When you’re tall, finding the right clothes can be a challenge. You’ve probably bought pants that hit way above your ankle or tops with sleeves that fall short (literally). Or maybe you're curvy and struggle to find plus size styles made for a taller stature. Keep reading to find out what it means to be tall, how to shop for pieces that fit, and all the expert styling tips for your unique frame.
What is a tall frame?
Determining if you have a tall frame is all about height, so keep reading for specifics. Here are three characteristics that might mean you’re in this category:
• You’re 5’9” or taller
• Your inseam is 32” or longer
• Sleeves and pant legs are often too short
Keep in mind, these won’t all be the case for everyone. Taller frames come in all sizes and proportions—you may have legs that need a longer inseam, but may never really have an issue with sleeve length.
3 style tips for tall women
2. Know your measurements
In addition to your shape, your inseam and arm lengths are important measurements to have on hand when shopping for clothes.
3. Know your proportions
If your seat hits about halfway down your frame, you’re likely a true tall. If not, you may just need tall tops or pants, not both.
What to wear if you have a tall frame
We’ve covered how to tell if you’re tall and a few general tips, so it’s time to get specific. When shopping for outfits for tall women, here are the best tops, jackets, pants, dresses, jeans, and accessories to look for.
Best tops for tall women
Pay attention to sleeve length. You can also choose a three-quarter sleeve for a more forgiving fit. Brands we love with tall sizing: Equipment, Cotton Emporium, Madewell, Free People, Halogen, Frame
These tend to have longer cuts that better fit tall torsos
The open silhouette beautifully accentuates a long neckline
Often too long on shorter women, but great for tall frames
Best jackets for tall women
Spoiler alert: You can’t really go wrong with your third pieces. Brands we love with tall sizing: BP, Madewell Thread & Supply, Alex Mill
As with tunics, tall women can really pull these off
The more traditional length and shape emphasizes your waist
Creates shape with a horizontal line
Flattering dresses for tall women
Look for longer hemlines that will hit at just the right spot. Brands we love with tall sizing: Reformation, Topshop, Halogen
The calf-skimming hemline accentuates your legs
Creates an eye-catching effect on a tall frame.
A universally flattering style that creates shape on top
Best jeans for tall women
Most premium denim brands offer longer inseams, making them ideal for tall women. Brands we love with tall sizing: 7 For All Mankind, DL1961, Frame, Paige, Hudson, Joe’s, Madewell
Perfect if you want to create a little more shape
Lengthens your legs and defines your waistline
For those days you really want to show off your long legs
Stylish shoes and accessories for tall women
While you may not think these things can have an effect on your silhouette, they surprisingly do. Brands we love: Schutz and Sam Edelman for shoes; Madewell and BP. for accessories
1. Strappy sandals
Especially in neutral colors, these make your legs miles long
2. Pointy-toe shoes
Lengthen your legs and overall silhouette
Wear one at your natural waist to create shape
A note about boots: If you’re tall, you’ve perhaps found that over-the-knee boots just don’t hit at the right place for your longer legs. (Though we can’t recommend Stuart Weitzman enough for their varying heights in OTK boots.) If that’s the case, try these tips:
- Know your knee-to-ankle measurement and compare it to the boot’s shaft height
- A calf circumference of 13.75” or less is considered narrow
- Some boots feature adjustable or stretch fabrications that conform to varying calf sizes
- As an alternative to over-the-knee styles, short boots worn with matching opaque tights create a similar effect
3 outfit ideas for tall ladies
Again, bold prints are your friend. On top, go for a trendy animal print or classic stripes. For jeans, a high-waisted pair in a straight-leg silhouette is equally great on a taller frame. If you’re adding a jacket, a longer hemline will tie the look together.
Pair a cropped, tailored blazer with subtly flared trousers to balance the look and define the waist. Own your height with a pair of pointed-toe heels. You don’t have to go super high, even a kitten heel will give you a little lift.
Out on the town
Make the midi dress your go-to when you’re dressing up a little. It’s so easy for taller women to pull off, especially since it makes the most of longer legs. And don’t be afraid of prints—tall frames are perfect for some pop.
Want to know more?
We’ve compiled answers to some FAQs about how to dress tall women. Click the questions below for more style advice.
We would recommend one of two options: Try cuffing them at the bottom and adding a strappy heel to make it look more intentional, or go a few sizes up to get the length you need and then have them altered. (A free or inexpensive service at any Nordstrom Trunk Club or Nordstrom location.)
As with pants, chances are you may need to size up to get the sleeve length right, and then have your garment professionally tailored so that it fits in the torso.
A tall frame is an excellent canvas for bold prints and patterns. Embrace your tall stature by owning your frame and experimenting with graphic pops in your outfits.
Jumpsuits can look especially great on tall women. Try looking for adjustable straps and a cropped leg. Also, a lower neckline can help to create balance and visually counter your long legs.
Since many sleeve lengths can fall short, embracing a three-quarter sleeve can help. These look good on pretty much any body type, and can accentuate longer limbs. And if you find a shirt you can’t walk away from that’s just too short in the sleeves, try rolling them up.
Dressing tonally can make a tall frame look even taller, so embrace it! But if you’re trying to break up your frame a bit, try a different color on top than on bottom.
Want more style tips? Visit our body shape pages (linked above) and find out even more about which looks work best for your frame. To get a Trunk full of looks styled just for your unique body, talk to a stylist.