I’m not a particularly tall girl, but I’m friendly with enough vertically blessed ladies to know that there are certain fit issues when it comes to clothes. Some of it I get (I’ve seen what’s supposed to be midthigh become indecent on them), but there are other complaints that, frankly, sound like whining to the fashion editor in me. If you want to wear heels, wear them. If you’d like to rock a bold print, don’t be scared. One woman I know gets what I’m talking about? British stylist Irene Agbontae, who worked with made-for-supermodel-heights Long Tall Sally on a collaboration with Brit brand TTYA (Taller Than Your Average) that’s so darn pretty, I’m going to figure out how to make it work on my 5’6″ frame (it was created for women 5’8″ and taller).
Glamour: What are some style misconceptions you wish tall girls would stop believing?
Irene Agbontae: Tall girls can’t wear heels! That’s one of the biggest. I’m 5’11” and I always wear heels. For years, I felt very awkward about my height, but I’ve come to realize that it’s actually something to be proud of—it’s part of who I am. Now I wear 6-inch heels and love it. If you’re tall, you’re going to stand out anyway, so you might as well embrace it.
Glamour: Are there some pieces that you know you’ll always have to have altered?
IA: If you’re petite, it’s easier to get items hemmed. When you’re tall, not everything can have inches added. As a tall woman, you need to make sure that the length fits, sure, but also that all parts of the garment fall properly in the right positions, proportional to your figure. That’s why it’s critical to buy clothing specifically designed for your height. The knees will fall in the right spot, a tailored waist will hit you at your slimmest part, the pockets will be properly placed, and, most important, the sleeves and legs will be long enough.
Glamour: Are there any pieces that make you appear taller than you are? Shorter?
IA: Clothing that isn’t proportioned properly for longer limbs can make you look taller and certainly awkward. There’s nothing worse than having trousers swinging around your ankles, drawing attention to the fact that the pants don’t fit. I don’t believe in the notion that tall women can’t wear large prints or anything else. As long as the pieces fit their figures and make them feel confident and great, it works.
Glamour: When it comes to pants, can tall ladies make cropped trousers work? Flares?
IA: They sure can! Us tall girls are used to the idea of cropped pants, as must full-length trousers are a crop on us anyway. Being tall means you can carry off flares since they won’t overwhelm you. Think of it this way—runway models are tall, really tall. That’s because clothing looks great on longer arms, legs, and torsos. So, tall ladies, wear your outfits with pride.
Glamour: How different is a collection specifically made for taller women?
IA: My collection with Long Tall Sally is designed for those 5’8″ and taller, so the maxidress on a 6′ girl actually will be a maxidress. Lengths are designed to fall a few extra inches so they reach past the ankles and wrists. It’s a real game-changer for those with longer limbs, as we rarely get to feel like anything’s long enough.
There are 18 pieces within the collaboration, including long coats, jeans, work-wear staples, and a gorgeous silky maxidress that I could see barefoot on the beach or dressed up at a wedding. Prices aren’t horrible, either, with everything under $200, and sizes range from 4 to 14.