Up-to-Date Tall Styles Often in Short Supply

Dear Fashion Police: My daughter is 6 feet, 2 inches, wears sizes 8 to 10 and a size 10 1/2 shoe. Where can she find clothing that is fashionable and affordable? She can find a limited selection of shoes at Nordstrom and some clothes at a tall shop, but those clothes are matronly. Designers seem to think if you are tall you are large! When you're in your 20s, you don't want to look 50. With all the tall athletes, there must be a source. I think the designers are losing a large market.


Dear Frustrated: We thought you made a good point about tall athletes having to shop for clothes, so we asked one.

Delisha Milton, 24, a forward center for the WNBA team L.A. Sparks, is 6-foot-1 and wears sizes 10 to 14. Ever since she was a child, she's had trouble finding clothes that fit and look current.

It's still no picnic, but she's learned some tricks for her off-the-court wardrobe.

For casual clothes, says Milton, "I like men's Lee's in the boot cut because I can get them in the longer length, and they fit pretty well in the hips. A lot of women's basketball players wear those."

She also shops the men's department for long-sleeve shirts, since women's shirts are usually too short in the sleeves and the overall length.

Milton says Lerner stores are a good source for tall sizes, especially pants. She's tried some shops specifically for tall women and knows what you mean about clothes being both large and matronly.

"Clothes aren't as hip as you may want them to be," she says, "but don't rule them out, because sometimes you can find things in there. . . . When tall stores open up, they do have to keep up with the changing times and know that not all tall people are big and heavy-set. Some are very lean."

She agrees that Nordstrom is a good source for shoes, as is Payless shoes, where "you can find some cute open-toe shoes with big heels, the stuff that's in style that you can wear with little skirts."

Because she has to look professional for appearances and meetings, suits and dressy clothes are custom-made by a tailor.

"It's tough being tall," Milton says, "but don't rule any stores out. I've found some cute little tops at Bloomingdale's and pants at Lane Bryant. Be adventurous and be persistent. I've learned a lot from [teammate] Lisa Leslie. She'll do things like take a shirt that's too short and tie it around her waist. Don't be afraid to have your own style. You'll be surprised at the people who mimic you."


Dear Fashion Police: I am a 21-year-old young lady, 5 feet tall, 110 pounds. I work as a receptionist for an entertainment company. As I am new to the work force I would like a short list of acceptable attire. My company is extremely relaxed, but would cornrows be too much? Or capri pants? Please, just a few professional yet casual office clothing tips.


Dear Fit: Welcome to the 9-to-5 grind, the Monday morning blues, the I-can't-wait-till-it's-Friday blahs, the daily commute, the fun with office politics game, the try-to-get-errands-done-on-your-lunch-hour rush, and the oh-my-god-what-do-I-wear-today panic attack. We hope to help with that last one.

You're fortunate that you work in a casual office environment and don't have to encase yourself in a suit and pantyhose every day. But it sounds as if your company is so loose no one's given you much guidance, leaving you to decide what's appropriate.

First, we suggest talking to your boss. He or she probably has some concrete ideas on what will and won't do--for instance; capris are OK, pierced lips are a no-no. Be sure to ask about specific things like cornrows so you'll have definite wardrobe parameters.

Keep in mind that as a receptionist, you're usually the first person clients see when they enter the office. Remember that old saying: You only get one chance to make a first impression. So rules for you may be a little stricter than for your co-workers, but don't let that throw you. You'll probably have enough leeway to still be creative.

In the event that a chat with your boss still leaves you with questions, observe what others in the office are wearing. That will give you some idea of what is fair game. In addition, you may want to keep these things in mind:

* Make sure your clothes are always neat and clean--no stains or tears, no looking like you just jumped out of bed.

* Your hair should also be neat and clean, no matter what the style. It shouldn't be falling in your face or hanging in your eyes.

* Don't let your jewelry get out of control. You should be able to use the computer, answer phones and talk to people without bracelets clanging or necklaces going jingle-jangle-jingle.

* Your makeup should be applied with a light touch, and don't go for anything outrageous like black lipstick or magenta eye shadow. Nails should be kept short--no talons, please--with no chipped nail polish. No makeup touch-ups while at your desk; do it in the bathroom.

* Don't go overboard on the sexy clothes. Cleavage that runneth over, see-through blouses and ultra-tight pants will only ensure that no one will take you seriously.

* If you wear perfume, apply it sparingly before you leave the house. If people start choking and gasping the minute they walk through the door, it's too much.

* Wear shoes you can walk in.

Now go forth and conquer the world, young lady.

Write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World