Tuesday, March 31, 2015

5 Tips for Tall Women on Finding Long Formal Dresses

How do you feel when you get invited to a dressy event?  If you're like me, you get a surge of panic, sprint to your closet and frantically rummage through your dresses to see if you have anything remotely suitable and long enough.  

Why the surge of panic?  Well, formal dresses for tall women seem to be a bit hard to come by.  If I'm going to wear a long gown, of course I want it to sweep the floor (or at least get reasonably close to the floor).  I definitely DON'T want to look like I'm ready to go wading in a stream with a long dress that hits above my ankles.  

Shopping Strategy for an Extra-Long Formal Dress

Out of my two long gowns, one is a tall size and one is a regular size.  The tall size one does indeed sweep the floor...even with three inch heels on.  Huzzah! The non-tall one is just barely long enough and looks better with a kitten-heel.  The difference in length between the tall size and non-tall size highlights the importance of snatching up a formal dress from a tall retailer if you can ever get your hot little hands on one!  

If you can't visit a tall store, I think your best bets are to: 

1) try on dresses in a non-tall store to see if you can make one of them work
2) order a dress online from tall lines like Long Tall Sally (especially around the holidays) or ASOS
3) order a custom made-to-measure dress online from retailers like JJ's House or MJVO Couture 
4) make friends with a seamstress and bribe her with lots of chocolate so she will make you a dress
5) consider pairing a dressy maxi skirt like this one from Model Atelier with a fancy top 

The scenario described at the beginning of this post happened to me the other day when we received an invite to a formal event taking place in a couple of months.  I'm happy to say that my frenzied closet rummaging revealed that my two very elderly long gowns still fit! In case I can't find a new dress, at least I have these to fall back on.

BCBG Long Formal Dress (Non-Tall)

I've worn this dress 3 or 4 times over the years which is pretty good wear for a formal dress.  If you look closely, you can see my 3" inch heels peeking out so I'll need to look for a 1"-2" inch kitten heels if I plan to wear this to the event.  Any excuse for shoe shopping is always music to my ears! 

Extra-Long Formal Dress

I love the movement of the tulle skirt...

Extra-Long Formal Dress

Extra-Long Formal Dress

I also adore the lace detailing and the red waistband!

BCBG Long Formal Gown

Red Gown from a Tall Store in Pasadena, CA

When I was 17 or 18, my mom and I visited a tall store in Pasadena, CA and this long red dress caught my eye.  I tried it on and looked down in disbelief and wonderment as the fabric pooled on the floor.  Wearing heels with this dress is a MUST and not just any heels but REALLY HIGH HEELS.    How often can you say that about a formal dress? Woohoo! 

Even though the dress was a bit too big on me, I still bought it as one of those "I might need this someday so I better be prepared" purchases.  Plus, I was just too enamored with the length to leave the dress behind.  It has sat in my closet ever since!  I wasn't sure if it would still fit me, but it actually looks better on me now than when I bought it because my 30-something body fills it out better than my boyish teenage figure did.

Extra-Long Red Formal Dress
I'm wearing 3 inch heels and it still touches the ground!
Extra-Long Red Formal Gown

Slits on both sides of the dress gives it nice movement when I twirl!

Tall Satin Formal Gown

Tall Chiffon Formal Dress

Tall Formal Gown

Cocktail/Party Frock - French Connection "Moire Meadow" 

Sometimes, a cocktail dress will work for a dressy event and these are WAY simpler to find than long dresses.  When I saw this ladylike French Connection dress on the Sequins and Stripes blog last fall, I fell in love and immediately bought it (on sale).  It's still on sale at Bloomingdales but sizes seem to be going fast.  

I'm trying to remember the last time an article of clothing made me feel dainty.  At 6'2, that feeling just doesn't come around very often.  This dress sure as heck makes me feel that way with the sweetheart neckline (which is perfect with my pearls), pleated and poofy skirt and brocade floral fabric.  

Tall Dress French Connection

Sweetheart neckline and pearls for the win!

French Connection Fit and Flare Dress

Scoop back with exposed zipper

French Connection Tall Cocktail Dress

Pretty pleated poofy skirt

French Connection Floral Dress

Your turn...
Which long dress do you think I should wear to the event?  Where have you found extra-long formal gowns?

You might also like to read...
Online Shopping and Wedding (Guest) Dress Woes, Long.Leggy.Lovin' It!
Extra Long Prom and Special Occasion Dresses, Tallook
An Unexpected Gown for a Taller Than Your Average Girl, The Height of Style

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shoes of Prey Custom-Made Shoes Available at Nordstrom

Have you ever dreamed of creating custom-made shoes in person?  Shoes of Prey has you covered! Not only can you design customized shoes on the Shoes of Prey website, but now you can visit select Nordstrom stores and design your shoes with the help of a shoe stylist. I almost swallowed my gum with excitement when I read about the partnership between Shoes of Prey and Nordstrom.   Nordstrom has always been my go-to for my size 11 shoes and is popular amongst tall women since they carry up to a size 13 (and sometimes higher).  Guess what? Shoes of Prey offers its styles up to size 15!!

So what exactly does Shoes of Prey offer and how does it work? 
  1. Choose from 12 shoe shapes (ballet flats, stilettos, sandals, wedges, pumps etc.)
  2. Choose your color (over 170 fabrics to choose from) 
  3. Choose between 5 different widths
  4. Choose a shoe size up to US15/EU49/UK13.5 
  5. Worldwide shipping (receive your order in 5 weeks or less)
  6. 365 days to return or request a free redesign 
Here's a look at the online ordering platform: 

Shoes of Prey Custom Design

The online ordering and 365 day guaranteed is great but being able to visit the shoe studio, consult with a shoe stylist, get your hot little hands on swatches of the 170+ fabrics/colors and see samples of actual shoes is even better!! 

Here are a few of the shoe designs to choose from:

Custom-Made Stiletto Sandals

Custom-Made Ballet Flats

Custom-made pumps

Custom-Made Boots

So far, Shoes of Prey Design Studios have opened at Nordstrom in Seattle and San Francisco.  The Fashion Island - Orange County, CA design studio is opening this week which means I'll be able to go create some custom shoes the next time I go home to visit the fam!!  

Future locations include:

Paramus, NJ (opening April 11)
Pentagon City, VA (opening April 25)
Oakbrook, IL (May 9)

Shoes of Prey launched in 2009 in Australia and in 2013, they opened their first brick and mortar locations in Sydney and Bondi Junction. It's also worth nothing that the SoP website is available in the following languages: Spanish, German, French and Japanese. I'm thrilled to see a company that offers larger sized shoes experience such international growth, and I can't wait to see what is next for SoP.

You might also like to read...

Shopping Custom Challenge - Long.Leggy.Lovin It!

Your Turn

Do custom-made shoes appeal to you and have you ever bought a custom-made item?  Are you willing to pay more money for a custom-made item?

All images - Copyright Shoes of Prey Pty Ltd; Used with permission from media kit

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Clothing for Tall Kids - Does it Exist?

This week, a reader asked me the following question on Instagram

"Do you have any fashion advice for tall children? My two year old is in a 4-5T, and the next size up is in big kids clothes. As much fun as shopping is, I'd rather have her in more age appropriate stuff. I know it's not a big problem right now, but it will be when she's 10 and is in teens' clothing sizes"

As I pondered this question, I began to sympathize with my reader and understand why she would have some concerns. Even though I don't have kids yet (don't worry family members...it's on the agenda), I still wanted to try to get some feedback on this question.

I first punted the question to my #1 source on the topic of kids - my tall sister. Next, I put out a call for help on the Long.Leggy.Lovin It Facebook page and received some uber helpful feedback from several people. One of the things I love about the "tall online community" is that it's very collaborative and supportive and such a great place to turn to for advice.

Without further ado, here is a summary of the tips that I received from a few fabulous tall moms:

My Sister

Sis said that she hasn't really had difficulty finding age-appropriate clothing for my 7 year old niece yet and didn't feel too worried about it for the future. This brief and positive response was comforting in and of itself.

Angie, a 6'4 mother of two, very generously offered to do some research and report back. She did a great write-up on her blog that you can read here.

Ashley - Owner of Mommy Long Legs Maternity

Ashley chimed in on Facebook with some great insights for both boys and girls.  Here's a summary of her thoughts on clothing for girls - Gymboree carries appropriate girl clothing through size 12 and you'll get great quality clothing that you can hand down from one kid to the next. Shop their sales, stock up in the off-season when items are on clearance and use their coupons. The trick for not breaking the bank is to avoid buying the super cute full price items because they'll always go on sale. I'm sure that's easier said than done since little kids' clothes are so darned adorable but Ashley makes it very clear that you must resist! Mini Boden, while pricey, has great classic styles ranging from kids to young ladies. This would be a line that girls can utilize as they get older.

Hop on over to the FB thread on this topic to read more about Ashley's experiences (including the desire to dress her 3 year old son in happy prints like puppy dogs and monkeys only to find that the big boy sizes he was wearing came with skulls or flames).

Rajahnique from TallnNatural

Rajahnique has had issues finding pants that were long enough for her thin daughters without being huge in the waist. She realized that elastic-waist jeans were the best bet (although sometimes the extra bunching is still irritating).

Krista's recommendation for tall/thin kids is to buy the pants at Old Navy with the adjustable waistbands. That way, if you have to go up a size for extra length, you can just cinch the waist.

What great feedback! It almost makes me want to have kids. Hah!

You might also like to read...

Tall Maternity Clothing, Tall Clothing Mall
What to Expect When You're (Tall And) Expecting, All The Tall Things

Your turn...
Do you have tall kids? What have your experiences been like?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Instagram Style Challenge - Tall Trenches, Tall Midis and More!

Whilst I eagerly await the arrival of this month's online orders for my Tall Specialty Shop Challenge, I wanted to share a fun style challenge that I'm participating in on Instagram.   Who says you have to go shopping to create new outfits? This Style Challenge is just the kick in the pants I needed to "go shopping in my own closet", and it's forcing me to get creative with what I already have. Plus, taking a gander at the looks other people are creating for the daily themes is giving me some great style inspiration.  

Here is the schedule for the challenge created by Katy St. Sauveur of WearWhatWhere.  If you want to know more about the style challenge rules or the three pairs of shoes you could win by participating, click here.

Wear What Where Style Challenge

March 11 - In the Trenches

I found out about the challenge on March 11th and was thrilled with the theme because busting out my trusty Banana Republic tall trench coat is one of my favorite things about spring fashion.  I still can't believe how lucky I was to score this tall jacket WHILE VISITING an actual BR store.  A peek of polka dots from my favorite J.Crew dress makes the outfit a bit more playful, don't you think?

BR isn't currently selling this trench but you can find similar tall trenches from One Seven Three here and from Long Tall Sally here.

Tall Trench Coat and J.Crew Polka Dot Dress
Banana Republic Tall Trench and J.Crew Polka Dot Dress

March 13 - Somewhere in the Midi

I was rather despondent that I didn't have any gingham in my closet and had to sit on the sidelines for the March 12 theme.  I love gingham!!! How in tarnation did I live in the southern part of the U.S. for three years and NOT acquire any gingham?!?  #EpicFail!  Maybe I should have thrown on one of Mr. L3's gingham shirts since he has a bajillion. 

Moving along, for the "Somewhere in the Midi" challenge, I threw on my tall Loft midi dress with my tall Banana Republic sheer plaid shirt for a little coverage.  I finished it off with a couple of gold necklaces from Loft and Tiffany and my nude Cole Haan Air Monica flats.  Throwing a sheer button up on over a summer dress and tying it at the waist is one of my new favorite fashion tricks for spring!

Tall midi dress tall sheer plaid top
Loft Tall Midi Dress, Banana Republic Tall Sheer Blouse, Cole Haan Air Monica Flats
March 16 - Neutrals Needed 

For my neutral look, I chose black, grey and white. I scored this floral-y (and if you look closely bird-y) print tank from Loft last year and it has become one of my favorite "non-tall" purchases.  You know what I can't wait for - BARING MY SHOULDERS.  They are crying out for some Vitamin D after being under my heavy winter coat for months.  I adore tops that show some shoulder but aren't low cut which means I'm always on the prowl for a style like this.  I'm also wearing my grey tall blazer from Loft, my black J.Crew Reid jeans and my black pointy-toe Tory Burch flats (and what I am NOT wearing is makeup...oops!)  I couldn't resist adding my red tagua seed bracelet from Noonday Collection to break up the neutrals.  I'm such a rule breaker!
Loft Tall J.Crew Tall Tory Burch Flats Noonday Collection
 March 17 - Emerald City

Happy St. Paddy's Day!  I've had this Banana Republic (non-tall) silk green tunic for at least 8 years and it always keeps me from getting pinched on March 17.  Side note - I'm pretty sure the tunic is actually supposed to be a dress. If I wore it as a dress, I'm afraid I may get carted off to jail for indecent exposure.  I spruced it up with a necklace and bracelet from Noonday Collection, earrings that my dearest mother gave me from Purpose Jewelry, my Daniel Wellington watch and my rather elderly (but still fun) Isabella Fiore floral purse. 
Noonday Collection Banana Republic Silk Dress
Banana Republic silk tunic dress
Are you following @longleggylovinit on Instagram yet? Even if you don't have an account, you can still look at my photos.  But if you do have an account, be sure to follow along!  And there's still plenty of time to join the WearWhatWhereMarch Style Challenge. Have you ever participated in a style challenge?  Did you find that it helped you reinvent your clothes?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tall Fashion Alert - Marge Clothing Launching in 2015

Do you get as giddy as I do when you find out about new tall companies? Since I am only buying my clothing from tall speciality shops for 2015, I NEED as many options as possible!

There are a couple of tall lines that will be launching in the next few months and I wanted to review them as part of my Tall Speciality Shop series.  You should definitely follow their social media accounts for exclusive sneak peeks and updates on their progress. 

Marge Clothing - Tall Luxury Fashion

Today, I'm highlighting Marge Clothing.  Based in San Francisco, Marge Clothing is a tall luxury clothing line that will be launching in Spring/Summer 2015.  Marge is described as "classic elegance with a modern sensibility" and promises to provide us tall ladies with garments in "high-end fabrics and trims are specially curated to create timeless silhouettes with a modern edge".  I like the sounds of that! At the helm of this company is 6'1 fashion designer Kaersten Cooper. Kaersten takes her inspiration from her grandmother who was a prominent fashion illustrator and designer in the 1930s-1940s.  How cool is that? This blurb on Marge's website really speaks to me "Tall women have no doubt had to sift through countless brands, make do with or have altered, garments that 'almost' fit in an effort to curate a wardrobe.  MARGE promises to design and deliver timeless staples that flatter elongated frames, compliment lifestyles and earn trust".  I think it's safe to say that we all have some of these "almost fit" pieces that Marge is talking about. If you're anything like me, you're REALLY tired of that. I can't wait to see what Marge Clothing has in store! 

Marge Clothing's Social Media Accounts

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Polka Dots and Pearls - Review of Long Tall Sally Polka Dot Top

Oh polka dots...how I love thee, let me count the ways.  

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, it's no secret that I adore polka dots and seem to gravitate toward the navy/white variety.  When Long Tall Sally generously offered to let me pick a few items from their spring collection to test drive and review, I knew this navy cowl neck polka dot top would fit perfectly into my Project Remix repertoire and it looks perfect with my pearl necklace. Win-win!  As usual, even though this is a sponsored post, I always share my honest opinion and only review items that I truly like.    

True confessions...I actually didn't pick this top.  I thought it would be fun to let Mr. L3 select something for me and this is what he chose.  He did a pretty good job picking a versatile yet flattering top, don't you think?

Since navy is one of my 4 Project Remix colors, I paired the top with a couple of other Project Remix colors - orange and gray.  I love how flattering the drapey neckline is with a blazer. In both outfits, I'm wearing Cole Haan flats, tall Loft blazers, tall Banana Republic skinny jeans and my cherished pearl necklace that Mr. L3 bought me last year from Tiffany. 

This is my "I'm a bit annoyed with the photographer" look
Review of Long Tall Sally polka dot top, Loft Tall Blazer
Still a little bit annoyed with the photographer (Mr. L3)
Review of Long Tall Sally Polka Dot Top, Tall Loft Blazer, Tall Banana Republic Skinny Jeans,
Now we're happier...
Review of Long Tall Sally Polka Dot Top, Tall Loft Blazer

Fit and Wearability

I am wearing a small and the top is definitely form fitting (and maybe even a teensy bit clingy) but overall fits quite well.  I am very happy with the length of the top.  It hits just below my hips and it stays put so I won't have to tug on it or fuss with it to make it stay down. 

As far as wearability is concerned, I don't foresee myself wearing this top in the heat of summer since it has 3/4 sleeves but it's perfect for spring, fall and even some mild winter days.  I could see this top being paired with white jeans, color jeans, and maybe even some skirts.  **Oversharing alert** The lightweight double layered fabric and the dark color of the top is PERFECT for a Sweaty Betty like me.  After living in the miserably hot/humid southern part of the U.S. for the past few years, I always look for pieces that can conceal my sweat because, for some unfortunate reason, I perspire at the drop of a hat. 

Review of Long Tall Sally polka dot top and tall Banana Republic skinny jeans

Review of Long Tall Sally polka dot top and red Cole Haan flats
Flattering side ruching

Special Details

Even though the top looks great with a blazer, it can also stand on its own thanks to the flattering soft drape cowl neck (which allows you to show off the necklace of your choice) and the slimming side ruching.  

Review of Long Tall Sally Polka Dot Top
Love how the neckline allows me to highlight my pearls
Review of Long Tall Sally Polka Dot Top
Slimming side ruching

Since I am trying to accessorize more, I figured I'd highlight a few of my accessories from this post (in addition to the pearls).    

I am REALLY loving my rose gold Daniel Wellington Classic York Lady watch.  I was looking for a clean, classic everyday timepiece that wouldn't break the bank and this DW watch was just the ticket.  The band is a dark brown textured leather (and is so dark that I also wear it with black outfits). The COOLEST thing is the band is interchangeable so you can easily get several looks out of one watch by buying additional bands.  I have yet to buy another band but DW has some really fun ones so maybe I need one for spring!!  You may have noticed in the above photos that I tried a little bracelet/watch layering with some gold bangles. Not sure if the look totally worked but it's always fun to experiment. 

Daniel Wellington Classic York Lady Watch
Daniel Wellington Rose Gold Watch
Daniel Wellington Classic York Lady Watch
Daniel Wellington rose gold watch and some bangles
I'm not sure if makeup is considered an accessory but just humor me.  I'm typically a bit of a minimalist when it comes to makeup, but I do find that certain things can really brighten up my face (and mood for that matter).  Lately, I've been adoring the Dior 'Addict' Fluid Stick. It's part lip gloss, part lip stick, part awesome. It looks like a tube of lipstick but you actually twist off the top and pull out the nifty little wand to apply it like you would a gloss.  I have it in two colors (Mirage and Trompe L'oeil but am currently gravitating toward wearing the "Mirage" color because...you know...SPRING!! 

Dior 'Addict' Fluid Stick
Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Mirage
You can see the lip color a little better in this photo...
Do you love polka dots as much as me? Do you find it hard to accessorize outfits or do you love doing it? 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Project Remix - 2 Year Anniversary

Remember Project Remix

I just realized that it has been precisely 2 years since I embarked on Project Remix, and I thought it might be fun to take a walk down memory lane with some of my favorite outfits. 

I can't even tell you how thrilled I was to find Audrey's Putting Me Together website 2 years ago. If you've never had a gander at Audrey's website, DROP EVERYTHING AND DO IT NOW!  I was SO tired of standing in my closet staring at my clothes and feeling like I had NOTHING to wear.  I realized that my problem was twofold 1) I had a bunch of loner pieces in my wardrobe which made for MUCHO frustration when I'd try to put outfits together; and 2) I really didn't know how to put outfits together in the first place!  After happening upon Audrey's blog, I realized that I didn't own enough "remixable" pieces which is why I decided to embark on Project Remix

First, let's review my color palette and "key pieces" list which I put compiled using the Putting Me Together Wardrobe From Scratch series.  

Color Palette 

Neutrals - Gray and navy
Secondary Colors - Teal (or other bright blues) and orange

Key Pieces

Skirts - 1 in navy or gray, 1 in orange or teal and 1 print skirt
Dresses - 1 print dress 
Tops - 1 gray or navy top; 2 orange or teal solid tops; 2 orange or teal print tops
Completer Pieces - 2 Grey or Navy Blazers, cropped jackets etc., 1 teal or orange blazer, cardigan, and 1 denim jacket
Accessories - Belts, belts and more belts

As you can see in the photos, I basically have all of the "key pieces" covered and in some categories, I even have more than what's on my list. Woohoo!  I do need more belts though! Let's see how these colors and pieces play so nicely together. 

This orange linen blazer from Loft Tall is probably my favorite Project Remix piece
Orange blazer, navy skirt with tiny polka dots,
white sequined tank, leopard print skinny belt

Denim jackets are perfect "completer" pieces!
Patterned skirt in navy and orangeish red
and denim jacket as completer piece
Tall Hudson denim jacket with Ann Taylor navy print dress
Three Project Remix colors! Navy, gray and orange. Yippee!
I rarely wore this navy/white tunic pre-Project Remix.  Figured out two ways to style it. Yay!
I rarely wore this navy/white tunic pre-Project Remix.  Figured out two ways to style it. Yay!
Threw my gray Loft Tall blazer over my teal lace Tory Burch dress for a work outfit
Navy pants, teal printed top and tan accessories
Ann Taylor tall printed dress with both navy and orange.
Looks great with denim jacket or orange blazer
Tall J.Crew Schoolboy blazer and cropped J.Crew bright pants. I heart navy and orange together! Wish I was wearing my leopard print belt when I took this
Now that I have my key pieces, I still keep my Project Remix color palette in mind when I'm buying new things but I also buy clothing in other colors that I know will go well with gray, navy, orange or teal.

Here are some outfits I've put together that are outside my Project Remix color palette but incorporate  some of my Project Remix pieces or incorporate pieces that have been sitting lonely and unworn in my closet.  Again, I used tips and tricks from Putting Me Together to figure out how to put these outfits together since I was CLUELESS about how to style myself.

Tall Loft gray blazer from Project Remix; Tall Loft plum sweater dress
Super old brown cord blazer, tall Banana Republic silk blouse, red Cole Haan flats, BR belt
This J.Crew navy polka dress is perfect for Project Remix but also mixes well
with other colors since navy is a neutral-ish color

Had a terrible time figuring out how to wear
this white linen blazer. Finally figured it out!
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to putting stylish looks together, but I feel like I've come a LONG way in the last two years.  It's so fun to look back through my blog and see how my style has evolved.