April 18: Dress Me

A totally superficial post for today all about clothes...

I'm *really* ready to pack away all of my sweaters and boots for warmer weather clothes. The only problem is that last year I never wore my Spring/Summer clothes since I was wearing maternity clothes or postpartum attire. It's been two years since my shorts, tank tops, and summer dresses saw the light of day and I'm not all that impressed with my wardrobe at this point.

My biggest problem is that I don't like to spend a lot of money on a single item of clothing, so I end up buying inexpensive stuff that shrinks after a few wears. I figured this out for my winter clothes and I have one pair of jeans from Gap, a few Lululemon yoga pants, and some leggings from Athleta that have stood the test of time. A few tops from the same stores have been my favorites, too. But otherwise, my cheaper purchases fit like a joke and the older I get the more fit really matters.

Also, being 5'10" means that although I try to wear regular tops and bottoms, it's really not meant to be and shirts become midriff boxes while bottoms become high waters/inappropriately short shorts. When will I ever learn that I can ONLY buy talls and should really invest in nicer pieces that will last more than one season? I love you, Old Navy and Target, but I'm looking right at you with your boxy midriffs. Again, fit is too important these days!

I am on an eternal quest for The Long and Flowy Top. I own approximately two shirts that qualify as fitting me properly in length, are slightly flowy, but still slim fitting to my torso. Usually I get something that is 'tunic length' and it becomes standard length for me which is fine, but it's difficult to find something long enough but not super wide. If you know of any tops that fit my ideal description, I would love links!

My perfect outfit for spring would be: long and flowy shirt (tank top or short sleeved), skinny jeans or  shorts that are NOT a 3" inseam (completely inappropriate on me), and a pair of flats. Maybe a scarf or a fun necklace if I'm feeling fancy. Perhaps an open-front (long and flowy!) cardigan for cooler weather. I also love bold colors and need to be comfortable/baby friendly. I guess I really like casual comfort but can't wear work out clothes 100% of the time I'm at home (90% yes). Again, the older I get the more I realize that putting on a decent outfit really does wonders for my mental state. But I cannot sacrifice comfort for fashion, either.

So basically outfits like this are totally me (or just look at my whole Getting Dressed board on Pinterest):

From GlamRadar--nailed it.

A few things I think I should just order in TALL size from Gap:

I like this Sateen Roll-Sleeve popover. Makes me nervous it would be a box, though. Definitely only in a 'tall' and even then, nervous. 

I probably need a denim shirt finally. Would love to wear with black leggings or khaki shorts, would not feel at all comfortable pairing it with another light denim like this model. In a different life, would like to wear this with white shorts (hahaha, no way as a mom of three disgustingly filthy children).

Gray jeans in my favorite 1969 Always Skinny style:

I know lots of people love Stitch Fix but I feel like I'm probably not going to love the fit on half of the stuff and the price on the rest. I'd rather you guys just tell me where you love to shop (especially if you struggle with the tall gene like me). Gap, Loft, Athleta, Title Nine, and maybe Anthropologie (but of course they have 'petites' but no 'talls'....grrrr)? What else?

37 comments:

  1. Well girl I'm 5'11 and feel your pain!!! I pretty much only do Gap tall now since everything else just doesn't work!! J Crew works sometimes and the outlet has decent prices! And Nordstrom for jeans since the designer ones always have a 34" inseam. The flowy tops are tough! I do have a friend who is 6 foot, gave her measurements to StitchFix and has been really happy!! Soooo I'm thinking of trying it!! Good luck friend!! Xo!

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    1. Agree--Gap Tall is probably my preferred store at this point, wish I didn't have to order online (And then return 90% of the stuff that doesn't fit anyway). Maybe I will do Stich Fix someday...

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  2. I do not suffer from the tall affliction, but my mom does. She's the same height as you. First, have you shopped at JCPenney recently? They have a couple nicer lines that don't break the bank - a.n.a., Joe, and I think the third is called mng? Or something like that. I have a few items from all three lines - good fit, better quality materials, but not anthropologie expensive. I mean, there's a tee from anthro you pinned that I love, but $78? For a tee? No.

    Second, random, but I know my mom orders some tall clothing from Victoria's Secret.

    For cute accessories, noonday, raven&lily, and yobel market are all great - all are fair trade and empower families in poverty. :D

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    1. Yeah, there is no way I'd pay $79 for a tee shirt unless it fit perfectly and I planned to wear it three times per week for years. I own one top from Anthro and do love it but it's definitely not a usual place for me!

      Will check JC Penney, haven't been there in years!!

      Love Noonday, haven't heard of the others but fun to check out!

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  3. I'm tall as well (6'0") so I feel your pain! JCrew has great shorts with a 5" inseam that I love. I have about four different pairs in fun colors. Banana Republic had great stuff as well. I do StitchFix and have been pleased with the fit on a lot of their stuff. They shy away from pants for me (because who carries a 36" inseam?), but dresses and tops and skirts have been great...outside my norm, but a great deviation. I'm 6 mos preg now and stuggling to find maternity clothes for tall people, so if you have any insights on that, I'd love to hear it! Good luck!

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    1. I did like Gap Maternity and some of the ON maternity stuff was fine, but like usual would shrink right up after a few washes. Also, some of the Pea in the Pod stuff seemed to be well-made and a little longer for maternity. So hard though!

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  4. I have some shorts from Eddie Bauer that I really like. They have a longer inseam and look nice. Maybe the boyfriend style. I also have some pants, same style.

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  5. Try Thredup.com - you can get the brands you like without paying a fortune.

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    1. Have heard of this before, but need to look it up again. Thanks!

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  6. I totally know the feeling. I go shopping and get so frustated with how things fit me. I'm on the taller side and pants always shrink up on me even if I air dry them. I hate dropping dollars upon dollars for classic or more expensive items but I understand that it is worth it in the long run. I followed your board :).

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    1. It's a tough mental shift to make, for sure!

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  7. well, I am 5'4" on a good day so I have the opposite problem--its too bad I can't send you the extra 6" on the bottom of all my pants that I don't need!

    I am also in a state of wardrobe transition. ThredUP can take some patience to search (and returns take a long time to process) but I've had some good finds there. I think the key is search by brand, not just size, and filter out the ON/target/F21 debris. I picked up a madewell chambray shirt recently for <$20, and a couple pairs of shorts (BR, J crew) with decent inseams.

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    1. Definitely going to check it out---could be a major time suck for me but I'm not complaining;)

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  8. I'm 5'11 and on the slim side, I go to the Banana Republic & J.Crew both their regular stores but more often than not their outlets b/c 1. cheaper 2. they have "tall" and 3. carry some bold pieces to go with staple pieces. They also have crazy sales/discounts at the outlets and if you have a teacher friend, bring with to J.Crew for an additional percentage off. I have a BR credit card so I rack up some discounts that justify spending a lot on a good staple piece for work. Also, Express for jeans b/c they too carry tall in pants.

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    1. I used to shop at JCrew and BR more often when I was younger, should probably start going back there and good call about the teacher discounts!

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  9. I am 5'9'' and have a very similar style to you so I'm eager to see what recommendations other commenters have for you! I also have the same problem with buying too much cheap stuff and I have barely bought any new clothes the last three years because of the constant pregnant-and-nursing thing. So I'm trying to make an effort to buy a few more expensive pieces that will last now. I really like Banana Republic, although probably more for my work wardrobe than casual stuff. I love their skinny jeans though, and a lot of the tops seem to fit me well. It's pricey but they always seem to be having a 40% sale online so I just signed up for the email list and wait till those happen.

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    1. I forget that BR has talls----always stick to ON and Gap and sometimes Athleta. Should really branch out to their other store, too!

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  10. JCrew is amazing, but a little pricey.. so i LOVE JCrew Factory. Prices are great plus always coupon codes available.
    FYI - Old Navy has Tall online!

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    1. Oh yes, ON 'tall' is a majority of my current wardrobe. But it still shrinks and is pretty inconsistent with length. And plus their 'tall' stuff isn't even that long on me for tops, for some reason!

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  11. here is the j crew factory website - def worth checking out! https://factory.jcrew.com/index.jsp

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    1. Gah, only Petites and 'Extended Sizes' there. BASTARDS.

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  12. I'm a spender on quality vs quantity. I'd much rather spend the money on a J.Crew cardigan that will last 5 yrs over Old Navy that won't even make 5 washes. Of course, those were lessons learned in the work world and while preg and nursing, I just wore whatever that was washable.

    I was really surprised with Stitch Fix and really love it. As long as you give as much guidance in styles, your measurements, and what exactly it is you are looking for they usually have at least 1 or 2 items that are on the mark. I'm trying to refresh my closet since most of nicer stuff is pre-kids and my stitch fix stuff I wear all the time. Also check out some online boutiques like In Bloom. I got some really cute tanks last summer from them, not the highest quality, but they are long and really adorable and cheap too.

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    1. You're totally right, I need to shift mentally to pay more money for stuff that lasts! I mean, it's finally time--I'm almost 34 freaking years old. But with the pregnant/nursing thing it's been easy to keep buying disposable clothes instead;)

      Your Stitch Fix posts are always so cute. I am just a skeptic for myself, not sure why!

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  13. I'm 6 FT & a was a huge shopper until I had a baby recently. However, I don't spend a ton as I don't buy super high end unless I find a deal. I would recommend H&M @ Bayshore (way better than the Southridge one) Anthros clearance back room (I have gotten a lot of my shorts there & a couple pants), Forever 21 for tops & jewelry. I feel like an old hag there but the you can not go wrong w/their tunics & jewelry nor beat the price. I also buy jeans/pants on-line at Alloy (again old hag feeling) but they carry 37" inseam which is awesome. Some of the brands are cheap but then I have others that have lasted me awhile. I also randomly shop on-line when there are sales @ other boutique shops. Gap is great too as you know. Boston Store & Kohls suck for tall girls! But I buy shoes & accessories from there! I have so many clothes it's ridiculous & currently "processing" my walk-in for a huge purge!

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  14. The J Crew outlet in Pleasant Prairie has had super cute stuff and great deals recently. My sister (much taller than me!) and I both scored shorts for around $20? And I bought a tunic that is really too long for my 5' 5" frame. I bet it'd be perfect for you! Love shoppingb those outlets!

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  15. Oh I can relate to feeling completely lackluster about my current wardrobe. I just carefully read all these comments and am feeling intrigued by thredup!

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  16. I'm not normally a commenter, but as a fellow tall-y was excited to see what everyone had to say. Basically I rotate several pairs of Always Skinnies and four or five shirts that won't be seasonally appropriate once it actually turns warm in Maine.

    I usually stick to Gap, which isn't really helpful to you since you already favor them. J.Crew (real, not factory) fits well and tends to be long enough, but I don't find their quality to be anything approaching what it should be for what they charge so I don't often end up buying from them. I'll occasionally end up with something from Old Navy, but with the shrinking and really strange quality control (so it's not even like you can order multiples of something you find that works okay) I don't count on them. Anthro seems to tend toward longer tops (so they're normal length on me even though they're meant to be tunic-y, hehe) and they hold up well, but I usually can't stomach the price so I only have a couple of things from there. I do okay at BR, but I don't need to be as dressy as most of their stuff is so that only works sometimes. So basically, I don't have anything for you except commiseration. And confirmation that that cute sateen popover is boxy...it's long enough, but it fits like scrubs do.

    Also, this is totally random since their stuff tends to be the epitome of short and boxy, but for shorts in particular, I like these pretty well: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/82523?feat=513280-GN1&page=washed-chino-shorts. Not as long a rise as you'd expect on LLBean stuff and a 6" inseam so they aren't scandalous.

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    1. This is helpful for sure and it's nice to know I'm definitely not alone with the tall girl struggle!!

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  17. Speaking of tall-girl clothes, I know you have at least one maxi skirt. That's on my list of summer to-buys - where is yours from?

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    1. Mine are all either maternity or postpartum sizes---and all Old Navy or Target! Not much help there;)

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  18. I think my first comment was eaten by blogger, but quick summary: I have exact same issue and very similar body type and am 6'1..H&M has great skinny jeans in fun colors for cheap (just bought gray) and a blue pattern. I have older ones that have held up well enough for trendy items. They have some good tops too.

    Gap has some bermuda jean shorts in tall that are really nice. And I got longer blue shorts from Old Navy, but the Gap ones I tried were good too.

    JCrew quality is down and prices are up - skip.

    Loft's Lou & Gray line is impressive, I just bought a shirt that's really long.

    Final tip - don't dry anything! I seriously only dry pjs, socks, and underwear. Let us know what you find!

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    1. Very helpful, forgot about Loft for a second and do love them!!

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  19. Feel free to let me know if this is totally obvious and annoying, but do you ever just hit up TJ Maxx or Marshalls or Nordstrom Rack? They have those in WI right? You obviously have to do a bit more digging but they have SO MUCH. And I just love how it's all organized on the racks exactly how clothes are organized online. Short sleeve tops. Long sleeve tops. Dresses. Then by size. It's actually really easy to just sort through and pull out cute stuff. Tons of cute flowy tops, since that is very much the trend these days. And good prices. Lots of variety. I don't know. That would be my advice. Set aside 2 hours. Go by yourself. And dig. Then hit the dressing rooms. Then dig some more. You will come home with great new pieces that you will be excited about and it will be fun. :)

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    1. Funny you should mention this, as I just went to Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth the other day. Dug around, brought approximately 20 tops into the dressing room and found ZERO that were long enough/the right fit. So so depressing to admit that I probably cannot buy 'regular' anything anymore and truly just need to buy talls. Much more expensive that way!!

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  20. Banana Republic is probably my fav store for nicer items that are long enough (dresses, shirts, pants especially). About half of the dresses I've had to get altered though so they aren't as boxy. The pants do run short unless I get Tall. I'm 5'10", 32, pregnant with my 1st, and learning the lesson that my weekend wear/casual Old Navy & Gap items will not stand the test of time.... Also, I'm concerned about my wardrobe status after baby comes!!

    I personally struggle with finding shirts that have long enough arms and have found that Ralph Lauren has a lot of nice fitting things too. I have to dress professional for work and have 5 or 6 of their button up shirts that are slim fit and long enough in the arms. Cannot stand shirts with arms that go to my forearms and I cannot button!! And these shirts also have worn very well and maintained shape after years of ownership and wear. Can't wear them now though since I'm right at 20 weeks preggo tho. As far as shorts, I've just been purchasing Old Navy and Gap and am probably inappropriate :/. I suppose that will stop after baby comes though.....

    Have always loved your blog - but it is especially awesome now that I'm expecting!! Thank you for continuing to post all these years!!!

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