An ode to highwaters

Oh fragile ankles

Your graceful dignity

Are fully on display for all to see 

Whispering winds lick at you

Yet no one else comes out of their mole hills to see

For they neglect to care

With this new ankle pants craze, even they are flouncing around in high waters

From flooding pants to floating dreams

Dreams where perceptive glances fall away 

To ankles, dainty ankles

For all to see. 

Where to find Tall Dress Pants (pt 1): Online Shopping w/ generous return policies if too short

The hunt for trendy work pants begins. I’ll start with retailers that only offer tall sizes online, but have nice return policies just in case the pants don’t fit.

Loft: Larger range of colors and fits! Pretty exciting!

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 9.59.48 PM

Tall Plaid Skinny Pants in Julie Fit, $74.99, Extra 60% off with Code FLASH.

Cons: Only 31″ inseam.

The Loft really seems to be pushing the envelope for tall pants with some interesting patterns and fits. I say this because its easier to find a tall pant in black than any other color and near impossible to find one in plaid! My main concern are the inseams that they are designating as “tall”, but in terms of fashion, they are light years ahead of some other retailers catering to clean, cut and basic work attire. I cannot speak to the quality of these pants. I’ve bought sweaters from the Loft and have noticed that they tend to warp easily or shrink.

 

Top Shop: A Promising Fail…Where’s the product detail?!

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 10.11.26 PM

Tall Floral Bloom Cigarette Trousers, $84. These pants are so unique and definitely a statement piece. BUT a reviewer (who does not disclose their height) states that the pants are too short. This ambiguity about this piece could be alleviated if Top Shop published inseams on their website. The rest of their tall offering here.

 

Express: Potentially Confusing Website Navigation

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 10.19.11 PM

Herringbone Slim Leg Columnist Pants, $88, 33″ inseam

Express has a solid product offering, but not an explicit tall section. Instead, you navigate to the pants section and then filter down for long pants sizes. I think this could be improved so that tall users are not confused. Also, it seems that they reserve the more vibrant colors and slim fit combinations for regular sized pants. Most of the tall pants are bootcut.

 

New York and Company: Land of the Bootcut Pants

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 10.26.14 PM

Bleecker Street Straight Leg Pant – Brook Plaid, $29.00

The tall section is definitely a go-to if you’re a fan of boot cut pants. However, ankle pants and slim cuts are in. I chose the brook plaid pant mostly because it was a refreshing twist from the mostly black, navy, and tan product offering.

 

J Crew: Inseams on the Short Side

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 10.48.53 PM

Tall Resse Pant, $98

These pants are a little risky with the elastic band, and I wonder if they could come off like track pants. But that side view is amazing and pretty edgy. My only complaint is that they have a 28″ inseam. Many of the other tall pants offered, like the Tall Ryder Pant, go up to a 32″ inseam…great for short/almost capris pants.

 

Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap – Tall Inseams at 32″ and sometimes taller, but not always included in the product detail. Most fashionable item:

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 9.40.27 PM

Ultra Skinny Pants, Gap, $59.95 – Good if you can handle a 32″ inseam. Reviews on quality are mixed. Only available online

 

Ann Taylor: Their basic, clean cut pant

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 9.50.34 PM

Tall sleek stretch pants, $98 but 40% off with the code Power40.

Here is the rest of their product offering of tall work pants. They seem to carry either boot cut, straight leg, or slim cut.

Pros: The pants fit different proportions! However, this may further limit the tall offering if you fit into a certain category. All the pants are not made to accommodate curvier figures.

Cons: I see many ankle pants that may not fly for the winter and still be too short. Their website doesn’t seem to change when you toggle from tall to regular on certain products. Sometimes you cannot tell what the final inseam is for the tall pants.

 

 Honorable mentions: Edie Bauer, Land’s End, Sears, Kohl’s, The Limited

The Three Titans of Affordability, Irregularity and No Promises: Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic

With legs for days, I have a 35″ inseam. I must say that it’s pretty damn hard to find pants that comfortably cover my ankle. I make due by buying pants that sit a bit higher and wear tights. Whenever I do find tall pants, I run into road blocks: the pants aren’t proportioned well, the designers forgot that real women have hips, the quality is horrible, and the list goes on….

While this is the case for me, I thought it’d be helpful to lay out the landscape of stores that actually carry tall pants and other clothing. Most importantly, you’ll get my feedback on their strengths and weaknesses.

The Websites:

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 8.52.03 PM Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 8.51.31 PM Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 8.53.27 PM

 

Each store within the trinity of this fashion empire claims that they offer tall clothing that will eliminate the need for tailoring. They truly make an effort to hit this niche market. However, I have noticed a few things.

The Gap considers 32″ to be a tall inseam. This may be great for a nice summer pant, but it doesn’t help as winter winds lick at my ankles as I shuffle through a drafty hallway in the office. They are also having a supply chain issue at the moment. Their “Ultra Skinny Pants”, the most fashionable in my opinion, are out of stock until mid-March or even May in certain sizes. Womp! They used to offer a longer version of this same pant, but reviewers that were 5″10 and up complained that the pants were too long. While refreshing to hear of a pant that can be easily hemmed, it shows that the brand suffers to make clothing for the range of women 5″10 and up.

Old Navy’s tall section is less work inclined and better if you’re looking for jeans.

Banana Republic does have long inseams for their dress pants, BUT you will not find this by clicking “Tall” on their left navigation pane. Instead, you have to manually sort through pants and hope that they have a “long” inseam option within the product detail. Come on Banana! You can do better.

 

Let’s not even get started on how the pants options get longer, but do not necessarily take proportion changes into mind. Beyond these flaws, the most interesting tidbit is the fact that the quality of the clothing is not guaranteed. You can’t predict which material will attract too much lint or what material may stretch out during the course of the day and become unwearable.

 

The tall pants game may seem pretty bleak when looking at these retailers, but I do appreciate their efforts. I just hope that they are better guided in the future.