Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Among the Very Tall

Wearing a dress over jeans is not something I normally do; in fact, this may be the first time I've ever tried it. I've always considered the look to be reserved for tall women, and at 5'8" I don't consider myself to be among the very tall. Why I was inspired to give it a try with this outfit is anyone's guess, but I think it works, although for my proportions I think it would look a bit better if the dress were about an inch shorter.

So why is the dress/jeans combo so successful for the very tall? It's all about playing with proportions, and for taller women this generally means avoiding anything that elongates your already long legs, which in turn makes you look even taller (although why that's a bad thing is a mystery to me -- I'd love to be a full 6 feet, and you can bet I'd still wear towering heels if I were).

In this outfit, the wide belt helps to bring definition to the waist rather than letting the eye get lost in the long expanse of dress pattern. Note how the positioning of the belt divides me into three roughly equal parts: shoulders to waist, waist to bottom of dress, and bottom of dress to the end of the legs. Meanwhile, the jeans define where my legs end, whilst the rounded toes and contrasting color of the shoes keep them from adding length to my legs. The length of the dress is also key; very long or very short hemlines tend to exaggerate height in tall women, whilst a mid-length serves to balance the proportions of the legs to the torso.

Since I'm not actually that tall, I chose 3.5" heels to wear with this, because otherwise I felt like this outfit would have made my legs look stumpy. However, someone who's over 5'9" would probably want to stick with a lower heel to maintain the correct proportions. Unless, of course, you're like me and would welcome with delight an opportunity to tower over your friends and colleagues like a looming giant. In that case I suggest you buy a micro miniskirt and wear it with these:

Dress: Diane von Furstenberg
Hat: San Diego Hat Co.
Belt: Audra Jean
Jeans: Joe's
Shoes: Faryl Robin
Looming Giant Fantasy Shoes: John Fluevog


WickedThrifty said...

see here in under 5'2"-land, we think of you as tall. maybe not VERY tall. but quite tall, indeed. oh how i covet your belts :) but i still don't feel like i can rock belts like you can!

C said...

As a 5'2" woman, I've got to agree with The Thrifty Stylist. You. are. tall. But you totally rock this look. And I LOVE those Vogs. I WANT THEM! Looks great!!

Alison said...

Wow us 5'2" girls are really coming out of the woodwork today. I agree and feel that you are tall too. But I understand getting the proportions right is the key to wearing a dress over jeans. I've always wanted to try it, but feel I would need more of a tunic or mini dress to make this work. I do feel lucky however to have long legs and maybe someday I'll find the right combo to make it work.

Anonymous said...

Hah! I'd never thought about it, but you're totally right. Jeans/dresses work best for the tall and long of leg (meaning: not me).

Also, I dream of those Fluevog boots. So gorgeous.

Mae said...

The average American woman is approximately 5'4--which makes you tall! (BTW, I am only 5'0 and, while I do not suffer from tall-woman envy, I believe that you should enjoy your height....whatever it may be).

Nancy said...

Count me in as another person who agrees that 5'8" is pretty tall. And six feet in high heels? Yikes!