Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Guest Post: Welcome to the Tall Girls Club

Guest Post: Welcome to the Tall Girls Club

Today I'm thrilled to invite another dear friend to guest post for you. She's the perfect person to talk about this topic because she's not only six feet tall, she's got an effortless sense of style. Here's Erika! -Ella
Ladies – do you find yourself automatically heading to the back row in group pictures?  Are you the go-to person for getting items off the top grocery store shelf?  Do you ever feel like this when going down a city street?  

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then congratulations and welcome to the Tall Girls Club.  We keep the Champagne in the clubhouse fridge – it’s up high where nobody else can reach it.  


You know what though?  Even though height is often associated with power, and we’ve all heard the statistics that taller people earn more money (do we really?  I’m still waiting to get my tall girl refund check) being an above-average-height can make you feel awkward and out of place at times.  With the average female in the US measuring in at 5’4”, it’s easy to feel like the giraffe in the room.  However, riding on the great recent trend towards body acceptance, I think it’s time that tall girls got in on the action!  I’ve been a tall girl since the late 90’s when I reached my full height of 6’0”, and I feel like I’ve heard or seen it ALL (like that awesome feeling when you’re wearing a pair of tights that aren’t headed South by lunchtime). 
Now I’m no style expert (check the archives, I was Ella’s first client) but today I’m taking over the blog to share some of my must-do items for all you tall girls out there.

Be the Height That You Are.  At my senior prom, the photographer, through his wispy moustache, asked in all seriousness if I wanted to pose BEHIND my date with my arms around him.  Seriously, you should have seen the killer lasers I was shooting out my eyes.  I was wearing FLATS you guys, in anticipation of the great tall girl fear of being taller than your date.  Whatever – I abandoned that one a long time ago, and you should too!  This is 2014 for heaven’s sake, and if you’re worried about some man being weird about how tall you are, then why are you on a date with him anyway?  If you want to wear killer heels, then wear them.  If flats are more your style, then wear them.  Don’t let your height make those decisions for you.

You're really not going to wear those beaucse they make you too tall? Come ON!
Additionally, we tall girls tend to have a case of the slouchies.  Not acceptable.   Shoulders up, back straight, just like your momma taught you.  People are going to notice you no matter what, so it might as well be for your beautiful long lines, not because you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

Posture, ladies!
Learn your proportions.  Even though we’ve got the height, shockingly, we don’t all have that willowy supermodel figure.  Just like everyone else, we’ve got to learn what works for us as individuals.  For example, I have very long legs and a more average length torso, so I might want to seek out things that add some torso length, just to even things out.  

Tunics are a good fit for lots of tall girls-helps even out the proportions and you don't have to worry about your shirt riding up in the back!
Also, there are some looks that we tall girls can pull off that may overwhelm a shorter frame, such as a mid-calf skirt.  Oversized accessories don’t make us look like a little girl trying on mommy’s clothes.  Strappy shoes tend to make legs appear shorter, but what do you care, you’ve got leg to spare! 
Another thing that I’ve noticed out there in the trenches is that when you’re shopping and enjoying the plethora of tall cuts now available to tall girls, you may want to consider buying the tall cut in other items, such as cropped pants or skirts - depending on where the hem hits you – to maintain proportion.  I know I’ve tried to go with the standard cut on items like this just to find that the item looked…off.  Don’t let it happen to you!

Conquer Shopping.  Ohh, shopping.  Clothes, clothes everywhere, but the pants hems hit me mid-calf…  Don’t even get me started on thrift store shopping – where you’ll probably find me hiding over in the hats.  Obviously being an above average height makes it harder to shop in stores that cater to more average sized ladies.  However, the landscape has gotten lots better, with many stores carrying tall cuts, often in their online stores.  Even lower price point stores like Old Navy can now be useful sources.   (Full disclaimer, for a while in my teens, I would wear men’s jeans, because I just wasn’t able to find long enough pants - shudder – not a good look for me.) 

One thing I’ve noticed in the past few years is that the tall size has a super-long inseam.  I think it’s great gals even taller than me can find clothes that work, but we shorter talls (is that a thing?) can’t get away with neglecting our hemming duties.  Find a good tailor or learn to hem things yourself (I’ll bet that’s something you never thought you’d have to do!)
Now while I’m a big fan of finding go-to stores, be careful that you don’t get yourself into a rut.  For ages, my closet looked like an EddueBauerBananaRepublic showroom because I was so comfortable in knowing that their items worked for me.  I swear, I got into a situation where I was so obsessed with seeking out tall cut pants on sale from these stores that I ended up with approximate 5,000 pairs.  I’m like an episode of Pants Hoarders.  While it’s good to have a few good pairs around, and hey, they WERE on sale, I wasted a ton of time and money maintaining that addiction when I could have been seeking out new things.  Strike a balance.

These in tall? Yeah, I've got them.
Okay guys, I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you today!  I know that Ella has a great community of readers and commenters – I’d love to hear any of your experiences or tips, or hey, funny stories, about being tall, so please chime in below!

Thanks, Erika! So much fun to have you talking about the specific challenges tall women face! I so love having your voice on my blog today! Come back soon!


  1. This is an amazing article. Every single word rang true for me (a 6-foot-tall woman). I immediately sent it to my daughter, who also loved it (and promised to stop slouching, Yay!). Thank you!

    1. Thanks Kate, I'm glad you guys liked it! I know I'm terrible about slouching too - such a hard habit to break!

  2. Ok, I LITerally just had a conversation about this very thing. I am not a 'willowy' tall...I'm 5'9" but with the long torso/short legs thing going on. I don't even get the tall, model-skinny legs!! Mine are muscular and Ninja-turtle-esque...but hey! I'm 5'9", right?! :)

    In all seriousness, my mom is 6'0", my sis is 5'10" so I'm the shortie. One thing we all have in common is this insane urge to be so tiny in a room that we disappear. I have been working hard on being ok with taking up space, be it tall or large or whatever. (It doesn't help that I also have wild, long, curly hair.) One of the ways that I have been working on this is by buying high heels and platform heels I enjoy, even though they will put me at 6 feet or taller. My next step will be wearing them outside of my own house!! haha Working on that...

    Thanks for the article. So good.

  3. Katie, I almost fell out of my chair when I read your comment, because I can totally commiserate! Right down to the crazy curly hair! That's awesome that you're working on being who you are (and on getting a fun shoe collection!) Go you!

  4. Thanks,some great data here keep up the good work. I actually allow for a more creative comment as I'm a bit out of my deph but I will be checking back here for further updates.