Category Archives: Debate

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

WIN a pair of Shoesissima Shoes

Ever seen a shoe competition in a  blog or magazine and thought, “Yup, I’d LOVE to win that beautiful pair of shoes… but as if there’ll be a pair in my size…”

Me too.

So I thought I’d right some wrongs.

This week, All the Tall things is offering you the chance to win a gorgeous pair of chunky-heeled sandals worth £79.99, courtesy of lovely large-size shoe brand Shoesissima.

Chunky-heeled sandals are everywhere thanks to the likes of Isabel Marant, Marni and Rag & Bone showcasing such styles on their S/S runways, but there are very few pairs available for us larger-footed ladies.

Enter the leather platform called “Kim” . If you’ve read my previous shoe posts, you’ll know I have something of a nudey fetish already, so this pair has fitted in to the family rather well. And it’s so versatile. Here are three ways I’ll be rocking mine this summer… (links to other products included where available.)

Beer Garden with the Mates

Top, Skirt & Bag, Primark/ Hat, River Island £16/ Necklace, Ark/ Bracelets, Republic

Date with the Boy

Top, Warehouse/ Tall Jeans, Topshop £40/ Earrings, Miss Selfridge/ Bag, Primark

Marbs* with the Girls

Dress, ASOS £25/ Necklace, H+M/ Bag, Next

*Technically I’ll be going to France with the girls this year… but I do wish I’d had this outfit when we were in Marbella…

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning, is drop a comment below telling us what you’d wear your pair with.

Good luck girlies! 🙂

L xx

Ts & Cs

The competition is open to all Leggy Lovelies, regardless of where in the world they live. You must include your email address in the relevant box with your comment, but this will NOT be visible and will only be used if you are the winner and we need to contact you regarding your prize. Shoes are available in UK sizes 8-12. Regrettably we cannot offer bespoke sizes. Competition closes at midnight on 18/4/13. Winner will be announced on the All the Tall things Facebook Page on 19/4/13. 

The Big Tall Shopping Debate

Happy Wednesday leggy lovelies. Now push your work to one side, pull up a chair, and grab a cuppa.  It’s time to have a big juicy discussion about shopping.

I’ve been writing, raving and ranting for All the Tall things now since November 2010. In that time I’ve discovered — with your help —  lots of new suppliers of long-length clothing and large-size shoes. But I’ve also witnessed Tall ranges shrink in size or vanish forever.  (Disclaimer: I take no actual responsibility for the demise of these ranges. All I do is bloody well promote them).

But why are all these Tall ranges failing when the demand for clothing in longer lengths is so evident? Why am I left with even less choice on the highstreet now than I had a year ago?

In short: What are the Tall specialists getting so wrong?

Are the highstreet’s Tall ranges designed by not-very-tall people?

Topshop’s Tall range had always been my go-to when I needed a quick clothing fix. I’m lucky that I live in London and that most stores near me do contain a Tall range.

"Tall" Crop T-Shirt, Topshop £18. Sure, it's nice. But does it belong in the Tall range?

But over the last year I’ve noticed that its clothes have become a bit… senseless. Cropped tops. Cropped trousers. Yes, I get that this is in fashion. But I can buy cropped stuff ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE SHOP. It’s perhaps no coincidence then that I noticed more Tall range items in this year’s January sale than I ever had before. Tall women don’t need (and a good deal don’t want) short stuff. Am I right?

Shoe shops can be the worst offenders. A few will make shoes in bigger sizes. But how many women with size 10 feet actually want a six-inch stiletto on their shoe? (For those that do… I applaud you. But seriously… has anyone stopped to actually think about the needs of women with feet of this size?)

What’s worrying is that retailers seem to respond to a dip in their Tall range sales by shrinking its stock or – as evidenced recently by New Look and Dorothy Perkins – taking their Tall clothes off the highstreet altogether and bunging them into a warehouse for online shoppers only. Not good when you need a dress, like, tonight. Is it really the case that there aren’t enough women to justify these Tall ranges being instore… or is it that the quality and style just needed stepping up?

Do we need a better fit?

I’ve posted before about sizing issues in Imperfectly Proportioned.  Some retailers seem to think that adding a few inches onto the bottom of a “normal” length dress will suffice. But then the waistline ends up somewhere around my bust line and the sleeves don’t fit my broader shoulders. So I won’t buy.

Do we need to get EXCITED by shopping?

Just yesterday on the blog, All the Tall things reader Lucy wrote “So sick of tall ‘fashion’ specialists that take two seasons to catch up with what everyone else is wearing”.

Perhaps because they carry a smaller selection of clothes, Tall ranges can sometimes be less fun, less innovative and less trend-led than their mainstream counterparts. If you see an exciting shoe in a shop, you can almost guarantee that it won’t be the one that goes up to a larger size. I often find my eyes drawn to the boring looking shoes, simply because I know that there’s a much greater chance that they’ll be stocked in my size.

What DO we want?

What has been your Tall shopping experience and how can Tall specialists serve us better?

Is there a particular item of clothing that you always struggle with? Which Tall specialists – either online or on the highstreet — do you like? And which ones aren’t up to scratch? Go on, be completely, 100% honest.

Let me know your thoughts. I would be very interested to know how you feel about the subject. And there’s an ever-so-slightly-massive-but-secret reason behind my question.

Lots and lots of love,

Laura xxx

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