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Tall Ladies Wear Dresses

Tall Ladies Coat Dress working sketch by Derek Turner

Dresses for Tall Women

My venture into the world of tall ladies was serendipity at work. I was attending a social media workshop, adding to my arsenal of digital information, as we small business owners do, and happened to have the good fortune to be sat next to Luise.

Standing at 6ft 2″ tall, colour co-ordinated in varying shades of grey, I loved her sophisticated casual look, funky scarf, cropped pants, accompanied with linen top; finished off with a pair of Converse trainers. I spoke to her about fashion styling, in particular her look; imagine my surprise when Luise said she was nonplussed about fashion because of the problems tall women of her height and stature face when it comes to clothing.

Dresses for Tall Women
Toile in the making for Luise’s coat dress

“What was she talking about?”

I was under the impression that as the fashion industry has made a point of celebrating these Amazonian women, (according to magazine images anyone under 5ft 9″ is invisible), clothing in all forms especially dresses would be easily accessible. The saying ‘welcome to my world’ or in Luise’s case the world of tall ladies; dresses are more than adding a few extra inches, in fabric length to the hemline of a dress.

I’ve made customised evening dresses for ladies of 5ft 9″, not once thinking that anyone taller would encounter fitting issues with ready-to-wear clothing, there are fashion outlets that cater for tall women; the template of one size and style fits and suits all, doesn’t really cut it with tall ladies. It’s more than needing to allow for extra yardage of fabric; it’s also design, style lines and fit. You’ve got to bear in mind there is no hiding when you are head and shoulders above those around you, the whole surface area that is your body, is a walking billboard. In talking with Luise, I felt I was having a David Attenborough moment, only my discovery was of these gorgeous women, who don’t fit or conform to ‘an average’ anything.

Coat Dress for tall ladies
Toile back for Luise Coat Dress in progress by Coral Turner

Dress Lengths

Adding more fabric inches onto the length of a dress, when the waistline is in the wrong place looks as though you are wearing a dress that comes to an abrupt halt under the bustline; the gentle flow that is supposed to be happening in that area, streamlining the body, is simply not there!

Sleeves


Sleeves, well this was a huge eye opener, not just because of length, but more importantly the sleeve cap, (that’s the area around the top of the sleeve), too short a sleeve cap causes the sleeve to twist and strain, being out of proportion, especially if quite muscular in that area. One of Luise’s biggest bug-bears was the length of sleeves, some of which were three quarter length and not out of choice, but fit.

These were just a few of my tall ladies discoveries. I’ll be sharing with you in future writings my journey of fashion learning with tall ladies. The thrill of designing a coat dress for Luise, the surprising insights, in terms of fit, function, and design.

Stay tuned…

To talk with me about having a garment made to your measurements email info@coralturner.com and I will make an appointment for a consultation at my studio Thames Side Studios, or alternatively call 020 7732 7528 https://coralturner.com/dressmaking-services-london-couture-sewing/

Going to the Races? Don’t forget your Couture Clothing….

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With spring finally upon us and summer just around the corner, the social season at horse raceways and polo matches across the United Kingdom is beginning. These events are not only a festival of sport but also style and elegance. From Chester and Doncaster to London and Manchester, men and women will be donning their high fashion and millinery for the world to see.

What you may not know is that most of these venues have a dress code. Regardless of the venue, everyone is expected to be dressed traditionally smart. If you are a woman, that means a formal dress or pant suit accompanied by a hat or fascinator and heeled shoes. Some venues go further with their expectations by specifying that attendees not bare midriffs or shoulders. The most stringent of dress codes is at the Royal Ascot race. With 300,000 race-goers and the glare of the international media present, it stands to reason that the organisers of the Royal Ascot want to continue the tradition of elegance and pageantry, which requires outlining a dress code that ensures class and sophistication.

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An example of Couture Tailoring

For women who love to dress, any of these of events are a perfect time to show off your style savvy. But remember, it is not all champagne and roses, you and your outfit have to last the day or evening. Here are a few of my style tips to help you out.

  1. Heels: Yes, they are expected, but be sure to pick a pair of a reasonable height. You may want to opt for your 4” heels versus your 6” since you will be standing a great deal of time.
  2. Handbag: Fashion trends show clutches that seem to be getting smaller by the day, but keep in mind that you are going to be at these events for several hours. Be sure to pick a bag that not only matches your outfit but has room for a powder pack, lipstick, tissue, and a phone. You’ll also need to be camera ready. Chester’s Boodle Festival includes a group of judges picking out the best dressed women in the crowd. You wouldn’t want to be called on stage without any lipstick.
  3. Cover for your shoulders: Putting a nicely folded Pashmina or Silk Stole in your handbag would be a great idea, since these are outdoor events and weather can change.
  4. Bring Your Personality: These events are great opportunities to network. They can build new relationships or nurture existing ones. You need to show everyone your inner style.
  5. Fabulous Dress or Suit: This is where I can help you out.  My couture-online boutique has some wonderful options of exclusive one-of-a-kind dresses that can easily take you to any polo ground or raceway. Further, you can give me a call and commission a couture piece. Why take the chance of seeing someone else in your exact dress at one of these events? And, finally, I work with great fabrics like jersey, which are delightfully comfortable. You will feel like you’re wearing a piece of luxury lingerie.

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Pant Suit commissioned for Mother of the Bride wedding abroad also works for Race Day

Whatever you decide, I wish you a fabulous season at the track and matches.