Reader Megan e-mailed me with this question:
I was wondering if you could take the time to post a blog about how a tall college (aka broke) girl can go about finding dresses and skirts that cover up the you-know-what. I feel like I miss out on summer because all the cute summery (and every other season) dresses, skirts and shorts don’t give me enough coverage – my butt ain’t that big! I also don’t get to do the cute tunic trend because all the tunics are just regular shirts on me! I’ve tried Ann Taylor Loft for Tall skirts and dresses, but many of their options, while cute and do a much better job of covering up, don’t fit into my price range, and I don’t want my entire wardrobe to be from there!
I’m 5′ 5.5″. As my husband constantly reminds me, the fact that I count that half inch makes me decidedly NOT TALL. So I called in an expert: Thrift goddess, style maven, and all-around fantastic woman, Gracey of Fashion for Giants. Who is tall. And knows it. And knows how to shop for her tallness. Take it away, Gracey!
* * * * *
Hello Already Pretty Readers! My name is Gracey and I blog over at Fashion for Giants. And I’m super excited that Sally asked me to help out with Megan’s question. Being six foot tall and a wearer of clothes, I consider myself a bit of an expert in finding clothes that fit a taller frame.
While there are several retailers who offer tall sizes, all of them offer longer lengths online only. And most of them only offer the longer lengths in pants; it is far more difficult to find skirts and dresses in tall sizes. My top suggestions for tall skirts and dresses online are Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. I’ve found that these three carry the most options in tall sizes.
Two other good options are eShakti and Modcloth. Neither of these online retailers offer “tall” sizing per se, but they do carry skirts and dresses in longer lengths. And eShakti allows you to select the length on most of their skirts and dresses, even if it’s not the length shown or you have the option to customize the piece for an additional fee. I have two dresses from eShakti and they’re both the perfect length. Modcloth is great because they actually offer a “Longer Lengths” section so you don’t have to wonder if something will cover your heinie or not.
My favorite place to find longer skirts and dresses is the thrift store. This is an especially great option if you’re on a budget. Of course, I’m not saying there are more tall sizes in the thrift stores, I’m saying there is a fabulous alternative. Petite dresses and skirts! Yes, that’s right; I’m advocating petite clothing for tall women. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but think about it; a mid-ankle length dress for a petite woman is the perfect midi-length for a tall woman. And a midi-length skirt for a petite woman is the perfect knee-length for a tall woman.
Want proof? Here are few of my favorite petite thrift store finds:
And now for tunics. As with the skirts and dresses, a lot of retailers that carry tall pants don’t necessarily carry tall tops or tunics, because, apparently, most retailers are under the impression that being tall only means you have a longer inseam, not that you have longer arms or a longer torso. Therefore, you have to get a little creative.
Dresses as Tunics
Even with the new midi-length trend, many dresses nowadays are scandalously short. Take advantage of that fact by wearing those short-short dresses as tunics. You’ll find they often hit in just the right spot, unlike actual tunics. And you can find them reasonably priced at retailers like Target, Forever 21, Old Navy and H&M.
Here are some examples of regular dresses I bought to wear as tunics:
Add a Mini
If a tunic still feels uncomfortably short to you and/or you don’t want anyone to think that you believe leggings are pants, add a mini-skirt. Both H&M and Target carry great, knit mini-skirts that work as perfect layering piecea when a tunic isn’t a tunic on a tall girl.
I’m going to offer the same advice here as I did for the dresses; thrift petites. In this instance, look for shorter petite dresses to wear as tunics. An above-the-knee dress for a petite woman is a perfect tunic for a tall woman.
For example, the polka dot tunic in this picture? It’s a petite dress that I thrifted:
Thank you all for reading, I hope this was at least somewhat helpful. And thank you, Sal, for including me!