Disclaimer: I know this rant is nothing new under the sun, but I just need to vent for a second.
As I walked into the Huntington Beach Waterfront Hilton ballroom for the Long Tall Sally pop-up, I experienced a couple of emotions that I didn’t expect…a bit of anxiety and a smidge of sadness. Weird huh? I thought I would skip into the ballroom as light as a feather and flit around the room merrily plucking tall dresses and skirts and shirts and pants and coats off the racks. Don’t get me wrong….the pop-up was wonderful with its racks and racks of fabulously long clothes. So why on God’s green earth was I feeling a little deflated?
After ruminating on my feelings for a spell, I realized that I felt like this was my ONE shot to frantically weed through racks of tall clothes and try stuff on in person (no pressure right?) whereas people who wear regular, petite or plus sizes have the option of going to stores that carry those sizes whenever the mood strikes them. I’m not saying that shopping is all lollipops and rainbows for people who wear “non-tall” sizes. Everyone struggles to find clothes that fit now and then. BUT I’ve been 6’2 since I was 14 and online shopping has basically been my only option for buying clothes that are tailored specifically to fit my long frame. To be honest, it kind of stinks. Lately, I’ve been closely examining all of my “non tall” tops that I’ve tried on and bought in stores, and they just don’t fit that great because they’re not cut for a long top half. I would LOVE to start buying all of my clothes exclusively from tall lines, but it is SO difficult to gauge sizing when shopping online as was evidenced by the experience my sister and I had while trying stuff on at the pop-up. Most of the sizes we initially pulled were wrong. What if we had ordered those items online and then had to go through the hassle and cost of returning or exchanging them? No fun! I would love to know the stats on the amount of returns a company like Banana Republic processes in connection with its tall line. Wouldn’t it be easier for BR to create a tall section in its stores especially since it already has a petite section??? We demand equal access to clothes dangit!
Plus, there’s the whole emotional roller coaster aspect of online shopping – the hours spent reading reviews and studying sizing charts and then the excitement when placing an online order, the anticipation while you await the arrival, more excitement when the doorbell rings and you run to grab your package and then either elation or deflation depending on whether the item fits or not.
Wow! I’m all doom and gloom over here. Yikes! But wait…I gave myself a pep talk and realized that things are potentially starting to look up. More and more stores like Nordstrom , Endless and Zappos (and occasionally Long Elegant Legs, Long Tall Sally etc.) are offering free shipping and free returns which makes it easier to take the plunge with online shopping. Also, in addition to its 2 U.S. stores, Long Tall Sally has TONS of stores in the UK and Canada so if all of us tall ladies keep frequenting the pop-ups here in the US, hopefully they’ll open more stores! Also, I’m happy to see that 3 U.S. stores carry the Height Goddess line! I understand that it can be hard for designers who exclusively produce tall clothing to run successful brick and mortar stores in what is probably considered a niche industry, but now that I’ve made several tall buddies on Twitter, I KNOW that there are a lot of us clamoring for tall clothes (and I certainly see NO reason why an established retailer like Banana Republic can’t dedicate a little corner of its stores to us leggy ladies…can you tell I have a deep-seated beef with BR on this issue?)
So, in order to support all the fabulous tall lines and hope that, with our support, they might start opening more stores, I’m going to try an experiment and ONLY buy tall sized stuff for the next four months. THERE…I turned my doomygloomy attitude into a (hopefully) fun challenge.
Come to think of it, I guess I’ve already kicked this challenge off with my recent purchases from ILoveMyHeight.com, Elle Mayers and Long Tall Sally. Stay tuned to see what other tall finds I happen upon!
P.S. If this topic makes your blood boil like it does for me or if you disagree with anything I’ve said, leave me a comment! I’d love to hear your take.