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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, 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 and I will make an appointment for a consultation at my studio Thames Side Studios, or alternatively call 020 7732 7528

Black and White Dresses – Off to the Races

As an independent London UK, fashion designer of one-off dresses I don’t follow seasons or fashion trends, so it is amusing to me that the fashion speak is all about black and white dresses or the monochrome look for 2014.

So how do you wear the monochrome look?  Rumour has it that black is slimming, however the colour black on certain body-shapes creates the opposite effect, which is why teaming up with white plays with the eyes of the onlooker yet enhances the silhouette of the wearer.

Depending on your skin tone, too much black near the face and neck can be draining, giving a washed out look, however add a splash of white, black and white striped, white patterned with black such as in a Paisley dress, and there you have elegance and glamour, the natural endeavour of all women, in all that we wear, dresses or otherwise.

If you are off to the races this year, in particular Royal Ascot and Ladies Day, Royal Ascot have become quite stringent with its dress code overall, and in particular for the Royal Enclosure.  So as not to get caught out a note to take into consideration:

Ladies are required to wear formal day-wear with dresses being of modest length falling just above the knee or longer.  Hats also a necessity or a headpiece with a base of 4 inches or more in diameter is an alternative to a hat and is acceptable, however ‘Fascinators’ are now deemed unacceptable as of 2012 (and at the time of writing) in the Royal Enclosure.

Taking into consideration the theme of your black and white dress, accompanied with a hat of either singular colour, or as a combination of the two, speaks of being totally chic; Audrey Hepburn was forgiven for her lapse in vocal demeanour as she looked stunning dressed head to toe in black and white in ‘My Fair Lady’ for her day at the races!

The finishing touches for your breathtaking entrance, a clutch bag that is not too cumbersome, shoes that you can walk in comfortably, and with sophistication, eye make-up that hints to definition of Cleopatra’s eyes and you will have captivated your audience at Ladies Day Royal Ascot – enjoy!

Paisley Print black and white jersey dress

Couture dress, black and white jersey by Coral Turner

Style Tips For Your Summer Get Away


By Coral Turner, Couture Fashion Designer

As we spring into summer, it is the time when most of us, hopefully, will be jetting off to some exotic, romantic, or adventurous land to relax, rejuvenate, and even a learn a thing or two about a different culture. However, packing for our adventures has become more difficult, with tight controls on luggage weight, additional and expensive baggage fees, and increased airport security. That is why my one-of- kind jersey couture designs are ideal for your travel needs.

It is great to look stylish while in transit, but avoid wearing jewellery and heavy accessories. Keeping accessories to a minimum will make going through the airport security checkpoints much easier. Moreover, keep your clothing options limited to fabrics that will breathe and move with your body and that won’t become a wrinkled mess after you sit for a few hours like a jersey fabric, which is as it happens great for travelling.

When selecting your wardrobe for your trip, you will need to ensure that they are suitable to the type of trip which is obvious. If you are doing an African safari, you are going to want clothes that are light, and airy. If you are doing a museum tour through the South of France, you will want your look to be more sophisticated and tailored. If you are taking a cruise on a cruise line like Silver Seas, you are going to need to need a formal attire. Silver Seas’ dinners are formal and require formal attire for dinner. In the case of Silver Sea where there are no more than 250 people on the ship, you will need a dress for every evening. If you are travelling on a guided tour, you should expect at least one evening of formal dressing for dinner.

Then there is the bathing suit—usually torture for most women when it comes to buying one. If this is the case, I strongly recommend that you go to a place that sells bathing suits and understands body shapes. For the rest of you, my quick style tips are as follows:

  • If you are curvy, you want to look at bathing suits that have subtle ruching that will accentuate your curves.
  • If you are petite, you want to see high-cut bottoms to give your legs length.
  • A bikini is appropriate for a tall girl, to break up the long torso. Don’t forget to get that perfect cover up.

I personally like sheer, large, rectangular scarves in complementing colours to a bathing suit. They can be tied at the bust line and draped or folded in half and then tied around your hips to cover your buttocks and upper thighs; Sarongs are also easy to wear and a great cover for bikini bottoms when out and about.   All you need after that is a great pair of sandals, a marvelous hat, and effective sunscreen to be ready for your beach or poolside vacation.

Have a safe and wonderful summer!