Tag Archives: fashion

2013 Holiday Collection Picks from Peruvian Connection

16 Dec

Warm manta dresses and alpaca mittens. Coated black jeansmoto jackets that glisten. Brown jacquard gift bags with tissue wrappings—if you (like me) count these among your favorite things, you should most certainly get yourself to Peruvian Connection for the cozy delectables that will become your (or her) wintry wardrobe staples. Ranging from the diminutive and sparkly to the overstatedly luxurious, the 2013 holiday collection is full of the feminine alpaca knits you’ve come to expect from the brand, along with jewel-toned taffeta dresses, intricately beaded clutches, and Gothic-inspired baubles that you may not. 2013 has been a banner year for Peruvian Connection—new stores opened in Chicago and on our own Newbury Street here in Boston;  collections thoroughly brimming with pieces that are ageless; romantic, edgy, and versatile. What you’ll find right now in stores and online is suitably far-ranging and sartorially well-traveled.

A corner in the Newbury St. store, replete with taffeta and silk holiday dresses

A corner in the Newbury St. store, replete with taffeta and silk holiday dresses

I popped in out of the winter storm this weekend for a peek at the holiday displays, a chat with the lovely store associates, and to compile my top picks for every holiday wishlist (full of items especially well-suited to the vertically-inclined). If you’re nearby, stop in at 170 Newbury St. to scoop up some gifts, or visit peruvianconnection.com—free ground shipping on your orders will continue right through the 18th (or just about the time Santa begins to pack up his sleigh).

The HEIGHT of Style’s Top 5 Holiday Picks from Peruvian Connection

1. Brixton Pullover ($159, XS-XL): In a airy baby alpaca and wool blend, this dusk blue number boasts  panel draping, rolled edges, and a long, lean silhouette. The Brixton is singular enough to stand out paired with jeans, and versatile enough to pair with a spangled skirt and strappy sandals for an artfully juxtaposed, fete-friendly look.

The view from the street, with the Brixton in the window...

The view from the street, with the Brixton in the window…

2. Stardust Dress ($389. XS-XL): Toeing the very careful line between ‘unabashedly evening’ and ‘everyday workhorse’, this 41″ Deco-inspired dress in midnight blue crochet laced with Lurex is the kind of number you’ll reach for to tuck under a navy-and-black slouchy blazer, or pair with absolutely nothing but jet earrings and evergreen velvet heels for a festive evening out.

The Stardust dress, and a curio full of gems and trinkets

The Stardust Dress, and a curio full of gems and trinkets

3. Teahouse Floral Dress ($199, XS-XL): This understatedly romantic pima knit dress is classic Peruvian Connection—flattering, warm enough for the coldest days, and polished for any occasion. In shades of olive, rust, mallard, and lapis with a flattering v-neck and near-knee hemline (37″ long), this frock would prove a tasteful surprise, perfect for tucking under any tree. (Santa, if you’re reading…this is at the top of my wishlist!)

4. Mongolian Lambskin Vest ($350 on sale, S/M-M/L): Impeccably on-trend and at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sale price, this mongolian shearling vest in natural or espresso is a luxurious piece perfect for a winter weekend, when you’re tucked in a chalet in the mountains…or equally at home paired with coated jeans, ankle boots, and a slouchy knit hat for a jaunt in the city.

Twinkly lamps and the Mongolian vest in natural

Twinkly lamps and the Mongolian Vest in natural

5. Corkscrew Scarf ($85, in rose taupe, cream, or sky blue): These are the scarves to fend off the chills, or offset earthy knit dresses and suede over-the-knee boots, in curlicues of sumptuous mohair. Perfect as stocking stuffers—even better when worked into an accessory package with the jangly Kings Road Cuffs ($39, $29) included.

Corkscrew scarves in shades for all

Corkscrew Scarves in shades for all

Happy Peruvian Connection exploring, and happy holidays, dear readers!

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Peruvian Connection: A Veritable Ruby of Modern, Bohemian Style

9 Oct

When most of us think ‘Peruvian Connection’, we think Aztec-print blanket shawls, fringed knit long skirts, and nubby wool sweaters. Born of the Hurlbut womens’ intrepid vision in 1976, nearly 40 years later, Peruvian Connection still is stocked with those sumptuous, ethically-sourced alpaca wool and pima cotton staples of yore. But today’s PC is far more age-democratic, modern-minded and boho-luxe. Think Anthropologie, if all their in-house lines were subjected to rigorous quality controls and on-brand visual acuity. Just take a look at (and get to your local store to try on) their fall 2013 collection of ethereal French and Italian silk and taffeta dresses in warm and luminous palettes, and you’ll see what I mean. (I am coveting them all, by the way…)

A peek inside the Peruvian Connection Boston store...

A peek inside the Peruvian Connection Boston store…

As Peruvian Connection’s Boston location opened just this spring, I got to try PC beyond catalog pages and parcels. Their store space on lower Newbury speaks to the senses with rough hewn wooden floors, exposed brick walls, velvet Victorian sofas, and displays tucked in architectural nooks and crannies for an experience that feels far more worldly and evocative than a mere Sunday outing. The charming sales associates helped me into the Lucia Silk Pinafore ($239, down from $279). This airy 100% silk crepe number showcases a jewel-toned Guatemalan huipil print, a fitted bodice, exposed back zipper, full skirt, and pockets—the latter of which is perfect for storing treasures from your travels. And it’s a universally flattering shape and of exceptional quality— I can imagine it looking just as fetching on one of you tall slender sylphs as it does on us hourglasses (though I especially appreciated the waist emphasis and the ample hip room). At 36”, it is long enough to hit mid thigh for us more vertically-inclined types, and would register as knee length for women 5’8” and under.

(Here I am wearing it with a Lulu Frost for J. Crew necklace and brown suede pumps on an unseasonably warm, early fall day. But it pairs perfectly with my tumbled black leather jacket, lace print black tights, and ankle boots or a strappy sandal and faux-fur jacket for evening.)

(Here I am wearing it with a Lulu Frost for J. Crew necklace and brown suede pumps on an unseasonably warm, early fall day. But it pairs perfectly with my tumbled black leather jacket, lace print black tights, and ankle boots or a strappy sandal and faux-fur jacket for evening.)

For similarly flattering and elegant shapes, be sure to check out the Pima Cotton Floral Sketchbook Dress, the Las Flores Silk Pinafore, and the Scarlatti Silk Dress.

If you’re in Boston, be sure to stop in and visit the new Peruvian Connection at 170 Newbury Street for artisanal, singular apparel that you simply won’t find anywhere else (especially stateside). Today’s Peruvian Connection is quite the  gem!

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Lucia Silk Pinafore courtesy of Skirt PR.

Barefoot Tess Review: Adore Those Ankles!

4 Feb

My sole-centric philosophy is that shoes make the outfit, and ankle boots make the outfit better. As a New England city girl, I place a high value on shoes that can tally many pavement miles, offer coverage and warmth in unreliable weather, and look intentional with everything they’re paired with. Ankle boots fit all these specs AND can be worn year-round…with everything from my favorite Rock and Republic skinnies and a sweater to a flirty sundress and little else (one of my favorite pairings, to boot, haha)! 80% of the time, you can find ankle booties on these very long tootsies of mine. But in reality, I only have 3 existing pairs of ‘em, 2 of which are sadly worse for all that wear they get…

Since I browse Barefoot Tess almost every other day, I had the 80/20% ‘Clyde’ ankle boots in the grey colorway on my radar since the moment they popped up on Barefoot Tess’ website. Barefoot Tess is my chosen destination for on-trend designer exclusives in my otherwise-rare size 12/13s—and since falling in love with BFT-exclusive 80/20% hidden wedge desert boots last winter (and wearing them into the cement), I was waiting for an update. The ‘Clyde’ is a Western-inspired bootie with a flattering lower-cut AND signature hidden wedge that adds a nice 2” boost in height—all in all, the most leg-flattering COMFORTABLE ankle boot you will find. And the grey and navy colorways are much more spring-friendly than black or dark brown booties…

Barefoot Tess' 80%/20% 'Clyde' Ankle Boot

Barefoot Tess’ 80%/20% ‘Clyde’ Ankle Boot

…in short…I had multiple justifications as to why I needed Clyde in my life. Now that I’ve received my boots from BFT, I simply couldn’t be happier with the style, the true-to-size fit, and the experience. I’ve been a customer of Barefoot Tess since 2006 and have kept coming back for their second-to-none attention to customer service and great editorial feel (check out TesSpeaks!). Plus, for any tall girl, it feels right to support the namesake business of Karen Williamson—she initially started the site to help provide her uber-fashionable, vertically-inclined daughter Tess with options in larger-size shoes…

The Clydes, styled for winter. Dress: French Connection, Tights: Legale, Necklace: Eddie Bauer, Shoes: Barefoot Tess

The Clydes, styled for winter. Dress: French Connection, Tights: Legale, Necklace: Eddie Bauer, Shoes: c/o Barefoot Tess

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I styled the Clydes with my fleece-lined tights and a dress from French Connection, but am dreaming of warm spring days when I can wear them bare-legged, hop-skipping my way down the streets of Cambridge. After all, when your larger-sized feet are treated to comfortable, stylish shoes like these, why not hop, skip, and jump for joy?

These booties are incredible on!

These booties are incredible on! (c/o Barefoot Tess)

Stay tuned for more BFT reviews of spring styles, and be sure to check out their newest arrivals and Photo Contest, going on now!

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The Height of Style In…Height Goddess Jeans

6 Jul

Here at The Height of Style and in my own styling work, I gravitate toward wardrobe staples—whether they come in the form of tailored blazers, leather jackets, perfectly-fitted LBDs, or great jeans. The last category is a particular sore spot for many tall women—mainstream department stores rarely offer any cut with an inseam longer than 32″ , and designer denim only occasionally works (it’s not so much an inseam issue here as it is a rise issue), with dedicated hunting and shelling out of $150+.

And I’m very particular about my denim. I prefer a straight leg or skinny/peg leg with a mid or high-rise. A tall order (pun intended) indeed, considering that a 36″-38″ skinny or straight leg has to accommodate both my cyclist’s thighs (big) and my dancer’s ankles (small)—and a “mid”-rise is, on me, about 10″—a “high rise” by any other standards. Enter Height Goddess’ straight legged Taylor (on sale now!) in a 37″ inseam, and my tall order is fulfilled.

Top: Vintage silk camisole; Jeans: Height Goddess 'Taylor' Straight Leg; Shoes: Sam Edelman Wedges

Height Goddess denim is designed with tall women in mind—and the shapes of their premium denim styles are flattering to a variety of body types (my curvy frame included). I love the Height Goddess washes, thick, quality weave, and subtlety of the cuts—these jeans won’t ever become “dated”—and the fact that the HG rises all fall above my hips, below my bellybutton (truly mid-rises for talls!) and are flattering without being constricting. Add to this fabulous mix that HG pants and denim come in long (34″-35″), longer (36″-37″), and longest (38″-39″) inseams, and you’ve got yourself a panacea for all your denim woes.  I styled the Taylor straight leg simply with a silk camisole I picked up at a vintage shop and some Sam Edelman wedges, but these lovely jeans have taken me to work with a tweed blazer and out on the town with a romantic, ruffled top.

Check out Height Goddess’ fabulous selection, read HG Designer Lameka Weeks’ Q&A and feel free to email me with any questions about the fit of Height Goddess styles or recommendations for your tall, beautiful frame!

Q&A: Anne Shea of Sarah Vain and Tall

23 Jun

Meet the breathtaking bombshell Anne Shea—former academic, businesswoman, class-act, tall role model AND designer behind the fabulous Sarah Vain and Tall line—a capsule collection of  timeless, perfectly-crafted dresses for a variety of tall body types. Sarah Vain and Tall has been in the works since Anne’s fashion-savvy youth, and the line is featured both online and  in-store at Glamazon Shoes in Ascot Vale, Victoria (Australia). Tall lovelies worldwide, don’t fear—Anne kindly offers free international shipping on Sarah Vain and Tall dresses! She has a gem of a blog as well, so please read up on her latest projects here.

Designer and the next Bond Girl: Anne Shea of Sarah Vain and Tall

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background: where you grew up, whether you have siblings, where you went to university/what you studied, etc.

I grew up in country Victoria, Australia, with tall parents and a tall “little” brother.  We lived in a small town, and I was a bit of a strange kid — obsessed with reading novels, spending all my money on Vogue.  It was a special kind of torture I subjected myself to in those years, dressed in men’s jeans and huge tee shirts, cutting out pictures of couture!

When it was time to leave for Uni I wanted the same things that a lot of ‘odd’ kids from small towns want — the freedom to do, say, make and wear exactly what I wanted!  I studied literature and costume and planned at first to work in the theatre.  I wound up working in a huge research library, and created Sarah Vain and Tall on the side — accidentally perfect.

    Q: What inspired the creation of Sarah Vain and Tall?

Even as a teenager I knew the world needed amazing clothes for tall women — something out of the ordinary.  However I really just made things for myself and friends until social media and easy online shopping came along.  Suddenly it was easy to connect with tall women all over the world and I could have my own online store.  I discovered that I was not the only tall woman who wanted something different, something the established tall stores were not (and are not) offering.

Think of it this way: only about 2% of women are over 5’11″.  That’s a tiny number in a small Australian town, and a huge number when we’re connected worldwide.

So the advent of blogging and Facebook and Twitter was the catalyst for me.  I realized that I could make the dresses I craved and sell them to a small number of women who love them just as much as I do.

I especially love the way this lets me connect with people — especially with girls who are going through the horrible teenage years where being different is just what you don’t want.  I love being different and I hope that our conversations help in some way.  It’s immensely rewarding and I love it.

    Q: Taking into account your current selection of dresses, would you mind running through the four styles and indicating particular flattery points and (tall) body shapes each one fits? 

Of course!  I am trying to make classic dresses that won’t date, and to create for a number of different shapes.  The Audrey and Veruschka are slim line, stretch dresses designed as work-to-evening wear. Both of these dresses are utterly perfect on column shapes and hourglass figures, especially when they’re belted.

Then there are curvy girls like me: I am your classic pear shape!!  The Kenya wrap dress is built for women like me.  Seriously, curvy girls stop traffic in this dress. It’s fantastic to go from feeling too big in the butt (oh hi, denim manufacturers!), to being just woman enough for the dress.

The Betty dress is something completely different, a party classic that’s all sweet Japanese cotton on the outside and all businesslike structure on the inside.  It’s great for anyone from a column to a pear, because it’s got room for curves but if you don’t have any, it’ll fake some for you.  This dress is my favourite right now and I’m wearing it with a little red cardigan.

    Q: Do you have plans to further develop the Sarah Vain and Tall line and add additional separates? And might you sell your designs in United States and UK boutiques, or host pop-up shops internationally?

Oh, yes indeed.  I have deliberately been growing slowly, so that I can refine the fit and quality of the garments I sell.  I started out selling only in person, then online, and now I have one amazing stockist — Glamazon in Ascot Vale, Melbourne (www.glamazonshoes.com.au).

I am definitely planning on more stockists in the future, as long as they are the right stockists.  Pop up stores would also be a lot of fun.  Many people don’t know this but I love to come out and meet groups of friends (or basketball teams!) and show them my clothing.  The thing they always say is “it’s so much nicer on!”  And it makes me all teary when I can fit a girl who has been thinking she is wrong for all the fashionable clothes — when the clothes are simply wrong for her.

    Q: What are some “style staples” for you? How would you classify your wardrobe?

My style staples are classic dresses and huge costume jewels — we tall girls can go bold and I can’t walk past a vintage store without checking out their accessories.  There are often a few amazing pieces lurking around that smaller girls have had to leave on the shelf.

Most important to me is to buy and look after classic garments that I can play with when the fashions change.  There are so very many ways to style a black dress or a wrap and I honestly could not care less what skinny jean is “in” right now.

Q: What are some of your favorite tall-friendly stores/boutiques in the Melbourne area?

I love Glamazon in Ascot Vale.  At the moment they’re my only stockist.  Mira (the owner of the store) and I get on fabulously because we both share the same attitude — there is no reason why tall clothing should be boring. She stocks the most amazing things and really goes out of her way to find cute shoes in big sizes.

Because lots of tall girls have missed out on ‘normal’ shopping, we often don’t have a clear idea of where to shop or what looks good on us.  For that reason I also steer a lot of my clients towards personal styling, and in Melbourne that means Styled By Sally (www.styledbysally.com.au).  Sally McKinnon is 6’0″ tall and she can fit you out or revamp your wardrobe in three hours flat.  A personal stylist makes shopping easy and you often save money when you shop with their VIP cards!

    Q: What piece of style advice would you give tall women?

 Spend smarter money on fewer clothes.  Most people are surprised to find out that I don’t own many clothes at all — three or four skirts and blouses, a handful of dresses, one coat, a small collection of enormous jewellery.  But I love each and every piece and each and every piece fits me.  For me, after years of buying things that don’t fit, that’s heaven.

Thank you, Anne! Be sure to visit Sarah Vain and Tall and snap up a designer dress for yourself! Also, be sure to sign up to win your dream dress from SVT by June 28th—this is one amazing giveaway—and follow SVT on Facebook and via Monthly Newsletter.

Tall Style Essential: The Leather Jacket

9 Jun

Over the years, I’ve owned three leather jackets—one a roomy black car coat; another a beyond-tight red blazer; the third a black motorcycle jacket I bought from a church rummage sale. These jackets remarkably tracked not only some of my fashion phases, but more tellingly, my internal states—the car coat coincided with my freshman and sophomore years of college as I attempted to channel an urban sophistication counter to my country upbringing; the blazer was a senior year of college impulse purchase after I dyed my hair a fiery red and nervously contemplated the great unknown beyond dorm walls; and the motorcycle jacket followed a rough-break up, and a phase of wearing scuffed Converse sneakers, black eyeliner, and punk-rock-blasting headphones. Leather, after all, is tough—literally a second skin—and a thicker one at that.

All these coats have since moved on to other owners—as none of them fit my elongated body or tastes particularly well—and all three only fit my meager budget (all being under $75). This year, with some of my birthday spoils—I invested in a new leather jacket—one that fits me now—and should age with me gracefully. By one of my favorite “this-surprisingly-fits-off-the-rack” designers Elie Tahari, my new leather jacket is buttery-soft and cashew-colored with minimal detailing save for a flattering peplum ruffle. And better yet, the sleeves are long enough at 27”! Since I’ve always recommended a leather jacket as a versatile, year-round staple to my clients, I’ve compiled some of my favorite styles and styling recommendations for talls below—complete with a vegetarian, ethical faux-leather option.

L to R: LTS Leather Biker Jacket; Elie Tahari Ruffle Leather Jacket; Tall Girl Faux-Leather Jacket

Long Tall Sally Zip Leather Biker Jacket, $239.00: This taupe leather jacket is edgy without being trendy, and would unquestionably offer long-enough sleeves and torso fit. Since biker/motorcycle jackets are on the more ‘utilitarian’- side, try pairing one with a feminine floral dress; ruffled top and close-fitting jeans; or sequins. That’s right, sequins—leather provides a surprising-yet-spot-on juxtaposition for a dose of glitz.

Elie Tahari ‘Ingrid’ Ruffle Jacket, $298.00: Though Tahari doesn’t deal specifically in tall clothing, his cuts frequently boast longer sleeves and torsos—and he’s an expert in achieving streamlined femininity in his separates. This jacket is one part angular silhouette; one part girly charm—and it would go splendidly with a jewel-toned bandage dress or a black dress pant, fitted oxford, and strappy heels.

Tall Girl Faux-Leather Jacket, $79.95: As a vegetarian option, try this re-imagined cargo jacket in a remarkably leather-like faux leather. In universally-flattering black, this jacket is quintessentially boheme-cool, and would be stunning with a tucked-in slouchy tee, denim pencil skirt, and ankle boots OR worn nonchalantly over a simple cotton tank and silky, printed shorts with flat sandals.

Happy shopping tall lovelies, and email me with any questions as to how to style a leather jacket or blazer!

Q&A: Lameka Weeks of HEIGHT GODDESS

6 Jun

Meet Lameka Weeks, the smart, savvy, and gorgeous woman behind HEIGHT  GODDESS—the tall women’s go-to resource for impeccably stylish basics. HEIGHT GODDESS has been in the works for well over a decade, and Lameka is dedicated to creating American-made clothing with a standard of quality that rivals that of high-end department store lines. She is an advocate for tall women in the fashion and retail industry and an inspiration to us all—the epitome of being a truly divine ‘height goddess’ herself!

The stunning Lameka Weeks of HEIGHT GODDESS

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background—where you grew up, where you went to college/what you studied, where you work, some hobbies/interests…

I grew up in Alabama, but have been in Dallas for about 10 years now and love it! I attended Auburn Montgomery University in Alabama, where I played basketball (on a basketball scholarship). Before starting HEIGHT GODDESS, I worked in corporate sales for companies like Black & Decker, Johnson & Johnson and Michelin. But since high school, I’ve dreamed of starting a tall women’s clothing business.

Q: The million dollar question: How tall are you, and have you always been tall?

I’m 6’1”, and was usually the tallest in the class! I’m not sure I realized how tall I was until about 2 years ago! My height has never been uncomfortable for me or anything other than a characteristic I feel confident and love about myself. My family always embraced height, and my parents are tall as well—my mom is 5’10”, my dad is 6’5”—even my cousins are 6’4” and 6’5”.  I’ve always been involved in sports, which is a great outlet—socially especially.

Q: What inspired you to start Height Goddess? 

It was a combination of factors, but really, I started HEIGHT GODDESS to create the kind of boutique-quality, beautiful garments I’d wear myself. I’m not tall and super thin—I am tall and curvy. In the clothing industry, there have been very few flattering and stylish options for tall and curvy women available off the rack—and when you factor in that many tall women like me LOVE to wear heels, a 36” inseam just isn’t long enough! That’s why I offer my denim and pants in sizes 4-20, with three different inseams per denim style (ranging from 35”-40”).

I also started HEIGHT GODDESS to offer tall women options beyond men’s clothing! Throughout high school and college, I would go into my dad’s closet to borrow jeans and white button-downs because I simply couldn’t find sleeves long enough or inseams long enough otherwise. And before I started HEIGHT GODDESS, I’d visit premium denim boutiques only to be pushed towards the men’s jean section. When I first moved to Dallas, I visited Jean Connection and was fitted with men’s jeans. I realized there had to be some alternative. Five years later, I returned to Jean Connection with HEIGHT GODDESS denim—sometimes when the option isn’t there to begin with, you have to make it yourself!

Q: Tell us more about what you offer tall women at HEIGHT GODDESS…

I offer tall women what they want and, more important, need—I really listen to the feedback and suggestions of my customers. The tall market is very much a niche market—and I’m careful to offer a product that is timeless while still being on-trend, and choose to focus on quality and fit in my designs.

Q: What are your plans for HEIGHT GODDESS? Will you be extending the line; opening a retail store; or hosting pop-up shops?

Starting any business is a slow process—especially with a small team—and requires really solid marketing strategy— at every opportunity I spread the word about HEIGHT GODDESS whether talking to tall women while I’m out and about or in Starbucks having a meeting.

Right now, I’m focusing on selling perfection in the wardrobe staples—making jeans and dress pants that fulfill tall women’s fit and style needs really well. I’ve also introduced a romper and a maxi dress this summer that are absolutely gorgeous and very comfortable—as well as a boot cut and skinny jean in a bright white. I certainly plan to expand the HEIGHT GODDESS line, and want to continue to build it to be the go-to option for tall women in the United States and Internationally.

I probably won’t open a retail store in the very near future, but there are a few boutiques in Texas and California carrying HEIGHT GODDESS (see the list here), and I’m on the lookout for boutiques all across the country that are interested in HG. I’ve hosted trunk shows, and love the idea of pop-up shops.

Q: What are some tall websites that you visit?

From the beginning, Tallwomen.org has offered a home base for tall women and tall women’s clothing and accessories. Also, Tall Clothing Mall has a great listing of comprehensive tall women’s clothing sites.  There are several other great sites out there like your site providing tall women useful information.

Q: What are some “style staples” for you? How would you classify your own style?

I stick to the basics and classics in tailored shapes and cuts—I would definitely say I gravitate towards more elegant looks, and add color and interest with really cute shoes and great jewelry and accessories!

Q: What piece of style advice would you give tall women?

Have the basics in your wardrobe—build around them—and don’t settle for something that doesn’t fit well! Be open to taking time to find the right fit for you, and support the tall women’s clothing lines and designers that are out there.

Thank you so much, Lameka! Be sure to visit HEIGHT GODDESS for all those wardrobe staples, and be sure to complete the HG survey and participate in the ‘Be The Buyer’ program to help the HG team make all the pieces you tall lovelies want and need.

Tall Style Essential: The Black Blazer

25 May

Black blazers. They too often get a bad rap for being too boring or too conservative. And ladies, I’ll be honest—I’ve spent most of my 20s avoiding black blazers, as though their structure and minimalism would somehow transform me into a corporate clone or a soap opera version of a “professional woman”. But as I get to the age where 30 is much closer than 20 and have taken on a more—shall we say, womanly?—shape, these previously-eschewed dark horses are becoming my closet essentials.

The best part is that they work for every woman, and every shape. It’s just a matter of finding the perfect cut for your uniquely-gorgeous figure.

For curvy talls with wider hips, I recommend a cropped black blazer. While the notion of “cropped” anything often annoys and disgusts tall women everywhere, it is a great shape for highlighting the waistline and lengthening the legline. A cropped cut will draw attention to your wasp-y little waist and downplay any width through the hips and thighs. If you can find a blazer with 3/4 sleeves, all the better—shorter sleeves are seasonless. Ann Taylor LOFT has a great Tall cropped blazer on sale for $109 now…

Ann Taylor Tall Cropped Tailored Jacket

For straight-waisted/boyish-figured talls, I love a great black boyfriend blazer. The fit is elongating/slimming if you’re thicker around the middle, and plays up any curves you do have. When looking for a boyfriend blazer, size down if you have to to get a body-skimming fit—if you’re swimming in too much fabric, the effect is the opposite of flattering. J. Jill has a Tall stretch linen boyfriend blazer (perfect for summer!) on sale now for the excellent price of $79, so snap up one of these beauties before they sell out!

J. Jill Tall Stretch Linen Boyfriend Jacket

And if you’re an athletic tall with a short waist and not excessively-long arms, I  recommend Elie Tahari blazers. Though Tahari doesn’t make tall suiting (shame shame!), I find that the blazers are more than long enough in arm and body length—and I love how they are cut with more room in the bust and tapering in the waist. If you can, try on in a store before buying—Nordstrom, Macy’s and Saks carry Tahari. The Ava jacket provides a universally flattering fit.

Elie Tahari for Nordstrom 'Ava' Jacket

Have a black blazer and uncertain how to wear it? Email me for more style tips, questions, and suggestions!

Coming up this week…

24 May

Hi ladies!

Coming up this week and next…

• An interview with the tall, gorgeous designer behind Sarah Vain and Tall

• Tips on finding the perfect blazer for your shape and height

• My reviews/ styling photos for Height Goddess jeans

• Height of Style business cards! (Email me at if you want hard copies to distribute at tall clubs or to your lovely tall friends! I will mail them to you for free.)

• AND a few more surprise interviews!

• Have a style question or a suggestion for a Height of Style blog entry or interview? Email me, or Twitter message me @kacytweets.

Tall Swimwear for Summer 2011

19 May

Per the request of  Height of Style reader Lacey (she also has a great blog here!), this post focuses on one of the most dreaded areas of apparel for t(all) women (other than pants)—swimwear! I’ll stay optimistic, tall ladies—there is a diverse array of options out there on the market that offer style, comfort and fit for tall women and equally diverse price points (from low to quite high).

I’m focusing today on my top picks for more modest one-pieces and tankinis, as any tall woman will tell you that finding a bikini is easy—finding a tank/tankini is not so easy. Also, at the end of this post, I’ll include links to various sites that offer tall and extended torso swimwear, sorted by price points. So, without further ado…

Long Torso Ruched Bandeau: At $38.50 for this cheery nylon-spandex blend tank, the price is right. Delia’s is a brand typically catering to teens, but the sizing is consistent with small-ish misses’ sizing—all their suits run from XS-XL. This particular model has a full back; detachable strap, and moderate coverage—would be best on angular figures with smaller busts. Delia’s also offers tanks in long torso sizing that have wider straps for more busty tall women.

Long Torso Ruched Femme Tank: At a moderate price point, J. Crew’s long-torso swimsuits are well worth the money. In elegant summer colors, fade-resistant Lycra/spandex blends, and flattering shapes to suit a variety of body types, these suits are a tall woman’s best friend. Snap up the retro-inspired shapes this summer—they will be flattering and look fresh for years to come. Particularly good suits for curvy shapes.

Salt Creek Siren Tall Bra Cup Tankini: Athleta’s suits are made to go the distance—literally. This retailer designs swimwear with female athletes in mind, and each suit has great features like SPF/UPF protection, breathable fabric blends, stabilizing bust bands, and fuller straps to support serious swimmers and waterside sport enthusiasts alike. All of their tall tanks and tankinis are stylish updates to traditional performance swimwear…leave that stretched-out Speedo behind!

Here is a list of online retailers that offer extended/long torso and/or tall sizing for swimwear. If you know of any others, shoot me an email and I’ll happily update this list. Price points included, low to high ($=low; $$=moderate; $$$=high).

Delia’s-$

JCPenney-$

Victoria’s Secret-$

Athleta-$$

Eddie Bauer-$$

J. Crew-$$

Land’s End-$$

Long Tall Sally-$$

Neiman Marcus-$$$

Happy Summer Swimsuit Shopping!

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