5 Tricks For Dressing Confidently When You're Pretty Darn Tall

Here are some tips and tricks -- other than throwing on a pair of tights, leggings or skinny jeans under whatever is too short -- that give tall girls freedom and flexibility to wear what they like.
Publish date:
July 23, 2014

I’ve always been “tall for my age.” I’m 5’10 and have been around this height since I was 14 or so. I remember slouching and shrinking down when taking pictures with my shorter friends and being thrilled when a few of the boys in my middle school class finally hit puberty and grew to my height.

My legs have always been long, and skirts, dresses and shorts always seem shorter on me. In high school, I got in trouble too many times to count for accidentally (really!) breaking dress code for wearing the same skirts other girls were wearing because mine fell too many inches above my knees. I was so self-conscious about my long, lanky self, and when I noticed clothes fit me differently than they did smaller girls, it made my self-esteem that much worse.

Since my tween years, I've embraced my height. I now love being tall. I can always reach whatever I need on the upper shelves at the grocery store, I can see over numerous moving heads at music festivals and concerts, and as a bridesmaid at my best friend’s recent wedding, I was placed closest to the bride. Tall privilege, I guess.

While I haven’t always liked my height, I’ve always been obsessed with putting outfits together. For a long time, I wore what I wanted and what was “in” and didn’t give much thought to the fact that people were probably looking at me because my left butt cheek was hanging out from under my short dress and not because my outfit was cute.

Now that I’m older (and so much wiser, kinda), I pay more attention to what I’m wearing and how flattering it is on me. I want to look stylish and put together, and I always want my clothes to fit and flatter my long body in the best way possible. Since women come in so many wonderful shapes and sizes, all clothing, unfortunately, can’t be made to fit just one size. For tall ladies like myself, it can be hard to find clothes that are long enough.

Here are some tips and tricks -- other than throwing on a pair of tights, leggings or skinny jeans under whatever is too short -- that give tall girls freedom and flexibility to wear what they like.


I have a little booty on me -- not as much as I would like some times, and a little more than I would like other times. But for the most part, it’s my booty and I love it. What I don’t love, though, is the way my already pushing-it, too-short dresses get stuck on it, making the back of my dresses shorter than the front.

I recently discovered this little trickety-trick: Since long cardigans and kimonos seem to be everywhere lately, I’ve started layering them over my short dresses and rompers. This look allows for my cute dress or whatever I’m wearing to show, while keeping things in the back safe and secure. It also allows for carefree movement without the constant tugging and pulling to make sure everything is covered.

Skin, Skin, Skin, Skin, Skin, Skin, Skin

(Obviously to the tune of “Shots”)

As a former tween with all-too-common self-esteem issues, it took me a few years before I was able to love and accept my body and be OK with showing it off sometimes. Now, I’m all for showing a little skin; but just like ice cream and sappy movies, everything in moderation. If I show too much skin (think crop top and mini skirt), I end up looking like a green bean in doll clothes.

I think tall girls flatter their bodies best when they pick one feature to play up and run with it. So on the occasion I do want to show off my legs, wearing something a little shorter than I normally would be comfortable with, I try to balance it out by wearing something loose and flowy on my top half. 


As I’m sure you’ve heard, tall girls shouldn't fear heels. But honestly, sometimes I fear them so hard, mostly because every time I wear them, I manage to trip and fall. Not the gracefully pretty fall either -- the bust-your-face-and-everyone-sees-you-fall kind of fall.

I also feel like heels make my legs look that much longer (I knooow, horrible right? But sometimes it is!) which makes dresses look that much shorter.

Enter: flatforms. My favorite shoes since 2012.

These easy, comfy shoes keep your feet level and legs straight and don’t give off the illusion that dresses are shorter than they actual are.

Sizing Up

This little trick works best for looser/non-fitted/zipperless dresses. Think T-shirt dresses, cotton dresses, etc. I’ve compared and contrasted many a dress size in fitting rooms, trying each size on, then carefully laying one on top of the other to measure where the exact difference in sizing on said dress is.

What I have found is this: There is usually little noticeable difference between sizing, with the larger size being slightly longer. A tall girl’s dream come true! This also rings true for skirts and shorts with an elastic waistband.

Dual-Purpose Shirts

Even though it’s a million degrees in the middle of this Southern summer, wherever I’m going usually has AC blowing so high a few minutes inside makes my toes go numb. So I usually always have a lightweight button-up or something of the like to throw on if and when I get chilly.

I’ve discovered that wearing these little shirts tied ‘round my waist like so, is not only a convenient way to carry them, but a nifty, carefree cool way to give myself some extra coverage when wearing something short.

What about you? Tall or not, do you have any clever wardrobe tricks?