It has been remiss of us not to post this sooner, given we label ourselves as a hub of inspiration for tall fashion. Styling a tall frame can be a bit of a maze, but it is important to point out that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to fashion. As our HøF guest model Liv Inge put it “by the very nature of a fashion rule you have already stepped into a dead-end street”. The most important thing is that you feel great (at the very least comfortable) in what you are wearing.
The following are merely guidelines, but at HøF HQ we have found that they allow us to filter out an awful lot when we’re looking for outfit inspiration. Hopefully, they will help you streamline your approach to shopping too.
Think about breaking up a head to toe maxi dress outfit with colours, belts or just your lovely skin. Being tall is fantastic but wearing head to toe in one colour or material makes us look taller. In fact it is likely to make us look generally bigger and can be intimidating to those who don’t know us. If you are after a maxi dress, seek out ones which have some kind of feature which breaks up the column – think strapless, halter neck, deep v-neck plunge (see above left) or a colour block pattern (above right). Personally, we think separates look fantastic on a tall frame – a midi skirt and a top, for example. A sliver of skin (see above centre) is a striking way to break up an outfit. Proof? Last time I showed a sliver of skin, I got a date. Last time I wore a maxi dress, I didn’t. (My dating success must surely be a formally recognised metric?)
Big feet? Buy Half A Shoe
Shoes with an interesting cut out feature, or a sweetheart toe cut, can be flattering on larger feet. Also a pointed toe is also more flattering and gives the illusion of feet being smaller. They may be comfortable, but round toe courts can be a little uninteresting, so on occasion try half a shoe and little more pinch for a much more elegant look. A final nugget – nude/pale pink coloured shoes always look great.
Try to avoid continuous baggy material from top to bottom which will give the impression of being larger than you really are. The mind is tempted to create something as wide as it is tall unless it can see otherwise. The easiest way to create a silhouette is to belt whatever it is you are wearing at your natural waist. This immediately tells the eye that you’re slim underneath all that material. If you are feeling brave, do style baggy tops and baggy bottoms so long as you are breaking the look with different colours, textures and a belt, as shown above left. However, if in doubt, it is much better to keep a slim silhouette on top if you are wearing baggy trousers, and vice versa (as seen above right). Allow the eye to be drawn to slim features.
Playing With Layering
This is something we talk about a lot as adding interest to a look and it really can be very flattering. However, avoid layering where you tend to store your fat as this can make even the slimmest frames look… well, less slim, as demonstrated by the usually immaculate Leandra Medine of Man Repeller (above left). For example, if I wore a tunic dress over a pair of jeans, the layering effect would be around my hips and bum, the one place I do not want to highlight. Layering t-shirts, shirts and jackets draws attention to a slimmer upper body, as demonstrated by Karlie Kloss above right. Draw inspiration from the fashion experts, like Olivia Palermo (centre above) – note the use of a belt for slimming and colour/texture/pattern change to break it up.
This is a difficult one as HøF loves a good hat, but just be aware that a hat adds height. I stopped wearing hats to weddings long ago, blocking the view for people behind you doesn’t make friends (and intimidates any handsome ushers). If you want something on your head for an occasion, try a fascinator that sits forward over your eyes or a beautiful hair slide for the effect without the added height. As for trilbies and fedoras, they’re great for everyday wear, but if you’re in the pub or just standing, chatting to people in an informal environment, consider taking it off until you’re on the move again. You still get the effect but without the intimidation factor.
They’re TOO SHORT! Hems & Cuffs (like handcuffs but not as fun)
This is the frustration we most often hear: everything is too short. For HøF, this is the least of our worries because generally clothes look better with the sleeves rolled up and hems cuffed. Cold wrists? Wear wrist warmers. I saw a girl on the tube yesterday wearing cropped jeans over sheer tights (use code HOFSISTERS5 on a pair of Divine Legs 20 denier) – she looked ??. Otherwise socks (above left), ankle boots or just brave it.
The Armpit Waist
You find a dress you love but when you try it on, the waist is somewhere in the vicinity of your ribcage. So, we can immediately filter out most dresses with a structured waist and opt instead for those which are bodycon, have a wide waistband, no waistband at all (belt it yourself, above left) or a tiered waist (above centre).