With longer legs come greater challenges to dress modestly, especially with the current trends. The goal is not to set a standard by which all judgements on modesty should be made, but rather offer a perspective and some suggestions to consider when shopping with modesty in mind from one tall girl to another. Miss Amelia with her breathtaking smile and gorgeous long blonde hair, is 5 feet 9 inches tall. She is a full head taller than most of her peers.
The issue of finding dresses and shorts that reach her mid thigh has been a challenge for her for many years. If a person is petite or average in height, they might not realize just how difficult it is to find stores and styles that offer more conservative options for taller girls. Tall girls living in the southern states might have even more trouble. With skimpy summer trends and squelching heat comes the battle of flesh versus staying true to values.
"It is possible, if you are willing to work at it," says the resident tall girl, Miss Amelia. She was all smiles as she shared her challenges and the tricks that she has learned to dress with dignity, despite the push of the culture to do the opposite.
When asked which stores she has the best luck finding clothes that fit her tall frame and body type, she said, "I get most of my shorts from J Crew, and occasionally Loft. The 'teenager stores' don't make an alternative for taller girls like me. Their options generally consist of short and shorter. Both J Crew and Loft make it so easy to wear longer shorts, because they have all the same patterns but offer them in a 3, 5, or 8-inch length." The petite young woman could more easily find shorts that reach mid thigh, while someone with Amelia's height might have to wear at least a 5 or 8 inch inseam to even get close to mid thigh. Then there are the "bermudas." Not everyone is fond of this knee length style. They are, however, a super safe option. Some might argue that they don't look fantastic on their body type. This thought process is likely encouraged by the current trends to wear shorts that barely cover one's bottom. When all the fashion magazines show styles and celebrities wearing super short shorts, it seems natural that many would want to do the same. But that doesn't mean that they should!
Taller girls may also be limited in the current trends they can wear modestly. Responding to this idea, Amelia said that a trend she wished she could pull off is the high waisted shorts. "They look so cute on petite girls with a tucked in shirt and the right accessories. But when I wear them it seems like all you see are my mile long legs! Unfortunately that's one trend I've had to give up on." She also admitted that she doesn't always wear the longer shorts, but that she tries her best to balance it out by wearing a looser fitted shirt that undeniably provides full coverage on top to balance the outfit out.
Here are some trends that Amelia likes to wear and she added some tips to make the trend more modest for the tall girl.
The Tunic is adorable to wear to outdoor lunches and beachy events, but she recommends wearing thicker leggings, jeggings, or even comfy skinny jeans underneath. Otherwise, if you bend over at all, everything will be exposed.
The patterned shirt dress is classy. And this particular dress does hit mid thigh on Amelia, but she still feels more comfortable in it (especially in this time of year) with a pair of tights and tall boots. It must be added that with this young lady, an outfit isn't complete without the right accessories!
With the longer length of this dress hitting just above her knee, she feels comfortable wearing the wedges to make it dressier. Often times a shorter dress paired with high heeled shoes make the dress appear even shorter. This is something for the tall girl to keep in mind when trying to dress more modestly.
So what can keep a tall girl motivated when the modest fashion odds are stacked up against her? Good role models? A scripture verse? Accountability? Any and all of these ideas would be valid and helpful. Amelia comes from a large family. She has 5 brothers, and 17 cousins. There are many little eyes looking up to her which keeps her in check. "Since my family is pretty close I have my brothers that constantly monitor my outfits. They make their opinions pretty vocal and will let me know if they think I’m wearing something too short, even when I don't ask for their opinion." In addition to sharing about her young family members, She said that her Mother has been a great example and has encouraged her along the way. "My mom is an influence that helps me keep my standards high. Since she is also tall and has shown me great alternatives while being fashionable. I also stay motivated knowing that I don’t dress to impress people on earth, but want to be a representation of Christ through the way I look and act," she said.
It is safe to conclude that it does take more effort to find decent clothing for the taller young lady, but like Amelia says, "don’t give in to what everyone else says is 'normal.' "I know first hand that being tall and modest is a hard combination, but it builds character and makes your outfits worth the extra effort. I have one last tip when buying shorts or dresses that are a little shorter," She continued. "Try buying a size up from what you would normally wear. There is no need to feel self conscious about the size of your clothing. When you wear bigger clothes it not only makes you look slimmer, but also draws the attention away from your legs. This adds a little length and width, instead of your clothes seeming tight and short."
Thank you, Amelia!
More Tips from the Tall Girl can be expected pre-Summer!
***We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Beth Carter! She has donated her professional photography services to support our cause for many photo shoots. We are thankful for her, and look forward to working with her more in the future!***