When pants aren’t long enough (dun, dun, dun)

I recently ordered a pair of men’s sweatpants. (Don’t judge)  I know that there are a ton of really great, women’s stores out there that actually have clothes to fit a long-limbed drink of water like myself but these were Iowa Hawkeye sweatpants! They were kick-ass and they claimed to have a 37′ inseam. I checked the door everyday waiting in anticipation for when they would arrive. There’s something about slipping into the softness of brand-new sweats and wearing them for the first time.

I figured since they were men’s sizing I would order a large. And I was assuming I would probably wear them for at least a full 2 weeks straight before I washed them…probably more like 4 weeks but I’m trying not to gross anyone out with my hygiene (on the weekend, showers are optional).

Anyway, I also ordered a kickin’ t-shirt (size medium) as well thinking I would have a complete ensemble to celebrate my Iowa Hawks.  The day arrived when I came home from work and there was a package in front of my door.  I quickly ripped it open and to my surprise there were 2 pairs of sweatpants as well as a shirt.  Weird.

Now here’s the really weird part; I didn’t receive a size Large sweatpants nor did I receive size Medium shirt.  All of the sizes were wrong.  AND…the dang sweatpants were more like crop pants.  And not in that ‘cool’ way.

So, I guess my lesson learned is that I must always shop at my tall stores in order to get pants that are long enough.  But dang it….I really wanted those Iowa Hawkeye sweatpants.

Aren't they kick-butt sweatpants???  Um...yes.  Yes, they are.

Aren’t they kick-butt sweatpants???  Um…yes. Yes, they are.

 

Does being Tall bring the excitement? (spoiler…yes)

The other day a girl at work said something that has resonated with me all week. She said, ‘You lead the most exciting life. I love hearing about all of your adventures!’ I was taken aback. I think that I’m pretty boring, in general, only because I still don’t consider myself to have much of a social life here in Madison.  My typical night includes reading, walking, maybe a glass (or two) of wine, surfing the internet, and maybe the tv on in the background.  Oh, and watching my cats chase each other!  Boring stuff.

But then I got to thinking…I’m pretty good at finding the ‘fun’ in my life when those weird situations pop up.  You know, like ALL of those people who comment on my height.  I throw my arms around those situations (not the people) and milk it for everything I can.  Homeless people, vendors at work, co-workers, randoms at the store, etc.  Everywhere I go I can pretty much count on someone saying something.

I went to Bed Bath and BEYOND over the weekend to buy a new comforter.  (And in case you’re wondering, the one I purchased is so awesome I’m showing a pic, below)  And I was asked not once, but twice to assist with grabbing something off the shelf.  That’s 2 times people!  I made social contact because of my height, twice, with complete strangers.  And it was pretty amazing because we giggled, than laughed heartily when I dropped the item, and then we stared longingly into each other’s eyes….okay, I go too far sometimes.  That didn’t happen. The thought does make me giggle though.

This is the Seasons Reversible, Down Alternative.  In Red.

This is the Seasons Reversible, Down Alternative. In Red.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve received an ego boost when someone asks me if I used to be a model or if I’ve ever done any modeling.  I always say yes as I hand them a folded up picture from…okay, again, I go too far.  No.  I never modeled. Although for the record, there was that one time in the tenth grade when I did a photo shoot to enter a modeling contest.  (I’m being serious)  My mom and her friend had a couple of drinks and thought that it would be a great idea to enter me.  I didn’t win.

Oh, and I LOVE it when I pass by a little kid.  Recently, I over-heard a youngster say about me, ‘She big’.  That’s right, ‘I big’.  I can also touch the ceiling, look at your teacher’s bald-spot, and clean the top shelf without getting a step stool.  She Big.

I get asked on a daily basis where I purchase my clothes.  I’m a walking advertisement.  I like to think it’s because I’m fashion-forward and totally rad when it comes to putting together that outfit that screams ‘Holli is fabulous’ however I also realize other tall women are simply looking to see whether your hemline hits your ankle, your shoe, or the floor.  But I make that conversation exciting!  I put some punch in my comeback.  How many other women do you know have a 38″ inseam and can kick you in the face?  (I suppose I don’t need to bring up the fact I’ve got a pretty good kick but didn’t I warn you that I keep my comebacks snappy?)

Excitement in my life?  Yes.  I suppose there is some excitement in my life.  But it’s because I make it that way and I use my height as part of it.  I also use my cats.  Remind me to tell you about the time my little white, Persian Doll kitty ate some bacon grease.  He suffered some gastrointestinal distress…and he has extremely long white hair.  Diarrhea and long, white hair.  Yeah, it was a lovely morning.  But once again, part of my exciting, TALL life.

I'm not really sure what that look is.  In fact, I don't want to know.

I’m not really sure what that look is. In fact, I don’t want to know.

Talk Tall to Me

There are few things I like better than ‘Talking Tall’. I love comparing stories with those like-bodied people who have funny tidbits to share. Usually in some way, shape, or form we can all relate to a tall story because we have experienced it or something similar.  Many times I will be approached by random tall people because they want to share a story with me. It’s a tall brotherhood. Or a tall sisterhood. Whichever way you choose to look at it.

IMG_7463

My Tall Family, with a close family friend (the short one!)

But here’s the rub, when a short person asks me direct and specific questions about being tall, I sometimes find it hard to answer.  I wonder if I start spilling all of my awesomely, hilarious and entertaining tall stories, this short person is going to be at their next party saying, “So I was talking to this giant and she was telling me about her height.  She told me…” and then they relay some of my great stories.

I’m not usually very shy so I’ll ‘talk Tall’ with anyone but I find it much more stimulating to discuss anything height-related with other tall people.  I wonder, does that make me a heightist?  Short people usually don’t get it.  They try.  They will tell me their horror stories of trying to find clothes and I can’t relate.  All I can think about is how the petite sections have been around forever.  And I can’t feel pity for a short person who can buy clothes long enough and then get them tailored to fit.  I’ve even had some short people tell me they can shop in the kids section.  I’m thinking ‘Sweet!’.  The kids section has some of the coolest clothes. Who doesn’t want a Hulk t-shirt?

IMG_4296

Talking Tall with my friend, Megan who is also 6’4″.

So I guess I don’t know where this leaves me.  I have the type of personality where I can’t stop talking to people so maybe I need to get over my reluctance to share my stories with those physically less fortunate.  Because come on, I’ve really got some good stories to share.

I’ll continue to regale short and tall alike and hope that even though both sides of the coin are dramatically different, we can all relate in some way.  And if not, then I hope I can at least make someone laugh.

 

 

So you wanna start a Tall Club, eh?

You’re tall.  You feel like you hang out with a lot of tall people.  You think it would be fun to start a tall club.  So you talk to your other tall friends and everyone seems to think it would be fun and a great idea.  Now what?  Well, that’s what I’m here for!  I’ve got the inside info on how you can start your very own tall club and also how you too can become affiliated with Tall Clubs International.

The basic requirements:

  1. Men must be a minimum of 6’2″ and women must be a minimum of 5’10”.
  2. All members must be at least 21 years of age.
  3. Start-up clubs should be active for 6 months prior to application for membership
  4. Minimum membership prior to application for membership is 15 members.
  5. TCI annual dues are $3 per member, minimum of $45, due in January of each year.

The basic steps

  1. Name your club and elect officers
  2. Publicize your club (Facebook, Twitter, Meet-Up, etc)
  3. Begin having regular meetings and social events to attract more members
  4. Write your bylaws (samples available)
  5. Open a bank account and start collecting dues to fund events
  6. Once you have 15 members it’s time to apply for members ship!  (you must have authorization by a majority vote of your members directing the club president to seek membership through TCI)
  7. Contact TCI’s Vice President of Membership (tci-membership@tall.org) at least 60 days prior to the annual convention (usually the last weekend in June) to submit your application for membership.  You will need:
  • Letter of Application from your Club President
  • Letter of Sponsorship from another TCI club in good standing (find one that’s close in proximity to you or perhaps make friends with someone in a club OR contact me and I’ll direct you to someone close to you)
  • Send a check for 1/2 of the annual dues (minimum $22.50 for 15 members)
  • List of founding members (Include: names, officially measured height barefoot, zip code, and email address)

If all is in order, your new club will be nominated for membership at the annual Delegates meeting during Convention.

Some of my tall club members at Convention in Las Vegas in 2009 when I won Miss Tall International.

Why should I become affiliated with Tall Clubs International (TCI)?

  • Charity–TCI is affiliated with several charities so your funds go to some great charities such as Marfan Syndrome and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Parents–TCI is a little like your parent.  You have your local club and then TCI above your local club.  It’s a great dynamic.
  • Parties–do you like to party?  Yeah, me too.  And so do many of the TCI members.
  • Tall People–do you like to party with tall people?  Yeah, me too…..see where I’m going with this?
  • Tall Stores–what better place to swap stories about tall stores or even better swap clothes.  Or how about this, many tall stores offer discounts to members of TCI!!!
  • Miss Tall International–Are you single, female, and always wanted to wear a crown and a sash?  Perhaps you should consider running for Miss Tall International.
  • Ummmm…FUN–I don’t think I need to expand on this

Me and my tall friend Jan. This was taken at a Tall Christmas party!

Now, if you’d like to start a tall club please do!  If you would like more information on this please feel free to contact TCI Vice President (currently Genie Williamson) at tci-membership@tall.org.

I can also assist if you would like to contact me at misstallgirlramblings@gmail.com.  I can direct you to clubs near you or directly to TCI for further assistance.

If I could change 1 thing because I’m tall it would be…

Why not bigger tree houses?  We need bigger tree houses to better suit our taller bodies!

I’ve actually thought a long time about this…a long, long time and I’ve wanted to write about it but it’s a difficult and personal thing for each individual.  Someone that is 5’10” is going to want something much different than someone who is 7’8″. And the difference between males and females is also going to vary greatly as well.  I think what I personally would like to change is going to be very, very different than say, a guy that’s 6’10”.  But I guess we’ll see.

The more I thought about this the more I couldn’t narrow it down to one thing.  I can think of one thing that I want more than others, but there are multiple things that I want.  Typical female…I moved my list around so many times although my #1 stayed the same.  Here goes!

If I could change 1 (okay, more than 1) thing because I’m tall it would be:

1.  Airline Seats–now I know this one is obvious but I wouldn’t actually change the width because I fit fine in the actual seat.  It’s the distance between the seats needs to be longer!  My knees are right up against the back of the seat in front of me.  And if the jack-hole in front of me chooses to recline in their seat…I’m going to be a very unhappy passenger.  Or, the airlines could save the bulk-head and exit row seats (provided we can assist in the event of an emergency) for passengers over 6’2″ AND NOT CHARGE US EXTRA!!!!

I chose this for my number one because I travel a lot.  I spend so much money on extra leg-room and checking my luggage that my trips become much more expensive than I’d really like them to be.  An extra $25-$45 for the leg room both ways and then another $20-$25 for my bags, we’ve now added another $100-$150 to my already expensive trip!  Yikes.

Who has extra cash?  Apparently me…

2.  Tall Clubs InternationalTCI (Tall Clubs International) is such an important part of height awareness and they have so much to give as a social club and as a charity, but unfortunately the group is dwindling.  The club began in 1939 and there are still approximately 50 clubs throughout the Unites States with nearly 2,000 members however there was a time when the active membership was nearly 5,000.  I’d like to help get TCI back on the map with some beefed up membership and more active members but I’ll be honest, even I haven’t been very active myself lately.  Life tends to get in the way.  More membership, more advertisement, more sponsors…we need to get more activity!

My 6’4″ friend Megan who is a former President of Tall Clubs International and of course, Moi on the left.

3.  Clothes–okay, let me be a little more specific because personally I don’t have a terrible time finding clothes however there are 2 categories of tall people who need help with clothing:

  • Tall, plus sized-this combination is nearly impossible for women to find good, quality, and reasonably priced clothing.  Most women can’t spend $100 per shirt or $150 per pair of pants.  That’s simply too much for the average woman so there needs to be better availability of tall, plus-sized clothing as well as better pricing.
  • Clothes for the super tall-allow me to explain further.  I have a friend, Chris, who is 6’9″.  He shops at 1 store for almost all of his clothes.  1 store!  I don’t know how he does it.  For those men and women over 6’6″ with inseams over 38′, they need specialty stores that also aren’t horribly expensive and they also need greater access to these stores.

This is Chris and these are actually his hats. Wait, that’s not true. He really wears hats like this to distract people from his 6’9″ height. Okay…that’s not true either.

4.  Height Awareness-I’d like to change some perceptions that people seem to have about tall people.  We all play basketball, we are all freaks, tall women only want to date taller men (okay, for those of you that read my last blog yes, I am searching for a tall guy but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dated shorter guys in the past.  Don’t judge) and all the tall men only date women under 5 feet.  We all get labeled somehow.  We’ll I’ve come up with a few examples of things I’d like for people to know that it’s NOT okay to do or say.

  • It’s not okay to come up behind me when I’m not looking and stand back-to-back with me while your friends take your picture.  You might get punched, seriously.
  • I may or may not have played basketball and unless you know me, you probably should be careful what you ask.  Is it okay to touch a pregnant women’s belly?  Consider my feelings like that pregnant women’s belly…tread lightly.
  • To point and stare at me as I walk by is downright rude.  Learn some manners (unless you are under the age of 8, then it’s acceptable)
  • Thinking you are funny by saying something clever like ‘How’s the weather up there’ or ‘What’s up shorty?’ is really your way of indicating your very low IQ
  • Please don’t ask me to compare hands with you.  Yes, my hands are probably bigger.  I’d also wager that so is my brain.
  • No, my parents aren’t tall.  They are very short, I’m a mutant.  Who can explain science?

My family! All right…my dad is really tall, so is everyone else in my family.

So there you have it.  4 things that I would change and I KNOW I didn’t touch on some topics that others would want to change.  I wonder how much would actually change if I could at least get my wish with the first 4…..hmmmmm, I think I’ll go ponder that for awhile.

What was I thinking?

Who wears stuff like this? Apparently I think that I do.

You see this jump-suit.  I ordered it.  Yes, I did.  I know, what was I thinking?  Well, let me tell you….

It’s a Tuesday.  I worked a long day at work and I came home where I proceeded to clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping and complete a bunch of mind-numbing chores that allowed me to justify having a glass of wine.  (I did keep it to one glass)

After I completed my chores and I sat down on the couch to drink my glass o’ wine I obviously needed to do something…and shopping online seemed to be the perfect accompaniment to this activity.  I found this jump-suit at a Tall Clothing website called Tall and All.  I’ve never ordered from there and I’m hoping that this suit fits although where I’m going to wear this…I’ve no clue.

I can’t promise that I’ll post pictures because I’ve no idea what this is going to look like but in the event that anyone out there has never heard of the website Tall and All, check it out. they even have latex pants.  And no, I didn’t order those.

 

 

 

 

My Tall Fashion

I’m an online shopper. It’s gotten to be a little ridiculous particularly over the last couple of years but considering that TALL women had little to choose from until very recently, I feel fortunate to be able to afford clothes that actually fit.  And by fit I mean, long enough in the legs, arms, torso, and give me the sense that wherever I go I’m going to rock the house in my fashionable get-up.

Not too long ago I wasn’t so lucky.  In junior high my fashion woes began.  Nothing ever fit me appropriately.  Lucky for me (and probably every other Tall woman) tucked jeans were ‘in’ and so were layered socks.  I could easily hide the fact that my pants were too short by buying longer socks and layering the colors to match my sweaters and tops.  Throughout junior high and really up until about my sophomore year in high school, this was my ploy.  It really seemed to work and it was the late 80’s so I actually had some semblance of wearing what others were wearing.  Of course, it looked ridiculous (even to me back then) but you wear the weird-shaped glasses, over-sized sweaters, and popped collars because that’s the style.

When it got to be my junior and senior year in high school, I was in trouble.  Tucked jeans were no longer ‘in’.  I resorted to buying men’s jeans so they would be long enough.  It’s pretty funny thinking back now how most girls would raid their mother’s closets for something to wear…I was raiding my dad’s closet.  I’d even wear some of his flannel shirts because they were coming into style and they were long enough! (Thank you JC Penney big and tall men’s department)

Family shot. What a horrible shirt I have on!

College was awful.  There’s really nothing much I can say.  I was still wearing men’s jeans and mostly men’s sweatshirts.  Occasionally I’d find a nice shirt but I didn’t have any money in college and to be completely honest, I wasn’t really into fashion.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to feel pretty and look nice, but I didn’t know where to go.  I had very little money, and most of my friends were men.  It’s difficult to get your guy friends to shop with you.

I wore a lot of plaid, untucked shirts to hide my men's jeans.

When I first started out in the financial industry I wanted a nice suit.  I lived in Des Moines, IA at the time and there WAS a TALL women’s clothing store located in Des Moines. I can’t remember the name anymore but they carried Pendleton brand clothing.  My first time in the store I was amazed and devastated at the same time. The inseams were 36+, the sleeves were incredibly long, and the dresses fell all the way to the floor like they were supposed to…it was awesome.  The clothes seemed a little ‘old lady-ish’ however my grandma, who went shopping with me at the time, informed me that each piece was timeless. Meaning I could wear these for years to come because they would never go out of style.  The devastated part comes in when I started to look at the price tags.   $200 dollars for the jacket, $180 for the skirt, and another $100 for the beautiful white shirt.    This was one suit!  It was a beautiful brown suit that I absolutely loved but almost $500!  Grandma bought me that suit because she wanted me to have something nice for my job.  I wore the shirt out completely but I still have that suit.

A little big, but it still fits!

Nowadays I have choices (and a little more money) at my fingertips.  I can go online and there’s a multitude of shopping I can do from the comfort of my own home.  Sure, it’s no fun when you spend a bunch of money on key pieces of clothing only to find they don’t fit exactly right.  You send them back for a different size BUT you’re also narrowing down your sizing for that particular vendor and you’re that much closer to discovering the true fun of being able to shop for TALL clothes.  I can never have enough clothes, or boots, or suits, but I’m getting there.  And it’s fun!

I’ve spent a lot of time and money figuring out which places I like to shop, where I can find a great deal, and the places that seem to have better quality than others.  I’ve highlighted a few places below to get you started.  I should probably throw in a disclaimer that all of the hints below are based on my own personal experience.  My intent is not to be an advertisement for any of these shops, I only want to get you started on your own wardrobe and hopefully enjoying online shopping as much as I do.  Shop away!

Long Legs – My favorite store to buy my classic clothes.  I purchase all of my work suits here.  I also buy many of my jeans here too.  Good quality.  Sign up for the newsletter for savings.  I really like the fact that they remember me when I speak with them (maybe as a former Miss Tall International?).

Long Tall Sally – I buy much of my fun, everyday items here.  Wait for sales because they have a lot of them and you can get some incredible deals.  Lots of swimwear.  I recently bought 2 pairs of boots for a steal and I get compliments on them and my other clothes all the time.

Long Elegant Legs – Check out their weekly specials for deals.  I really like their tops and dresses.  I’ve bought some pants with success in the past as well active-wear.  I bought a trench coat here once that I adore (and still wear).

Susan’s Tall Fashions – Susan gets all of her clothes from Long Elegant Legs.  It may be from last season or simply overstock but you can get some bargains.  Sizing may be tough but always keep checking back.

Old NavyOld Navy now has a Talls online!  I buy workout gear and many undershirts (layering shirts) here at incredibly frugal prices.  Google Old Navy Coupons or hit up retailmenot.com for coupon codes. It will save you an additional 10-15%.

Grapevinehill – This is my ‘secret’ store for inexpensive, name-brand shoes.  It’s an ebay store that doesn’t charge shipping (usually) and they have shoes up to size 12 for women and 15 for men.  Brand names such as: Born, Rockport, Timberland,  Ralph Lauren, Taryn Rose (love these!), and much more.

Alloy – Jeans with 35 or 37 inseam.  Wait…cool and hip jeans that are long enough.  Prices are good too.  Sizing can be a little different because it’s junior sizing (I wore a 11 in one pair and a 17 in another) but don’t be fooled, it’s not only for teens.

JC Penney’s – Lots of good deals here especially if you get the Friends and Family discounts they run every so often.  I use much of their clothes for layering pieces.  Since they stopped the Ultra Talls I find the sleeves and pants are a tad too short but short sleeves, skirts, and dresses work just fine.

Simply Tall – I like this website for their tops.  I’ve not purchased any jeans or pants but I do see common brands that I’ve seen in other stores so I expect they would be fine.  Good quality clothing.