Tall Drink of Water – Styling Tips For Tall Ladies

Deborah BolandThere’s plenty of fashion advice out there for petites, but tall gals have their challenges too.

How do you dress to play up your height but still look proportioned? Personal wardrobe stylist Paul Julch is here to help.

Paul: Have you ever walked into a store just to find out it caters to tall women only?  Neither have I.  Tall women are an often forgotten a segment in the fashion industry. There are departments that cater to petite sizes, entire stores that focus on plus sizes, but you’ll rarely find one store, or one niche area in a department store where tall gals can go to get what they need.

But don’t be discouraged. There are a few tips and tricks that vertically gifted women can utilize to play up their assets.


No matter what size you are, embrace the body you have!  Focus on what you can do, and what flatters you most.  So hear this, tall ladies – wear heels, play up your curves, and never be ashamed of your height.


One of the best things that you can do is break up your body into different parts.  What this means is wearing one color on top and another on the bottom, or a solid jacket and printed skirt, and so on – strong contrasts are your friend.  You don’t need to worry about creating the illusion of a longer frame, you already have it – so have fun with color and pattern!



If you’re tall and curvy, enhance your natural assets with figure flattering styles that show off your waist and skim your womanly frame.  If you’re tall and lean, you need to work a little harder to create that hourglass shape.  A great place for you to pull focus is to your waist.  Wear high-waisted pants, wide belts (even with dresses and skirts), and tops that end right at your waist.  Doing this is another way to ‘break it up’, and also brings attention to the smallest part of your figure.  And don’t be afraid to add a little volume with wide leg pants or a fuller skirt.


Whereas petite women should focus on smaller prints and patterns, and accessories in scale with their height, tall women get to do the exact opposite.  Go for larger sized bags, chunkier jewelry, bigger prints and bolder colors.



You know it’s happened. You try on a long sleeved shirt, and everything fits but the sleeves are too short.  A simple trick is to just push up or roll your sleeves. It gives a little attitude to your look, and also keeps it from looking like your top shrunk in the wash.  This works for button-down shirts, sweaters, long sleeve dresses, and even blazers.  And if that doesn’t feel right, take control of your clothes and have the tailor hem the sleeves to a more purposeful-looking 3/4 sleeve length.


When there’s a trend out there that suits your size, take the opportunity and stock up!  Right now, midi and maxi skirts are all the rage.  If you don’t know what a midi is, it’s a skirt that ends a couple of inches below the knee, all the way to calf length – so it has the length you need.  And summer is all about maxi dresses, but many women find that they’re too long.  Lucky you! As long as the maxi gets close to ankle length, you’re all set!


If you’re ready to do some online shopping, check out these sites:

J. Crew: the tall section offers their signature style in dresses, tops, pants, suiting, and even maternity!

Long Tall Sally: an expertly edited selection devoted entirely to lanky ladies.

Banana Republic: the tall section of BananaRepublic.com has tops, skirts, dresses and more, specifically sized just for you.

Old Navy: truly affordable fashion with the extra length where you need it.

Paul Julch is a San Francisco Bay Area based personal wardrobe stylist.  He works with both women and men to create a modern, versatile wardrobe that works with their body type, lifestyle and budget.  Check him out at Urbanite|Suburbanite and on Facebook.

Figure Flattering Spring Dresses For Women Over 40

Black and white dressAfter a long, cold winter of pants and bulky sweaters, it’s a thrill to shed those heavy layers and throw on a pretty spring dress. But with so many choices out there, how do you know which dress is best?

Before you fall in love with the color, vibe or even the price of a dress, you need to take a long, hard look at the style. Does it suit your shape?  Finding a dress that flatters YOUR body type is the key to looking wow!

Here are 3 styles of spring dresses for women over 40 that are guaranteed to work for you.

1. The Sheath Dress

A sheath dress is class all the way. It’s a long, lean body skimming dress that encases your body, enhances your curves or creates them where there are none. This elegant style is typically sleeveless with strong waist definition and a back slit or pleats.

It is unfussy and is a fabulous choice for work or anytime you are going to an important event and aren’t sure what to wear. Michelle Obama is famous for her sheath dresses.



Sheath Dresses are perfect for:

  • hourglass figures- show off the curves you have at their best
  • boyish or thick waisted figures- creates the illusion of an hourglass

Sheath Dresses are tricky to wear if:

  • your body is not proportionate
  • you have a large protruding tummy

Find out why else I love a sheath dress!

2. The Shift Dress

A shift dress is the kind of dress every woman wants in her closet because it is easy and comfortable. It’s sort of like wearing a  long top.  It hangs loose from the shoulders (sometimes has darts) and falls straight down to above the knee with no waist definition.

Shift dresses can be sleeveless, have short or long sleeves and usually they usually have high scoop or boatneck neckline. Since they are loose they give off a casual, relaxed vibe and are excellent for covering up problem areas because they give your body room to “shift around.”



Shift Dresses are perfect for:

  • anyone with a boyish, straight up and down, rectangular figure
  • gals with a thick midsection
  • women with a jelly belly or large hips or thighs who need something loose

Shift dresses are tricky to wear if you:

  • are very curvy because they will hide your hourglass figure- although you can try belting one.
  • wear one that is too baggy- slightly tailored with a slight A-line flare is best so you don’t look like you are wearing a bag
  • wear one too that’s short- Shift dresses are on the short side and if you have large thighs, you will look heavy. The solution is to add tights or leggings. They look great with shift dresses.


3. The Fit and Flare Dress

The fit and flare is one of the most popular silhouettes this spring and it’s no wonder. It has a fitted top with a very defined waist and a flared skirt. This style will make you look very shapely and is a godsend is you have a heavy lower half. It’s very feminine and pretty.



Fit and flare dresses are perfect for:

  • balancing out a bigger bust – the wide skirt can even you out creating an hourglass
  • concealing wide hips or heavy thighs
  • giving everyone curves especially women with boyish, no waist shapes

Fit and flare dresses can be tricky to wear if you

  • want to look sophisticated. Some look little girly if they are too short or depending on the pattern.

Will you be buying a new spring dress. Comment below and let me know which type?



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