There’s a commonly-held belief that fashion is a tall woman‘s wonderland. If I had even 50 cents for every time I’ve heard the words, “You could totally wear that because you’re so tall,” I could afford to have all my jeans tailored to actually touch my ankles.
To a point, this is understandable; fashion models tend to be fairly statuesque, after all, so we’re used to seeing clothing photographed on long, tall bodies.
However, the reality is not so easy and carefree. Every lofty lady has war wounds from tripping over her huge feet in a change room, and lived experiences of revealing her undies to the public after foolishly borrowing a much shorter friend’s “dress”.
These are our sartorial struggles.
1. Playsuits and jumpsuits pose a very real injury risk.
Playsuits: they’re all fun and games until they’re too short in the torso and you get an almighty wedgie the moment you stand up straight in the change room. Which is nine out of 10 times for you.
No wonder Blake Lively looks happy — she's found a playsuit that actually fits. (Getty)
Some people swear by the adage of 'suffering for fashion', but is any trend worth feeling as though you're being sawn in half lengthways from between your legs? No. Definitely not.
2. Online shopping has left you with trust issues.
A moment, please, for every tall dame who has ordered a dress/skirt/pair of shorts that looked perfectly reasonable on their laptop screen, but only just skimmed the base of their bum cheeks in real life.
Watch: One piece of clothing that doesn't discriminate based on height? A scarf. (Post continues after video.)
3. Sleeves are the enemy.
Owning a shirt with sleeves that comfortably reach the bottom of your hand is a wonderful feeling, probably. Thanks to your "go-go Gadget" arms, you'll never know.
4. Your jeans and your ankles are rarely acquainted.
Jean shopping isn't easy by anyone's definition, but being taller than average complicates matters even further.
Lucky I wore cute socks to work today, because they weren't supposed to be visible.
You'll spend way too many minutes of your life furiously tugging on the hem of skinny jeans that have decided they want to be capri pants, and shiver through the colder months thanks to the 'wind tunnel' between the bottom of your jeans (any kind of pant, really) and the top of your ankle boots.
Then again, you might love the look of cropped pants, so in that case this is a big win. (Post continues after gallery.)
5. Maxi dresses become awkwardly short.
The entire appeal of maxi dresses is full coverage — in theory, at least.
When you're tall, the hem tends to hover awkwardly just above the top of the ankle so it's not quite a midi dress, but not quite a maxi. It's just... odd.
6. You've developed your own measure of skirt length.
Fact: when worn on a tall body, skirts never adhere to the length described on their label. Midi skirts become knee length; knee length skirts become minis; and minis are... well, an indecent exposure conviction waiting to happen.
Years of experience have taught you to ignore labels and develop your own, failproof measure for skirt length.
I'm not sure Outlander's Catriona Balfe employed the 'bend over' rule for this dress. Whatever. It looks great. (Getty)
This generally involves bending over or sitting down in the change room to ascertain just how much of your underwear is likely to be exposed in the event of a light breeze or having to retrieve spare change that's been dropped on the footpath.
Ten per cent or less? Winner.
7. You were ahead of the crop top trend without even trying to be.
The '90s renaissance wave has washed crop tops back into fashion, which is welcome news to you because it's rare for any top to sit lower than your bellybutton, regardless of design.
On a similar note, those two-piece 'crop top and skirt' combos that were all the rage last summer? Thanks to your long torso, the cute inch-wide 'gap' between top and skirt was more like a chasm.
Poor Taylor Swift — this was probably labelled as a "regular" cut shirt. (Getty)
8. With great height (usually) comes ridiculous feet.
Unless you're one of the lucky statuesque dames who can manage to stand upright on size nine feet, you will be all too familiar with the joys of wearing shoes that could easily be confused with water skis.
Sadly, it's impossible for shoes to look 'cute' or 'dainty' on big feet — that's if you can even find a pair of women's shoes in your size to begin with. Oh, and then there's the whole 'to heel or not to heel' dilemma...
This scene in Cinderella was all too real. (Image: Walt Disney Pictures)
9. Accidentally buying 'normal' length stockings is heartbreaking.
That moment when you rip open a new pair of opaque tights and begin pulling them on... only for the crotch to stop at the top of your knees. But hey, at least you can buy tall tights these days — 'one size fits all' never worked in your favour.
Watch: The sneaky tactics retail stores use to get us to buy more. Those cunning tricksters. (Post continues after video.)
10. We barely even fit in change rooms to start with.
You know how giraffes' heads always pop over the top of zoo fences? That's what many change rooms are like for the more height-endowed among us. This situation is particularly fun when you're trying to preserve your modesty while bra shopping.
Oh, and we can rarely see our entire reflection in the mirror, which isn't overly helpful when you're, you know, shopping for clothes.
Precisely how I feel in some change rooms. (iStock)
I realise it's not overly helpful to voice complaints without offering solutions. So I asked the taller women of the MWN offices to share the brands and stores that accommodate their lengthy frames. Here are some of their tips.
"Cheap Monday jeans — they're so long I even have to bunch up the hems a little bit. I suspect it's because they're designed in Sweden, and people are tall over there."
"Nine West for BIG shoes. They go to a very generous size 42."
"Top Shop Tall. I have 11 pairs of their jeans and no signs of stopping yet."
If you have any to share, please do so in the comments.
What are your greatest tall lady style struggles?
Featured image: Getty.