The Tall Report: the best shops for lofty ladies!
Being above average height and a woman is a shopping nightmare. I should know - measuring in at 6'1 and having what you might call a slight obsession with fashion, is somewhat difficult. If you're a tall woman reading this, then I'm sure we have a lot in common. I've no doubt that you've almost broken down in tears in a changing room after trying on a shops worth of maxi dresses that aren't long enough, that you've had men approach you on hundreds of occasions to tell you "you're tall" (oh really? I hadn't noticed) and that you secretly harbour a grudge against the 'petite' section because ironically, it's always three times the size of the tall one.
As someone who hit 6-foot early in my teens, I've seen and heard some ridiculous things. I've been told by a complete stranger that I have no right to wear heels. Another kind person told me I should write off dating anyone shorter than myself because being tall, "scares men away". I even read an article in The Daily Mail once in which a 6'1 woman described herself as a freak and said she felt like she belonged in a circus. All of this is completely wrong, but I know a lot of girls who do, unfortunately, take that kind of prejudice to heart. As an advocate of high heel wearing and a lover of Amazonian qualities, I'm taking the opportunity to share some beautiful, tall role models with you, and also highlight some of the shops that are getting it right. After all, in a world where everyone is getting taller, shouldn't the entire high street be catering for those of us above an average height?
Celebrities like Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Taylor Swift, Malia Obama (Barack Obama's daughter) and even the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, are all 5'10 and above, making the most of their statuesque figures by dressing them accordingly. Uma has an athletic physique but plays up to her feminine side with understated elegant style, Taylor makes the most of those legs in short and floaty dresses, and Kate favours fitted, knee length numbers paired with heels to give her the perfect proportions. Unfortunately, the majority of us don't have an army of stylists to endure tall shopping on our behalf, designers willing to drop hemlines, or a bottomless reserve of cash to make all this possible. Last month I asked our lovely tall twitter followers which pieces they found the most difficult to shop for - results were varied, but most of your answers snagged on the familiar territory of jeans, maxi dresses and shoes. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of tall friendly high street and online shops that will hopefully lift you and your wardrobe to new fashion heights!
In my opinion, Topshop is one of the best shops on the high street with a dedicated tall section, although it is depressingly small. However, they do pick a selection of key trend pieces for the season and it's worth shopping there just for the jeans, which come in 34 and 36 inch inside legs. It's also one of the best places to get fashionable size 9 shoes, although I recommend visiting the website as you can shop by size.
New Look's tall section may seem a little basic, but don't discard it - especially if you have an awkward 35in inside leg. They carry some pretty longer line tops and a number of comfortable trousers in sizes 6-18, as well as a huge range of size 9 and wide fit shoes.
A new favourite on my personal tall shopping list is Next. Not only do they cover a great range of proportional dresses, tops and trousers, they also have nightwear, workwear and swimwear down too! They've got some particularly stunning maxidresses at the moment as well as a number of gorgeous jumpsuits by ex-Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell.
In my experience Dorothy Perkins can be a little hit and miss in their sizing, especially if you have a longer torso, but I would always recommend trying something on to see for yourself. They have some great mid-length summer dresses right now, which thankfully come in at reasonable prices.
Long Tall Sally
Long Tall Sally has improved a considerable amount in the last few years - perhaps due to the tall competition from more fashion forward retailers. As well as carrying shoes up to size 11, their pieces range from a size 8 to a size 24, making them one of the most diverse tall clothing providers on the high street. Long Tall Sally are also the official clothing supplier for the Great British women's rowing squad of 2012!
6 Foot Fashion
Towing the line for all you glamourzonians out there is 6footfashion.com - a website I discovered quite recently whilst looking for a suitable dress for a wedding. Eveningwear and denim are their speciality, with jeans featuring a 37-inch inside leg and beautiful designer dresses fit for a tall princess. Price points are a little steeper than the high street, but definitely reasonable for occasion wear.
Very.co.uk features some fantastic fashionable tall items, particularly dresses and trousers, although many reviews suggest that the sizing is more suited to ladies on the shorter end of the scale (5'10 seems to be the best). It's always tricky to gauge the length of a dress online, so look out for websites that mention the height of the model, and always read the returns policy!
We love to hear your thoughts - if you know of any great tall fashion stores or have a shopping dilemma you'd like us to talk about, let us know in the comments below!