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1 In fashion

the tall girl’s guide to high street shopping

Oh hi blog, long time no speak!  I’m gonna skip the berating myself for being a bad blogger part (shame on me, I know) and head straight to today’s topic – high street shopping for the lengthier-than-average lass.  I posted n

According to the machine that measured me at the doctors a couple of weeks ago, I’m 5 feet 10.9 inches (v precise I know), or 180 cm if that means more to you.  Just for reference.  So I’m not tall enough to necessitate ordering from specialist places like Long Tall Sally, but often need the taller versions on the high street.  I’ve mastered the art of eyeballing an item on a hanger and knowing straight away whether it’ll work, so I thought I’d share my observations on which high street shops are a yay and which are a nay.

An overall point to quickly make is that in general, places with a more conservative style and slightly older customer tend to be better than the ones aimed at 16-25 year olds.  (Is that an age range even used for anything but railcards?  Not sure.  You know what I mean).

Oh and one little rant:  it drives me mad that many shops have their petite range in store, but tall is online only.  That’s if they even have a tall range – fair enough not everywhere can, but if you’re going to cater for one end of the spectrum, then at least give a nod to the other too, right?  Urghh.  [Rant over]

ASOS

Let’s start with the star of the show because OMG ASOS DO TALL BOOTS.  Boots specifically in the tall range.  Can I get a hallelujah?  They’re the only place I’ve found so far to have clocked on to this idea, and this ‘Kasba’ style come in tall, regular, petite, wide fit and wide leg too, so ASOS deserve a big pat on the back for catering to everybody.  Every other pair of OTK boots I’ve encountered thus far are more like ‘just over the kneecap boots’, and it’s just not the same look as proper thigh highs.  Us tall girls often don’t want the extra height of heels (and why put yourself through the pain when you don’t need the boost anyway?), so I’m even happier to find a pair of flat, tight-fitting, properly-tall, over knee boots.  What looks great on somebody 5’3 can just look ‘extra’ when you’re tall already, so flat over knee boots strike the balance just nicely.

Now you might want to sit down to digest this fact, but I don’t actually own much from ASOS (I’m as shocked as you are, believe me) so I can’t comment on much else.  My Northern Blog Awards dress was from Club L at ASOS and was super long and swishy, but as far as I can remember, I don’t own anything else to comment on.  ASOS tall haul needed purely for research purposes, maybe?

Topshop

Topshop are the only place I can think off the top of my head that have a tall range in store – I’m mentally walking down Preston high street and wracking my brains to think of anywhere else, but nope, just Toppers.  It’s an odd selection of pieces in that range though.  Tbh it’s difficult to give a yay or nay for Topshop, because I have quite a few items from the main range that are perfectly fine, but others I’ve tried on have waistlines way too high.  Obviously things like knitwear and other oversized items where the fit isn’t crucial are absolutely fine anyway.  It’s also only place I’ve found where the bodysuits actually fit and don’t feel like they’re about to cut me in half, so that might be worth noting.

New Look

A few years ago you could shop New Look’s tall range in store, but nowadays it’s petite only and the lengthier versions are only available online.  How very annoying.  Regular range separates are fine, but waistlines on dresses are very rarely in the right place (a common theme).  Longer length jeans are in store and fit well.

Miss Selfridge

Miss Selfridge definitely cater for petites more than anyone else, and I swear their main range seems designed for girls about 5’3.  Crop tops are super short, for example.  I have one playsuit that miraculously fits but for the most part, Miss Selfridge is one to go to for accessories and cardigans and other things where length doesn’t really matter.  Which they do really well, so fair play.  Now if you’d like to make your dresses a tad longer, MS, that’d be fab.

H&M

Stingy on the trouser length, but everything else seems to be fine.  I know lots of people rant about H&Ms sizing in general running on the stingey side, but I haven’t found this to be the case with anything but length on the pants.  You’d think with those Swedish gals being generally taller that H&M would follow suit, but alas nope!  Oh well.  Still love their coats and jumper and sweaters and crop tops and pretty much everything else.

Dorothy Perkins

DPs are pretty good, and that’s all there is to say on the matter really!  Not standout ‘omg tall people of the world go here it’s so longggg’, but their skirts and jeans are definitely long enough.  They do a tall range anyway, but the regular collection is generally OK for me anyway.

River Island

River Island is a funny one.  Much as I love their dresses and they’re not too short, the waistline is usually in completely the wrong place for me.  Annoyingly River Island do have a petite and a plus range, but nothing tall other than longer length jeans.  I’ll give credit where it’s due and say their long jeans are great though – my Harper jeans fit perfectly and I wear them all the time.  Long but not too long, which is always nice!  Another point about River Island is that they’re super hit and miss with the swimwear.  I have one black cossie that fits brilliantly, but have tried on others in store that literally don’t cover my boobs.  Finding one piece swimsuits that are long enough is a problem fellow tall girls will know all too well.

French Connection

Oh how I adore French Connection.  The couple of pairs of trousers I own from there are plenty long enough, and all the dresses I’ve tried on in store have seemed great too, so French Connection gets a gold star from me.

Primark

I guess it’s to be expected that somewhere as budget as Primark is gonna fit on the small side!  I’m yet to find a pair of trousers that aren’t way too short.  Tbh sometimes I just go with it and wear them cropped as if they’re supposed to be that way.  One pair of jeans came in different lengths which were then crazy long (I still wear them though because they look fine rolled up), but nothing else has had length options.  Most short dresses are a no-go because they’re A) super short, and B) not cut brilliantly around the armholes, meaning as soon as you lift your arms up even slightly, the hemline rides up even shorter.  I have struck lucky on a few occasions though and a lotta Primark pieces in my wardrobe that receive a lotta love, so all hope is not lost!

Missguided

Missguided is hit and miss; I’ve tried items from the tall range and found them comically long, had main range pieces that fit perfectly (this midi dress springs to mind), and had short dresses that are indecently short.  I’d say the short pieces are very short, but in general sizing isn’t stingy.  I’m generally a size 8 or 10 depending on the item, but as I’m a ‘fit model’ at Missguided and know that I’m exactly a size 8 by their measurements.

Marks and Spencer

Ahh M&S how I love thee dearly.  Like I said at the beginning, retailers with an older demographic tend to be better for us tall gals, purely because they’re not designed to be short in the first place.  Plus M&S clothes are just bloody lovely.  I’d happily wear half the shop.

Matalan

Similarly to M&S, Matalan tend to make things not quite so skimpy and run larger in general.  The mini skirts aren’t quite so mini, that kind of thing.  In fact my current favourite skirt that seems to go with everything is was a Matalan find; it’s popped up on my Instagram several times already and hasn’t actually made it to the blog yet, but hopefully shall be doing so soon!  Matalan aren’t the best for fitting around the waist though and sometimes gape a little, so it’s worth bearing that in mind.

PrettyLittleThing

Unsurprisingly, PLT are pretty similar to Missguided.  ‘Going out’ trousers are super long, so I guess they’re bargaining on people wearing them with 5 inch heels because they’re sweeping the floor on me.  They’re also guessing that if you want a short skirt, you want a really short skirt.  If that’s your taste, then PLT is great.

TK Maxx

Obviously TK Maxx is home to tons of different brands and therefore tons of different sizes, but I’ve found the more premium brands in there (which you can snap up for a bargain) are more generous in the length.  The white dress I’m wearing here is from Adrienne Vittadini at TK Maxx, and I honestly love it to pieces.  Very proud of myself that I’ve worn it to go out for food several times and not spilt once.

One thing I can’t offer any tips on is where to find shoes for big feet – I know this is something lots of tall girls struggle with (or so I’ve read online, anyway!) but I’m only a size 6 so bob on average.

Let me know if you have any to add to my list!

Lily Kate x

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    WhatLydDid
    19th November 2017 at 12:50 am

    T H A N K Y O U

    I’m nowhere near as tall as you, coming in at 5″7 and a half, but even I’m far too familiar with the cool breeze around my ankles, brought on by too-short trousers that look anything BUT cool!

    Really glad you wrote this post, I hope it helps lots of people and maybe even gets the hint to a few brands.

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