There are tall girl struggles the whole year round. Take winter for example: a few inches of missing trouser leg can be the difference between feeling cosy and warm and having your teeth chatter a mile a minute. But for me, the trickiest season for dressing when you're 5"8 and over is summer. It's a time when you should be looking and feeling your effortless best self in summer dresses, shorts, and jumpsuits, but it's easy to feel frustrated with a lack of high street clothing options for tall women.
The principle issue is hemlines — skirts are too short, midis hit your leg at an awkward angle, full-length dresses are nothing of the sort, and crop tops quickly become bralettes. Meanwhile jumpsuits and playsuits are so short in the body that you'd have to fold yourself in half to actually wear them.
In years gone by, buying tall clothes on the high street was an exercise in frustration and disappointment. The styles you wanted were seldom available and instead of actually resizing the clothes to fit bigger frames, certain retailers were just content to add extra inches onto to sleeves and trouser legs. But happily, with pressure on the high street from consumers to become more size-inclusive and nimble digital-only brands catching on to the business benefits of catering for all shapes, tall ranges are becoming more readily available and desirable to wear. In fact some of your fast fashion faves offer tall ranges that are worth checking out.
Sadly, traditional high street retailers still have some catching up to do when it comes to tall ranges, and with the environmental impact of the fashion industry becoming ever more apparent, it would be great to see some eco-friendly retailers take up the mantle, too. In the meantime, here are five places where you can find tall ranges on the high street.
Oh ASOS, it never lets us down. And it's no surprise that when it comes to catering for tall women, the online mega-retailer has got it covered. It's particularly solid on dresses, with everything from floaty floral sundresses to more structured styles suitable for work.
A new launch TTYA, which stands for Taller Than Your Average, specialises in clothes for women 5"9 and over. Its founder Irene Agbontaen is 5"11 and started the brand after noticing a serious gap in the market. Inspired by her Nigerian heritage, the clothing is bold, bright, and oh so summery. TTYA has teamed up with ASOS on a 10-piece clothing edit for warmer weather, including blouses with statement sleeves, striking wrap skirts, and a seriously jazzy purple snake print set. And for some inspiration, I'd also recommend following Agbontaen on Instagram where she can be seen incorporating TTYA items into some seriously major outfits.
Boohoo has a solid tall section that is particularly strong on jeans and suits. The latter come in an extensive variety of colours and styles. While a suit might not be your first choice for summer, it's actually a smart choice for work. When it's warm during the day you can wear the trousers on their own with T-shirt or blouse, and then should it cloud over (which is pretty much a guarantee in the UK) or when it gets cooler at night, pop the jacket on for a lightweight extra layer.
When it comes to the difficulties tall women face, Missguided really gets it. As per their website: "Trust us, we understand the struggle — trying to cover those long legs is not an easy task. What about having a jacket that actually reaches the end of your arms? Oh and who can forgot the classic… ‘Is that a skirt or a belt?’" So you know you're in pretty safe hands. The brand has a good selection of tops but they're also good on shorts and mini skirts that actually cover your bum. Missguided's tall range is aimed at women over 5"7, so it might not be suitable for women over 6", however.
Pretty Little Thing
Pretty Little Thing's tall range is aimed at women 5"9 and over, which should mean that women pushing 6" and over should be safe to shop here. However, I did find the gingham summer dress I'm wearing in the picture below a little on the short side. And, given the lightweight fabric, it would be ideal to have a little extra to help counter any gusts of wind that might reveal your pants to the general public. However, the brand does have a strong selection of athleisure and swimwear tailored for tall women, so it's well worth a look.