A Delicate Subject – Undergarments for Tall Ladies

Do you ever think about what niche you would fill were you to start your own tall clothing line?  The niche I’d love to fill always makes me blush a smidge which is why I’ve kept it a secret.  Well today I’m spilling the secret – I’d love to start an intimates and hosiery collection for tall women since finding well fitting unmentionables has always been a source of frustration for me.  I also adore all things delicate and lacy and think it would be amazing to design some of these items. I am not in the least entrepreneurial and I don’t have any plans to start said tall underthings line, but let’s get personal for a bit and talk about what has worked for me and what has worked for you and see if we can’t help each other out on the topic of undergarments for tall ladies.

The Bottom Half

Underwear

I don’t know about other tall ladies but I have a rather long rear. I remember Laura from All the Tall Things talking about “tall bum” awhile back so maybe it’s not just me and really is a “tall” thing? My backside also happens to be quite ample.  Since I was three years old, my buns have peeked out of my bathing suits and even when I played volleyball in high school and weighed 50 pounds less than I do now, my buns STILL tried to make an escape from my spandex shorts every now and again.  Bun-peek has always been with me regardless of my weight or age and, lest you think I’m complaining, I like having a round, not-so-teensy bonbon.  However, the combo of a long and large backside often makes it difficult to find underwear that fits properly.I FINALLY found a solution for underwear that will cover my whole long backside.  RETRO BRIEFS!  I bought some of these retro briefs from Blush and they’ve worked out great so far.  The last thing I want is for my briefs to ride up and cut my buns in half.  Who needs 4 buns? Not me! Two are enough, thank you very much! Thankfully, the Blush briefs stay put and fully cover my rear.  You might be thinking that these briefs are kind of frumpy and huge but they actually look really great thanks to the polka dots, lace, bows etc. and you exude that whole retro, pin-up vibe when wearing them.

Hosiery

I’ve had some luck with finding tall hosiery (mostly from Hue, DKNY and Donna Karen), but I feel like there is still a lot to be desired in the tall-sized hosiery selection. Or maybe I just need to explore the hosiery scene more.  One of my issues is that my thighs are a size large and as I pull the tights up they start getting rather thin not too far above my knee as they stretch both vertically and horizontally to cover all of my leg real estate.

The Top Half

Bras
Do you find yourself having to let your bra straps out all the way and even then the straps still dig into your shoulders?  I’m not even that well-endowed and I still have this problem, so I can’t imagine how uncomfortable the bra-strap-shoulder-dig might be for someone more well-endowed than me.  If you think about it, all areas of a tall lady usually involve more real estate so it would make sense that there would be a longer space from under our bust or from our upper back to the top of our shoulders. I don’t really have a good solution here. Don’t even get me started on sports bras! Those are THE WORST.  Do you struggle with finding bras that don’t give you the bra-strap-shoulder-dig? Do you have any tips on finding well-fitting bras for tall ladies?

The Full Kit and Caboodle

Is it too much to ask for a pretty, lacey nightgown or slip that actually falls somewhere around mid-thigh rather than mid-bun or extends (gasp!) to to the floor?  Or, let’s face it, sometimes us tall ladies want something a little sultry to wear like a bustier but I have yet to see one that would fit a long torso.  I’ve already written about my bustier shopping debacle for my wedding. I still get a little cranky when I think of my poor mom trying to cram me into that torturous garment and the dressing room attendant eyeing me up and down and saying “This is hitting you in all the wrong places because your torso is too long for it.  It’s smushing your sides and giving you chubs.”  Because THAT’S what you should really be saying to an obviously stressed bride-to-be. BAH!!!

Even basics like cute tall PJs can be hard to come by.  My sister has been hunting for a PJ shorts set for the longest and finally found one that worked at a recent Long Tall Sally pop-up.  She says “I love my new pajamas. I bought a size medium and they are super comfortable. The light fabric will keep me cool on those warm summer nights. I’ve had a hard time finding pajama shorts that are long enough for me and these are the perfect length“!

Help is on the way!

After I’ve finished a blogrant, I usually try to end on a positive note.  As part of my Tall Speciality Shop Challenge, I came across VeRaf Clothing and noticed that they are launching a nightwear collection soon.  Judging by the slipdress in this photo, this nightwear line might be the answer to some of the problems mentioned above.  I hope to have more info on this launch soon.  Stay tuned!

Image courtesy of VeRaf Clothing

Your turn…

Let’s chat! Do you find it difficult to find the kind of intimates and PJs that you want?  Do you also have “tall bum” like me?

You might also like…

Underwear. It’s a Tall Issue, All the Tall Things
Sleepwear for Sleepless Nights, All the Tall Things
Project Remix Update, Neutral Accessories and Nude Hosiery, Tall Fashion Adventures

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21 Comments

  • Reply tallwife.com May 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    First of all, I love your collection of words to describe the 'parts we normally shall not mention', that made me giggle. 🙂

    It's true though: because we are tall, everything is proportionate, feet are bigger, shoulders are wider, and 'bon bon' is bigger too. I am not sure if I have a 'tall bum' though. Come to think of it, those lower cut jeans always very easily show off a bit too much at the back if I have to grab something from the floor, if you know what I mean (some call it a Whale Tail… ;). I always thought that was the shape of the pants; now I'm starting to realize I might have a tall bum!! OMG!!! Just what i need; another tall feature!! 😉

    Back to undies; I have actually found that an Victoria's secret size M for underwear works well for me; I always choose the same fabric but in different colors; no skin-cutting/4-bum-creating-issues there.

    As for Bras, I also was not the first in line when those were handed out. I never really pay that much attention to bras though; I have a few that fit OK, but because I am not 'well-endowed' (love that expression!!!) I don't need special ones to support the lot as there's not much to support. 😉

    Nighties: I have to admit, I don't wear them, have never looked for them, no intelligent comments from me on that one.

    Hoisery: In NL, a typical Dutch shop called Hema used to do 'long leg tights', but I haven't seen them for a while. I do get away with their 44/46 (Similar to L or XL I suppose) size as well. Granted; it isn't the best quality and I go through them like M&M's during an action film, but to me, they are disposable goods anyway as I wear them so often.
    For better quality ones, Oroblu works well for me. Nothing is more annoying that having your tights stop somewhere at knee height!

    Lovely article, very witty. Serious issues though, but you managed to find the right tone of voice to make it easier to talk about! 🙂

    xx

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 20, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Glad you got a giggle or two out of it! 🙂

      Oh yes…the dreaded Whale Tail! That has happened to me more times than I care to admit.

      That's good to know re VS. I've always been a size large there and haven't yet found my go-to style for briefs but maybe I'll keep trying.

      Hah! Going through hosiery like M&Ms! That's a good (and unfortunately accurate) description. The Donna Karen nudes ones are $20 a pop. They're SUPER sheer and just the slightest bump can make them run. I really don't know why I keep buying them other than the fact that they make my leg tone look so even. I've never heard of Oroblu. Will have to check it out. Thanks for the rec!

    • Reply Tall girl May 20, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      I'm also going through my hosiery like M&M's during an action film – that expression is sooo funny! For this gluttonous reason, I never buy expensive tights, but stick to size Large in H&M (I size up one size so they'll be long enough). Oroblu' are nice but costs an arm and a leg here in Norway — though tbt, I'd live in Falke, if price wasn't an objection…

      Anett | Tall Girl's Fashion

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 25, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      I saw some Falke hosiery at a store the other day. Need to go back and investigate further. I agree though – not spending a bundle on tights is probably the most prudent course of action

  • Reply Lydia May 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    This post made me laugh. I definitely have tall bum too. Im never satisfied with my undies. I will check out your recommendations.

  • Reply auntp May 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    I'm definitely not tall, but this post was just plain fun to read 🙂

  • Reply The Tall Mama May 19, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Oh how I can relate!

    I had bought some new "tall" pantyhose which I threw on before rushing my girls out the door to church. They were not tall. Not. At. All. Before I even got to the car the crotch was half way down my thighs. I thank the Lord that I always wear knee length skirts because it would have made for very awkward moments.

    I will go back to buying extra large or "queen" size as I'd rather have the waist band under my boobs than a crotch around my knees!

    I will check out your recommendations as I clearly need help!!!

    Thanks!
    Allison @ thetallmamastyle.blogspot.com

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Oh my gosh Allison! I was alternating between giggling and feeling really badly for you. I can definitely commiserate on the crotch riding low on pantyhose. It's NOT a pleasant experience. And waist band around the boobs as opposed to around the knees is definitely preferable!

  • Reply Melissa May 19, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Finally had a chance to read the post. Had to wait until I came home from work. I left comments on Instagram but would add that the bra and "tall bum" issues are the worst for me. Swimsuits, too! Tights are difficult for the same reasons you described and I recently tried a pair of footless compression tights (I stand ALL day) that were like a diaper because I had to size up to get enough length. Needless to say I put a bee in the company's ear to start making tall sizes. I don't really wear "pajama sets" but maybe I would if they were more readily available. I have had the idea that someone (not me!) should open a tall specialty shop for lingerie or at least a line that's sold in other stores. Hopefully more will follow in VeRaf's footsteps.

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

      I loved your comments on IG! It's nice to have someone to commiserate with who also has trouble finding bra straps that are long enough and undies suitable for the tall bum. Swimsuits are also quite challenging and I've been wearing flirty skirted bottoms for years.

      Oh man! Diaper-like compression tights don't sound fun! Glad you gave the company an earful about the need for tall sizes.

      I also REALLY REALLY hope we get more tall lingerie options in the future. Fingers crossed!

  • Reply Fevie May 19, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Loved the descriptors they made me laugh. I'm looking forward to checking out VeRaf nightwear when it launches and I'm gonna checkout the reto undies too. Finding well fitted under garments is a trial for normal women then just add some height to it and it's downright suffering of an extreme magnitude don't you think? There are no easy answers but I'm glad you put it out there so we can benefit from the collective tall wisdom on this.

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 20, 2015 at 10:06 am

      So tickled that I'm making so many people laugh! You're right. Shopping for underthings is challenging in and of itself and the height thing just adds another layer to the challenge.

  • Reply Tall girl May 20, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    What an hilarious and very well written post! And also timely, as I spent an entire day with my tights falling down only last week! I've never seen tall tights and would by an armfull if I got a chance. I size up one size, but sometimes this makes the top too big and said tights fall off. But at least I won't have a saggy crotch, right?

    Regarding undies, or knickers, as I'd like to call them, I've just got into Hanky Panky's briefs. They are boyfriend style and both pretty and stretchy — no VPLs or multiple bumcheeks. They are a bit pricey, but I pick them up in the sales.

    The length of bra straps have never been an issue for me, but finding nightgowns or petticoats have been — they are just too short. I've also got a bit issue with lowrise trousers in general — my bum sticks out even before I've bent over. They are made for people with both a flat and a short bootie, neither of which I have. Just this week I tried on a pair of flared jeans from Frame, and oh boy, were I sold! They had the perfect rise, were the most stretchy jeans I've ever had on (both ways) and were almost too long for me (I have to wear heels with them)! It was like winning the tall jeans jackpot, and my winner chances are usually non-existent! Now I've just got to find a way to pay for them… 😉

    Keep up the good work, Beth!

    Anett | Tall Girl's Fashion

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Anett! Oh my gosh – saggy crotch tights syndrome is never fun! Good suggestion re Hanky Panky. I have tried them before and remember liking them. Wow! The flat and short bootie does not seem to be a common feature amongst us tall ladies. Glad to know I'm not alone in that! I can't WAIT to see your Frame jeans. I've been curious about this brand for awhile and was even looking at a pair of their jeans the other day.

  • Reply Sara - Girl in the Pretty Dress May 25, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Oh the Tall Bum… I'm very familiar with it. Great post – my friends laugh when I go on about having a tall pelvis, but the struggle is real!! Can't say I've ever had the bra strap problem though as my upper body doesn't seem to have stretched out quite as much as the rest of me. I swim a lot and I've found Slazenger swimsuits have quite a bit of give in them. Marks and Spencer (UK) also sell longer length swim suits (worth a look when you make it to London) xx

  • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures May 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Yes Sara! The struggle is totally real, right? Thanks for the tip on the swimsuits!

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  • Reply Peggy April 24, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    We’re coming up on swimsuit season, I stumbled upon your blog while desperately searching for anyone sharing my “tall butt” struggle. I have always had an extremely difficult time finding swim bottoms that will cover the top and bottom of my butt simultaneously. It’s become even more of a problem now that I have a son, I hate the idea of chasing him around the pool or beach with half of my bits hanging out.
    I know I could (and in the past I have) used swim shorts to cover up, but I find them to be really uncomfortable. Does anyone have any advice or a favorite brand of swimsuits that are made specifically for tall women? I am a size 4, but I have to buy a L-XL in all swimsuits so that my booty doesn’t completely hang out, and then they don’t fit properly in the waist (or the top if it’s a one piece).
    Someone help!
    Thanks!

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