When tall women are looking for work attire, they can come across some problems. Shopping for tall workwear is not easy! Sue Allen Clayton, a 58-year-old, 6 foot tall woman and Founder of the Serene Solopreneur, a support group for female entrepreneurs laments about the difficulties of shopping for work attire as a tall woman. “I have spent much of my life wearing ‘what fits’ rather than clothes I love. I feel like I missed the ability to really enjoy clothes.”
Whether you work for someone else or yourself, below are some of the best work clothes for tall women, with a few top style tips for taller women along the way.
Pants and Trousers
If you’re tall, the biggest struggle is with pants. When it comes to work, it’s important to make sure that your slacks look smart. Stylist and blogger, Katie McCullin, says she suggest that her tall clients to invest in the “long” option. “Sometimes (not always), the options outside of regular [lengths] are a little extra. Pay the money. The fastest way to lose credibility in a work situation is to show up looking disheveled with pants that are too short.”
Wondering how long your pants should be? It’s worth deciding if you plan on wearing the pants with heels or not before choosing the length. McCullin points out that dress pants, even with heels on, “should just skim the ground. If they hit at the ankle, they’re too short.” This is especially true for wide or flared leg pants.
Then again, skinny pants and cropped trousers are popular, too. McCullin points out that these can be a great option because, “by design, they’re supposed to be shorter. You won’t have to be concerned with extra length or limitations with heels.” Choose your length and inseam wisely! Try a style like those here from Alloy, a brand that specifically creates clothing for tall women.
Blazers and Blouses
Being tall usually means you have long limbs, including long arms. To find a stylish blazer that fits your arms, try shopping tall styles, and brands that specifically design workwear for tall woman. Long Tall Sally has several clothing options for taller women, including matching pantsuits and separates.
Want to try something else? McCullin adds an interesting idea if you want to try a regular blazer: “If you’re running into a problem with finding one with sleeves that fit, cuffing or rolling the blazer to 3/4 sleeve is completely acceptable. In fact, most blazers now have a fun lining so it would be an accent to the outfit.”
If you’re tall, skirts can be tricky. What would be a knee length skirt on some can turn into a mini skirt for tall women. If your work environment is more conservative or corporate, look for a pencil skirt in a tall size that hits just above the knee. Ann Taylor makes elegant workwear, including tall sized skirts and separates, like the leopard print version here.
Another great length for tall women is the midi skirt. While regular length maxi skirts can often be too short or an awkward length, a midi length is work appropriate and on trend.
If you’re tall and also wear a larger shoe size, work shoes can be an ordeal to find. Long Tall Sally carries officewear shoes in sizes 9 to 15 in various heel heights from simple pumps to trendy mules. Choose a heel height that works with your pant length and personal comfort. There’s no need to shy away from heels if you want to wear them.
And remember, if you don’t want the extra height, you don’t have to wear heels to look stylish at work. Smart looking flats, loafers, and oxfords are a chic, too.
If you’re having trouble finding great work outfits for a tall frame, try having them expertly made for you! Working with someone like Dara Lamb, owner of her own New York City based custom clothier that creates both bespoke and made to measure garments, means you can choose the length, inseam, and style that works for your height. It also means the designer can use your exact measurements so the garment fits your unique proportions. In fact, you can create a look that is all your own.
“The most crucial thing is to find a garment that perfectly fits your height. More often than not off-the-rack only offer standard length and fit. Made-to-measure offers unique garments, cut and sewed for each individual body type,” suggests Eugenie Cuynet of custom clothing company Sumissura. She goes on to stress the importance of trying custom clothing: “For the working women, a professional appearance is highly important and will tell a lot about you. You want to feel comfortable, elegant and confident which can only be done with custom made clothes.”