Vintage Style Tips for Tall Girls by Helena Rubinstein

Style tips for tall girls in the 1940’s that are just as relevant today. Who were the tallest actresses in 1940’s Hollywood?

Style Tips for Tall Girls - Lauren Bacall
Lauren-Bacall was 5 ft 7 inches tall.

The “Forgotten Woman of America” seems to be the woman who stands five feet six inches or over. For, although 25% of American women are in this category, tall women are often awkward in their gestures, stoop-shouldered, incorrectly coiffured and made up. Some of Hollywood’s top actresses are over 5 ft 6 inches in height. They are undeniably beautiful, so follow their lead and don’t hide your height !

Style Tips for Tall Girls

Helena Rubinstein, one of the worlds leading authorities on beauty dishes out some 1940’s fashion advice to tall girls in the late 1940’s.

Style tips for tall girls - Maureen-O'Hara
Maureen-O’Hara – Height 5 ft 6 inches

This fact was brought to my attention very vividly recently when a well-known business woman who is about 5 ft. 8 inches tall, came to me for advice. “I’ve been so busy all my life,” she said, “I really haven’t had much time to devote to my appearance. I know 1 don’t look as attractive as I could, and yet, I’m not sure just what’s wrong with me. Can you help me?”

I explained to her that the only thing that was wrong with her was that she was ashamed, rather than proud, of her height. She stooped slightly, mistakenly hoping that this would take off inches, she wore her hair in a flat, unbecoming style, because she was afraid of adding height to her coiffure, and her makeup was pale and inconspicuous, probably because she was afraid of drawing too much attention to herself in any way.

Tallest Actresses in 1940’s Hollywood

Style tips for tall girls in the 1940s - Kay Francis
Kay Francis – Height 5 ft 9 inches

The average height for women in the 1940’s was 5 ft 2 inches. Today the average height is 5 ft 4 inches.
In the 1940’s, height was not considered an asset, but these actresses knew how to flaunt it.

Kay Francis – 5 ft 9 inches
Ingrid Bergman – 5 ft 7 inches
Lauren Bacall – 5 ft 7 inches
Maureen O’Hara – 5 ft 68 inches
Rosalind Russell – 5 ft 67 inches
Gypsy Rose Lee – 5 ft 67 inches
Patricia Neal – 5 ft 67 inches
Esther Williams – 5 ft 67 inches
Cyd Charisse – 5 ft 61 inches
Katherine Hepburn – 5 ft 64 inches

Being a Tall Girl is a Beauty Asset

Esther Williams - Tall girls style advice - 1940's
Esther-Williams—5 ft 67 inches

Height can be a very great beauty asset, if it is dramatic, rather than hidden. In many tall women, the face seems small in proportion to the rest of the body and therefore, the features should be emphasized with the proper makeup. Pale colors fade out completely—she should wear bold, dashing shades. The tall woman should have enough mouth. Rosebud lips are unbecoming. Her mouth should be well-shaped, proud and generous.

Style Tips for tall girls - Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid-Bergman – Height 5 ft-7 inches

Her hairstyle should be simple, and dressed with a minimum of ringlets and curls. In general, she should strive toward a sculptural, goddess-like simplicity. Most tall women are afraid to stand up straight, and they assume an awkward, jackknife posture. Instead, they should look very proud of their height, and should stand with feet parallel, shoulders relaxed, abdomen flat, chest lifted, and the spine a straight column supporting the head.

They should look as though being tall were the nicest thing In the world. The best exercises for a tall woman are those which build up the chest and flatten the abdomen for, more than likely, these are her chief figure defects. I have noticed, also, that tall women very often do not know what to do with their hands. ’

A good rule to follow is: When you are ill at ease, just hold one hand gracefully in the other; immediately, you will look and feel relaxed. Today, American women are expected to set beauty standards for the world, and since they are taller than the women of any other nation, they should learn to glorify their height and to carry it proudly.

That’s all !

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