6 Tall Girl Fashion Myths Totally Overruled By My 5'10" Self
So here's the thing: height problems are very real. While short girls get the most flack for things they can't wear (maxi dresses, oversized anything, "cutesy" fashion), tall ladies have their own sets of issues, too. We tower over dates (something that still feels problematic given that the "women shouldn't date smaller men" motif still runs strong), get asked "how the weather is up there," can't find jeans that actually hit below the ankles, and look like we're wearing ice-skating uniforms when we try on short Forever 21 dresses. It's a tough life.
However, I'm a firm believer that there aren't any real rules in fashion. If you want to wear something, I say that you play with it till you find a way to do so — until you find something that works for you and that fills you with joy, sartorial and otherwise. With a little bit of trial and error, you can find a way to make any trend completely yours. Trust me, I'm 5'10". I've experienced by fair share of tall girl insecurities so I know what I'm talking about. Below are six tall girl myths completely debunked by yours truly, with tips on how to get comfortable with the rule breaking:
1. Tall Girls Can't Wear Heels
Ah, my favorite myth to debunk. As I mentioned, I'm 5'10" and I wear platform shoes all the time. Boys hate it, random girls on the street high five me, and I sometimes get approached with awe-like questioning at bars over how I have the confidence to pull it off. My answer is always simple: I love these damn shoes. Just because you're shorter than me doesn't mean I'm going to cut myself off from the joys of a solid flatform. Not everyone feels comfortable doing this, but that's a confidence issue. Towering over a few people isn't a bad thing — just channel your inner Heidi Klum and smile down at the crowd.
2. Tall Girls Can't Wear Mini Skirts
This is similar to how "short girls can't wear maxi skirts." As long as you know how to style a piece, you can pretty much wear anything your heart desires. The issue with tall girls wearing mini skirts is that you can feel like you're showing off a whole lot of leg, and that can make you fidgety or uncomfortable. Or rather, you can feel fidgety and uncomfortable from all the disapproving mom stares you get on the street (true story). To help balance out your mini, try wearing a baggier, tunic style top or a cozy, loose sweater. That, or wear chunkier, closed-toe shoes to anchor the look down and give the illusion that you're more covered up.
3. Tall Girls Can't Wear Crop Tops
I remember one time I was sitting in a salon chair getting my hair cut, when my hairdresser was recounting her spontaneous weekend in New York City. She channeled her inner Carrie Bradshaw and slipped on high-waisted jeans, heels, and nothing else but a bandeau bra. They walked around eating ice cream in Central Park, looking fabulous and wonderfully summery. And all I could think was, "Sigh, lucky."
She was 5'2".
Much like the issue with the mini skirts, if you have a lot of torso, a flirty little crop top can look a little less flirty and a little more tasteleless. Just think back to our Britney Spears low-waist-jeans-and-belly-shirt years. Sure you look hot, but you're also channeling a middle school boy's fantasy.
To remedy the situation, just wear the crop top with something — anything! — high waisted. Whether it be jeans, a skirt, or shorts, the extra material covering your tummy will help balance out the proportions.
4. Tall Girls Can't Wear Menswear
The one fear a lot of us tall girls have is looking too, well, manish (being that we're already ahead of the curve vertically and everything). Which means boxy shoulders and baggy blazers can come off as a little bit scary. A lot of us stray from the menswear inspired trend in order to not appear to manly, but it's not like you have to choose pleated slacks and oversized collared shirts. It's all about the tailoring. Choose blazers that are long and boxy, but slim at the arms and shoulders. Or pair masculine pieces like suspenders and boxy-like briefcases, and match them against skirts and dresses.
5. Tall Girls Can't Wear Capri Pants
While capri pants have a rep for reminding us of our moms at Disney World circa 1995, they've been making an updated comeback in the past couple of years. While they're not quite so "flood conscious" this time around, they come in the forms of skinny cigarette pants that hit just above the ankle (think Audrey Hepburn) or loose and baggy culottes. While many women worry that the awkward cut right between the knee and ankle can make them appear stubby, I say use it to your advantage. It creates an interesting proportion, and lets you be playful with what you have going on on top.
6. Tall Girls Can't Wear Turtlenecks
Worried that their torsos might appear abnormally long in a tight fitted turtleneck, tall girls have been advised against wearing the shirt. While I can see not liking looking like you were cut right down the middle, I think that with a little bit of clever styling you can pull it off. For example, pair it with a high waist skirt or pants if you want to appear like you have a shorter tummy. Or use it as a layering piece and pop it underneath a dress or a blouse. With a little bit of tweaking, you can literally pull off anything you might want to wear!
Images: Author's Own