Category Archives: Advice

Odd Girl Out

This photo always makes me a smile. It’s taken after a Taylor Swift concert, with Lena Dunham awkwardly tagged on to the end of a supermodel scrum. As a six-footer, you might think I relate more to Gigi and Lily (perfect abs and million dollar paycheques aside). But I don’t. I relate to Lena. Because I always feel a bit like the odd one out. I’m a Lena in a short-girl world.

I was hesitant to write this post, as I am conscious of the fact that I am a white, privileged, cis-gendered, able-bodied woman who probably needs to STFU. But normally my blog is all about the positive, and I’d feel like a bit of a fraud if I pretended that everything is 24/7 rainbows and unicorns in my head. And while I love being tall (we’ll save that for the all important, moral-of-the-story conclusion, fear not) there are times when I’m certain my mental health has taken a few knocks for it.

I can’t quite remember when I became aware that I was different. But I certainly don’t ever remember feeling the same as everyone else. In ballet I was a foot above my peers, and from primary school I would ALWAYS know where I stood in a height line-up (‘seeya later girls… I’ll be down there heading up the boys’ division’). Having to squash down into group photos, not being able to swap clothes with friends, wishing I could buy clothes and shoes easily on shopping trips (but still sitting in Tammy for hours while everyone tried stuff on…) is going to make you feel a bit alienated, however amazing your mates are.

When puberty hit and growth-spurts collided with an interest in boys, the imagined space between my friends and I seemed to widen. I wasn’t the ‘fall in love with whoever the f*ck you like’ girl at 13, and was adamant my prospective boyfriend should be taller than me. As such, I felt like I had depressingly few options compared to my friends. I even used to look at celebrities’ heights in Sugar and Bliss magazine and try to work out who was acceptably tall enough to fancy (Bryan from Westlife if anyone is interested. I mean… BRYAN?! Jeez.)

It took me a long time to feel ‘sexy’; I just never felt like that was a word that applied to someone who had felt so gawky and awkward for so long. Sexy was something other people were; petite women in high heels with dinky feet and small features.

Despite having a lot of incredible friends, I’ve often felt a little ‘on-the-outside’. I don’t think I’ve ever visibly been an outsider, and my school/uni friends — many of whom remain my best friends today — certainly never made me feel like this, but I did. I appear on the surface to be a very confident and outgoing person, but — while my skin has grown thicker over the years — most of this has been a bit of a facade. I have simply disguised my insecurities in a different way. I wasn’t the shy ‘loser’ in the playground. I acted overly-confident, the class-clown, the drama queen. And I can think of a few occasions when I let my insecurities and jealousy get the better of me and I acted a bit spitefully.

I feel certain that this sense of ‘otherness’ contributed to the anxiety I’ve felt for a lot of my life, and the eating disorder I experienced in my late teens (I finally felt as ‘light’ and ‘dainty’ as my friends, despite being cold, hungry and beyond miserable).

I no longer feel the great despondency I felt about my body back then, but there are still occasions when I feel a bit conscious of the difference between me and my friends; going out and not hearing half the conversations that they’re having a foot below me at the bar for instance, or always being the odd-one-out in a wedding photo. (First world problems I’ll admit).

The difference now is (here comes the predictable conclusion you were waiting for), that I try to celebrate my uniqueness. I now own my tallness. I exaggerate it with four inch heels and genuinely feel special  because of it. Plus I’ve found you. It’s one of the main reasons why I started a blog and one of the very best things about the evolvement of the tall community online. That sense that you are not alone. Now — thanks to the magic of Instagram and Facebook — we can share in the daily experience of being tall with people who absolutely get it.

As I write, I’m still not sure whether to share this. It seems so indulgent when one of my best friends is awaiting a kidney transplant for her two year-old, and another is in a wheelchair because of Lyme Disease. But it may well resonate with someone; someone who feels like an outsider themselves and hasn’t yet managed to conquer it. I suppose everyone feels a bit left out at one time or another. We’ve all got something, right? The heart-wrenching pain of infertility when all you hear are birth announcements from happy friends. The inability to just get on a damn tube with your mates when you’re stuck in a wheelchair. (And no, I am not in ANY WAY comparing my predicament with these).

I can’t be the only one who has had these feeling before, so please feel free to join in the conversation below. Let’s continue to build each other up, have each other’s backs, and make each other feel wonderfully, weirdly, extraordinarily… normal.

L xx

A Letter to my Tall Daughter

My daughter Matilda May Schofield is tall. This may comes as quite a shock to you all, what with me being a little over 6 foot and my husband 6ft4. When I announced my pregnancy on my personal Facebook page, a LOT of the comments (from well meaning and acutely observant/ comedic friends) were things like “Tallest baby ever”, and “Woop that will be one tall baby”. I’m sure any of you who have experienced pregnancy with a tall man will have friends who have made similarly shrewd predictions.

So yeah, she’s tall. Despite being born a reasonably weeny 7lbs 8oz (Thank.You.God), it wasn’t long before she hiked up the percentiles in her little red book and is now head and shoulders above the rest of the kids in our NCT group. At 11 months she’s into her 12-18 month clothes already, and I lie awake most nights hyperventilating at the thought that her cot bars might be short enough for her to climb over the top.

But parenting is a wonderful second chance at life. No, it doesn’t mean I’m going to live vicariously through my daughter, go all ‘momager’ and turn her into the Taylor Swift I should have been (sigh). But it does mean I have the chance to say to her what I wish I could have said to my old self. To help her celebrate and nurture this actually-pretty-blinking-awesome gift that she’s been given.

Anyhoo. I thought I’d write her a letter. And share it with you lovely lot. If you have any other advice you’d like to give her — or any of the daughters we Leggy Lovelies may bear — then I’d love you to share it in the comments below.

Dear Matilda,

Hey beautiful girl. So I suppose first off I owe you an explanation.

I could have been a bit more genetically selective and married someone shorter than your Daddy. Then you might be of ‘normal’ height. But your Daddy has the amazing cheekbones and blue eyes that I could never give you. And he’s actually quite lovely.

Besides, who the heck wants to be ‘normal’ anyway? I spent so many of my early years wanting the clothes that the cool kids had, the computer games the other kids played, to be the same height as the other girls at school. And why? Just to be like everybody else? Just to blend in? Is that what life is really about? 

You’ll have moments when your height becomes a reason for people to put you down. Don’t let your insecurities make you defensive or respond spitefully as mine sometimes did. Everyone in the playground has something they feel insecure about. Their shortness, their tubbiness, their skinniness, their skin, their hair colour. Do your very damndest to rejoice in their wonderful qualities, even if you don’t share those qualities yourself. Don’t feel bitter and jealous about the cute petite girl. There will be people who wish they had some of your height too.

And if you’re being picked on, TELL SOMEONE. Tell me, tell a teacher. Because often the real curse of being tall comes in the fact that you always look strong and capable. It’s difficult to imagine a very un-little person being belittled.

One day (very far away) when you fall in love, make sure that it is with whoever the hell you want it to be with. And if that person is a man, then look for someone who makes you laugh before you seek out someone who is taller than you. Don’t write off 98% of the male population by only going after the latter. Hopefully by then we’ll live in a world where no one bats an eyelid at a woman who is taller than her boyfriend. If not, then you can be another exception that contributes to a change in attitude. Also note that Daddy will be able to destroy him whether he’s short or tall. 

Don’t slouch. You’ll only look awkward and then spend ages correcting it in yoga classes. Walk like the world is your catwalk and be grateful that you have feet to move, even if they are difficult to find shoes for. It’s also your right to wear heels if you want. You can practice in Mummy’s.

I wasted so much of my first 16-or-so years praying that I’d wake up shorter. It didn’t happen. But I finally realised that even though my height wasn’t going anywhere, my attitude could. You will never stop being tall. You can put on or lose weight, colour your hair, make over your wardrobe, hell, you can even change your personality if you want to. But you will NEVER stop being tall. Take stock of what you do have and skip the ‘poor me’ stuff. It gets you nowhere. You may not be the cute, dainty little girl in the playground, but you could be the elegant, statuesque and strong one. Life is short, even if you’re not. 

And you’ll always be little to me anyway. 

Love you endlessly, 

Mum xx

What’s Weight got to do with it?

Hey Leggy Lovelies,

Last week on the ATTT Facebook page, I posted that a well known magazine was looking to feature a woman over 6 foot who weighed 10 stone.

It caused a bit of upset amongst a few of you; initially from ladies who believed that a 10 stone woman over 6 foot was dangerously underweight, and then from others of you who ARE that weight defending your natural slimness. It was the first time in the history of All the Tall things when we’d discussed weight rather than height, or at least, our perceived relationship between weight and height.

‘Weight’ is an issue that affects most women at one time or another, but I couldn’t help thinking about how it specifically affects women over 5’10. As someone who battled eating problems when I was younger (12 stone seemed so big when all my friends were a diddy 8 stone — It DEFINITELY WASN’T), your comments on Facebook really got me thinking.

When I was 19, at university, and supposedly having the time of my life, I became obsessed with my weight. I would write down every calorie consumed and chastise myself if I ever had a binge. I became dangerously thin. My skin went grey, my eyes went hollow and my periods were erratic. I would go out clubbing and be so cold that I’d go and sit in the toilets for half the night under the hand dryers. I would lie awake, starving, counting down the hours until I could have the handful of sultana bran I’d allow myself to eat for breakfast. I’d have huge highs of emotion followed by crashing lows. I was a dull, miserable and freezing cold shadow of my former self.

Why did it happen? Various reasons, some too cliched to even mention. But I can’t help thinking that my height may have given me a skewed idea of my own body image. I felt a lot bigger than my friends. I’d look at photos of me next to a 5’6 size 8 girl and feel huge. I dated skinnier, shorter men than me and wondered if I should be ‘improving’ myself by bring thinner.

Fortunately I was one of the lucky ones and came out the other side of it within a couple of years. I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn’t. A lot of people say that once you’ve had an eating disorder, you’re always susceptible to it again. But I know my triggers and how to avoid them; I never read magazines about dieting, I literally walk away when my friends talk about their weight, and most importantly, I threw out the scales and am proud to say that this new year marked ten years since the last time I weighed myself. I refused to let the midwives tell me what I weighed during pregnancy, and it was so liberating. I’m slim now because I exercise (not obsessively), and try to eat healthily (sometimes!), but I’ll never be much thinner again because I know how miserable I was in reality.

But now being the proud parent of a baby girl, it terrifies me that she will one day see images of ‘thigh-gaps’ (not even a concept that existed when I was a teenager), protruding collar bones and glossy, airbrushed images of celebrities, and see those as goals. It’s made me even more determined to stay on track with my idea of a healthy body image, and banish weighing scales from the house forever. And it worries me that young women (or any women for that matter) that read this blog might be going through a similar thing that I went through.

So here are some myths that need busting, NOW.

1) Tall women are naturally skinny.

Um, no. 
We hopefully all know that this is bullsh*t. Not everyone has hollow legs. I know petite women who can do three rounds at the Carvery. I know tall women who sniff a cheesecake and get instant fat face. Give yourself a break. It’s fine for a 5’1 woman to be a size 16, and it’s fine for a 6’1 woman to be a size 16 as well. 

2) ‘Weight’ matters.

Do your clothes fit? Can you climb the stairs without fainting? Yes? Chuck the scales out then. And NEVER compare your weight with a person of ‘normal’ height. Your skeleton is twice as long for a start. Your head is bigger. Your feet are massive. YOU WILL NOT WEIGH WHAT CHERYL FERNANDEZ-VERSINI WEIGHS. 

3) Your hubby/boyfriend/one-night-stand should be bigger and taller than you.

Unless you’re particularly fussy or happen to use the Dutch version of Tinder, your other half could well be about a foot shorter than you. He might even — gasp — be thinner than you too. If you’re dating the kind of man who can eat KFC bucket after KFC bucket and still not pinch an inch, you may want to hate him at times, but if he loves you for who you are, then remember that kindness, good humour and excellent manners are much more important than the ability to make you feel tiny. 

I’m really interested to know your thoughts on weight as a tall woman. Do you think your height has had a negative or positive affect on your attitude towards your weight and frame? If you’ve also suffered from an eating disorder, do you feel like your height was a factor?

You’re never going to feel ‘little’. You might rarely be described as ‘cute’. But you can be glamorous, statuesque, feminine, commanding and strong. Once you accept the fact that you’ll never have the build of your smaller mates, you can start loving everything you do have. Remember, life is short. Even if you’re not.

L xx

What defines YOU?

Hey gorgeous Leggy Lovelies,

Over the next few days there will be some brand new fashion posts landing on All the Tall things, so keep your eyes firmly fixed on the blog and Facebook page. Today though, I want to head off-piste slightly and instead share the thoughts of a petite Texan lady called Lizzie Velasquez.

How many of us, when asked to describe ourselves in 3 words, choose the word “Tall” first? Has being tall defined who you are today? Of course it has to some degree. There will have been times when it’s affected you emotionally, physically, financially, romantically. You’ll have earned the label of “the tall one”, and it will probably be the half-brained observation that everybody communicates upon meeting you.

But while the comments (or in some particularly bad cases, unrelenting bullying) may play a part in your behaviour today, “being tall” is not the thing that full-on defines YOU. All too often — particularly if you’re in the upper echelons of the tall world — you can feel like it does.

Lizzie Velasquez has never weighed over 64lbs due to a rare, undiagnosed genetic disorder. She’s been labelled “The World’s Ugliest Woman”, been mercilessly bullied at school and become the target of an online hate campaign because of her appearance. But she refuses to define herself in accordance with other people’s shallow and malicious observations.

I wanted to share this video; not because I feel like we’ve faced a millionth of what Lizzie has, but because this is a woman who knows what defines her and OWNS it.

So in 2014, by all means, celebrate your height. Explore the negative experiences you’ve been through and spin them into a force for motivation. But get out into the world and find out what it is that really defines YOU.

L x

Viet Glam

Girlies. I’ve found tall girl paradise.

*Warning: this blog post contains of pictures of me without makeup which some viewers may find distressing.*

Vietnam needs to be on your bucket list. Venture to the capital Hanoi and you’ll be greeted with the mouth-watering aromas of sizzling street food and the hoots of five-millions scooters. Take a traditional Vietnamese junk boat to the serene Halong Bay (above) and  gawp at its 3000 limestone islands. Visit the southern metropolis of Saigon, and discover a resilient nation rising from the shadows of a very bloody war. 

And head to the lantern-lit coastal town of Hoi An, where talented tailors will make you beautiful clothes that actually fit.

I went NUTS. My adorable husband honestly said the highlight of his holiday was the look of absolute kid-in-a-sweet-shop delight on my face when I realised that everything in these lovely little shops would fit me. And I certainly made the most of the opportunity; seven dresses, three skirts, six pairs of shoes, (culminating in a slightly ridiculous 27.5 kilos of luggage) came back with me on my return flight.

Wouldn’t you? They measure every single part of your body so that none of your clothes have a wasitline on your boobs or a hemline floating above your ankles. Absolute bliss.

This chiffon gown with contrast ribbon detail was less than £40. It’s lined with silk and obviously has acres of fabric. (And should look lovely when the sunburn goes…)

I also had a simple blue racer-back jersey maxi dress made up in the clothes market hall (where they have every fabric you could possibly want — silks/ leathers/animal-print…) for around £25…

…and a couple of printed sundresses for a tenner (one worn below with my custom-made wedges) that will work equally well with tights and boots come winter time…

Tim got two slim-fit 3-piece suits made up in cashmere fabric for £75 each, and ten shirts custom-made for £80.

The shoes were just as fab. I had some go-with-everything brown leather studded boots made to my own measurements and design for less than £30, and they were so on-the-money that I ended up getting them made in black as well.

I also got some gold sandals fitted to go with my evening gowns, and some suede black leather ones with a bit more of a boho feel.

So… two evening gowns, 1 maxi dress, 2 sun-dresses, 1 50s style dress, 1 wedding guest dress, 1 maxi skirt, 2 short circle skirts, 2 pairs of boots, 1 pair of courts, 1 pair of wedges, 2 pairs of sandals all custom-made and less than £300 spent. (No, they’re not all in this post, but they’ll be cropping up in some outfit pics over the coming weeks).

My shopping tips for buying clothes in Asia:

  • Leave your suitcase half full on the way out. Seriously.
  • Allow yourself some time. If you’re having a suit made, you ideally need 3 days for fittings. Evening gowns may require 2 days, with a quicker turnaround on dresses and skirts. Some tailors will provide an express service, but usually more. 
  • Dream big. I thought I’d have to go for simple styles, but most tailors are capable of adding all the studs, embellishment and sequins that you’re after. Go wild!
  • Take some photos or drawings of designs that you like. Most tailor shops have ipads and catalogues of clothing and shoe pics for you to choose from. I think the legal requirement when copying a design is that you need to change three aspects of it to prevent breach of copyright. (This rule is — unsurprisingly — overlooked in Vietnam, so on your head be it). 
  • Take shoes or clothes that you love and want in different prints/ colours, because working from the real thing makes it a great deal easier. And anything that bugs you about the original (i.e. the neckline is too low/ the hem-line is too short…) can be easily rectified. 
  • Haggle. Most tailors will demand more money because you’re tall or have big feet, but don’t accept the first price you’re given. 
  • Check whether tailors deliver to your country once you’re back home. Most keep your measurements on file, so if you want something made again, you can email them a picture and have it shipped out to you for around a tenner. Clothing problems sorted forever? Quite possibly… 

We got Tim’s suit from Yaly (the most renowned tailor in Hoi An and considered to be a little pricier than others, but worth it for the quality), and my evening gowns/ boots came from a family-run shop called Hoang Kim. Both come highly recommended. 

And if you’re planning an Indochinese adventure of your own, we flew Vietnam airlines (plead for extra legroom at the airport… the economy seats aren’t actually too bad but we got fire exit seats both ways thanks to some serious eyelid batting and whinging about our tall-ness). Our private tour from north to south was booked through the brilliant Bamboo Travel.

Missing it lots but glad to be back blogging again 🙂 How’ve you all been?

Anyone else had experience of getting clothes tailored in Asia? Or planning a trip out there soon? Can you take me in your suitcase please…?

Lots of leggy love,

L x

Leggy Baby Mama

What I love about writing a “niche” blog like this, is that I can talk to women who immediately get it. I can share my experiences about being tall — honestly and openly and without restraint — because you’ve all ruddy well been there. We all identify with eachother’s experiences of living as a leggy lady in a munchkin world, and when someone needs help, we’re all on it. 

But there’s one big thing that I’m yet to experience, something that brings with it a whole new batch of tall-related dilemmas. Motherhood.

I’m hitting the big 28 tomorrow, and another birthday brings with it a few nosey-parker questions from friends and family about when I might be making some leggy babies of my own. But as much as it’s very much a part of the master plan, I think it’s still a little way off for Timbo and I at the moment. 

So I’m not very qualified to talk on matters of mummy-hood, and rather than just blag it, I’d like to hand you over to a lady who’s actually done her research. (And she really, REALLY has).

Enter Jane.

You may remember her from a few Tried It On features about a year or so ago. I’ve been missing her outfit submissions and regular comments on the blog; but she’s got a fair old excuse. She’s just become a mummy to a gorgeous little boy called Tommy.

This isn’t really a fashion post (although Jane does share some very useful pointers regarding maternity-wear a little further down). It’s actually about the taxing task of picking a tall pram. Yup, not even something I’d considered being a problem. Which, of course, like everything in life, it is…

Jane tell us “The vast majority of pushchairs on the market are unsuitable for people with an inner leg measurement of 34 inches plus, because they have cross bars which catch your toes as you walk, or the handles are not high enough. I have tested (and I am being quite serious here) virtually every pushchair on the market over the course of the past couple of months. We’ve managed without one until now, using a range of slings. But little T is not so little any more and my back is starting to give way. 

My criteria are city based – I need a pushchair I can nip on and off buses with, and squeeze between narrow shelves in shops. I also wanted one which could be either parent-facing or outward facing. So here are the options I have whittled down which are both relatively light, and pushable by a tall mummy walking at speed:
Bugabo Bee Plus
Uppababy Cruz
Stokke Scoot
I chose the Bugaboo (below) in the end because it is the lightest and fashion-wise, it’s also he most attractive option.

Unfortunately as I was preggers in summer, the maternity wear I wore is no longer in the shops. However, I highly recommend H&M for maternity skinny jeans in 34″ leg, and Asos & Topshop maternity ranges for summer dresses.”

Sound advice hun. If you’ve got some words of wisdom about tall maternity and motherhood, then please do share them below.

L xx

P.S. Wow… I did not know how much prams cost until I started looking at them online. Even if babies are a fair way off, I might start putting the pennies in the piggy bank….

Bitchin’ Stitchin’

If you’re a tall woman, you can really empower yourself by learning to sew. Can’t find a maxi dress with enough length? Make one. Tall ranges only making boring t-shirts? Customise them.

My sister and I decided a while ago that we’d stop buying each other pretty things and get each other experiences for our birthdays. Julie has always been on about taking sewing classes, so for her 25th, I decided to book us in for a skirt-making class with London Sewing.

I know there are lots of online tutorials to show you how to make things — and some fabulous ones at that — but when it comes to learning, nothing quite beats a good old-fashioned classroom in getting you really focused. Workshops of any kind are quite expensive in London, but I managed to get us booked for £24 each using a Wowcher. Which I think is pretty good for three hours of tuition.

Granted, my skirt looks a bit like a paper-bag, but it’s a start. I now know to use a lot less material before I elasticate the waistband.

And I’m slightly hooked. Next on my agenda is learning to make a maxi skirt at home. Maybe if I can fine-tune the formula, I’ll be sharing it with you lovely lot…? Or if you’re already a dab-hand at sewing and fancy contributing a “make-it” post to All the Tall things, then drop an email to

Anyone else found any good “experience” deals of the Wowcher/ Groupon/ kind? I’m now on the hunt for a hat-making lesson…

L xx

Tall girls get gold

I’m seriously missing the Olympics. There are no hot men in swimming trunks on my telly and I’ve got no idea what Kate Middleton is up to.

What an epic 17 days. I was immensely proud to be a Brit, but also proud to be a tall woman; events like the volleyball and rowing were full of incredibly fit and talented ladies using their long limbs to their advantage.

I screamed a lot when Katherine Grainger (6ft with size 10 feet) and Anna Watkins (6ft with size 9 feet) took gold in the Women’s Double Sculls final, so I was particularly honoured to meet them at Long Tall Sally’s flagship store on Monday. Have a read of our chinwag…

So, tell us how the tie-up with LTS came about…

AW: I got in touch because it’s the shop that I shop in all the time, and I know it’s the same for a lot of the other rowing girls so I thought it was a good match.

You’re all very tall on the team aren’t you?

KG: Yeah, the tallest is 6’4.

I’m 27, am I slightly too old to start rowing now?

KG and AW: No.

Even to get Olympic Gold?

KG and AW: No, really!

A lot of ATTT readers have been really inspired by the tall female Olympians… how can they get involved in sport?

AW: Sporting Giants recruits for several sports. There’s definitely still recruitment for rowing going on.

KG: They look for athletes over a certain height and wingspan. There are little meetings all over the country – they use different machines to test your potential.

That’s where I might fall short…

AW: No, the tests are designed to pick up natural ability…

KG: They don’t expect you to come fully-formed as an Olympian. Because that can be taught. The really nice thing is that there’s a range of sports that they’ll target you towards. It could be volleyball, it could be basketball, and they then guide you towards what you’d be good at.

When did you start rowing?

KG: Both of us started at university. I did a lot of sport before that, but never anything at top level. I just loved it, trying loads of different sports rather than focusing on one. I genuinely fell into it at university because someone said “You’ve got the right height and build for it.” Rowing is absolutely geared towards people with height and long levers.

Obviously the last two weeks have been crazy… what have you guys been up to? Have you managed to see your postbox?!

AW: I managed to see mine on Friday!

It’s gotta be those quirky things that are really exciting…

AW: It is. I grew up in a little town and everybody there is just thrilled to be a part of the Olympics, and they feel like there’s something special going on in the town and they’re part of the whole excitement. Loads of people are having their photo taken next to it, it’s really lovely.

Aaaah… and you get a stamp as well don’t you?

KG: Yeah, that’s the amazing thing about the home Olympics. We knew the crowd support would be so different being home games, but what we didn’t think was what would continue afterwards. This incredible enthusiasm to do anything to do with the Olympics. Things like the Royal Mail putting out our postbox within hours of us winning… the postal stamp was out the next day… it’s amazing how the whole country has embraced it and wanted to celebrate it. Because things like the postbox go to your own town, it then covers the whole of Britain so it’s not just London-focused.

Were you quite surprised by how much it took the country by storm?

KG: I think it was almost perfect timing, you almost felt the country was ready for something to really lift the spirits. Yes the build up had been: Will the traffic be too much? Will there be enough tickets? Will the Weather behave? We weren’t sure if we could really host it as well as we should. I genuinely feel from the moment of the opening ceremony, when everyone just sat back and went “Woah, we can do this well”, we then spent two weeks just celebrating incredible achievements and really iconic moments. I think people found it far more emotional than they ever thought. I don’t think any of us could have predicted how the nation would embrace it. Obviously we’re all about the Olympics — it’s our life — but to see other people get it was really special.

Are you thinking Rio?

KG: At the moment we’re still thinking London! We’re not finished with celebrating 2012.

You’ve got to beat Steve Redgrave though…

KG: It’s quite hard to beat Steve Redgrave!

Very true. Talking about the most important thing then… Fashion. Obviously you’ve gone through lots of Olympic games not being sponsored by LTS.  Have you had trouble in the past getting activewear to fit the rowing team?

AW: Well, clothes in general really. We spend a lot of time in lycra which fortunately is made for us but yeah… jogging bottoms that don’t flap around your ankles, and really nice snuggly jumpers that are properly long enough so they don’t finish half-way down your arms. Everybody’s so happy when they get something that fits like that and they just live in it. I’ve been wearing my LTS jumper all the time because it’s just nice to wear stuff that fits really nicely.

Do you like to glam up with heels when you’re off-duty?

AW: We’ve done so much fun stuff over the last two weeks, it’s been brilliant. I’ve worn more dresses in the last two weeks than I have in the last two years.

Have you had loads of glam celebrity events and parties to go to?

KG: It’s a whole range, from really nice local stuff at home or schools right up to a red carpet in the Westend tonight. It’s the full extreme. What’s nice is we’re so comfortable and confident in our sports-kit and that’s what we know, and you step out of that world and think “what do we wear now?”, and that’s what’s nice about being at Long Tall Sally. They’ve got the full range, so we can be put in casual-wear and go round our local schools and we can look great and comfortable, and we can step out onto the red carpet and we’ve got an outfit for that.

That’s true… unlike other athletes you’ve got a whole range of different clothes at your fingertips…

AW: Exactly, if we’re going to do a talk to a business we’ve got genuinely smart outfits…

KG: And what’s genuinely true is that it’s really really comfortable. When we’re working with [LTS], it’s not been like “You must wear that”, it’s been “Are you comfortable, does it look good?” and I think that’s where you get your confidence. That’s what makes you start to look good.

Have you got any favourite picks from the collection?

AW: All of the bodycon stuff is really flattering…

Yeah, when you’ve done the Olympics bodycon is really flattering…

AW: Noooo! I know so many people who’ve got those dresses, my mum’s got one and I think everybody looks better in that than they expect to. I’ve got the pink one and the spotty one, and I can see LTS has got more colours now so I’m eyeing them up…

KG: What’s really nice is that in the team everyone is different heights, but everyone’s quite differently built as well… long legs or short legs and longer bodies, and different widths, and genuinely everyone’s tried the different dresses and everyone looks good in them. That gives you a lot of confidence as an athlete — to step out in non-sporting kit and feel really good with how you look.

AW: It’s because of the fit… we’ve all grown up wearing things we probably shouldn’t, and then you get to the realisation that you’re gonna look the best in something that’s cut for the size that you are. What LTS do brilliantly is they take stuff that’s in the highstreet and on the catwalk and they make it into something that tall people can wear so you feel like you can wear anything and it’s all in the shop.

What about being tall, did you like it when you were growing up?

AW: I liked it until I was about 14… I was taller than my big sister, that was really fun because everyone thought I was the bigger sister. I got treated older than I was and probably got away with things I wouldn’t have got way with because everyone thought I was older than I was. But then I went through this stage where all the boys my own age were a lot smaller because they hadn’t grown yet, and when you’re 13/14 you can’t go out with older boys quite yet… so there were a couple of years of feeling awkward.

It’s the dancing at school discos isn’t it…?

AW: Yeah, that was the worst stage, and you’re so fashion conscious and that age and you can’t get the clothes that everyone else is wearing. Once I’d got to 16/17 when you can date boys a little bit older, then it was fine.

KG: Yeah, it’s always a confidence thing. I think everyone goes through a stage where they’re not entirely comfortable. It could be a height thing, it could be how you look… all those things. You also don’t want to stand out from the crowd.

You just want to conform…

KG: Yeah you do, and I think that’s incredibly normal, and I think when you do get a bit more confidence in your own identity, then you actually really embrace it. It’s probably later at school or university age where being tall gives you such an advantage. I do think for some reason you get taken seriously, you have confidence, you have authority when you stand well and hold yourself well. I really love being tall.

Do you have any advice for women who are less confident about their height?

AW: People are going to notice you anyway, they’re going to notice you looking bad if you’re slouching and trying to pretend that you’re not tall. So you’ve got to absolutely go with it and turn heads the right way and stand up tall. Pile your hair on top, wear heels and feel good.

KG: A lot of people would love to have height because you do make an impact. That’s why as an athlete it helps… standing well and walking well gives people an incredibly good impression of you. It might be something that takes a little while to grow into but it should give you a lot of inner confidence, and you do turn heads.


(Yes, I had to sling it round my neck. And everyone on the telly was right… they are flipping heavy…)

Anna and Katherine are seriously lovely girls. And very down-to-earth too (Anna was using her medal as a tea coaster when I walked in). Looking for a fabulous tall role model? You could do worse than an Olympian…

L x

Seuss Says…

Reading all your comments and emails following the Heels Phobia post confirmed that the high-heel thing has been a major issue for us all. It seems like — whether we’re too scared to wear them or not — every one of us in united in one thing. We want to wear heels.

And what is so frustrating, is that while some girls can’t bring themselves to do it, there are other readers — like 5’11 Di — who’ve tried them later in life and now couldn’t live without them. Di writes, “It’s opened up a whole new exciting world of gorgeous (and often sexy) shoes and boots –  I look better and slimmer in heels and my husband loves them too…. I just wish I had worn them sooner!”

ATTT newbie Jenny says “I am proud of the fact that [I’m] different to everyone else. In fact, I often wish I was taller”, while Stephanie says “When you are tall, do a few extra inches really make that much of a difference? I think not.” Which brings me on to this very appropriate quotation from the wonderfully wise and wacky Dr Seuss.


L xx

Ten reasons why you need to get over that Heel Phobia

My new berry peep-toe shoe boots have just arrived from Next (£35 — up to a Euro 43). They’re… erm… rather high, and you may well be wondering, “what the chuff does a 6ft tall girly want with an extra 10.5cm?”

Good question.

And just in case “But I love them” isn’t enough, I have ten more answers for you.

1. Heels are sexy. Anastasia Steele isn’t wearing Crocs at any point in Fifty Shades of Grey.

2. Wish your feet were a bit smaller? A bit of elevation at the back will reduce the amount they stick out in front of you. That’s just trigonometry girlfriend.

3. Heels — after a bit of practice — make you walk like a lady. They encourage you to take shorter strides and sashay elegantly from one foot to the other.

4. Most flats (particularly ballet pumps) aren’t built with enough shock absorbency. If you don’t vary your heel height, you run the risk of developing arch and heel pain, cracked heels, shin splints and hip problems. Eugh.

5. You might not really FEEL confident, but walking into a room wearing a massive smile, your favourite frock and a killer pair of heels – despite towering over everybody there — will damn well make you look it. Fake it ’til you make it.

6. I’m no Beyonce, (wow, it actually hurt to write that down…) but heels are waaaay easier to dance in than flats. Spinning around on the dancefloor just doesn’t work in a flip-flop.

7. Things that look better with heels: pencil skirts, shorts, midi dresses, underwear.

8. Want an instant tummy tuck? Heels make you stand correctly and look instantly slimmer.

9. Us girlies with feet over a size 8 are so limited in our shoe choice already. Open your mind up to wearing heels and there’s a whole ‘nother world of footwear available to you.

10. You have amazing legs. It’s basically criminal if you don’t show them off to their best effect… at least once in a while.

L xx

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