I used to HATE shopping.
Truly, a painful, embarrassing and sad experience all around. I’d walk into stores and 95% of the time I wouldn’t find my size. I’d settle for clothes that were too short, not right for my body and overall too small.
"It sounds pretty silly settling for clothes and shoes that are too small. But that’s what we deal with every single day when you’re a woman above 6ft1”.
Those repeated experiences of fashion rejections not only were devastatingly annoying but in the end took a toll on my self-esteem. It confirmed my odd idea that I was a freak of nature. Hence, I became a mega tomboy, like the little brother my brother never had, wearing easier to find jogging suits (too short too!) and boy jeans and t-shirts, hiding my body behind ill-fitting clothes...
I have now thankfully learned that I’m not the one with the problem and gratefully learned to stick to brands that fit instead of trying to fit into brands that simply don’t. The joys of wisdom and the power of saying no. Best thing ever.
It sounds pretty silly that I settled for clothes and shoes (!) that were too small. But that’s what we deal with every single day when you’re above 6ft1” as a woman. There are only a few brands that we can turn to and it’s taken me a lifetime to 1) figure this out 2) find them!
And now I want to share them with you, for those of you who are interested. I’ll be publishing an amazing list of every day wear and elevated fashion that cater to tall women. YEEEESSSSS! You’re welcome.
When I was in 12th grade another student, a guy, asked me why I dressed like a boy all the time. It struck me that someone noticed my nonexistent sense of style. I truly didn’t know what to do about his comment as I felt this style of mine was imposed upon me.
It NEVER occurred to me that I should and could actually dress more feminine. I would always wear whatever I could find that fit. I knew I was a tomboy and wanted to be comfortable because I was so much into sports. But whenever I tried to be a girly girl, like wearing tights and a skirt or a dressy shirt, it would be excruciating. The tights were always too short so I’d always need to pull them up at the waist, or worst, the crutch. And the cute boots were always a size too small. I couldn’t find things my size back then in Nice, or anywhere else for that matter.
I find it funny now but back then I was so disconnected with being a girl that seeing my Danish roommate wearing a thong in the modeling hotel I was staying at in Milan a year later was revolutionary!! I knew moms wore them because obviously my mom wears them, but it didn’t cross my mind that a teenager could feel so feminine and grown up as to wear them herself! I truly can’t imagine what I looked like going to casting calls in my little girls’ underwear. I find it strange that I realized 6 months into my modeling career that thongs were more flattering underneath clothes.
My dislike of fashion continued on through the years. After months of not fitting in the modeling clothes, I went back to studying, this time in NYC, and returned to a healthy (even over) weight.
My world turned upside down when I discovered Rock and Republic jeans that were long enough for me, and fashionable. I actually teared up in the store and silently thanked Victoria Beckham for her brilliant designs. No kidding. Mind you, her designs were the flared bottoms that one would want to wear like she did with platform heels. Which fit me perfect with flat shoes. Now a successful designer, her brands Victoria Beckham and Victoria Victoria Beckham are fabulous. Her line for Target was sweet although I couldn't find anything that fit. But well done her for her vision and fulfilling her dream.
My dresses are for women of all shapes and sizes. - Victoria Beckham
I finally found the length in the legs with Rock & Republic but my trouble with jeans continued. It took me years to understand why my butt crack would show whenever I sat down. Specially in the 2000’s when it was fashionable to wear low-rise jeans, remember those? I always thought it was because I was ‘fat’, meaning not a model size anymore. I denigrated myself. The jeans being too small confirmed in my head that I was not only tall but also fat. It only recently occurred to me, now that high-rise pants have been in fashion for a few years, that it wasn’t me being fat. It was the fucking proportions of the jeans that just didn’t fit me and that perpetrated my thong-flashing situation to the world for well over a decade. The waist to crutch length was just too short for a girl like me. I will admit I felt very stupid a few years back when I had the epiphany of realizing this simple issue with jeans.
Same thing for the calf. So many pants would get stuck on my calves so that when I’d stand up from the dinner table I’d have to reach down with my hands to pull the pants down from the hem. It dawned on me that again the proportions of the pants don’t fit! What’s on my calf is actually what should be on the ankle which of course is narrower.
I am lucky now to find more and more stores with tall sections with clothes that actually look good! No more of the second-grade clothes. Now, I am actually enjoying shopping, especially online. No more annoying moments at the store. I know my body and I most definitely shop for my body type. For example, now I know not to get a dress with a regular waist line. The waist would be too high, making it hard to breathe with the waist line cutting into the lower ribs while sitting down at the dinner table; or the arm sleeves would arrive mid forearm (but that’s an easy fix with lifting the sleeves up, Maria Sharapova does that so well. Yes there is an art to sleeve pulling.)
Now I can find Wolford XL tights that are almost too long!! Even Ricky’s and Duane Reade carry my size. Gone are the days where I feel like a perpetual freak, reminded every day that I don’t belong. Those daily messages are not gone, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t affect me anymore.
The world is as it is, it’s up to you to decide how you let it affect you. - someone wise...
I know so many people out there feel different, ostracized and uncomfortable in their own skin. It doesn't have to do with height, this is universal. With the honesty in this space here, I hope I can help others feel better about themselves because they can relate to my story. I’d feel so proud.
I would so like to hear from you. Let me know what you think of my fashion blog. Has it helped you find new gems? Hit me up by email firstname.lastname@example.org, comment below or on my Instagram.
This is a new venture for me, one of authenticity and pride. I can’t wait to chat with you and discover your T-Factor.