While Guidelines & Fault Lines is not my normal adventure story, it is an adventure of another genre, one of internal musings mixed with practical insights for the tall girl. It began when I was asked to jot down some guidelines for presenting well when we have a built-in challenge such as height. Thus, the title “Tall Girl Chit Chat”.
If you are 5 feet four to eight, you can consider yourself in the height category that will by itself not attract any particular attention. However, if you tip the yardstick at 5’11 or higher, or Ken Buckwall might say you may be out of the norm and into the Tall Gal category. If so this short dissertation may be helpful to you. So here goes in a lesson to maximize your presentation and your TALL GAL self-confidence.
As with any building it must have a solid foundation if it is to stand the winds of time. Your foundation, in this sense, is not your posterior but you posture. If you walk with a slump, a rambling gate, shoulders sagging or head tilted down your foundation must be modified and remain better aligned -permanently. A good mental (personal) mantra (checklist) – Eyes up and open, chin up, Shoulders back, Breasts forward and proud (but not oversized), tummy-in, and buns out. All of these hints must be consciously practiced at all “Girl” times. It helps to adopt many of them regardless of your presentation mode. The fundamental posture enhancements will carry over to your overall benefit.
Another great “fantastic” aide is the wearing of “Wedgies” almost the whole time, particularly when at home doing all those kitchen chores and making the beds. They will help you with your “High Heel” locomotion, grace and balance. An easy enhancement to your womanly carriage and sweep as you going around that corner, settling into that chair always remembering to “sweep” your skirt in a ladylike manner or possibly a sexy sweep (and putt) if wearing a pencil or leather skirt. It even works when wearing a nice pair of slacks, particularly when also wearing heels. It will take some practice but will be well worth the small effort to develop this small graceful, feminine gesture. Another graceful movement to practice which will lessen the “Tall” factor is how to gently settle into a sofa or overstuffed chair while “descending” in a scissors like glide culminating with your legs either in a 45% angle or tucked under your touché.
By now you are asking yourself where are the fashion-presentation hints?? First let’s recognize some of the many body shapes. I am not talking about the pear, triangle or the pencil. I am focusing on height, lengths and overall proportions. Height is good! It gives you the high ground and greater visibility both physical and mentally. Make use of these factors and do everything within your knowledge and capabilities to take advantage of or mitigate these factors.
We all love a gorgeous dress, particularly the sweeping style as well as the curve hugging variety. Always have! Always will! However, given some of physical differential between our two bodies – the one we have and the one we desire some recognition s are warranted. A simple one is “long-waisted vs short-waisted”. Typically, the male form is more inclined to be “long-waisted” as compared to the normal female form. This differential comes to the fore in many dresses and shows itself as a significantly higher waistline than our natural waistline which is often denoted not by your “belly-button”, but the natural indention of our waist and perhaps 2-3 inches above that marker.
Quite often the waist line of a delicious dress or glorious gown will fall several inches above our waist range and just “jumps out” at you and any other viewer or critic as not right!! This is great if you prefer an EMPIRE Line look but disconcerting if not intended. Part of the available offset is choosing one size up. This will give you a little more stretch room, avoid the squirming struggle and if you are a TALL Gal it will move that pesky waist line and noticeable seam a bit lower, quiet possibly positioning it within the concealment range of a wide belt or colorful silky oversized scarf.
At this point I must inject a few personal statistics and one or two limitations on clothing selections before proceeding. Please keep in mind there is no TALL GAL store within 150 miles of my location and clothes stores are few and not upscale. Belk, Ross, TJ Max and Chico are the total. Thus, some imagination, as well as a flare for “mix and match” is a necessitated.
STATS: Height 5’11, Weight 156 (180@ muscular adult norm)
Waist Norm 33 Inches, Constrained 30/31
Hips 38 Inches (Nice and Rounded but Slim)
Bust 38 (Natural) With a Bra 42
Clothes Sizes: Brassier Size 36b (Preferred)
Slacks, Jeans: 6-8-10 Depending on Manufacture
Blouse: Medium & Large
Suit: 14 (Need to take in waist)
Dress: 10 & 12 (Occasionally 8)
Gown: 16 (Typically due to a snugger Bodice and cut)
A good choice for a dress is a solid color to blend with your complexion and satisfy your inner girl soul. You can upgrade almost any dress of this style with some “bling”. A wide belt – black, green, gold can usually upgrade the look with minimum effort. Bare arms can look great in a sun dress or spectacular in a gown, however overly muscularly defined upper arms can substantially question or shatter the presentation and need to be shrouded by a full-length sleeve or defused by a flowing/butterfly or ¾ length sleeve. A nice bracelet and finger rings as well as manicured and polished nails are an attractive distraction from the shoulders and arms. It seems Nails grown “snail slow” when actually heathy nails (unless you bite them to the quick) can be a respectable “ladies” length in seven to ten days. However, a longer growing period may attract unwanted attention. Press-On is always a good option.
However great and well-fitting a dress is and the vision of romance and femininity it helps to create, it CAN be matched by a blouse and skirt combination aided by a tasteful belt and capped by a soft-colored scarf. In addition, a skirt can be more form fitting and flirty with a kick plate or extremely casual and airy. In addition, skirts open up a wide range of texture from silk to wool and a much wider range of hem length from mini-micro to above knee, at knee, below knee, mid-calf and Maxi. Great from the warmth of the summer sun to the icy breezes of a northern or western winter clime. Your choice depending on your mood (and your legs).
I love them all, so definitely feminine, although to be totally honest, truly favor short and snug. However, yesterday elected a just below knee gray/blue straight wool model. It was paired with a pair of burgundy tights, two-inch heel chukka boots. This collective muted look, from waist to toes, was offset with a white spaghetti under top wrapped in a ¾ length sleeve pink silk blouse, blue/grey eye shadow, blusher, and pink lip color. Pink tinted rings and bracelet with a single teardrop white pearl on a thin gold necklace. I include the above to highlight the success that can be found in an imaginative mix and match combination without going overboard or flashy.
Although I love the drape of a dress and the flow or snugness of a skirt this girl must immediately admit and recognize the value and special flare that jeans or fitted slacks can add to your wardrobe and inner feminine psyche as well as posture and carriage.
Whereas a dress or skirt can be practical, attractive or sensual it also can be an instrument of distraction (or camouflage), while a well filled out pair of jeans or slacks can be a great attention step or a major distractor to an otherwise well put together face. The past two mornings, I wore jeans on my morning walk because as is usual, at this time of year here in the norther climes it can be a little nippy on bare legs, no matter how shapely your legs are.
Since our actual caboose is most likely different from our more desirous one and the reality that gal’s jeans and slacks are proportioned differently, we TALL gals must take some preemptive measures. First thin legged is best, decorated butt packets are nice but a key is a smaller waist and snug butt. The first step is a set of quality jeans/slacks with a waist size two-three inches smaller than your typical skirt waist. This cinching measure should be reinforced by a wide (2-3 inch) leather belt. Not sure you want a fancy or decorative belt, believe a simple black, grey or tan motif is preferred. You want your womanly shape to be as natural as possible, not look like a rope tied around a potato sack. The choice of a woman’s man-tailored shirt can be a great choice, although the most likely companion for jeans top is a colorful blouse either solid, floral or mottled and worn either in or out. Another choice is a soft or bulky sweater as the weather, event and your mood dictates.
There is much, much more we can explore, discover and discuss including even conceivably dissect. There are always shoes, shrugs, silhouettes, camisoles, purses, the art of movement and the gracefulness of sitting to be touched on in our continuing dialogue of Tall Gal Chit-Chat. Thanks for your time the past few minutes,
Marie Anne (Veronique) Greene