Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an extravaganza of a wedding in Florida, requiring no less than 3 outfits: cocktail attire, an outfit suitable for a Palm Beach brunch and a black tie dress. None of these are easy when you’re tall but you will know as well as I that a floor-sweeping gown is particularly challenging when you’re 5’10 plus. So, as the combined hangover and jet lag hammer my sleep-deprived brain, I am sitting down to share with you some of the best tips gathered from my research. Apologies for grammatical errors and typos – things are making more sense in my head than in the public domain today…
The Black Tie Gown
I tend to leave these things until they’re really urgent, which means putting all of my sartorial eggs in one discount basket, AKA The Outnet. However, US retailer Revolve (shop gowns here) also has some fantastic tall girl options if you have a little more time on your hands and you’re prepared to fork out for the return shipping cost if it doesn’t work out. Check out Jay Godfrey, Gemeli Power, Parker Black, Norma Kamali, Nookie and Katie May amongst others – they come up very long!
As for the UK, if you’re on a tight budget then ASOS Tall is going to be your best friend. Funnily enough a very pretty blonde lady wore a bright red ASOS dress embellished with diamanté to the wedding – and it divided us (aren’t we women terrible at critiquing each other?!). A few loved it, and a few hated it. I couldn’t possibly divulge which side I was on… Personally, I couldn’t find much on ASOS that hinted at classic, timeless fashion – but maybe that’s just me.
While I don’t want to spend a fortune on something I will be wearing infrequently, a gown is an investment piece – choose wisely and you’ll be able to wear it to every black tie party you ever go to. The Outnet is effectively Net-A-Porter’s last season leftovers. I couldn’t care less whether I’m in SS17 or SS18, and if it’s a classic floor length dress in a timeless colour then why does it matter anyway?
I chose this striking black cutout dress by Solace London, which came in at a smidgen under £200. In my mind, that’s an excellent price for a black tie dress and I felt so good in it (which adds huge non-monetary value). As for the accessories, I opted for a brass cuff around my upper arm (bought in Miami), earrings from the V&A Museum shop (AMAZING place for jewellery!) an old glitter clutch and block heel sandals by Next, coming in at well under £100 combined. Total cost of outfit < £300.
Here are our pick of the best tall-friendly black tie brands from The Outnet.
Halston Heritage – SHOP NOW
Not too bling, not too demure. Beautifully long dresses in classic with a twist styles at reasonable prices. It doesn’t get much better.
Solace London – SHOP NOW
Much like Halston Heritage – striking dresses with quirky cuts at very appealing prices. Excellent in the length department.
Haute Hippie – SHOP NOW
Whimsical, delicate, feminine dresses perfect for summer black tie events. Many styles are extra long, but not always across the whole range.
Mikael Aghal – SHOP NOW
Just Cavalli – SHOP NOW
If you’re after a bit more glitz and glamour, look no further than the King of Bling, Roberto Cavalli.
Nicholas – SHOP NOW
In elegant fabrics like satin and lace and classic colours, you’ll stand out in the right way.
Badgley Mischka – SHOP NOW
A fantastic choice of dresses in an array of colours and styles. Badgley Mischka does a mean off-the-shoulder gown.
SHOP HANNAH’S OUTFIT (or similar)
The Cocktail Dress
In case you are wondering what I wore for the other parties… This cobalt blue cocktail dress I found in Sandro on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach (yep – I actually bought a French dress in the US for more than it would have cost back home, doh). It is so pretty it brings a tear to my eye every time I open my wardrobe. I styled it with my classic pointy Miu Miu heels (find them in a size 9 on My Theresa – shop now) and a glittery clutch so old I have no idea where it came from (similar listed in Shop The Post above).