When it comes to shopping, there are a few things that are notoriously hard for everyone to find. Swimming costumes are frequently cited as a problem, as are bras, and jeans aren’t always the easiest (though things are improving on that front). But what if you added into the mix a size, shape or height many shops don’t regularly cater for? Founder of brand TTYA (Taller Than Your Average) Irene Agbontaen is 5’11’’ (6’3” in heels), and she decided to create her own clothing line after being unable to find exactly what she was after. Not only does she have a great way of putting outfits together, but she also knows how to spot an affordable piece and make it look luxe, which is why we asked her to pinpoint the summer trends catering to tall girls everywhere.
Right now, the high street is all about championing diversity, which is great, as for so long, there wasn’t much variety. While it’s not as good as it could be, it’s definitely getting so much better. When I started my brand, ASOS decided to use it as a guinea pig, and after seeing how popular it was, they’ve now created ASOS Tall. I think back to the 16-year-old me who couldn’t afford to spend loads on clothes that fit (the taller pieces were always much more expensive), and I’m happy more brands are trying to cater to girls like me.
So who is getting it right? Other than my own brand, there are the likes of the ASOS, Boohoo, Topshop and some Zara pieces (it depends on the cut, as I can’t go for trousers or anything long-sleeved, as they come up too short).
On that note, a jumpsuit is the number one difficult thing to find. Tall girls may have a short torso and long legs, or a long torso and shorter legs. This means the proportions in all-in-one (a jumpsuit, a bodysuit) won’t always work for you, as it’s not a one-size-fits-all matter. Finally, high-waisted jeans are tricky to get right, as they often come up lower than they should on a tall girl’s waist.
For this story, I ordered items online because while the high street is improving, most brick-and-mortar stores don’t stock a great tall selection. My personal style is more about adding trend pieces to classic wardrobe staples, so this is my take on this year’s summer trends and how to shop for them on the high street when you’re tall.
Look 1: Double Denim
Who What Wear UK
In my opinion, double denim is a classic outfit everyone looks good in. But for a tall girl, it’s hard to find long sleeves and trousers in denim. Thankfully Topshop has got it right: The cropped jacket fits where it’s supposed to, and the jeans actually come up as high-waisted. From vintage- to boyfriend-style jeans, all you need to do is pair them with strappy sandals. I got these pink ones from Zara, and my extra tip there is to buy the brand’s bigger sizes as soon as possible, as they sell out quickly!
A blazer is another staple piece every tall girl should have. This is from Collusion, a brand sold on ASOS. Collusion is a bit more experimental in terms of prints, although it still offers classic silhouettes. I got the jacket in a size 14, as I like the oversized look, and then my regular size 10 in the shorts. It’s a cute summer look with trainers, but you can always wear it with heels for a dressier look.
This leather jacket is also from Topshop’s Tall range. Tall girls have a real problem with normal sizing, as lots of leather jackets don’t fit and can come up short on the arms. These mom jeans (also from Topshop) actually stop on top of the ankle where they’re supposed to. If I got a normal pair, they’d stop about my calf.
Now more than ever, I think everyone should have access to things that make them feel beautiful inside and out, and a maxi dress is just one of those kinds of pieces. This dress from TTYA was inspired by my Nigerian heritage, and until I made my own, most maxi dresses would stop on my calf. Wear it with a tee and sneakers during the day, or wear it with strappy sandals for a wedding. You can also knot it up as well to make it look more midi.
This gave me a real feel of Zimmermann, which I can’t sadly wear, as the sleeves just come up too short on me. I’d choose this for a garden party, and to make it look more luxe, I’d add the sandals from Topshop and a couple of hair clips. It’s worth noting that Topshop and ASOS go up to a size 9 in shoes, so they’re some of the best high-street stores for directional styles.
Thanks to the oversized trend being everywhere, Zara now stocks pieces I can actually wear. Usually, I’d have to get a men’s shirt for this look, but this is a size 10 shirt, and it works perfectly for me. Hunt down those oversized pieces and make them work for you.
You can great basics from the ASOS Tall range, which I love to wear with TTYA stuff. This crew-neck ribbed jumper is ideal for UK summer, as it’s lightweight. I’ve worn it with a TTYA maxi skirt, which is a key essential for a tall girl but hard to find. To finish this look off, I’ve gone for Grecian sandals from ASOS and a little Jacquemus bag.
Linen is a tricky material. This look is all from H&M (bar the TTYA body) and not tall-specific. But the kaftan had a 3-inch hem and the trousers had 5-inch hem, so I just took it down to make it fit. This trick is what I usually do with H&M pieces, as they usually have a longer hem, which gives me the chance to take it down a bit and lengthen the item without too much hassle.