The Tall Girl's Guide To Shopping For Clothes That Really Fit

This story goes out to the very special set of ladies who are 5-foot-10 and taller. We've already addressed shopping woes from our petite girls. Now, it's time our taller readers get the same treatment. If you can never find pants for your long stems or ever fear exposing too much when you bend over in a mini skirt, read on for the best shopping (and styling!) tips from the experts who can relate.

Up ahead, we've tapped three style aficionados — ASOS stylist Rachel Bass, Topshop personal shopper Brittany Reilly, and Tom Mora, head of women's design at J.Crew — to give us a rundown on the styles, cuts, and silhouettes that taller gals should look out for. (A great first step is also identifying which brands offer a "tall" line, like the aforementioned brands do.) No more squeezing into small clothing, no more weird-fitting armholes, no more pulling down your hemlines: Let's get your long limbs properly fitted.
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Designed by Anna Sudit.
The Problem: Pants
So, your legs go all the way down there. But, your pants seemed to have missed the message. Since you're not a wizard and can't make pants any longer, you will need to either look for extra-long inseams or pick up styling tricks to make them work for you.

"When you go to the 'tall' section, you may find pants that fit length-wise but the actual fit and style is not what you’re looking for," says Topshop's Reilly. Luckily for you, we have some structured pant options ahead that promise to keep their shape, even when they're on your long legs.
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The Solution: Culottes
"Go for culottes! They’re supposed to be shorter anyway, so it won’t be a problem if more of your leg is exposed, wherever the hem hits your leg," says ASOS's Bass. "In my opinion, it’s a staple trouser. They look great with both sneakers and heels."
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The Solution: Flares
Flare jeans are also a great option because of the floor-sweeping style — they already tend to come in longer inseams. If your legs are on the super-long side, a brand like Frame, which caters to the very tall set offers inseams up to 40 inches. Karlie Kloss developed the "Forever Karlie" line with Frame, so you can rest assured that these jeans are supermodel-approved.
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The Solution: Wide-Legged Trousers
Similar to flares, wide-legged pants generally come extra-long in the leg because that's how they're supposed to be worn — just about skimming the floor. Tall gals, this summer trend is calling to you.
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The Solution: Cropped Pants
"Our Topshop tall section is an edited selection of our regular collection, but we are lucky to carry pants to go up to a 36-inch length," says Reilly.

If you happen to be a bit taller and need a longer length, go for the intentionally-cropped look. Select pants with a straight or tapered leg that can easily transition into a cropped style for the summertime.
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Designed by Anna Sudit.
The Problem: Sleeves
Having a large wingspan means that when it comes to tops, it's always tricky finding sleeves that reach your wrists. "This is a major concern we see when tall customers come in," says Reilly. "But, when you shop in the tall section, you'll see that shirts are made to fit a tall woman’s body. They’re going to make the waist and sleeves a little bit longer, so a woman who is 6-foot isn’t putting on a shirt that is cropped."

But, if you can't get a hold of long-body tops, rather than constantly pulling and tugging at a too-short sleeve that won't get any longer, consider your two alternatives: Make the best of what you've got on an existing sleeve and/or scrap the idea of sleeves altogether.
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The Solution: Oversized Tops
"What I do is buy things oversized, because they tend to be longer in the body," says Bass. "Buy a couple sizes up on a blouse or button-up and roll up the sleeves. Structured boxy fits are easy for taller girls."

And, the baggy draping of a boyfriend shirt means that you won't have to deal with armholes that dig into your armpit in annoying ways.
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The Solution: Rolled-Up Sleeves
A styling trick that really complements the oversized top is rolling up the sleeves so they never look like they're accidentally too short.

"I roll up the sleeves up to my elbows on a blouse," continues Bass. "I think rolling up sleeves generally looks cooler anyway. You wouldn’t want them to hit your wrist anyway." For a quick and fool-proof tutorial, check out our Split Second Styling Tip video on how to cuff 'em the right way.
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The Solution: Sleeveless Shell Tops
"When sleeves don't feel quite long enough, shell tops are a great solution," says J.Crew's Tom Mora. The high neckline and sleeveless style really accentuate those long arms. And, what we think look really great with long legs are asymmetrical hemlines.
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The Solution: Sheer Maxi Tunics
If the idea of a regular tank top bores you, select a tunic that extends down to your knees, like a dress would. The length-on-length layering trick over skinnies does wonders for the tall girl. The extreme side slits on the sheer top makes for an effortlessly elegant look in a snap. And, you'll look super dreamy when a breeze rolls by.
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Designed by Anna Sudit.
The Problem: Waists On Dresses
When it comes to dresses for tall girls, it's slim pickings. That's because a longer body means a longer torso and dresses with waistlines never hit the body correctly.

"It’s definitely complicated for a lot of taller women to find a dress that has a structured waist line," says Reilly. "The waist usually comes farther up, maybe a little lower than the breast." Thus, waisted dresses that fit normally on shorter girls end up looking like babydolls on tall girls, which is usually not the desired effect.

If this sartorial challenge rings true for you, click ahead for some dress options where the natural waist is definitely not to be confused as an empire waist.
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The Solution: Shift Dresses
No waist, no problem. "Scrap the idea of trying to find the waist altogether," says Bass. "I think shirt and smock dresses look great on tall girls because they showcase the long legs. Pair them with a heavier black boot — they look great with these dresses."

Mora also adamantly agrees with the notion of going big and comfy. "A shift dress is an amazing and versatile silhouette for so many different people. There is no waist definition, so the waist can't hit in the wrong place." It's what we like to call a "throw-and-go."
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The Solution: Tie-Your-Own Waists
"Dresses that do work are loose-fitting dresses because they don’t have a lot of structure to them. There’s no restriction and if the woman really wants to define her waist, she can always throw on a belt to wherever her waist is," says Reilly. "This would 100% work for someone who is 5-foot-9 or taller." Done and done.
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The Solution: Bodycons
If you prefer a dress that does showcase your curves, consider a more form-fitting dress. "Another great option would be the bodycon dress in a jersey with added stretch," says Bass. "It’s automatically going to cling to the natural body shape."
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The Solution: Tiered Frocks
For the illusion of the perfect waistline every time, select the two-tiered dress. It wears comfortably like a shift dress does, the waist is always prominently defined, and the layered top-and-skirt look is a perfect play on matchy-matchy sets that are currently trending.
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Designed by Anna Sudit.
The Problem: Heels
It's understandable that a girl who is already tall may feel deterred from wearing heels. (Although we think you should never feel too self-conscious about that.) "We’ve seen a lot of taller women becoming more confident in throwing on a pair of heels — it’s changing now with all the taller celebrities who are embracing how tall they are," says Reilly.

But, for an office setting, a modest heel is probably more appropriate — and easier on the feet. If heels generally feel overwhelming, here are the types of shoes to check out. You won't find ballet flats here!
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The Solution: Chunky Heels
"I’ve embraced every kind of chunky heel. The ‘70s vibe is really big in the U.K. at the moment," says the London-based Bass. "We have a lot of chunky, low heels at the moment which is really practical for daywear and the summer." This shoe — modern in the front, retro in the back — is the right height for the tall girl who is looking for a little lift.
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The Solution: Kitten Heels
We can't talk about low heels without giving a nod to the kitten heel. This heel stands at only a couple inches tall, but it still looks like a substantial shoe. It definitely beats the tiny nubbins of other kitten heels that are out there.
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The Solution: Curtailed Pumps
For a quick and elevated look, go for a heel that is neither too chunky nor thin — a pump that literally looks like it was sliced. "It will help you proportion correctly so the shoe doesn't look so heavy on the feet," says Bass.
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The Solution: Blocky Sandals
Keep your footwear low to the ground — but not too low where your feet are basically touching the floor. These statement sandals are at a comfortable height that even tall girls can rock.
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Designed by Anna Sudit.
The Problem: Crop Tops
The crop top can be murky territory for a taller girl for obvious reasons. The line that separates "stylish" and "skimpy" is a very thin one — and, a '90s-style belly shirt certainly doesn't make for a cute look.

"It can be difficult for tall girls to wear crop tops because they turn into...bras," says Reilly. So, how do you get in on the trend when it doesn't have the tall girl in mind? Let us count the ways.
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The Solution: High-Waisted Bottoms
First rule of thumb for any crop top wearer: make sure your bottoms come up high. "Always, always, always wear something super high-waisted, like a nice mom jean or a high-waisted trouser," says Bass.

"When crop tops feel too short, a high-waisted pant or skirt is an easy and elegant solve. It allows for coverage, but also shows just a hint of skin if you want to show it," adds Mora. And, for a taller girl especially, a covered-up tummy is a better move, since an exposed midriff can come off as too revealing (depending on the setting, of course).
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The Solution: Longer Cuts
You'll notice that crop tops made specifically for tall girls who are around 6-feet are cut a bit differently to fit a longer frame; they're also not as skin-tight.

"There are crop tops that fall a bit longer in the tall section [of a retailer]," says Bass. With that idea in mind, it's also possible to find a top from the regular section and wear it as a crop top for a taller girl. Just select something that's already oversized to ensure a better fit.
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The Solution: Very Boxy Cuts
When in doubt, go boxy. The bagginess of the top will look great paired with a more formfitting high-waisted skirt or billowing wide-legged pants. And, you can always layer a crop top over a dress or tunic for extra coverage.
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The Solution: Kimono Sleeves
Proportion is key when it comes to the crop top trend — and even more so if you're a taller girl. For instance, if you want to show more tummy, have the sleeves be a bit longer to strike that nice balance.
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Designed by Anna Sudit.
The Problem: Skirts
"Even when I personally try stuff on and think I can’t get away with it (and I'm 5-foot-8), I can only imagine how someone who is 6-feet feels when trying on a mini skirt or dress, because it will rise three or four inches on her frame," says Reilly. "It's old school, but my suggestion would be to use the Catholic school uniform test and see where your fingers hit your thigh to know the length where you know a skirt is too short."

And, this is the story of your life: Skirts have always been a tricky area. They're generally too short and too tight. You're afraid of bending over for fear of your butt hanging out. Mini skirts that are supposed to sit high on the waist don't look right. You feel like you're exposing too much leg. If these are all challenges that you face, we've got a few solutions to help you skirt those issues.
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The Solution: Swingy Skirts
"Midi skirts are a great option for the office with a wedge or a heel and they’re great for weekend wear as well, with a band T-shirt and Converse," says Bass. "Swing dresses are also great for the comfort and length — look for them in a fun pattern or print."

Take long strides, ladies.
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The Solution: High-Waisted Midis
"I think high-waisted for tall women are the best, although it does depend on your body type and taste," says Reilly. "High-waisted bottoms elongate the body, which looks flattering because it highlights a tall woman's body.

For a proper high-waisted fit, look for a midi- to maxi-length skirt that would normally fall around the calf area on a shorter gal. That way, even if you wear the skirt at your high waist, the 4-inch rise won't be too short on your body.

Reilly has one request when fitting the skirt, however: "Don't ever just pull a skirt down lower to make it look longer. You'll be able to tell it’s not fitting properly."
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The Solution: Pencils
"A long pencil skirt is a fantastic choice — as long as it’s fitted," says Mora. "It's so elegant and sexy, without being revealing."

And, this mid-length pencil is even sweeter because it wraps and tulips around to give it a slight asymmetrical hemline, injecting the classic pencil silhouette with a more playful shape. Plus, the wraparound flap allows for better movement.
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The Solution: A-Lines
For a fuller skirt experience, you can't go wrong with this A-line shape."You can get away with this skirt, even if it’s a shorter length because it’s not too body-hugging," says Bass. "The shape of it is a lot less risqué. Just buy a size up if you want the length to drop down lower and fit it at your hips rather than your waist."
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