The Real Height of Heels

That Sound

“Click, click, click”, do you recognize that sound? If you didn’t guess it, it is the sound of your heels hitting the ground. It is so hard for me to explain what happens to me inside when I hear this sound. It is like this instant boost of confidence…it is invigorating. Heads start turning and for that moment that you are walking down the hall, you own it, you have everyone’s attention. This is not just a physical height.  Am I the only one that feels this way when you hear the clicking of your heels?

For a long time, I hesitated to wear heels because I thought I was too tall for them. Lord forbid me stick out more than I already do. I would make all kinds of excuses like, they will hurt my feet or I am already tall so why do I need the extra height? Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t wear heels all the time because I don’t always find them as comfortable as flats. But when I need that boost of confidence I know it is time to put those heels on.

What is the history of heels?

Were they made just to make shorter women look taller? After realizing the overall feeling that you get from wearing them, I doubt it has anything to do with height and all women of different heights must experience this same feeling.

In Today’s article, “The surprisingly functional reason high heels were invented” mentioned that Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, stated they were originally invented for men for functional purposes and could trace their history back to the 10th century, Persian men wore heels while on horseback so their feet would fit better in the stirrups. Get out of here…who knew??

The Persian riding boot was originally made for men to wear. Bata Museum

More interesting, it later states that, women starting wearing heels in the 1700’s to make their feet look smaller. This was due to someone coming up with an idea that beautiful women had very tiny feet. I swear if I was a tall woman in the 1700’s I would be so screwed! This wasn’t the first time that I heard about this.

So when did heels take the form that they have today? Well, it wasn’t until the 1940’s and 1950’s that we saw the increased stability of the heel. Wartime technology helped popularize the modern day stiletto heel during this time by allowing fabricators to utilize their metal in heels. The use of steel allowed the shapes of heels to change.

But does any of this really matter? What I really want to know is how these shoes make women feel today and see if it is just me that gets this extra height from the heels, mental height that is. I would like to share with you how other tall women feel.

Sallee Poinsette-Nash

Sallee is a 6’2″ Writer, Speaker and Founder of Brandable & Co. — Instagram @salleespeaks

According to Sallee, “I used to wear heels on the daily but I spend a increasing amount of time on my feet, whether it’s running workshops, travelling or delivering talks, and comfort often overrides extra-height these days! Standing at 6’2, heels have always been more of a style choice than anything else for me and some outfits simply don’t work without them. I’m an emotional dresser so what I choose to wear has to match the mood I wake up in and if the mood says heels then I always opt for a 3″ stiletto in either a boot or a court shoe”.

When it comes to public speaking, I choose heels every single time because of how they make me feel – confident, stylish and graceful plus they make you conscious of your posture so I feel that I carry myself better than when I’m in flats. Already being tall shouldn’t discourage anyone from wearing heels nor should it encourage people to make negative comments because style is a personal choice and if makes you feel good, you’re entitled to own it!”

Jackie vanEgmond

Jackie, from Instagram @beyondthelittleblackdress, is 6′ tall who works in the banking industry and she is a mother to two teenage stepchildren and a toddler at home.  Also, she loves fashion and does personal styling as a hobby

She wants us to know that there is no such thing as being “too tall”. “Ladies, you have something that everyone wants, something that only you have and you need to rock it! There is nothing sexier or more fabulous than a women with confidence. Confidence is an attitude and there is something magical in a pair of high heeled stilettos that gives any women (or man) that instant boost. I love how the clicking of heels down a hallway announces you long before you arrive. I wear heels because they are beautiful, fun and sexy, not because I need the extra height!”

Sherene Morrison

Sherene is 6’1” and is a Tall Style Influencer from London — Instagram @shesostyles.  She continues to evolve in her relationship with heels and shares her story below.

Shoes for me has always been about finding one that fits my big feet (UK size 9) and is comfortable. My friends are short and always wear 4 inch & above heels but I still towered over them, so for me, I would always gravitate towards flats shoes.

One night I was out clubbing, and I noticed a fellow tall girl.  She was wearing very high heels and stood so elegantly. We naturally caught eyes and she gave me a nod. It was almost like an approval type of look that said, “girl its ok to wear high heels if you want to so go right ahead and do it!”

After that night, I started reaching for 2 inches and now I own 3- & 4-inch shoes.  I do notice my posture & strides change when I’m in heels and I probably do walk a little bit taller. I shall continue to wear heels because I no longer care if am the tallest person in a room. Most importantly, I have a 5-year-old daughter, who is watching my every move. I want her to see mummy in heels and know that she too can wear heels if she wants to.

Whitney Warner

Whitney is 5’11”,  Founder of Warner & Company— Instagram @whit_warner23

When I wear heels I feel empowered. This wasn’t always the case. Growing up in rural PA, I stood out in a myriad of ways, height being one of them. I received countless comments on my beauty and height before I even knew or realized that it might be considered “noteworthy.”

It wasn’t until I left my small town and headed to Washington that I realized there are other women out there like me. Women who have been told they are too beautiful, too skinny, and too tall. That is when I once again found my love affair with shoes of all kinds. I would no longer shy away from fall booties with a small heel. Finally, I dug out the designer heels my brother bought me for Christmas one year.  I learned to love myself, stand a little taller and embrace the height. I needn’t any longer roll my shoulders or make myself as little as possible when entering a room.

In conclusion

What I have learned is that we all have had different journeys with heels and some of us started earlier than others.  In the end, it is really up to you whether to wear heels or not. Comfort should always be priority but just remember that heels aren’t only for shorter women. However, if you need to have a boost of confidence for a speech, important meeting or an interview try wearing heels, even a kitten heel still does the trick!

How Tall Women Can Wear Ankle Boots with Jeans

When I was growing up, cropped or ankle jeans wasn’t close to being a thing yet. When I showed my ankles, I was considered “flooding”. Standing at 6 feet tall , at first, these styles bothered me because of feeling so traumatized from my “flooding” experiences. But I have been learning to let go of that feeling.

Well tall ladies, we have so many more options now. The only other thing I love more than my different jean length options are selecting which boot I want to wear with them.

Until about a few years ago, I only preferred knee high boots because the length of the jeans or pants never mattered — you get to hide it all. However, I am currently loving the different looks that I can get from ankle boots with the different lengths of denim that I already own. Below are some different ways tall women can wear ankle boots.



Ankle Length Pants

In this picture, I am wearing velvet skinny jeans from Ann Taylor. These are tall and the inseam is 32″. I have a 35″ inseam so these hit me right at my ankle. These jeans are perfect to wear with black ankle boots.

The trick is to try not to show too much skin in between the boot and the bottom of the pants.

Double Cuff

This is one of the easiest ways to wear jeans with ankle boots. If your jeans are too long and/or not too skinny at the bottom then just cuff twice to get this look.

What you always want to avoid is bunching right above the boots.

Tuck into your boots

This option can only be used if your jeans or pants don’t bunch at the bottom when tucked in. Also, you want to avoid doing this if the opening of the boot is too wide and the boots are too short (falling right at or below ankle bone).

I find this option goes best with leggings. That is if you can find leggings long enough to tuck into your boots. These leggings that I am wearing are for tall women that I purchased from Amalli Talli that I purchased almost a year ago.

Time to Embrace

If you feel a somewhat betrayed by the newer styles of showing your ankle, I hope I convinced you to embrace this style and just go with it!

Where to find similar items:




Franco Sarto Reeve Boot



Lucky Brand Powe



UGG Bandara Ankle Boot





ANN TAYLOR TALL MODERN SKINNY VELVET JEANS



AMALLI TALLI SHAPER LEGGING

Disclaimer: I didn’t get paid any commissions for any of the items listed under “Where to find similar items” section.

STARTING A TALL FASHION BRAND: LEARNING TO JUGGLE

Juggling

Starting your own business is not an easy endeavor and takes a lot of work. Now add having a full-time demanding job plus husband and kids! You are probably wondering how I can do it all…huh?

Well, I have secret to share that really helps…my husband is a stay-at-home father! He has been since my youngest son has born. Given this nice advantage doesn’t mean that everything comes easy though. I am constantly making tons of sacrifices and doing a lot of juggling of all my priorities. It makes me feel exhausted to think about it so I try not to think about it too much and just do prioritize as much as possible!

Parenting:

I continue to make this a priority but my kids are growing so fast that I am scared that I am going to wake up one day and they have already graduated college and I missed everything. But then I tell myself to shut-up and get real!!! My kids need space now too (they are 12 & 15) and if I tried to spend every free moment with them they would truly want to kill me…alright not kill me but you get my drift. Therefore, I have to continue to remember to make it quality over quantity. I make sure to go to all (ok…almost all) their special events. No matter how tempting it is for me to pick up my phone during an event I refrain from it. It is all easier said than done. There are so many times that my kids have been talking to me and they catch me totally spaced out…I hate when that happens. The important thing is to try not to beat yourself up too badly and just learn from it.

Wife:

I have to admit, when it comes to my husband, there are many times that I don’t make him as much as a priority as I should. It is just can get so hard after working all day and then coming home to make sure that I spend time with the kids (which most of those times he is included too). There are a lot of evenings that I need to work still after the kids go to bed so there goes our one-on-one time together.

He has been very patient, but in all honesty, I know that is not going to last forever. Of course, the guilt starts to churn more at this point. I feel like such a bad wife when I chose to work instead of spend time with him. As I am in the middle of writing this, I know I need to change this and start carving out time for us to have date night at least once a week. I will let you know how that goes!

Job:

Staying focused is tough at times but I just keep telling myself that it pays the bills so I can’t f*%k it up. That seems to keep my in shape. I just have to remember if I need to take care of my business then I need to do it on my breaks. What is really interesting is that I just recently got promoted but feel guilty because I feel like I am trying to have my cake and eat it too. Weird…huh? I am not sure where this is coming from but it drives me a little crazy because I wonder if I were a man if I would have that same feeling of guilt…probably not. I keep getting told that it was “well deserved” so I am trying to accept it and own it!

Fashion Business:

As you can see there is so much that goes into this fashion business and leaves me with hardly any time for myself. I know that many of you are probably thinking “why do it then?” I just have this burning desire inside myself to make it work. It keeps me going everyday. I do have many days of doubt though, but when I do have those days, I just remember why I decided to start!

Perseverance

After I get through all my priorities each day I am only left with time for sleep. Sleep is something I can’t go without and need at least seven hours a night. There goes watching any T.V. or reading a book for enjoyment.

Although, I am feeling spread thin in multiple directions and feeling guilty is something I deal everyday, I am not going to quit. For me, the biggest regret would be quitting and not keep going. I have come this far and I will persevere!

STARTING A TALL FASHION BRAND: THE FITTINGS

Introduction:

I began writing about my journey starting back in November 2017. You can check out my previous post by clicking the link here STARTING A TALL FASHION BRAND : ONE STEP FORWARD, THREE STEPS BACK.

Holy Cow! It has almost been a year since I officially started this journey as a tall fashion brand. I originally thought I would be done with all the product development by this time and ready to get in production for my fall release. Yeah right!!! I am still trying to finish product development. The way I look at it though is that you only have one shot to make it right so I am not upset that it has taken this long. I just want to make sure it comes out right.

In my last blog, I walked you through the sourcing process and now I am writing about the fitting process.

Product Development:

Fitting:

Fit Model:

As mentioned above, I only get one shot to make it right when I launch so if the fit is not right then why bother going forward. This puts a lot of pressure on me. I have been the fit model since the beginning. However, I have become concerned because while I fall in the middle of my size range, my chest size is above average. I started to fear that my jackets would be too large and gaping in the chest area for someone who maybe below average in that area (even had a couple of nightmares about it). Therefore, I decided to hire a fit model with the average chest size.

It is important to have a fit model that is in the middle of your size range so that you can grade your patterns up or down from the middle. This will decrease the likelihood of distortion as the different sizes move away from the original size.

A fit model is a person that is basically used as a live mannequin that meets the designer’s size specifications. They become an integral role in the design process; commenting on garments and materials with regards to fit, movement and feel on flesh and objective feedback on the ‘fit’ and design of the garment. This was extremely important to me so my search for the fit model began.

This became a challenge in itself. As hard as you may believe, there aren’t too many models that are at least 6′ tall and have all the other size specifications that I am looking into. It took several weeks but I finally found a fit model!

The Fitting Process

I am working on finalizing two samples right now: trench coat and a denim blazer. Once these two samples are finalized then I can finalize the pattern blocks that will be used on the rest my designs. Afterwards, we can start the samples for the other designs.

Furthermore, once I finalize the fit, my samples with all the trimmings and linings will be completed and I can finally have the photo shoot!

The First Fitting:

Here is a peek at the first fitting with actual fabric. There were a lot of modifications that were necessary especially since the fit model changed.

Trench coat:

Denim Blazer:

The Last Fitting:

Last week was the most recent fitting that I had. The samples are looking better but there were still more modifications that were needed in order to make the fit better.

Trench Coat:

Denim Blazer:

Almost There!

Most of modifications are around the sleeve areas but which should be all fixed at the next fitting. Afterwards, I will be able to move forward with finalizing the pattern blocks.

Even though this process is taking much longer than I thought I just keep reminding myself of this quote: “Never give up. Great things take time.” — Dhiren Prajapati. So I keep going, taking one step at a time.

STARTING A TALL FASHION BRAND : ONE STEP FORWARD, THREE STEPS BACK

Introduction:

The last time I wrote about my journey in starting a tall fashion brand was back in January 2018 which I was about four months into the process. If you missed my last blog, make sure you check it out by clicking here. During this time, I was still in the very beginning stages and while I had some hesitation here and there for the most part everything seemed to be running smoothly. A couple of months later, all chaos broke out.

At least once a day, I question myself for making this decision. I keep asking myself, “What did I get myself into?” When I started this journey, I knew it was going to be a challenge but I wasn’t even prepared for all the various steps and processes that have to be done simultaneously. Constantly, it feels overwhelming and as a take one step forward, I feel as though I am taking at least three steps back.

There are so many things that go into starting a fashion brand. After writing about everything I am currently working on, my blog became 11 pages long — ouch! To spare you from an 11 page blog, I am just going to write about the product development that I am currently working on.

Product Development:

Currently, I am working with an agency to help me with the technical design, pattern making and sample making. They were also doing the fabric sourcing at first.

Sourcing:

The problem that I started to have was that the fabric that they were showing me was mostly the basic colors — grays, black, beige, navy blue and white. Originally, I thought that would be fine because it would be better just to play it safe with those colors.

One afternoon, I had lunch with a tall friend. As I was telling her about the colors and playing it safe, she quickly reminded me that it is so much easier finding jackets in those colors. She said “we need more bold, bright and fun colors to choose from!” I quickly began to think about my own wardrobe and how I had so many of the bland colors because I had no other options. She was so right about that, we need more color!

Furthermore, I was scared that I wasn’t learning anything with them doing the sourcing and would have to continue to rely on them or someone else to do it in the future. Therefore, it became a no brainer to take it over!

Working with Suppliers:

Honestly, I never would have thought how time consuming and difficult the sourcing would be. It isn’t just fabric that I need to source it is all the trim which includes the zippers, buttons, even thread and so forth.

Wow ! I had no idea there would there are so many frustrations with fabric sourcing alone! In the beginning of the design process, you have in your mind what your design will look like, how it will feel, and the color/pattern you plan on using. Unless you have the money start out buying 500 to 1,000 yards of fabric, finding the right supplier will require much research.

Beware of suppliers’ websites! Even if a supplier shows fabric on their website it may only be a limited supply and you must ask if they will keep stocking it. Around in March, I had ordered a few swatches of Italian Melton Wool. One swatch was this beautiful purplish/plum color and another that was a gorgeous royal blue color. As soon as I received them, I fell in love with both! I couldn’t decide which one I liked better so I ran a poll through social media and my newsletter. I was excited that the purple color won. As soon as my polling was done, I placed a sample order of the purple wool — woo hoo!

Shortly, after I placed my order the supplier called me to let me know they only had a little over two yards left and they wouldn’t be restocking it. Immediately, I asked about the blue wool and there wasn’t much of it left either. I was absolutely devastated! After weeks of searching I couldn’t find anything similar to the purple wool but I did find a similar blue though. It was through a completely different supplier but they will continue to restock it…phew.

I had to start tweaking my designs so that they can work with the fabric that I found. Don’t get me wrong, I am able to still find good quality it is just not exactly what I had envisioned at the beginning of the design.

Number of Styles:

When I first started this process, I decided to start with ten different styles. Truly, I thought this was very small at first. Oh man was I wrong! It is so hard for me to focus on more than one style at a time and give it the attention that it needed. Therefore, I had to scale back and I decided to only start with five different styles. Suddenly, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Unfortunately, I paid for this design package up front for ten styles. Luckily, the agency that I am working with have been great and very patient. They agreed to put the other five on hold until I can get the first five completed and launched. I wish I could go back in time and start really small with maybe one or two styles. I will always recommend anyone that is looking to try to start a fashion apparel business is to start small!

Sometimes you have to take steps back in order to make sure you are moving forward in the right direction. I have no regrets for changing my mind on the fabric sourcing. It might take longer than expected but I know it will be worth it!

Stay tuned for my next blogs on the fitting process and managing my life with a full-time job and family.

STARTING A TALL FASHION BRAND : NEXT STEPS

Introduction:

I started writing about the beginning of my journey as a tall fashion start-up through Tall Guides Magazine. If you missed the first article you can find it by clicking here.

This next article is about three months later from the first one. Unfortunately, Tall Guides Magazine discontinued as of the beginning of 2018 so I decided to continue my story through my blog.

Next Steps:

“What am I doing?” “How am I going to pull this off?” “Why did I think I can do this?” These are some the questions that I ask myself. Self doubt and fear is something that I have to fight almost every single day since I decided to start my business! As a small business owner, I can’t afford to hire a PR Agency to help promote my company so I have to work on promoting through social media and attend events that I can network in. As an introverted person, it can be really scary to put myself out there. Furthermore, as I am in the process of creating my first fashion line there are several steps that I need work on simultaneously. I won’t lie to you, it is difficult at times and sometimes it would be so much easier if I just stuck my head in the sand. I am going to share with you some of my day-to-day tasks and responsibilities as I progress with my business.

Product Development:

When I decided to move forward with my business without a design background, I knew I was going to need some help. I started working with a company that are like a one-stop shop for new designers. I put together my sketches of my first collection and they are helping me with the technical designs, pattern making and sample making. We also work together through the fabric sourcing process. They can even do the manufacturing for me if it makes sense from a pricing standpoint.

Another great resource that I found is a company called Startup Fashion. You pay a monthly membership fee for having access to business collections that provide advice from marketing all the way to production. You also get access to their database and the most helpful tool is access to a private Facebook group. This is where you engage with other members who are also emerging designers. Some are in the starting stages like myself and some have already started selling but are still considered a startup company. Any question you have, you can just ask it and most of the time you will get several responses from other designers.

Between having these two resources available allows me feel very supported and confident in the design-to-market process. However, they provide the guidance needed but the overall decision making process always comes down to me. The design making process can be the most difficult. It is so important to make a well informed decision but in a timely manner.

Social Media:

One of the best ways to learn about my target customer is through social media. However, this in itself is a timely investment. For example, I go onto Instagram and look and search specific hashtags that are in my target market. Then I follow the people that I find. But I just don’t follow them I really try to learn about them and who they are. It doesn’t stop there though, I also spend time reading other posts and engaging with them. I sound a little stalkish but you start to build these relationships and it is so amazing because you really start to feel connected to these instagramers.

Blogging:

Another method that I am using to connect with my target market is through writing a weekly blog. Since my target customer is a tall professional woman I decided to write about how to dress for certain work occasions and specifically for tall women. I call it “Looks that Work” and write once a week.

With being a professional tall woman for almost eighteen years I feel like I can provide some real guidance that has worked for me in the past. I never thought of myself as writer in the past but I am really enjoying this part of my business. However, it is a lot of work and sometimes I feel like I am putting in so much energy into it and not getting very many results from it. This can be very discouraging but I keep pushing through and listen to feedback that I get from others and keep trying to improve every week that I write a new blog.

Learning:

I continue to learn as I go, I attend as many local fashion seminars that I can. Additionally, I also listen to podcasts, webcasts and tutorials that I find on online and read various blogs about starting a fashion brand. I mostly do all of this on my forty-minute train ride to work and right before I go to bed at night.

Juggling:

While doing all of the above, I continue to work full-time and have my family to attend to. This is the hardest part and sometimes I feel like I am doing so much at once that I am not doing anything well.  But it reminds me how precious my time is. There is no time to ever sit back and watch TV or read a book for entertainment purposes. Now, I am learning that even though I am spread very thin that when I am doing something I have to give it 100% of my attention. Man…it is so easy to get scattered brained and try to work on one thing and then switch to something else before finishing the first.  Then nothing gets done!

To avoid these scatterbrain moments, I work really hard at managing my time. For example, when I am at work, I focus completely on my job even though it gets so tempting to check  social media or check my personal email. However, I have trained myself only to do that on my breaks. When I spend time with my family, I totally commit myself to them and put my phone away. It is so important for me to give them my quality time. I can only do this by utilizing every minute of my time which can get exhausting.

Keep Going!

As you can imagine, starting a business can get overwhelming, time consuming and scares the heck out of me at times. I am learning as I go but I found resources to help. Self doubt and fear try to hold me back but my persistence and perseverance keeps pushing me. I really believe that if you are passionate about something you can make it happen!

Stay tuned for more.

How to add color to your tall wardrobe

Springtime is here! This is my favorite season and I love all the colorful clothes in the spring. But am I the only one that finds it hard to find colorful tall clothing? I recently wondered why my clothes consists of mostly black, grey and white…oh right, that is what I can find in tall sizes most the time!

Over the many years of my life, I have learned many ways to add color to my drabby dark clothes. Today, I am going to share three methods that I use to add pops of color to my tall wardrobe.

Scarves

My favorite way to add color is to include a scarf in my outfit. I love scarves so you will hear me talk about them a lot! Since scarves have no size limit, I use them often to brighten up my clothes. Even if you have just a black dress or skirt you can see below the how much of an impact the scarf makes.

Below is a black dress that I added some spring color to it by adding a scarf that includes multiple color patterns but mostly includes pinks and blues.

Below is another option I use. This green scarf is a lot of fun. I actually bought it from target about four years ago and I never seem to get tired of it. I used it here to add some color to my navy blue pants and a white jacket.

Shoes

Shoes is another great way to add color to your wardrobe. Try to stay clear of black shoes and go with shoes that add a pop of color to your outfit. Of course, if your outfit is full of color such as a hot pink then a black shoe would go perfectly in that situation. However, if I had an awesome hot pink outfit then I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog in the first place. In the spring time you can dress up your black, grey, navy blue or white clothes with pink, yellow, blue or green shoes. Below is an outfit that I created that I use bright yellow shoes to add that “pop” to the outfit.

Yellow shoes

Handbags

I remember when I was in my early twenties, I would always purchase black handbags because I thought they were a great neutral. The problem with black handbags are that they are so boring. Today, handbags come in a wide variety of colors that make it fun to dress up your outfit with. Below is a picture that I use all three items: scarf, shoes and a handbag to dress up an otherwise boring black skirt and white blouse. One thing that you want to avoid is matching your handbag with your shoes. Instead, you want to coordinate them. I chose this handbag to go with the minty-green in the scarf. Plus, the pink shoes goes with the minty-green and is also included in the scarf. Add some gold earrings and a bracelet and you will rock this look!

Spring Scarf
Below I show some a variety of scarves, shoes and handbags. Take a look at them and think about how you can incorporate them into your wardrobe to add a flare of spring to it!

Spring Accessories

Shop the Look

Faliero sarti scarf
$125 – italist.com

Pam Weinstock London patterned scarve
$135 – wolfandbadger.com

Nordstrom silk shawl
nordstrom.com

Disclaimer: I did not personally try any of the items listed under shop the look nor did I get paid any commissions for any of the items listed in this blog.

Tall Women’s Clothing Swap Experience

Tall Clothing Swap for Tall Women

On March 3, 2018, I attended my first ever Tall Clothing Swap in Oakland, CA. I purchased the mix, mingle and swap tickets for $15 each. This was an amazing event and was created to swap tall clothing that you no longer wear for some other tall clothing or accessories (5-10 pieces). I met so many beautiful and wonderful tall women. For the first time in my life I felt like an average height. It was hosted and sponsored by Alicia Jay from TallSWAG and Carly Bialosky from Consciously Connected.

Importance

There are several reasons why I thought this was a brilliant idea. However, below I outline the three main reasons why this event was so important to me.

Sustainability

As the world’s population continues to increase and as climate change progresses we need to be more conscious now than ever at achieving more sustainable clothing sources. There are so many controversies at what is sustainable when it comes to the fashion industry. But I am not going to go over them now because that is a whole article in itself. Most importantly, there is no argument that the most sustainable source of clothing is to reuse existing clothing. Therefore, a clothing swap easily achieves this sustainability goal.

Eliminates Thrift Store Blues

I have nothing against wearing previously owned clothing because after a good wash and press the item can seem like new. However, I do have a problem with spending hours going through massive amounts of clothing to come out completely empty handed. I call these the “Thrift Store Blues” because the issue of finding clothing long enough for me. I am sure from time-to-time you can find some nice garments that fit but at this point I avoid thrift stores when it comes to clothing. A tall swap takes that piece completely out of the equation.

Meet other Tall Women

One of the best features of this clothing swap was the social aspect. At the beginning of the event while your items you brought to swap were being set-up in the back, we were able to mingle with each other with food and drinks. I always feel like automatically connect to other tall women because we share similar struggles and challenges when it comes to our height. It was nice to have the opportunity to connect and chat about our similar experiences especially towards fashion.

There was also a panel discussion of successful tall women which included Alicia, Carly and Tray from The Conversation Piece. The discussion included some of the struggles and challenges that they faced with confidence, dating, fitting in and how they learned to embrace their height. The discussion was so inspiring and I wished I had experienced this when I was much younger.

From left to right, Tray from The Conversation Piece, Alicia Jay from TallSWAG and Carly Bialosky from Consciously Connected.

Giveaways:

I almost forgot to mention that they had a raffle for two Doubs Clothing gift certificates,  a Long Tall Sally gift certificate, two beautiful jewelry gift sets from Candid Art and a pair of Warrior Basketball tickets.

On our way out there were gift bags for all the patrons to take home.   In them were these adorable canvas bags as shown in the picture below.

Other Options

There’s a good chance that you are not going to find a Tall Clothing Swap in your local area. But if the first two options above are still important to you then there are online options to purchase or trade tall clothing. There is a Facebook Group called “Tall Women USA: Clothes to buy/sell/trade” this does give you to opportunity to buy or trade tall clothing with tall women around the world.

Another option is to try renting clothing. I have not tried this option yet so I cannot vouch for it but Gwynnie Bee offers tall clothing that you can borrow by paying a monthly subscription fee. Click here to learn more.

What I Did Right During the Swap

Seasonality

Before I attended the event I did some planning ahead of time. I thought about what season we are going into and what I need more of in my closet. Since the event occurred at the beginning of March I knew that spring was right around the corner. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to find skirts and dresses that would easily transition from spring to summer.

Colors

Additionally, I know I have way too much black, white and gray in my closet so my main goal was to come out with some bright colored items.  Moreover, as I was browsing through the clothes I was trying to think about what I had in my current wardrobe that would compliment each piece.  I only brought in five items so I was able to obtain five items during the swap.

Here is what I found.

From upper left to right – Lime Green Shirt, Floral Skirt, “No Climbing Allowed” T-shirt, Floral Maxi Dress and Maxi Skirt

Here is what look like in the  lime colored shirt.  I absolutely love the color especially when pairing with my navy blue trousers.  As you can see the the arm length fits me perfectly.  However, I am big busted so with many shirts I wear, I have to wear a camisole underneath otherwise everyone will get a peep show.

I fell in love with this dress at first sight.  It was far from being black, gray or white so I achieved my color goal here.  Since it gets extremely hot where I live in the summertime this dress will be perfect for those hot days.

This is a maxi skirt from Long Tall Sally.  As soon as I saw it I had to grab it.  I haven’t had too many maxi skirts in my life that I could wear as a maxi skirt instead of midi skirt.  Actually, this is only the second maxi skirt that I have owned that actually fits.  My first maxi skirt was one that I just recently purchased from Amalli Talli.  I love that maxi skirt too and I will need to share that one in a seperate blog.

They also had these t-shirts there that said “No Climbing Allowed.”  I thought it was hilarious and I can’t wait to wear it.

What I Did Wrong During the Swap

Passed on VIP

For an additional $10 you could purchase VIP tickets which gives you extra time to shop before the main crowd. I easily saw that the best items were picked over by the time I was able to browse. After peeping at some of the VIP participants I found, I saw that the extra $10 was well worth the price.

Passed on Trying On

I am normally really good about trying on clothes but fitting rooms weren’t offered and the bathroom stalls were already packed with other women that got there first. Therefore, I passed on trying on items and the floral skirt didn’t end up fitting me.  As you can see below it puckers at the hips.  I did love the floral colors for spring and I had the perfect lilac top to go with it.

Didn’t look at Fiber Content

I was not paying enough attention to fiber content of the garments as I should have been. I know my body doesn’t breath very well in polyester but I can normally handle a polyester blend.  Since I was so enthralled by the floral maxi dress I did not realize it was 100% polyester. However, I still love the way it looks and I am not going to give up on it just yet.

To Conclude

I tried to plan ahead as much as possible about what I need in my closet but my swapping experience wasn’t perfect. I know for next time to take advantage of the VIP, try things on on and read the tags! Overall, the experience was priceless and I hope there will be more of these events going forward. It would be great to see these swaps start around the country.  To see footage of the event via TallSWAG’s Instagram page click here.

Tall Fashion Brands Created by Tall Women

Build Awareness

I didn’t realize how many independent tall fashion brands are out there that have been created by other tall women until last year when I started doing market research in this area. What is frustrating is when you try to Google tall fashion brands it is really hard to find these brands because all of the big brands rank first in the Internet searches. Therefore, the main purpose of this blog is to build awareness about these wonderful brands that are bringing changes to the tall women’s clothing market.

No One Knows a Tall Woman More than Another Tall Woman

As many of you may already know, I am in the process of starting my own fashion brand called Longings Clothes for Tall Women that will focus on Coats and Jackets for tall women.  I was inspired to do this mostly due to lack of stylish coats and jackets that I could find. I would buy from a big brand offering tall sizes but not specializing in them. Whenever I bought from these brands I was constantly faced with disappointment. For example, the jacket sleeves would not be long enough or the overall portion was off. The nice thing about buying from one of these brands is that nobody knows our clothing needs and challenges better than another tall woman. They are not just adding inches to patterns, they are using actual tall fit models during their development process.

Filling Gaps in the Market

From coats, plus sizes, lingerie, casual wear, sexy dresses and jumpsuits, luxury dresses, pants, jeans to professional work wear these women started these brands to provide unique shopping experiences to fill the gaps that we have in the tall women’s clothing market. We no longer are subject to non-stylish, unimpressive and ill-fitting clothing.

Tall Women Supporting Tall Women

I am big believer of women supporting women and it is needed now more than ever. These women are taking major risks to bring needed changes to the tall women’s clothing market. Please see the brands below for yourself and help spread the word!

All Things Tall

All Things Tall® is a value-oriented online platform that specializes in creating and providing clothing and shoe brands for taller women. Our mission is to insure tall women have access to the highest quality styles. Tall women are beautiful and their closet deserves to reflect the beauty of their height.

Lauren, the proud founder and creator of All Things Tall, has a lifelong mission to provide chic clothing to the modern day tall woman that empowers her to not only feel comfortable in her own skin, but to exude an unapologetic sense of confidence. This one-stop shop for women over 5’9” (and up to size 20) bridges the gap between exclusivity and innovation, offering an optimal, tailored collection of trendy pieces. Above all, All Things Tall® celebrates fierce women who stand tall in both height and life. Our motto “Why fit in, when you were born to STAND OUT?”

Shop online at www.allthingstall.co. They ship in the U.S. and Canada.

Offers plus sizes.

Founder – Lauren Givonne

@allthingstallco

 

Amalli Talli is an online retailer providing a different type of shopping experience for tall women. Started by two tall sisters with a 6” height difference between them, we strongly believe that tall isn’t solely defined by height alone, and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and proportions. Our mission is to provide trendy, well-fitting options, no matter where you may fall on the tall spectrum. Additionally through our online community, we aim to be a support system and source of empowerment for tall women to love their height.

Shop their clothing online at www.amallitalli.com.  They ship worldwide and offers free shipping for over $75 in purchases and $6.50 flat rate shipping below $75.

Offers plus sizes.

Founders – Amy & Alli

Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter

@amallitalli

Dellez Fashion For Tall Women

Adelle Prime is the founder and designer of Dellez Fashion for Tall Women, a contemporary clothing line in Trinidad and Tobago designed for women 5’ 10”and taller. Dellez clothing line is not just made longer but correctly proportioned to suit a tall woman’s frame.

Standing tall at 5’ 10”, Adelle struggled over the years to find clothing that fit well since many designers and retailers cater to women of average height. As a result, many tall women are forced to wear ill-fitted clothes that are not designed for them.

Currently, their clothing line is available online at www.delleztallfashion.com and shipped to the Caribbean, United States and Canada.

Offers dresses and jumpsuits up to 2XL and pants/jeans up to U.S. size 18.

Founder – Adelle Prime

@delleztallfashion

Doubs Clothing

Doubs Clothing was started by Sammie, the wife of a 6’10” man. After countless shopping trips, nothing was ever long enough & when it was a good length, it was too wide. Eighteen months after releasing the men’s line, she felt comfortable exploring women’s clothing. We make women’s clothing that fit women that are between 6’0″ – 6’10”. Most importantly, we are completely ethical based. We make 95% in Australia by beautiful Machinists that are paid above award wage using the best fabric sourced. You can shop online at https://www.doubsclothing.com. We ship free worldwide!

Offers plus sizes.

@doubswomen

Height of Fashion

Height of Fashion is a new fashion label designed specifically for tall women. The label is born from a personal need and inspired by confidence, uniqueness and versatility. Founder Natalie Matthews, who stands at 6’3″, has curated a range of signature styles that can take you from day to night and provide both timeless and effortless style for your everyday need. You can shop their clothing online at www.height-of-fashion.com. For all Australian orders, they ship free standard delivery. They ship worldwide free when you spend over $100 AUD.

Founder – Natalie Matthews

Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter
@heightoffashion

Longings Clothes for Tall Women – Coming Fall 2018

Longings Clothes is being created to provide professional tall women with stylish jackets and outerwear that focus on quality and fit. Maintaining a price point that will make the clothing accessible to tall women that are just starting their careers and those that been in their professions for several years. It is important that tall women to appear polished and professional in their careers and can dress for success!

Founded by Lori Reposa. As a 6’ tall woman, I had dealt with many challenges throughout my life. My goal is to help other tall women find fashionable clothes for the workplace that will make them feel good about how they look.

Founder – Lori Reposa

Instagram & Facebook
@longingsclothes

Meghan Evans Clothing

Meghan Evans is designed to take the tall, professional woman from desk to drinks. We believe clothes should make you feel confident and ready to conquer the day without sacrificing style, comfort, or quality. That’s why we offer clothing that is designed and ethically manufactured in Washington, DC in limited quantities. We take extra care to select unique, quality fabrics to compliment our pieces’ flattering silhouettes that are both feminine and classic. You can shop our pieces online at www.meghanevans.com. Currently we only ship in the U.S.

Offers dress sizes up to U.S. size 18.

Founder – Meghan Evans

Instagram & Facebook
@meghanevansclothing

SHPALA

Inna Panchuk is the Founder and Creative Director of Shpala. She is 6’2’’ and has experienced firsthand the challenges of being tall and shopping for clothes that fit properly.

Unlike other brands that stretch existing standard patterns, we use true-tall fit models in our creation process. Made in one of the leading production factories of NYC’s Garment District using only exemplary fabrics, our clothes accentuate and flatter the above-standard frame. We are proud to dress tall women, to help empower them, and always consider their height a superiority, not a disadvantage.

You can shop their our dresses online at www.shpalanyc.com. We ship to both U.S. and international addresses. U.S. standard shipping is offered free of charge.

Founder – Inna Panchuk

Instagram & Facebook
@shpalanyc

Talltique

At Talltique we provide tall women, 5’10” and up, with stylish and high-quality tall clothing. We specialize in chic clothing for women 6’0″ and over, including jeans, pants, jackets, maxi dresses and skirts and other hard-to-find items in extra long lengths. Many of our garments are handmade in the USA, some using organic fabrics and low-impact dyes. The unique selection of our extended length garments have been handpicked by our 6’4″ owner Helen Pappas.

You can visit their showroom by appointment only located at 7815-A Old Georgetown Rd., Ste. 210, Bethesda, MD 20814 or shop online at www.talltique.com. We ship in the U.S. and internationally. We offer free shipping on all U.S. orders over $150 USD.

Offers plus sizes.

Founder – Helen Pappas

Instagram & Facebook
@Talltique

Veraf Clothing

VeRaf Clothing was founded in 2010 by Verona Lynch, a Property Surveyor cum Fashion Designer based in London. As a tall woman of 6’2, Verona continues to face the challenges of finding suitable, fashionable and affordable clothing to fit her tall body.

Veraf clothing for tall women is an ethical brand in the United Kingdom, dedicated in making classic styles into sophisticated contemporary clothing. Our collection is for the fashion conscious tall woman looking for daywear and nightwear pieces, which is available for international delivery via our website www.verafclothing.com.

 

Instagram & Facebook
@VeRafclothingfortallwomen

To Conclude

As you can see, these brands provide a wide variety of clothing in various sizes.  They are filling the holes in the tall women’s market.  If you you have a favorite independent tall fashion brand that I didn’t include above, please add a note about them in the comments below to help spread the word.

 

Please see a recent blog I wrote about “Shoe Stores Dedicated to Women with Extended Shoe Sizes”  which most were founded by other women too.

How to Repurpose your Suit

Repurposing your Business Suit

I used to have a bad habit of shopping all the time and at least once a month I had to buy a new outfit. I would easily get bored with what I had so I was continuously on the hunt for the next big thing. After starting my own business and learning about the fashion industry, I have a new understanding how wasteful that lifestyle can be.

I have put my shopping on hold and I have been trying work with what I have and repurpose items to figure how to wear differently. I am going to take you through a couple examples of how you can repurpose one suit.

The Suit

Like most other professional women, I have a few suits hanging in my closet. Unfortunately, they don’t get worn too often because I work in more casual office environment now. Buying a good quality suit is a great investment that allows you to wear this timeless piece for many years. Since I don’t need to wear them very often I hate for them to collect dust in my closet.

I purchased this suit in a tall size from Ann Taylor. The pants have a 36″ inseam. The jacket fits without needing further alterations. The quality is average. It is made out Polyester, Rayon and Spandex but they do suggest dry clean only.

Three Button Navy Blue Jacket

This three button jacket can easily be converted to a more casual look with pairing with jeans, a white boat neck top or even a white t-shirt, and a pair of nice booties. The jacket with just a white top is too bland so adding scarf for additional color will give it an additional wow-factor you need to stand out. I really prefer one button jackets because they look more modern. However, if you have a three button you can just button once or leave open.

The Trouser Pant

To make the pants have a more casual look you can pair with a nice shirt and long-sleeve cover-up cardigan.

I have a blouse that I bought a few years ago when it was trendy to wear long shirts and blouses with skinny jeans or pants. I don’t really wear this blouse anymore but I am not ready to get ready to get rid of it yet. So I tried wearing it with these trouser pants and a cover-up cardigan but tucked it in. I absolutely love the way it came out.

It just needed a nice necklace and wear with a pair of nude pumps. Every woman should have a pair of nude pumps in their closet because of the versatility. They can go with so many colors and they aren’t as boring as your usual black pumps.

 

Just remember not give up on the clothes you have too soon. Try wearing them with different jewelry or scarves to shake it up. Some days I remind myself when I was a kid and would play dress-up. I still like to do this and mix and match pieces that I own but I don’t normally wear together. You should try it because you don’t know what amazing outfits you can come up with for free!