Contemporary Tailoring for Tall Women

Tall women under the spotlight as 'Tall Girl' comes to Netflix

Colin StewartComment

Tall women are under the spotlight more than ever this week with the release of Tall Girl, which charts some of the difficulties faced by 16 year-old Jodi, a 6ft 1.5” girl in high school. The Netflix drama follows on the heels of Game of Thrones, which featured 6ft 3” Gwendoline Christie as the indomitable Brienne of Tarth.

But this year Long Tall Sally opted to close the last of its bricks and mortar stores to focus on online sales. Is it actually becoming harder for taller than average women to find clothes they would really like to wear?

We’ve spoken to some of you about your shopping issues and here’s what you told us.

Caroline Gill, who is 5’11”, says: “It’s difficult to just go along the high street and browse. I can just about fit into high street sizes but only in certain stores, and even then I have lower expectations for the actual fit.”

Aleesha Hansel is 5’10” and a professional model. Being a professional clothes horse doesn’t mean she finds it easy to find things that fit her tall frame. She says: “Buying trousers, jeans, jumpsuits etc. is an absolute nightmare because they are always too short. Even dresses with waistbands are difficult as they are often not at my natural waist.” And the fact that some high street brands to have tall sections isn’t always the answer for Aleesha, so she takes matters into her own hands. “Some high street stores do have tall divisions, but they only do them online, which is frustrating.  I actually get a seamstress to alter things for me.”

And she is not alone. Caroline’s experience is that the high street names do not invest in their tall ranges. “Rarely in the things that will obviously cost them more to produce, so usually the nice stuff doesn’t come in a tall version.” Like Aleesha, she has things altered. “Nearly every time with jackets or trousers.”  

 Jane Anderson is taller still. At 6ft 1”, she says, “I hate shopping and go only if it's absolutely necessary”. She has problems with everything from leg length to the position of pockets and finds that many stores don’t alter the cut and proportions when making clothes for taller women. “[They] just stretch things out without considering what would suit a taller person.”

The choice for tall women has improved in recent years with some niche tall brands popping up online and Allta is one of them.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following us for a while, our collection features a range of shirts and jackets made in London from high quality fabrics in natural fibres, helping to cut down on the microplastic waste caused by washing synthetic fabrics in our machines.

Our shirts are made from cotton gingham and our jackets are either cotton twill or Shetland wool and we use mother-of-pearl buttons to finish our garments with quality trims.

You can see our full range here and don’t forget to look at The Tall Collective for some other tall-specific brands you may not yet know.

And as well as selling online, we’re also getting out and about to meet you at various events across the country.

If you would like to come and visit us to try before you buy, Allta will be at the Blenheim Horse Trials, 19-22nd September and then at the Belvoir Castle Countryside and Horse Lovers’ Christmas Shopping Fair at Belvoir Castle near Grantham, 29th November – 1st December.

Feeling short at the Tall Society London Brunch!

Colin Stewart

When was the last time you felt like the shortest person in the room?

For me that was on Sunday at the Tall Society London Brunch. The Tall Society is the brainchild of Bree Wijnaar, a US-based 6’4” woman who has made it her mission to bring like-minded tall women together to network, share stories, laughs and clothing tips. Bree was back in London for the second of her Tall Society London Brunches on August 18th. 50 tall women gathered at the W Hotel, Leicester Square to enjoy some prosecco, a delicious buffet and do a bit of shopping.

From l to r: Laura Schofield of All the Tall Things blog and Otto + Ivy shoes, Emma Stewart from Allta, Bree Wijnaar the Tall Society organizer, Joanna Scott from Low Heels and Natalie Matthews from Height of Fashion

From l to r: Laura Schofield of All the Tall Things blog and Otto + Ivy shoes, Emma Stewart from Allta, Bree Wijnaar the Tall Society organizer, Joanna Scott from Low Heels and Natalie Matthews from Height of Fashion

Allta was one of the five sponsors taking a vendor slot and we were there alongside other tall clothing and footwear brands: Tall Glass of Water, Height of Fashion, Sante + Wade and Low Heels.

What a great experience it was, too. After a bit of networking and retail therapy, the group was treated to a great speech from Laura Schofield, the brains behind the All the Tall Things fashion and lifestyle blog, who is about to launch her own footwear brand, Otto + Ivy. Laura spoke about the connections tall women make with other tall women: those who actually get what it’s like to stand out from the crowd. She spoke about ‘tall shaming’ and how it is, actually, a thing. You can see and hear Laura in action by going to her Facebook page, here.

I spoke to women about various tall issues they have from the struggles they face raising their tall daughters, how difficult it can be finding party clothes with a wow factor in longer lengths and how difficult it is, generally, finding good quality clothing that fits.

And that, in case you had forgotten, is why Allta came into being. We recognize that finding good quality clothing made from top quality fabrics that is designed to fit a taller frame is difficult and we want to help. After years of not being able to find shirts and jackets that weren’t either too short in the arm or made from a shoddy polyester blended fabric, we decided that enough was enough. We wanted to wear jackets that would actually fit us, flatter us, be made from great fabrics and come in different colours to the standard black, navy and brown.

Allta’s Moreton wool blazer in turquoise and pink, and our Blewbury military style jacket in olive green

Allta’s Moreton wool blazer in turquoise and pink, and our Blewbury military style jacket in olive green

So, here we are, one year on from our launch and with our gingham shirts newly released to add to our collection. The focus is still on getting things long enough in the arms and the body (and we’ve added a couple of extra centimetres on to both in our shirts to allow for the fact that they are made from cotton, which is prone to a little shrinkage), and on being made from the best quality fabrics.

Our Aston shirt is made from cotton gingham, a perennially popular fabric that is light-hearted and versatile enough to work either for a day out in the country or a day in the office. It always looks crisp and fresh and we’ve added contrasting button plackets and cuff insides as well as contrasting mother-of-pearl buttons for that extra bit of interest.

Allta’s Aston gingham shirt in blue, navy and pink

Allta’s Aston gingham shirt in blue, navy and pink

I was wearing one on Sunday, which is maybe one of the reasons why I felt ‘normal’ height: I am 6ft tall and was wearing a shirt and jacket that actually fit!