How I Stopped Apologizing for My Height (and Started Loving Fashion)

I used to struggle with my height. I would try on an endless amounts of pants that were never quite long enough, jacket sleeves always landed a bit too short, and I was perpetually on the hunt for a pair of decent flats or boots without a three-and-a-half-inch heel. Being tall didn’t feel like an asset; it felt like a burden.

When I first started working with stylist Penny Lovell, I always asked her to put me in the lowest heel heights she could find. And to her credit, she never let me wear them. She thought it was best to try to utilize my height, not hide it. I agreed, begrudgingly. As I teetered around unsteadily in what felt like sky-high heels, I quickly realized that if I didn’t start owning my height, it would own me.

I started to embrace longer coats, pantsuits, skirts, and boots with heels, and over time something surprising happened. I stopped hunching forward. I stopped wishing I were just a few inches shorter. I stopped making myself smaller, mentally and physically. You can’t apologize for your height when you’re wearing a pantsuit. What I wore changed the way I felt.

Photo:

Jeff Vespa

So what should every tall girl have in her arsenal? Conlin's stylist Penny Lovell breaks it down with these 10 foolproof tips. 

Embrace your height. Don't shy away from a great shoe! Michaela rocks high heels and looks amazing.

Often enough you have pants that fall a little short. Nix that problem by rolling jeans or pant to make it look intentional. Cropped pants and a great pair of heels always look super chic.

Being tall often means a good long torso, so rock a great belt. Unlike shorter bodies, you have the gamut of widths to choose, from really wide to skinny.

If you find something you love and wear it all the time, buy more than one and in a couple of colors. Michaela swears by the Maria Jean by J Brand. 

Especially this fall! Experiment with bohemian pieces that have longer hemlines, like a flowing maxi dress, a midi skirt, or a fabulous jumpsuit. Pop on a sweater and some oxfords, and voilà!

Basic tanks and classic tees are perennial, so make sure they are the right length and fall in the right places. Alternative Apparel makes great tees and tanks that work for taller girls. Note: Helmut Lang also does great long-length tees.

Tall girls are blessed with long legs, so if you have them, flaunt them! Don't be afraid to show them off in a dress or a pair of shorts. Plus, lucky long legs can easily rock a good pair of flats with shorter hemlines.


Mix up your outfit by playing with different separates. This is the perfect time to experiment with patterns and textures.

Show off your shoulders by rocking a great V-neck, halter, or scoop neck.
 

If you don't like to shop at stores aimed at taller woman, chances are you're buying clothing that may fit you in length but may be unflattering elsewhere. A little nip and tuck in a pant leg or bringing in the back of a dress can do wonders, so finding a local tailor to help hem your favorite pieces is always worth the extra cost. (Dry cleaners often offer an inexpensive basic service.) 

Calling all tall girls: What are your foolproof styling tips? Tell us in the comments below!