2015 has come and gone which means my Tall Specialty Shop Challenge is now complete! Just to refresh your memory, this challenge involved only buying from companies that exclusively sell tall women’s clothing from February-Decemebr 2015. My purpose was to see if all of my fashion needs could be met by tall speciality retailers, to discover new tall shops and also to introduce these fabulous “tallpreneurs” to my readers.
In case you’re curious about such things, none of the items featured in this shopping challenge were gifted to me – I bought all of them with my own pennies. While I do occasionally receive and review gifts from tall shops, I felt that it was important for me to only feature items I had bought myself for this challenge. This allowed me to not only support these tall businesses by featuring them on the blog but also with my pocketbook.
Final Stats – Tall Speciality Shop Challenge 2015
Items Bought: 20
Bomber jacket -1
Jeans/Pants – 4
Dresses – 2
Tops – 13
Stores I bought from: Talltique, Amalli Talli, Tallwater Jeans, Height Goddess, Long Elegant Legs, Long Tall Sally, Pretty Tall, I Love Tall (formerly Copper Couture)
Highlights of the Tall Specialty Shop Challenge
Not only did I add THREE pairs of 38″ (yes…I said 38″!) inseam jeans/pants to my closet, I also added new colors that I’ve never tried before including white, gray and burgundy.
All it took for me to be able to shop at tall boutiques in-person was re-locating to a whole new continent and country! In 2015, I made 5 visits to tall shops in 3 different countries – Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland. When I think about what I bought during my in-person shopping sprees this year, I realized I’ve gotten an insane amount of wear out of these items. Hmmm…I wonder if that has anything to do with me being able to try the clothing on like a “normal” person and then decide what I like best rather than playing the guessing game of ordering online…
Trying new trends
One complaint I’ve heard about tall speciality shops is that they don’t keep up with the latest trends. I’m quite happy that I was able to find some on-trend pieces, a couple of which stretched my comfort zone a little (like this ruana from Long Elegant Legs and this sweater vest from Talltique). I also bought my first chambray shirt, my first white jeans and my first (faux) leather jacket.
I feel like I did less impulse buying during this challenge and made more thoughtful and strategic purchases because I took my time to hunt for treasures in the inventory of the various tall shops. As a result of this thoughtful shopping, I am wearing many of the things that I bought rather frequently because these are items I actually love rather than merely like. I am trying to figure out what my specific shopping focus will be for 2016 but I know it will involve more thoughtful and strategic purchases.
After looking at the breakdown of my purchases, I realized that I didn’t buy any skirts or blazers. I do feel like the pickings are a bit slim in the tall specialty shop blazer scene. Sure, sure…you can find basic black or grey blazers but what about more interesting, nicely tailored blazers made with fabrics that have texture or patterns? Long Tall Sally occasionally carries such blazers but J.Crew’s tall blazer collection still takes the cake in my opinion. As for skirts, I’m not really sure why I didn’t buy any since stores like Amalli Talli and Long Tall Sally have good, on-trend options. Now that I’ve beefed up my jeans collection, I think I will focus more on skirts this year!
As I mentioned in my 6 month update, I found it difficult to find clothing made from non-synthetic fabrics (100% cotton, linen etc.). I was eventually able to find some “natural fiber” items but it took A LOT of hunting. Another item I had difficulty finding was cute sporty shorts or a cute sporty skort to wear when I’m doing outdoor activities in the heat.
And now for a walk down memory lane with all of my Tall Speciality Shop Challenge purchases (organized by store).
Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (with the longest sleeves I’ve ever seen). I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this jacket as I’ve worn it in 3 out of 4 seasons and on several trips!
Burnt Orange Sweater Vest – This is one of my latest purchases and I’m still figuring out how to style it.
Long Sleeve Layering Tee – Who knew a wine-colored layering tee could be so versatile?
Charlie V-Neck Blouse – This is probably my least worn item for this shopping challenge because the fabric is a bit thin and doesn’t breathe very well, but it is still a nice looking blouse with very long sleeves and I’m determined to find more ways to wear it.
Pretty Tall in The Netherlands
Blue/White Palm Print Tunic and Mavi White Skinny Jeans – Who knew I’d have to travel all the way to The Netherlands to finally find white jeans that worked for me! These jeans go with tons of stuff in my closet and have a perfect 36″ inseam. The lightweight blue/white palm print tunic is one of my favorite warm weather go-tos.
Pink Lace Detail Tee – This bright tee is what I grab from my closet on the weekends when I need to jet out for a quick round of errands.
38″ Kimora Slim Bootcut – These jeans have rocked my world. The fit, quality and comfort is superb and they’re my go-to when I’m not in a skinny jeans mood. I look forward to buying another pair from Tallwater (maybe some flares?!)
Long Tall Sally
Button-Up Dresses – This black and white dress was my summer uniform. I love the wide straps, fun print, button-up style and lace-up back. I also wore the green button-up dress quite a bit this summer.
Breton Striped Tee – I find myself wearing this Breton striped tee again and again thanks to the breathable 100% cotton material and perfect stripes. I do wish the sleeves were a bit longer. I think they may have shrunk with washing.
Button-Up Tunic Blouse – I love that this blue/white striped blouse is made from a nice 100 % cotton fabric. The fabric combined with the sleeveless style make it perfect for summer.
Long Elegant Legs
Echo Ruana Wrap – Every now and again, I try to push myself out on a fashion limb by buying something out of my comfort zone which is what I did when I bought this wrap. I’m happy I bought it because it’s the perfect combination of cozy and chic.
Gray Textured Sweater – The texture of this sweater adds some interest to what we otherwise be a basic pull-over and it’s great for layering!
Chambray Button-Up – I finally hopped on the chambray bandwagon! The lightweight fabric is wonderful and button-ups are always winners thanks to their versatility.
I Love Tall (Formerly Copper Couture)
38″ Inseam Gray Jeans and Button-Back Sweater – These 38″ gray jeans are insanely stretchy and comfortable, not to mention uber long. The button-back sweater is made from a fine-knit material and has gloriously long sleeves!
38″ Inseam Zipper-Detail Pants – These pants are made out of insanely soft pima cotton and have fun zipper detailing. I haven’t decided whether I’ll hem them or not but I’m thinking I may hem them to a 36″ inseam.
There you have it! A complete round-up of my 2015 purchases. It was certainly a fun year of tall fashion.
Have you purchased clothing from any of the above tall shops or other tall shops that are not listed? How has your experience been? What do you think about “thoughtful shopping” vs. “impulse buys”?