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FASHION POLICE

Two Words for Frustrated Tall Shoppers--Internet, Catalogs

July 30, 1999|JEANNINE STEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

From the Fashion Police Blotter: You tall gals are something else. One day we're printing a letter from "Frustrated Mom" who can't find suitable clothing for her 20-something, 6-foot-2 daughter, and the next you're sending us even more great information on stores, catalogs and Web sites that feature tall clothes and large shoes. A billion thanks to all of you. Here's the rundown on what's out there and how to get it:

* "Bless you for addressing the shopping dilemma of tall women in your column July 16. As a 6-footer, I know how barren the landscape is. I've found that the shoe store Step in Santa Monica has extraordinarily stylish shoes. They carry regular and large sizes. The owner wears a size 11. Thanks for being a resource for us."

(Step is at 1004 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, [310] 899-4409. Owner Shoreh Bernstein confirms she does, indeed, wear a size 11 and stocks "mostly European imports" with an emphasis on comfort and style.)

* "I have a girlfriend who is almost 6 feet tall and wears a 12-wide shoe. She shops online and by catalog for shoes at Designer Shoes & Shoecraft. For clothes she goes to Long Elegant Legs and Tall Etc.--both have stores in Southern California and elsewhere. I don't know if that will help, but you can check out her taste yourselves. I personally think the shoes will be a bit conservative for Frustrated Mom's daughter, however."

(Contact Designer Shoes at [888] 371-SHOE or at http://www.designershoes.com., and Shoecraft at [800] 225-5848, or http://www.shoecraft.com. Locate Tall Etc. stores by calling [800] 2-GET-TALL or at http://www.tallwomen.com.)

* " 'Frustrated Mom's' letter really hit home for me. I'm almost 5-feet-11 and a size 8, and I have an awful time finding clothes. I have had good luck at Eddie Bauer with its tall line of pants and jeans. I also like the Victoria's Secret catalog for leggings and tunics, which generally run long, although they're not labeled "tall" per se.

"I agree with Frustrated Mom's point that designers are losing a large market! When petite lines were introduced years ago I got excited that tall lines may be next, but I am still waiting. I have often thought about writing letters to certain companies, but it's probably a hopeless cause."

(Fashion Police note: It's not a hopeless cause! You must write to designers, stores and manufacturers to let them know how you feel. How else are they going to know what customers want?)

(Eddie Bauer and Victoria's Secret stores are in many major malls. For an Eddie Bauer catalog, call [800] 426-8020 or visit http://www.eddiebauer.com. Contact Victoria's Secret at [800] 888-8200 or at http://www.victoriassecret.com.)

* "I am 5-feet-10 and find that men's clothes are great, especially Banana Republic. Also, for the young and hip, Lucky Brand jeans does some styles in a longer length."

(Banana Republic stores are at major malls. Lucky Brand jeans are sold through its stores and various retailers. To locate a store near you, check out http://www.luckyjeans.com.)

* "I am 6-feet-1, have a size 11AA foot and wear size 8 to 10. I am 39 and have been this tall since I was 15. I have spent most of my life compromising what I would like to wear for what I could get to fit.

"Recently, mail-order shopping has begun to fill some of this void. J. Jill is a mail-order company that is offering more and more items in tall sizes, and they have some interesting styles. Finding shoes is difficult. I have decided to become more vocal in requesting more tall women's fashions. I have a young daughter and three nieces who will probably be very tall. I hope that by the time they clear the 6-foot mark there will be as much selection for them as for the petite or large woman."

(To request a J. Jill catalog, call [877] 239-9603 or visit http://www.jjill.com.)

* "My girlfriend is 6-feet-2, wears a size 8, and I have never been able to buy anything for her to wear. This frustration led to the creation of http://www.columnclothing.com, an online store that caters only to tall women. The site offers a complete line, and a color catalog may be requested at the Web site. The length of the garment is determined by the customer, and if someone is unable to find something she likes, she should e-mail a request, since repeated requests for a particular item will result in its production."

(Fashion Police note: This Web site offers career separates, linen and knit casual clothes and silk evening wear, plus sleepwear, and is reasonably priced.)

* "I'm a 6-foot-tall woman and wear a size 12 to 16. It's tough to find good-looking tall clothes. I find most of my clothes in the Land's End and Eddie Bauer catalogs. I buy tops at most places, and if I want a short-short skirt, I buy [a longer skirt] off the rack and hem it. As for the shoes, I get Masseys, Wissota Trader and Maryland Square catalogs. Speaking of catalogs, JC Penney's Especially for Talls catalog is sometimes a good bet."

(Contact Land's End at [800] 356-4444 or at http://www.landsend.com. Contact Masseys at [800] 462-7739, Wissota Trader at [800] 833-6421 and Maryland Square at [800] 274-7196, or on the Web at http://www.marylandsquare.com. For a JC Penney catalog, call [800] 222-6161 or visit http://www.jcpenney.com.)

* "Men's clothing is not the answer. Men are built differently than women (vive la difference and all that), and sometimes jeans and an extra-large men's shirt just aren't appropriate! As one who hit 6 feet in the '60s, let me suggest a source for clothing for tall women: Tall Classics has a great selection of casual clothing!"

(Contact Tall Classics at [800] 345-1958, or at http://www.tallclassics.com.)

* Write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

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