This week we welcomed Johanna Bolhoven from Rag Trade Productions to Allta’s HQ to work with our 6ft founder, Emma, and put together some styling tips for tall women. Obviously, height is just one factor in determining what styles will suit you, your body shape will also play a role, but Johanna had a few key styling tips to share.
Firstly, know your proportions. Do you have a regular length torso but super long legs? Are you long legged with a long body, too, or do you have a long torso but regular length legs? When you have established this you can start to play around with layering and hemlines to start to give the illusion of lengthening one bit of your body so that it is better balanced with the other.
The layered look
Layering a cropped jacket over a longer top and skinny trousers gives multiple shapes and textures to help balance body proportions
Emma’s proportions are pretty equal, although she does have longer than average legs (an inseam of 35”), so we layered a long top over skinny trousers to break up the silhouette and better balance her leg and body lengths. The long base layer works well under a cropped jacket, too: by adding another layer in a shorter length we are giving the whole outfit added interest and texture. It also draws attention to – and highlights - Emma’s waist. This neat styling tip is something taller women can really use to their advantage.
Tall figures suit bold colours and asymmetric details help to draw the eye across the body rather than straight up and down
Taller frames can take bold colours and big patterns. Johanna wouldn’t normally advocate an outfit in one block colour for tall women as this can elongate your body and make you look even taller. But this dress is an exception. Firstly, its short and flirty length means that Emma’s long legs are on display. Secondly, it has asymmetric folds of fabric falling away from the neckline, which again works well on longer bodies. Rather than drawing attention to the height, they lead the eye across the body from the neck to the waist and hips.
The ankle strap trick!
If your skirt is shorter than you would like, wearing a shoe with an ankle strap can help balance out the legs with the length of the skirt
This third dress is an illustration of a strong pattern which is shown to great effect on Emma’s tall figure. The dress would normally hit just on the knee but in Emma’s case it is a few inches too short. She has counter-balanced this by pairing it with shoes that have an ankle strap. These give the illusion of shortening the legs so they look more in proportion with the length of the dress.
Johanna’s tips on balancing out proportions have all been valuable and we’ll be giving away more styling tips from her very soon. But the key takeaway from the day is: embrace your height. It makes you the perfect clothes horse for so many outfits and means that clothes will hang and drape well on your long limbs. There are no dos and don’ts when it comes to finding your own style. These tips are just a few pointers for those of us who are taller than average who want to know how to flatter our figures. Have fun with your wardrobe and do let us know what works for you via the contact us page here on the website or via our Instagram or Facebook pages.
Johanna is the founder of Ragtrade, a fashion styling and PR business. She has worked in various areas of the fashion industry and throughout her 25-year career she has been involved in fashion buying, TV and magazine shoots, fashion shows and style editorials for fashion magazines. Her professional background includes working in fashion PR and marketing for large department stores and small independent boutiques, and she is the Fashion Editor for INCheshire Magazine and Prestbury Living. Johanna is also a personal stylist and shopper; whether it’s a red carpet gown or something to wear for the school run, Johanna has styled everyone from celebrities and high profile business women to people from more everyday walks of life.