Suits for Tall Girls

Reiss Maxine SuitLast week we posted advice (as well as a call for readers’ advice) on where to buy suits if you’re petite.  In comments, people noted that it’s just as hard getting a proper suit if you’re tall.  As one reader put it:

We already know about BR, JCrew, and AT and Talbots carry some tall pants (but not tall jackets). I am hoping to hear of some cult labels. I know that being petite is not great in that you cannot find stuff that hits properly at the joints (particularly when pants are bootcut), but us tall ladies cannot create fabric out of none. That is to say, it’s very difficult to wear suits and look like Olive Oyl! Please help.

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Well, they do say that the look of “floodies” is coming to suits in a big way this year, so perhaps you’ll naturally be stylish? (Pictured:  Maxine suit, available at Reiss for $144.) But seriously… As we have no suit-wearing friends who are very tall, we’ve begun our research on the Internet.  As the reader mentioned, lots of places do carry tall pants, and Benetton and Club Monaco get general raves from tall women for their pants.  There are some specialty shops out there, as well:

  • Tall Couture sells separates such as jackets
  • Moi-Même is a personal tailoring service that “was founded by a businesswoman who needed a few well-fitted women’s pant suits to wear while meeting with clients, but was simply too tall to fit into the pre-hemmed pants found at department and specialty stores.”

Readers, weigh in — where do you shop for suits if you’re on the taller side?

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  1. At 5’10” I find that J.Crew fits me perfectly. They have recently updated their tall pants to a 36 inch inseam, and they do in fact have tall jackets. If you don’t mind purchasing online, you can also get an absolute steal from time to time with their multitude of sales.

  2. I’m 6″1. I can wear Banana’s and J Crew’s pants, but their jackets are too tight in the shoulders unless I get a jacket that’s 2 sizes too big and then I have to pay to have the jacket taken in. I stalk Tall Girl stores for attractive suits (difficult – their inventory is generally horrendous) and get basic, everyday suits from Eddie Bauer (their inventory is not horrendous but is pretty boring and doesn’t change often).

  3. Anonymous :

    I am 5’10” and buy my suits almost exclusively at Ann Taylor Loft. Pants and jackets come in tall, but usually only online. And they aren’t terribly expensive.

  4. another lawyer :

    Banana’s pants are good but the jackets are problematic if you have broad shoulders/long arms and a chest on the smaller side. I am a huge fan of Benetton suits as I think their jackets tend to fit better but they are hit and miss on fit.

  5. I’m only 5,9. J Jill pants in tall are good with heels. More for casual wear or Fridays, they are not really suits. And you have to pick out the not-old-lady-looking clothes.

  6. At 5’9, I am often able to get away with taking pants to my tailor and having him let out as much of the pant hem as possible.

  7. I’m about 5’9″-10″. Almost all my suits are J. Crew but I did just get one Elie Tahari suit. The jacket’s arms didn’t have buttons at the ends so I was able to take them out just enough to be perfect. I think the inseam of the pants was 34.5.

    For business casual pants, I love BCBG. Their inseam runs about 35″, I’d estimate. Very flattering off the rack.

  8. What about skirt/skirt suits for tall girls? I find that even places that carry tall pants do not carry tall skirts, and the regular ones are inevitably too short to be office-appropriate. Any suggestions?

  9. I am 6′, thin and have a 37″ inseam. I have had decent luck in the past with the suits from Benetton, I believe it is called the Sicily collection . I get many of my pants from Victorias Secret online. The Christie Fit come in a 36″ inseam. In general they have been long enough. I have not purchased suit jackets there, so cannot comment on those.

    J.Crew has tall sizes in suits, shirts, coats and sometimes dresses. They fit well, except in the shoulders. In order to get a proper shoulder fit, I always have to buy a size up and alter the side seaming. I have not tried the suits from BR, although I have heard good things about them from tall freinds.

    Another option to consider are the stores with a “tall” inseam of 34″. If the pants are cuffed, you can sometimes take them to a taylor and have enough fabric to extend the inseam for a proper fit.

    For dresses, I have found that Cache dresses seem to be structured for us tall girls. They fit me properly through the hip and waist area, when most other dresses must be altered.

  10. I am slightly about average height (5’6” and a little extra), but have long legs for my height (I wear a 35-36″ inseam with heels), with long arms to match, but a short torso.

    For pants, I generally buy BR long pants and have them taken up an inch witht he free alterations, but am looking for some other options. I have tried J. Crew and AT tall pants, but the problem is both extend the rise as well as the inseam on their tall clothes, which with my short torso, makes the pants look like Mom pants or just plain sloppy.

    Jackets sleeves are always too short on the arms. I have tried buying tall jackets from BR and J. Crew, but both just looked too big because they didnt fit my torso right.

    The only option I have found to work is Theory for skirt suits because their sleeves do tend to be a little longer, but their pants don’t always fit me well. Anyone else have this problem – of being not particularly tall, but having long limbs? Suggestions? Particularly for regular sized jackets with longer sleeves!

    • I’m 5’11” and have this same problem. I’m young and new to the office world so my jeans come from Cruel Girl (37″!) or Wrangler (36″) and I’ve never bought a pair of formal pants in my life. No jackets fit properly. Long sleeve shirts are out of the question.

      • Anonymous :

        I understand how hard it can be to dress stylish in the office. It is always good to invest in quality trousers that last beyond one season. I recommend you try Altitude Fasique trousers because their trousers are made with lightweight wool/lycra (no synthetic polyester). The fabric feels great! I have the cutaway jacket. It fits perfectly…sleeves are long enough, the shoulders are good too. Try it! It is worth the investment.

  11. Anonymous :

    While I am not very tall at 5’8″, since I only wear skirt suits, and only if they cover my knees, I am constantly on the lookout for longer skirted suits. I have found that Kasper by ASL, Jones New York and Anne Klein are usually long enough to fit my requirements.

  12. While I am not very tall at 5’8″, since I only wear skirt suits, and only if they cover my knees, I am constantly on the lookout for longer skirted suits. I have found that Kasper by ASL, Jones New York and Anne Klein are usually long enough to fit my requirements.

  13. I was amazed at a suit I tried from Nygard (available at Dillards)…the pants AND jacket were really great. I am 6’2″ and the pants were a perfect 35″ and the jacket was plenty long …as were the sleves–and I can NEVER were an off the rack jacket. Not sure what made me try them…but a great find! Also, Pendelton has a wonderful tall brand…I’ve had some of my suits for YEARS!!

  14. Lawyerchik1 :

    I actually found a great suit at a Kasper outlet store. I’m 5′ 11″ with a 35″ inseam – it’s a skirt suit, but it looks reasonably proportional. I found a Tahari suit at Macy’s that worked OK – pants are a little short, but there is enough of a hem that I think it will work.

  15. Tall Lady :

    Most of my business clothes are from Pendleton and I’m delighted that they have expanded their tall line this fall. The clothes are well made and last for years, and the lines are more fashionable than they used to be. Inseams average 37 inches in the tall sizes. I buy from Tall Girl Shops, Simply Tall (online), and direct from Pendleton (both web and their stores). The Jessica London online site is good for casual clothes and they carry JG Hook business clothes in both missy and women’s tall sizes, all at surprisingly good prices.

  16. I found a great store that offers all of their pants in long 36″ called Soft Surroundings. I just go in decide what fits bets and they order the long for me and I have within a week. I am 5″10 and have always had a problem finding pants. I have a terrible time finding professional suits since I do not care for the shorter jacket.

  17. I’m still interested in other suggestions if anyone has any – my issue isn’t so much pants length as arm length. I have the same issue with button up shirts also, so additional suggestions on that score would also be appreciated.

    • I’ve had really good luck with J.crew tall dress shirts- long enough and big enough in the shoulders (having been an athlete for most of my life, with bulky shoulders, I should know!)
      Hope that helps.

  18. I’m 6’2″, size 10 on the bottom but size 14ish on top due to broad shoulders and a bigger bust. I wear a 36/37″ inseam – with flats. Oy.

    Pendleton is very good for suits and jackets, if somewhat staid. Banana Republic is great for pants and skirts, but jackets are too narrow in the shoulder and bust. Tall Girl shops are spotty as far as quality/style, but occasionally there is something good… will have to check out Benetton.

    Anthropologie occasionally has pants that are 35″ and have a big hem you can take out…

  19. Desi Durham :

    Am 5ft 10 1/2. love 3-4 inc heels. 176 lbs. 38 bust 35 waist. I can wear a size 10 or 12 but when i put on my heels its always. short. I dont feel dress unless am wearing heels.I must have heels on but i cant find suits that is long enough.Someone please help me!

  20. I am bumping 6′ with a 35/36″ inseam. Here’s what I have found works for me. Spiegel sometimes has good tall clothes (do a search for tall) – their ShapeFX brand is usually where you find those. Victoria Secret has tall pants – their seasonless material is quite nice. Banana Republic has good length pants and they are good quality. Chadwicks do sell tall clothes – they are inexpensive so affordable if like me you are dieting and need to buy a couple of interim outfits. Long Elegant Legs have nice clothes and different styles for varying body shapes (I have been wearing their perfect fit pants for years). Design Elevations are pretty good – I have bought a couple of pairs of pants from them.