Tall and Stylish: Where to Shop for Tall Womenby Kristin Golden on 06/28/12
Tall and Stylish: Where to Shop for Tall Women
This blog is inspired by a recent client that I had. She is a fit, athletic woman (read: not BIG and tall) who happened to be 6'3. When she called and explained her situation to me, I was confident that we could find some great pieces for her wardrobe...I wasn't expecting it to be such a challenge. I thought: "They make "long" pants and it seems like most people have to get everything hemmed because the pants/skirt/dress is too long - so I figured that finding clothes to fit her would not be too difficult." - I was wrong.
It turns out, most stores and many designers do NOT make clothes for women who are taller than average. While my client is beautiful and loves her height, she hates shopping because everything she had purchased up to that point was either from an outlet that made "tall" clothing (but still didn't fit her right) or by catalogue. (I advise almost all of my clients to NOT buy clothes from catalogues because you don't get the chance to try anything on and FIT is one of the most important factors in any wardrobe. If an item doesn't fit properly, it won't look good, no matter how great of a piece it is).
I began to feel her frustration with shopping. We went through her wardrobe and while she had done pretty well considering her limited shopping options, I felt like there HAD to be some options for "tall" clothes that she would LOVE, not just clothes that were long enough (when you're 6'3, you don't just need a long inseam, you also need longer arms, a longer torso throughout the top, etc.).
Well I did my homework. Truth be told, there really aren't too many places for women who are tall to shop. Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to find a boutique or two that caters to taller women but other than that, it seems that catalogue or internet orders were the only real option. Frustrating. Plus, the catalogues and websites that she had been ordering from really did not have a great selection of attractive clothing.
It's odd to me - we want our super-models to be extremely tall, yet it seems the fashion industry has failed to produce clothing that actually fits women who are tall! From all of my research, I found frustration... and the best that I could do was find some new places to shop that were unfortunately online only.
On the up-side, the sites that I was able to find do offer some really great items - designer jeans, cute tops (with long enough sleeves), and other great pieces.
If you (or someone you know) falls into this category and has similar shopping frustrations, here are some sites that can help. I have to offer my disclaimer before I go on: It's important that when shopping online or through a catalogue that you be willing and ready to return things. They don't always make returns easy, but because you haven't had a chance to try things on, it's crucial that you decide ahead of time that you will return anything that you don't LOVE.
Now that I've said my peace, here are places to look if you are trying to find some good clothing options for those that are vertically gifted!
- www.tallclothingmall.com - this is a great website to shop at because they feature items from multiple stores or websites (they basically pull "tall" items from all different online retailers). They feature apparel from www.shopbop.com, www.piperlime.com, Gap, Banana Republic, Alloy, Nordstrom, Zappos, Athleta and more. Excitingly, they feature pants that go up to a 40" inseam. This is a great "one stop shop" - if you don't have time to peruse the internet looking at different websites, this is a great option because it does give you a little bit of everything.
**Tall clothing mall also has a blog that I think is worth checking out from time to time. It's at www.tallclothingmall.blogspot.com. They have some useful information on the blog about the latest store openings and "tall" websites, as well as helpful pointers for making sure that you get the right fit.**
- www.tallwomensclothes.com is a website that features some good suit separates and nice tops that have longer bodies/sleeves and they are reasonably priced. The only downside: most of their pants only go up to a 36" inseam. Still, when you need work clothes, this is a site to check out.
- www.longtallsally.com is another site with some great clothing - the thing to know about this company is that it is European-made (and European cut) so the fit will be slightly smaller/slimmer than other sites. They do carry some nice items though.
- www.undertease.com is a great place to go for basics as far as tops are concerned. It's always important to have good, well-fitting basics (whether you are tall or not) so this site is a great option for checking those "must-have" items off your list! The prices are fairly decent as well.
- www.zappos.com and www.barefootless.com are two sites that really stood out as good options as far as shoes are concerned. As I experienced while working with my client, it can be difficult for tall women to find shoes that fit well. These two sites are worth looking at as they have a good selection and come in a multitude of sizes.
- www.athleta.com and the Athleta catalogue is another shopping option that my client actually told me about. While it is pretty much what it sounds like (mostly athletic wear), they do have some fun sundresses, cute tops and some great bottoms as well. One of the main problems that I saw was that not everything was made in "tall" so I would see something that I liked, only to learn that that particular item doesn't come in "tall." Still, they make have some good items and I would recommend checking them out.
- Finally, there ARE a few local stores that carry apparel for taller women. While their selection is not huge, it's a major plus that you can walk into the store and actually try on the clothing. Ann Taylor Loft has a some-what decent "tall" selection. Gap does a pretty good job as far as stocking "tall" jeans, although their fit doesn't always work with everyone's body type. Eddie Bauer is another standby - usually I am not a huge fan of their day-to-day clothing, but in a pinch, they do carry a semi-decent selection of clothing for taller women. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to see that White House/Black Market has a "tall" section. Again, it's not huge, but it's better than nothing!
After this experience, I feel inclined to write letters to every retailer explaining to them that they need to carry taller clothes - but I think I will let it go for now. At least there are some great online places to find clothing and there are some great resources out there.
Just remember - just because it's "long enough" doesn't mean it fits! Don't settle for something that doesn't fit - send it back and try again! :)
Happy Shopping (and ordering)!
Xo, Kristin @ Kristin Golden Image Consulting