This Week I Love …

tall

… seeing more and more vendors offering tall clothing styles.

It’s true that short inseams are a fit challenge for tall women, but as the Ann Taylor graphic above notes, it’s not all about the legs. In many cases, tall women have longer torsos, longer arms, AND longer legs so the proportions of regular sizes just don’t work on their frames. And it’s great to see more and more brands dipping into the world of tall sizes. Still frustrating to find that most of these options are online only – which is also the case for many plus size lines within certain brands – but at least the selection is broadening. Here’s an abbreviated list of tall resources, including a few that have hopped on the bandwagon fairly recently:

Amazon – You’ll need to do some weeding, but the left rail can help you narrow down the field. Pant options abound.

Ann Taylor – 0T – 18T in some styles. A great resource for tall work wear.

Anthropologie – Pants only, but includes a variety from palazzos to crops to gauchos to boyfriend jeans.

ASOS – A fabulous place to look for edgy and trendy items. They’ve got jumpsuits, leggings, skirts, dresses, and more.

Avenue – This plus retailer only offers pants in tall sizes, but they’ve typically got five or six classy pairs available.

Banana Republic – Great for office staples like button-front shirts and wrap dresses.

Boden – Dresses, skirts, and pants are generally available in “long” lengths, though I’m guessing it really is just an inseam/hem length adjustment since Boden calls out its petite sizes. Up to 18L.

Eddie Bauer – A great resource for activewear and outerwear. Also stocks dozens of tops and pants proportioned for tall frames.

Elle Mayers – An activewear line that focuses exclusively on tall women!

Gap – Tops are cut with longer sleeves and length and a lower waistline, pants have a longer inseam and lower knee position.

J.C. Penney – Affordable basics and work wear from house brands as well as Liz Claiborne and St. John’s Bay.

J.Jill – Relaxed casual wear from 4T – 18T.

J.Crew – Blazers and suiting, shirts, skirts, and dresses. Sadly, no sweaters.

Land’s End – Everything from jeans and tops to swimwear. Also offers tall plus swimwear.

LOFT – Basics and trends mixed together, and a slightly younger vibe which means shorter hemlines despite tall lengths.

Long Elegant Legs – A pretty comprehensive resource, stocking everything from workwear and casualwear to PJs, jackets, shapewear, and activewear.

Mommy Long Legs – Tall maternity clothing. A small selection, but the pieces look versatile.

Old Navy – Affordable tops, dresses, and super cute sweaters. Surprisingly few pants, but they do stock a handful of jeans, cords, and leggings.

One Stop Plus – Mostly a fairly plain selection of pants with a few skirts, dresses, and jackets sprinkled in.

Simply Tall – Lots of options, including two great name brands: Tribal and Pendleton

* * * * *

Pretty Tall Style is one of my regular reads, and I very much miss Thirty-five Inch Inseam. Anyone else follow style blogs run by tall women? What other tall shopping resources can you share? I’d especially love to hear any reviews of Long Tall Sally, which seemed like the only game in town for AGES.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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10 Responses to “This Week I Love …”

  1. Monica H

    Here’s another to add to your list – The Limited recently started selling tall sizes online, yay! And they are selling tall TOPS, which is something that is often hard to find.
    One of the things that I find frustrating as a size 4T, is that quite a few of these retailers don’t sell tall small sizes, although that is changing… slowly. I also find it particularly infuriating that our culture gives us all the idea that we are supposed to all be tall and size 2, and yet obviously this is a complete fantasy given that there are so few women of those proportions it is not worth making clothes in that size!! Even though I am one of the women with those proportions, more or less, it drives me crazy.
    From my perspective, I don’t find it particularly problematic that retailers don’t carry these sizes in their stores, or charge more for tall sizes. I recognize they are businesses trying to make a profit, and that talls are a small market, and that to do it well, the patterns and fit need to be adjusted, as you noted. I am just happy that I can FINALLY find clothes that fit!!! Long sleeved shirts that aren’t “3/4 sleeve” on me, jackets and even coats that have sleeves long enough, sweaters and tshirts that aren’t riding up my back because they are so short!! One advantage I have which may be tricky for plus sizes is that I can go try on items in the standard sizes in the stores, and have a decent idea of how a tall will work for me.
    I have to give a huge shout out to Gap, as unlike most retailers, almost everything they sell is also offered in tall, and they also offer pants with the longest inseams I’ve seen. Probably 50% or more of the clothes I own (and 100% of what I am wearing right this minute, lol) comes from Gap and their sister brands (Old Navy, Banana Republic). BR doesn’t have quite as wide an offering in tall, but still quite a few items. They also offer free shipping both ways on orders over $50. Since I am such a frequent flyer, lol, I also have their credit card which gets me special savings and lets me earn merchandise certificates.
    I’ve never had any luck myself with tall specialty retailers, such as Long Tall Sally, Long Elegant Legs, etc. I haven’t even looked at those sites in ages, because I had trouble finding anything that had any style and was offered in a small enough size for me. This post inspired me to check again, and I see it’s better than it was.
    I don’t tend to follow many tall style blogs, although I love to see Gracey’s posts on your blog! Come to think of it, yours is the only style blog I regularly read. 🙂 I think what has been most helpful in my style journey is to hear your constant message of “it’s not you, it’s the clothes.” It’s inspired me to just forget shopping at major retailers, with the inevitable result of either total disappointment or buying things which fit less poorly, resulting in a wardrobe of clothes that don’t really fit. Now I just shop online at the retailers you mentioned. I am so much less frustrated, and I now own a growing wardrobe of CLOTHES THAT ACTUALLY FIT! What a concept!

  2. AO

    The struggle I have is that it IS all about the legs! I have long limbs and a short torso. So while I have a hard time finding long enough sleeves and inseams, even in “average” sizes the tops are usually too long and waists are usually too high. It becomes a trade off between getting long enough pants and not having the waistband sit several inches above where it should be (this is especially a problem when tucking shirts into my dress pants). I have found that tall dress pants are more likely to have a proportionally higher waist, while tall jeans tend to have lower waists still.

    Still, I’m also happy to see more tall options becoming available. It is crazy to think that all women should fit into either “short” or “average” inseam lengths. I would love to see more companies labeling pant sizes by inseam measurement and carrying tall sizes in their stores. Not everyone is willing to shop online, and for those of us who have struggled with these sizing issues, it can be a tough sell to buy something without trying it on first.

  3. JJ

    Great post and great comment from Monica! I’m in the same boat as a size 4T and have felt the same irony that there’s a lot of media pressure to be tall and thin, but when you are, you seem to have far fewer clothing options. Salespeople sometimes say “Well, isn’t that a nice problem to have?”…which is difficult to answer!

    Athleta also stocks great-fitting tall pants (and some dresses) as well as tops that tend to have long sleeves and be well-proportioned for taller women. Title Nine and some other athletic brands that I would love to wear don’t regularly do this, which is a bit frustrating.

    One tip that took me years to realize is that I could get size L tops or dresses and have the sides taken in! This prevents the waists being awkwardly high (on my figure at least.)

    A related Q – does anyone have tips for cute low/mid-heeled shoes for tall women – who usually have larger feet?! I find that heels over 2 inches make me feel way *too* tall. And larger shoes in many brands often seem either flat, clunky, or incredibly high-heeled. Born is my go-to for now, but I’d love other tips…

    Cheers to all readers, tall and less tall! I have learned so much from this site.

    • Monica H

      You may be my lost twin, lol. Just last night I was drooling over the Title Nine catalog, wishing their gorgeous sweaters came in tall!
      I have had the same issue regarding low heeled shoes as well. I usually end up wearing high heels, because I don’t mind looking too tall, lol. There have been a few low heeled shoes that I’ve liked, but not many. My go-tos are Cole Haan oxfords, which might not work based on your style preferences, but they are super comfy! I’ve also had luck with wedges in one color, for whatever reason they seem to work better than a low separate heel. The ones at the top of Sally’s Insomniac sales pics today are an example. Another tip that might help you is that up until last year, I’d despaired of ever finding tall boots that fit my big slightly wide feet and my narrow calves. While they are pricey, I’ve found that Cole Haan boots tend to work well for me. I have a pair of flat riding boots that are pretty nice. And I’m not swimming in them!

  4. Shiloh Woodard

    I am a tall woman and my best friend end is taller. We have had a hard time finding clothes that fit well. I’m 5’11 and change so it’s a little easier for me. We love Long Tall Sally. I recommend reading the reviews as each article of clothing has its own quality. Overall, their clothes last long and fit well. Thank you for this list. Being tall I have looked for body types that I resemble. Until I walked into a Tall clothing shop for women I never understood my shape. Then I looked at other tall women and I saw that I was built differently because of my height. What a relief!

  5. San

    Yes! Thank you! I wish I could find your lost twin sister in the UK 😉 I am going to do more online shopping, definitely! My problem is that I have lost some weight, but still have a long and strong skeleton with broad shoulders. This way I fit even less into average-height-sized clothes. They tend to be short, tight at the shoulders and super wide around the mid-section.

  6. Beinggenerosa

    I actually have the opposite problem of Monica and JJ – one of the problems I have with tall clothing is the limited options of tall AND plus-sized. A lot of tall sizes stop at size 18, which is inconvenient for me but makes it really difficult for people above that size.

    I’m fortunate in being on the smaller end of plus-sized, which means I can /usually/ fit into an 18T or 18L. They’re finally starting to be better about petite plus…what about tall plus?

    I do want to recommend Woman Within – they have a reputation for being dowdy, but they have a lot of classic or even modern style offerings – plus, they’re one of the few retailers that carries plus size tall clothing. Depending on how you’re built, the sizing charts can be wildly inaccurate (up to 4 sizes off, in my case), but they do a lot of coupons and deals, some of which involve free shipping and if you ask they’ll sometimes pay for your returns. I’ve had pretty good luck with their skinny jeans – I haven’t had a chance to order much else.

    (An oft-repeated suggestion for plus sizes, but I’ll repeat it anyways – Lane Bryant also carries plus-size talls, and their jeans come in 3 types depending on how curvy you are. They’re on the expensive side, but they last for a while, and they’re really good for someone like me who is plus size but not hourglass/super curvy.)