Long Story Short

One of my most traumatic experiences growing up was getting sent home from school for my shorts being deemed “too short.” These were the same American Eagle chino shorts that many a teenage girl had in her back to school wardrobe, but nobody else wearing the shorts was sent home from school. Nobody else shot up to nearly six feet tall between eighth grade and freshman year.

I still remember the teacher who sent me to the office (Mrs. Boatner, second block biology). Though I never cared to learn her name, I also remember the face of the teacher who used the classroom the block prior and advised Boatner (a new-to-our-school teacher) that my shorts were inappropriate and told her I had to be sent to the office. Now that I am older, I find it to be more inappropriate for middle aged teachers to be policing young women’s wardrobes.

Earlier this week, Lilly Pulitzer upped the ante in providing shift dresses and shorts for all of the heights. Oh my thirteen year old self would have loved to make a splash on the first day of school with a shift or shorts cut for a tall frame, alas options like these were few and far between. Upon hitting publish on the iPhone drafted in an app-in a car-on a road trip blog post featuring the items, my blog analytics went wild.

If you are one of the newer visitors, welcome and thank you for stopping by again. If you are a regular, can I get a round of high fives in honor of the queen of resort labels providing shifts long enough for our frames? We have been waiting on this for awhile!

Even though I included the five inch / seven inch / nine inch inseam shorts in the post, I was particularly excited for the longer dresses; ergo I was surprised to see that the link to the shorts received so many clicks. With that in mind, I rounded up shorts with five inch inseams and longer.

I have previously discussed how I no longer feel comfortable shopping shorts with a three inch inseam. While I stand by them being appropriate for my thirteen year old self on her way to third block English, it is just another style of which I feel that I have aged out. I rounded up shorts offering more coverage, meaning five inch inseams and longer, in stripes, solids, prints, denim, and Bermuda length. No danger of being sent to the principal’s office now!

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Cable Manners

Fun and little-known fact: cable sweaters are actually a type of Aran sweater. Aran sweaters are named for a set of islands on the coast of Ireland and as such originated as a popular Irish fisherman staple in the 19th century. In addition to the Cable stitch, there are several other stitches that fall into the family: Diamonds, Honeycomb, Irish Moss, Ladder of Life, Tree of Life, Trellis, Trinity, and Zigzag. Each of the stitches are symbolic; Cable stitch represents Luck.

The cable knit sweater transitioned from a blue collar staple to that of the would-be white collar collegiate aesthetic in the middle of the 20th century. It was this time that cable sweaters began to be worn during athletic pursuits, like tennis. The original athleisure, if you will; cable sweaters of the 1950s are to black leggings in the 2010s.

My closet could use more cable sweaters. Wool, cotton, and cashmere are my choice fabric picks. I avoid polyester and acrylic like the plague. Unfortunately as a tall woman, I struggle to find sweaters that fit, especially as far as sleeve length goes. I recently found a version of the cotton crewneck cable sweater that is available in tall and I have been coveting it in the yellow colorway.

I scoured the internet for every cable knit sweater I could find. The price points range from 38 dollars to over ten times as much for the super premium cashmere version. The sweaters from the below roundup range from petite to tall to plus to plus petite, with monogram options and in every color of the rainbow. My advice is to invest in the best of quality, fanciest effing one that fits you. You will wear it forever and eventually the price per wear will diminish to mere pennies.

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In the Trenches

Growing up, the trench coat was an item that I frequently saw on television and movies as part of characters’ on-screen closets.: Ally McBean, Charlotte York, Miranda Hobbes, and the entire cast of characters on the West Wing. It was always an article of clothing that I imagined I would graduate to wearing once graduating from undergrad and banishing sweatpants and pajamas from my out-and-about wardrobe, and I did!

Banana Republic released a trench coat circa 2012 and it was available in tall. I am so happy that I invested – if you can even call it that, I am sure it was no more than two hundred dollars – in the coat because it is a closet all star staple. My only complaint is that I do not have enough opportunities to wear it; it is a very seasonal piece of clothing.

Finding a trench coat in tall has been especially challenging lately. My go-to brands, Banana Republic and J.Crew, have failed to offer it in tall sizing within the past few seasons. How rude. I went on a deep dive of trench coats made in tall sizing and while I was at it, included trench dresses.

I am a fan of the cropped trench coat. Proportions are everything and this particular cut works especially well with a wide leg pant .

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These are the ones that you and I picture when you hear the words, “trench coat.” This is the staple and your closet needs one.

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Because the neutral khaki color will not always coordinate, I am a fan of the darker trench coat. I already own and love the navy one, but I think a black one would be a nice addition to the wardrobe.

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I think trench dresses are a nice way to bring the look into summer when the temperatures are simply too aggressive to wear a coat. Cut to me buying the white and the navy versions. Shopping moratorium, what?

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Tweed of Sound

Something about wearing tweed makes me feel particularly put together. Between developing an obsession for jacket and skirt sets circa 2012 and Blair Waldorf serving up spring tweed inspiration, spring tweed is a look that I love. To be honest, I do not wear it nearly enough.

As mentioned before, I cannot help but feel like a total boss while wearing tweed. Since the last and very recent blog post about seasonal spring tweed, several more styles in the fabric have landed on my radar. While not all of the pieces in the last post were not necessarily available in tall, I have been a touch more discerning for this round. I am so excited to share that all of the styles in this post are available in …(drumroll, please)… tall sizing. Yes, it is true!

left to right: dress (coordinating jacket also available; set in black and light pink also available; set in black posted on the blog here) // dress (coordinating coat also available)

Both of these sets are available exclusively in tall sizing. Rejoice! There is more tweed where those sets came from.

left to right: skirt // skirt // skirt

All of these skirts are also available in standard sizing and the leftmost one is also available in petite.

left to right: dress // dress

In addition to tall length sizes, both of these dresses are also available in petite and standard sizing.

left to right: dress // dress (coordinating jacket also available; navy blue version also available; both in this post)

Both of these dresses are available in tall length, standard length, and petite length sizing.

 

Shall I pastel thee to a summer’s day?

It is officially spring and I am here for the associated wardrobe. While many find turning over the seasonal wardrobe as a chore, I relish the day. It is like a semi annual Christmas and I love finding items that I bought at the end of the last summer season, at deep discount no doubt, that still have tags attached; I inevitably forget about these previously unworn pieces.

The seasonal associated excitement made it all the more difficult to pare down what I decided to bring with me to the west coast. I attempted to exercise utmost discipline and be especially discerning when it came to packing for our season in California. Nevertheless now that I am unpacked, it is now clear to me (and definitely my husband, who saw it happening while we were on the east coast) that I hauled more than I intended.

All this is to say that while I am not going to be adding to my wardrobe any time soon, I am always on the look out for tall…anything! I was surprised at how many hits this post (and before that, this post) attracted, so colored denim it is. Here is a second serving.

pink denim // ice purple denim

The pink denim are a cropped length and are available in short (26 inch), regular (28 inch), and tall (31 inch) inseams.

The ice purple jeans are full length and available in 34, 36, and 38 inch inseams. Listen up tall ladies! This pair is for you, because not only do they come in the pastel shade, but also white and traditional denim shades.

Stepping Up My Shoe Game

It seems like I just wrote about shoes, and I did, a mere month ago. It feels like so much longer than that. Not that I measure my life in pairs of shoes that I just so happen to find appealing, but what an idea. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.

What other units would I like to measure my life in?

Gin martinis?

Miles ran or chatarunga pushups?

How about trips to the spa?

I digress.

Every shoe that catches my eye fits into one of several distinct categories: cap toe, loafer, slingback, gingham, and high heeled ankle strap sandals.

When you do not have an extra nine hundred dollars lying around for the real thing, this pump, cut out block heel, and ballet flat are sufficient substitutes without taking the questionable Canal Street knock off route.

pump (more cap toes here, fact: J.Crew made this very shoe save for a round toe circa autumn 2016) // block heel (last obsessed about here) // ballet flat (more cap toes here)

I blame my allegiance to the loafer on my classic and traditional aesthetic. Not the of-the-moment slim, slip on loafer. Those do nothing for me. Give me the fringe, a tassel, and a detail in which I can stow a penny.

clockwise from top left: tan horsebit loafer // navy fringe loafer // patent kiltie loafer // jade kiltie loafer // mustard penny loafer (alternate colorway last seen here)

Who saw the kitten heel slingback coming? I sure as hell did not. Now I want to head to the nail salon for a pedicure because even though my toes will not be on display, I need to prep my heels to be their most polished.

polka dot slingback // holographic slingback

I mentioned resisting the gingham trend last week and two of these are having an encore. Gingham in a smaller dose is palatable. However, I will be on the lookout across my Facebook because once I note that an old high school teacher (in Mississippi, mind you) has adopted the trend, it is time to jump ship.

sandal (obsessed about here) // pump (obsessed about here) // slingback

Ankle strap heels are not necessarily a trend but after packed away for six months, the sudden appearance of them in every retailer feels like a thing.

clockwise from top left: gold sandal // ribbon sandal // polka dot sandal

Dreaming of Gingham

Do you smell that?

It smells like spring. Time to turn over your fall / winter wardrobe to spring / summer, shed the black opaque tights, incorporate ramps and rose into every meal for the next six months, make brunch plans for Easter Sunday, and set your clocks forward. (Reminder: Daylight Savings Time is this Sunday, people!) Do you have any Claritin on you?

True, spring does not officially start for another two weeks but I like to get a jump on the seasons. Case in point: I flipped my closet three weekends ago. Granted I have an upcoming life event approaching that required the haste, (Calm down people, I am not with child. #pop #fizz #clink #chug) but more about that this Saturday. For the inevitable freak snow storm that follows an eighty degree high day, I kept a capsule wardrobe pulled for the remaining winter weather days that require layers. 10/10 recommend.

With springs comes some of my favorite fabrics and patterns. Madras, seersucker, and linen? Give me a hell yeah! (Y’all echo back: Hell yeah! #testify) Gingham? I have a little less jubilance for it. It definitely has to do with the surge in popularity. I always say that it is time to ditch a trend when you see one of your high school teachers sporting it on Facebook. Looking at you Cult Gaia bamboo basket bag.

Because gingham is a little less ubiquitous and tied to the summer of 2016 and a little more timeless, the pattern of picnic tablecloth dreams gets a pass.

It smells like spring. Cue allergies.

 

clockwise from upper left: bucket bag // shift dress  (available in standard, petite, and tall sizing) // pump // sun dress (available in standard, petite, and extended sizing) // trench coat (available in standard, petite, and extended sizing) // tank suit // sandal // ball skirt // scarf // maxi dress

With Her, Part II

for part I…

Last week, I wrote about a bright pink suit reminiscent of season three Samantha Jones power dressing. I would love to break out that acid hibiscus shade, especially as the fiber content is a non-synthetic blend. Lately, I have been much more cognizant of polyester crepe masquerading as upscale wool crepe. Brands attempting to con consumers into purchasing something that is not nearly as high end as the former would lead the latter to believe just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Silver lining: reviewing the fiber content tag has been the most effective way of turning myself off from shopping during the moratoriums of 2018 and 2019.

Like the acid pink suit, this one is also 95 percent wool with five percent spandex. Would you please scope out this vibrant periwinkle shade? If it does not say, “I mean business,” then I don’t know what. This color is available in the trouser pant, cropped pant, and pencil skirt and all of them, as well as the coordinating blazer, were produced and currently in stock in tall. #andtheangelssang

Like I said last week, and two years ago, when presented the option, one should purchase all of the options suit options available: skirt, dress, blazer, pant, etc. We spend most of our life at the office (just me? sure does feel like it), so we may as well look put together and chic af while there. Wearing a well fitted suit speaks to the competency of the person wearing it and yet it is one of the easiest ensembles to put together. Yes people, this means bringing all of the pieces to a tailor for fit customization. Upfront costs in procuring the suit and making the necessary adjustments will pay off dividends.

 

blazer // full length trouser pants // skirt // cropped pant

Wavy Navy

All too often I forget that standard length clothing brands can work on a taller frame. I do not pay attention to brands that cater to different lengths enough. This year I set out on being more open minded when it comes to trying new brands and new styles.

I decided to try Duffield Lane. The brand sent me two dresses. The verdict? I should have shopped there earlier. This first dress is called the Sheffield and I was sold on the white trim on the wavy hem and the three quarters sleeves. (Also, it is available in mini me versions.) Though it was the shorter of two dresses, I did not find it especially revealing especially for the forthcoming warmer spring weather. The fabric is stretchy, but certainly not flimsy or as thick as ponte knit.

With shorter dresses, I tend to wear a flat shoe. It is the oldest proportion trick in the book and conversely why I always wear heels with pencil skirts and other long hemline skirts and dresses. Typically, I would wear the Sheffield dress with a pair of Jack Rogers or my navy Tory Burch Minnie flats, but I went with my lower height navy wedges.

Second to the Sheffield dress is my trench coat. This is an item that I could not sacrifice length. Before finding a trench coat that was made in tall, I just never loved any style that I tried. While my trench coat is no longer available in tall, several other trench coats including three tall ones. You are welcome.

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With Her, Part I

Don’t you just love a pant suit? There is no other better way to express you mean business than a monochrome head-to-toe lewk. Black, navy, and gray suits are tired. I said it. I meant it. I am not taking it back. While I could get down with a pinstripe or a glen plaid on a suit of one of those colors, I think it is more of a power move to pick a suit in a iconoclastic shade.

As I stated prior, two years ago to be exact, I think that when one invests in a suit, one should purchase every coordinating piece in order to maximize options. Buy both the double button and the single button version of the blazer! Buy the pencil skirt! Buy the cropped pant and the full-length trouser pant! Buy the dress! One could make enough combinations for an entire week with the above pieces. It is the ultimate in uniform dressing.

In that same post from two years ago, I also bitched about the use of excessive synthetic fabrics for suiting. Of anything hanging in one’s closet, suiting should be made with the chicest fibers. This suit qualifies as such. With the exception of its lining, this suit is nearly entirely lightweight wool.

All three of the linked suit pieces are available in either tall or long. I am not sure why the brand does not go universal with the sizing vernacular but rest assured that if they are proportionate on my 6′-2″, the pieces will work on nearly any tall gal. How often are you able to find a statement pink suit in tall sizing? Oh wait, never, otherwise I would already have it in my closet.

While the pants are marked down, sub-$100, the blazer is full price and a bit of an investment.

set

blazer // cropped pants // full length trouser pants (not shown)

Well Red / Think Pink

Does anyone remember when Princess Kate wore a pair of sherbet color cropped denim to play a match of field hockey? I think she started the cropped colored denim movement. I never found a pair of longer cut ones that would work on my tall frame.

Kate Middleton Takes a Whack at Field Hockey
Credit: Bauer Griffin

Seven years later, I think I found a pair I actually like. They come in red, pink, and a much less exciting, not pictured, army green color.

 

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