Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finding Clothes for My Super Tall Daughter


where a hem should end
My daughter is six foot two (188 cm.)  This has posed some challenges in where to find clothing and shoes. Being tall myself, I've heard many times that clothes look better on taller people.  In general, that is probably true.  But your clothes won't look better if your sleeves end before your wrists or the hem of your pants barely reaches your ankles.  (In case you're wondering where the hem of your pants should end, the rule is that your pant's hem should end halfway down the heel of your shoe.)

Many retailers have started making clothes in tall sizes.  Our favorites are Gap, J.C. Penney, and Old Navy.  All of these stores are less expensive--and I would say more fashionable-- than retailers who only stock tall size clothing.



gap perfect boot jeans in extra long tall
Jeans
 My daughter, who is extra tall, likes Gap jeans best.  They have an extra long size as well as a regular long size.  If you're not quite as tall, you can try tall size jeans from Levi's, Old Navy, Lucky brand, as well as some other brands.  Tall size jeans are becoming so common that I've even found them at thrift stores.  To save money, sign up to receive e-mails from Old Navy and Gap.  They often notify you of sales and coupon codes.

School Uniform
Since my daughter attends a charter high school, she usually wears khakis and polo shirts to school.  We've found that Old Navy polos are the most flattering tall polos.  They come in a lot of colors.  She also likes the Old Navy khakis in tall.  Since the Old Navy khakis are not long enough for her, I have to use my sewing skills to make them over a bit.  I found a product at the sewing store called bias tape hem facing (pictured below.)  My daughter and I remove the stitching from the old hem, iron the pants, sew on the bias tape hem facing, and sew the hem again.  This usually adds at least two inches to the hem.



Bathing Suits
We love Lands' End bathing suits since you can order them in long, and they come in many modest styles.  Lands' End also has some nice wrinkle free button down oxfords in tall sizes.


Shoes
If I had to pick one thing that's the hardest to buy for my daughter, it would be shoes.  She has very long, narrow feet.  Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of shoes available in her size and most of what is available isn't as attractive as she would like.  We get several shoe catalogues, including Auditions and Maryland Square which specialize in hard-to-find sizes.  Nordstroms is a great place to find larger sizes.  Unfortunately, they also tend to be very expensive.  Their clearance store, Nordstrom Rack, usually has a limited selection in her size.

Payless Shoe Source is also a great place to find trendy shoes in larger sizes; however, Payless shoes tend to be less comfortable than other brands.  Don't forget that Payless has a website.  We usually order shoes through the website, have them shipped to the store (free shipping), then try them on at the store (in case we need to return them.)  It works out to be simpler than driving around to all the stores to see what they have in the right size.

If you want your feet to look smaller, here are a few things that help: 
  • a smaller vamp (that's the top part of the shoe that covers the end of your foot)
  • lots of straps
  • a slight heel
The image below is a sandal from Payless that has some of these characteristics.


Since it's so hard to find shoes, I encourage my daughter to have fun with her other accessories--purses, scarves, belts, and jewelry. 

[Click here for an update I wrote in March 2013 with additional resources.]

I hope this post has helped you.  Please add your comments about what you've done to find tall clothing for women.

4 comments:

  1. I am 6 feet tall and everything you said rang a bell with me! I happen to really love shoes, which is super unfortunate for all of the reasons you mentioned. I wear size 11 and apparently shoe manufacturers assume that all size 11 feet are also, (how do I say "fat" nicely?) the opposite of narrow. Flip flops especially don't stay on properly because they've got so much extra room built in. *sigh*

    I love that tall jeans are easier to find now! Although, it still bugs me when I see someone who bought tall jeans that didn't need them and they're completely walked on and frayed at the bottom! :D Old Navy is my fave for jeans, but I've been wanting to try something else, so thanks for the tips! :) I LOVE hem tape and sewing for myself! I love full knee length skirts, but if I buy them at the store they're always a bit shorter than I'd like, so I make them for myself a lot. And can I just say, layering tank tops are my best friends! Not only keeping everything covered, but with my long legs, pulling my visual waist line down helps balance the look of my body. :) In fact, inch for inch, I'm a pretty average height in my torso... all of my extra height is in my legs.

    I loved this blog post! Thanks so much for sharing! Your daughter is lucky to have a Mom like you to go the extra mile in helping her to feel pretty. My Mom always tried hard, too. And since my girls will surely be tall, I hope to be their cheerleader as well. :)

    Stop by my blog sometime! ;) (I'm Angela's sister, by the way) ;D http://ladybugdiana.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-hate-shopping.html This is a post I wrote a while back about just such a thing. :)

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Diana. Your post is funny. Shopping can be a pain when you're tall.

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  3. Here are some other great stores for tall shoppers from Leslie's website www.missussmartypants.com :
    Eddie Bauer, Coldwater Creek, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Chico's, J.Jill, longelegantlegs.com , and tallgirlshop.com . Be sure to leave a comment if you have any tips for tall women shoppers.

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