Fashion and Clothing Blog for Tall Women
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How to pick dresses for taller torsos

So, dresses are always a bit tricky for women with longer torsos — some styles fit us tall girls fantastically, and some will leave ya with bizarre fabric bumps all over. Generally, I find that stretch fabrics and wrap or pull-over styles work best, while stiffer cotton fabrics and fitted bodices — not so much. In particular, fitted dresses that have unforgiving seams in both the top and bottom are best bought in “tall sizes” or avoided all-together.

So, I really love the preppy-vintage-femme style of Joules Clothing, but without any tall options, it’s tough to decide about the fits. Here are three dresses that caught my eye. Below the pics are my thoughts on how I would evaluate these dresses for my taller torso.

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So, these all have the advantages of billowy bottoms, the main question is in the fit of the three different upper styles.

  • First up, the gorgeous countryside white dress. It has a loose skirt and a mid-waist style — all good signs for tall bodies. Unfortunately, the “neatly-fitted bodice” may be problematic, since longer torsos don’t line up with average ones. Generally, the more regimented the stitching to accommodate the fabric around the breasts, the more likely you’re going to have weird fabric bunches. This one doesn’t look too bad in front — I’m more concerned about the waist being too high and lying on the lower ribs instead of the waist. If I got this, and was between sizes, I’d probably order up. I’d try this on if I spotted it in a store, but probably won’t be ordering it online.
  • Next up, the polka-dot number. I loooove the fabric, and the fact that it has an adjustable wrap top and stretchier material is a really great sign. Wrap-tops are excellent for adjustable fits. The one red-flag on this one is that the waist is designed to fit just below the breast (empire-style). I think an empire-waist is a fantastic look for taller women, but with our longer torsos, there is definitely some danger of this dress cutting you off mid-boob. I have a small-B cup, so I would consider giving this one a go, but only because I truly adore the print.
  • Finally, the navy number. We’ve got a mid-waist fit, soft fabric, and an adjustable wrap. Looks like a winner! I actually think this would fit me really well. I think love slightly puff sleeves (although I wish the sleeves were a couple of inches longer to balance my sinewy arms) and I love the attention-grabbing thick wrap bow up front. I’m not a personal fan of denim dresses though, particularly with those prairie pockets, but if this was in another fabric, I would grab it.

Phew! Shopping as a woman with an unusual body sometimes makes me feel like a hunter stalking exotic and rare prey (not that I condone that, I’m just sayin’).

I remember as a teen going to the mall and dragging 50 items into the dressing room, finding nothing that looked right, and ending up with some really ill-fitting clothes. Now that I know my fit, I can roll into a vintage or thrift store, go through the wracks with a clear eye of what works for me, and hit about 50% success in the dressing room. The more you know about your fit and body, the easier it will be! Happy hunting!

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