirts are super short or hit at midthigh to quote a guy from school I “wear my legs well”. :) Kohls has a decent selection of jeans in longer lengths for a reasonable price. I got a pair for around $3.50 via sales and coupons :)

  23. 23
    October 8th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Being 5’2 myself, I have to say i’m very jealous of you tall girls! :)

  24. 24
    October 8th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you for this post! It took me until 20 or 21 to finally embrace being tall (6’2″). From people’s stares and rude comments to trying to be stylish when every shirt and sleeve is too short, jeans don’t fit, and 99% of stores don’t carry a size 12 shoe, I thought I was in for a lifetime of self-hate and bitterness! Well, once I realized that not everyone gets told they should model, that the gym does wonders for your confidence, and that I don’t want to be like everyone else anyways, I began owning it. As for style, I’ve found that classic pieces with bold accessories look best on a tall frame and are also easiest to find in the right size. And unlike flares or boot cut jeans, skinny jeans look just fine if they hit the ankle! My only complaint now is that I can’t develop a shoe addiction like a girl is supposed to. Oh well, I make up for it with a jewelry addiction :-)

  25. 25
    October 8th, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I love both of these outfits! You should definitely do one for the bustier girls out there. It’s a pain finding shirts, or even dress that look good without having everything hanging out and the cute flow-y shirts always look baggy.

  26. 26
    October 8th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I’m 5’9″ and I looooove heels! Don’t be afraid to wear them. And I hate it when everyone asks me if I play basketball. Not every tall girl plays basketball. However, 15+ people have told me I should be a model. It’s a great self esteem booster.

  27. 27
    October 9th, 2012 at 1:36 am

    I love these posts, but can you do one about short legs or long torsos (which make legs look shorter). It’s really hard to dress them, especially in skinny jeans, and while I love dresses, they are not an option every day; plus having shorter legs can equate to just the opposite problem and skirts end in awkward places. Flared jeans are also really, REALLY hard to pair without looking like you have thrown on whatever was at the top of your hamper that morning. Please, I ask this every time you post.

  28. 28
    October 9th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I’m 5′ 11″ and whenever people ask me if I play basketball I generally respond with “No. You’re short – do you play mini golf?”. But I love the post!

  29. 29
    October 10th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Could you do one of these posts for girls with a small bust and small hips basically the opposite of curvy

  30. 30
    October 11th, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Hi! Could you do one for girls with fat arms? I’m skinny but I do aerial danceso my arms had become voluminous, and I don’t really know how to deal with it. Thank you so much

  31. 31
    October 17th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    to Molly: reading you I recognized every detail. And yes, at last we acquire a taste for being extraordinal :)

  32. 32
    March 28th, 2013 at 2:52 am

    I think next topic should be the price of these amazing things, I mean there’s amazing outfits out there but sometimes way too pricy.

  33. 33
    March 31st, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Wow! I love this! I’m 5’7 and that’s pretty tall…at least for. I’m also skinny.
    I’m really starting to be more confident with my height and I’m gonna start weraing heels! Thanks for this post

  34. 34
    April 3rd, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    this is really awesome i needed this!! im almost or i am 5’9 and im tall but some taller girls say im not. I think i am and iv’e had a hard time but this is really fantastic tall girls can look fabulous too. I mean its just height were still beautiful <3

  35. 35
    April 28th, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I’m a 6ft1 girl who has still not found a pair of jeans that fit me just right. I live in South Africa so our stores dont really stock very much in terms of extra length. Kelso brand is the closest that I’ve found, some of their jeans are really great! A trick I use in winter is to buy gorgeous skinny jeans that make my legs look amazing and then wear boots with the jeans tucked in- no one can tell that they’re too short.

  36. 36
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    ALLOY has great tall jeans! I have a 36″ inseam and it’s the only place I can find affordable tall jeans. They go up to a 37″ inseam.
    Oakley hoodies and coats have long sleeves that fit taller gals like us too!

  37. 37
    July 4th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Hi there! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have got here on this
    post. I will be coming back to your web site for more soon.

  38. 38
    August 1st, 2013 at 6:23 am

    im 6 feet tall,

  39. 39
    August 25th, 2013 at 7:15 am

    This has been so helpful!i’ve been asked too many times why i dont play basketball that i started considering trying out!now i say a big NO!i’m going to add more fun colours to my wardrobe dare to wear heels and most important,be proud of my height!(6.0)

  40. 40
    June 12th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Please please please do one for small chested tall girls! Especially summer outfits and bikinis!!! This was really helpful :) I hit 6 feet a couple months ago and I’m not comfortable in my own skin.

  41. 41
    June 15th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I’m 5’11 and today I saw the cutest wedges ever! I was really not sure if I should buy them or not, because I’d be even taller and I’d be taller than my boyfriend, but oh well, this post has encouraged me to buy them asap and I just know I’m not going to regret it! Thank you!

  42. 42
    June 20th, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Do you have a tall chubby edition for summer, I’m 6’1″ and never seem to find the right clothes for any season so I wear the same type of things year round and even though I’m not fat I have a bit of tummy and armfat I wanna hide, any ideas?

  43. 43
    August 18th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I agree with everything you said!!! I’m 6’1″ and I was wondering if you have any suggestions on what haircuts would flatter my height. Right now I have it pretty long and straight but I feel like it doesn’t really flatter me. Any ideas would be helpful! Thanks!

  44. 44
    February 14th, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I’m 14 and 5’7″ so I’m really self consious about my height. I tend to slouch and I always feel like I act and look to young for my height. I’m glad that it’s ok to wear heels because when I was little I was always so excited about growing up and wearing heels, but then I started to get tall and I was disappointed because my mom told me I wouldn’t be able to. I get my jeans at hollister and I would not wear a dress with food pictures on it.

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