Category Archives: Body Shape

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

Size Matters at ASOS

Hey Leggy Lovelies,

Last week I attended a “Size ASOS” event at their HQ in London (not the ASOS building in Yorkshire that was badly damaged by fire last week — I hear that’s on the road to recovery now though). It wasn’t tall specific, though it was an opportunity to showcase ASOS’s Tall, Maternity and Curve collections to the press and chat about what’s in store for the slightly irregular sized amongst us (my word not theirs).

asos size 5

Not only are they expanding on the success of their current out-size collections with a host of new pieces, but they’re looking at ways to improve fit across the board, beginning with last week’s scanning event. In a joint venture with Manchester Metropolitan University’s “Department of Apparel”, ASOS are on a mission to really get to know their customers, and find out what’s going on underneath everyone’s clothes. 2400 men and women of all shapes and sizes were invited to stand (in their smalls) in an electronic body scanning unit which employed state-of-the-art light technology to take around 150 measurements. The level of detail was immense; measurements you wouldn’t really think about like “ankle girth”, plus ones that us Tall women are only too aware need attention and rarely receive it, like “crotch length front” (and back) and “ankle to floor inside” (and outside).

ASOS size 1

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to raise the average height findings for the nation by stepping in there myself, because pregnant women aren’t allowed to be exposed to the technology, but I got to watch the analysts in action and find out a bit more about how it will inform their clothes.

Interestingly, I’m told that when ASOS first launched their Tall range, it borrowed measurements from other retailers who were already making clothes for tall women, and through its own independent and thorough research it hopes to improve those measurements and tailor clothes to fit a more genuine representation of a tall body-shape. While this won’t replace the age-old method of “fit modelling”, where clothes are tested out on a real-life human bean, it will help to set the marker for what makes a tall woman “tall” and therefore draw up the parameters for measurements required within the Tall range.

And speaking of the Tall range, there is a whole lot of pretty landing there over the next couple of months, including a beautiful floor-length (below front — and actually floor-length) embellished black dress and tight-fit black biker jacket.

Tall PR Georgie explained that ASOS had noticed a real lack of nice going-out and occassion-wear for Tall women and that it hopes to address that over the coming months with some slightly more glamorous pieces.

Best of all, absolute top-end prices should be around £90, even for the uber-glam gowns, so hopefully we’ll have a bit more cash to play around with next time we’re at a friend’s wedding/ prom/ ball.

I’m also going to be showcasing some pretty ASOS maternity clothes on the blog (some of the forthcoming collection seen below) over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. I have weddings to dress for and a couple of fancy-pants parties and bump isn’t getting any smaller!

So I’m interested to know from you ladies… when it comes to fit, what is it that even the specialist Tall retailers are getting so wrong? Is it arm length, crotch-length, too many cropped tops? Let me know what really gets your goat…

L xx

The Big Tall Body-Shape Post

Right, let’s get one thing straight. “Tall” is not a body-shape. The word “Tall” describes body length, and it actually means diddly-squat in terms of assessing where your curves are.

There are thousands of tall women, and they come in as many incarnations as women of average height. If you’re reading this blog post, I can be pretty certain that you’re tall. But what I don’t know is whether you’ve got big whammers, little boobs, a massive booty or a pancake-arse. (I’d jolly well love to know though, and you can tell me about it at the bottom of this blog post).

While it can be useful to look at advice in magazine “bodyshape” features about dressing a “Tall” figure (usually about how to balance out your height), it’s also important to consider the other things that make you YOU. So here are a selection of clothes for us girlies who are tall and…. something else…

Tall and Boyish

If you’ve got a straight up-and-down figure, then you can add curves with this season’s peplum shapes and waterfall jackets. Look for clothes that will add volume, but cinch them in at the waist to create a more hourglass figure. With your model-esque physique, you can really experiment with the trends, so don’t be afraid to try loud prints and off-the-wall designs. Skinny jeans will emphasise your enviable pins, and you can balance them out with a looser top. Use a big necklace to add interest and bulk to a small bust.

Your hero shops: Topshop’s Tall range for trendy styles, and quirky boutiques for something a little different.


Tall and Top-Heavy

If you’re top-heavy, you’ve got broader shoulders than hips, and more than likely a big pair of boobs. On jackets, avoid structured tailoring and shoulder pads which will make you appear boxy, and look for details like pockets and interesting zips which will draw the eye towards your middle. Dark colours will soften your top half, while brights and prints can be used on trousers to draw attention to your slim legs. Over-sized clutch bags and chunky bangles will also draw the eye downwards, so opt for these rather than statement necklaces and bold earrings. Don’t strap down your chest with high-neck tops; go for (slightly!) more open necklines and drapey fabrics to draw the focus towards your fabulous cleavage and away from broad shoulders.

Your hero shops: Long Tall Sally for feminine necklines and Miss Selfridge for killer bangles.


Tall and Pear Shaped

Pear-shaped ladies have a narrow top-half and wider hips and bum. Make the most of your slim shoulders and décolletage with strappy tops and strapless dresses. Jackets with shoulder-pads or detail on the shoulders will broaden your top half and balance your silhouette beautifully, but choose styles that finish above the hip-line for a more flattering look.  A flare at the bottom of your trousers will balance out your hips, and if you’re concious of your bigger half, wear darker colours on the bottom. A-line skirts and prom dress shapes will skim over your bigger bits and make you look super slender. Add a thin belt to show off your waist.

Your hero shops: Dorothy Perkins for ladylike dressing, and vintage shops for authentic prom dress styles.


Tall and Hourglass

Hourglass girlies are considered to have the most desirable bodyshape, but it can be tricky sometimes to work the trends when you (shock horror) have got boobs AND a bum. Make the most of your delicious curves with classic tailoring, and nod to the trends with your choice of accessories and colour. Choose jackets and dresses with a nipped-in waist, or add a belt to show-off your shape. When choosing jeans, note the wash… a fading down the middle will have an optical illusion effect, and make the wider part of your leg appear slimmer.

Your hero shops: Next’s Tall range for beautifully tailored pieces, and Urban Outfitters for on-trend bags and jewellery.

Tall and Plus-Size

If you fall into this category, then you might have had trouble finding long-length clothes in a big enough dress size. It’s very possible that you also identify with one of the categories above, so you could still find some of the previous advice useful. I hear from a lot of women who are Tall and plus-size, who say that there is no escaping the feeling of being ‘big’. So it’s really important that you choose items that will make you feel feminine. Take your time over your hair and make up (we women were born to be pampered — so don’t feel guilty!) and choose clothes that you LOVE… not ones designed to make you fade into the background. Go for soft fabrics that drape well, semi-fitted styles, and show some skin with a peek of cleavage. If you’re too scared to unleash your inner fashionista in your clothing choices, then go absolutely crazy with your accessories.

Your hero shops: ASOS Curve and Anna Scholz will tell you how tall their models are. Find the ones who are 5’11 (like the sexpot below) and stalk like mad!

So, as you all bleeding well know, we’re not just “Tall”. We also have body-hang-ups/super-fabulous assets that put us into sub-categories as well. And to further complicate things, you might — like me — identify slightly with two categories. For example, I’m quite broad shouldered (top-heavy) but my waist could do with a little more definition (boyish). It’s all about taking little bits of advice from here and there, knitting them together and embellishing with your personality to find your perfect style.

Which body camp do you fall into? Or perhaps you’ve got another body-hang up that needs addressing in a leggy way. Maybe you want large-size shoes that hide your cankles? Or your short legs and long torso have left you feeling stumped. Share share.

Most of us don’t fit the cookie-cutter exactly. And life would be pretty bloody dull if we did.

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