Tall Specialty Shop Challenge

Recap of my 2015 Tall Specialty Shop Challenge

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

Breakdown: 

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

Jeans!

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.

Tall fashion blog

In-person shopping

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.

Tall fashion Blog

Thoughtful Shopping

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.

What’s missing?

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).

Talltique

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!

Leather Jacket Tall Women

Burnt Orange Sweater Vest – This is one of my latest purchases and I’m still figuring out how to style it.

Talltique Review

Long Sleeve Layering Tee – Who knew a wine-colored layering tee could be so versatile?

Tall fashion blog

Height Goddess

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.

Tall Fashion Blog

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.

Tall fashion blog

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.

Tall tee Pretty Tall Netherlands

Tallwater Jeans

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?!)

Tallwater Jeans review

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.

LTS Tall Maxi Dress

LTS Tall Shirt Dress

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.

Tall Fashion Blog

Amalli Talli

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.

Striped top floral skirt

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.

How to wear a ruana wrap

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!

Long Elegant Legs Review Tall Sweater

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.

Tall Denim Shirt Long Elegant Legs

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 Gray Jeans

Sweater with buttons on back

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.

38 Inseam Pants

There you have it! A complete round-up of my 2015 purchases. It was certainly a fun year of tall fashion.

Your turn…

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”?

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14 Comments

  • Reply Andrea@WellnessNotes January 24, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    You got great items! I can tell that you thought about your purchases. How great that you could shop in stores! Ordering online can be tough. I order all my pants online in tall, and it can be tricky, especially when it’s a new brand/style… One of my goals for 2016 is to be much more deliberate with my purchase. Ultimately, I only want items in my closet that I love to wear and that make me feel good versus having too much that doesn’t quite work…

    I haven’t bought anything from the retailers your mentioned but will have to check them out!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures January 28, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Glad you like my purchases! I was very lucky to be able to shop in-person this year. It was such a treat! The bulk of my shopping is typically online and I definitely agree that it is tricky! I love your thoughts about only having items in your closet that you WANT and LOVE to wear. I’m the type that would prefer to have less clothing but love every item rather than have tons of options but only like my clothes. Excited to see what you buy in 2016

  • Reply Stephanie January 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I adore my ruana just like yours and am getting great wear out of it. I also bought the same Charlie blouse but like you I am having a hard time figuring out how to wear it but I do like it. I’m thinking I should wear skirts and dresses more which would be going out on a limb for me. I bought the shirt dress green one too and am going to wear it more. I do live vicariously through you and your purchases. You find such stylish pieces.

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures January 28, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      So happy you love your ruana! Sounds like you’re getting more wear out of it than me. I love it in theory but need to be more deliberate about wearing it. Yes! You should wear skirts and dresses more especially since you live in sunny SoCal. 🙂 I forgot that you bought that green shirt dress. I bet you look fantastic in it.

  • Reply Rajahnique January 24, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I love that you did this! It gave tall retailers much deserved recognition for providing wear that focuses on our tall frames, and it helped us tall ladies discover some places we didn’t know we’re around! Great post!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures January 28, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks! I am quite happy to have highlighted these tall retailers and glad to hear you discovered some new ones.

  • Reply Allison @ The Tall Mama January 26, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I have loved following your shopping adventures. I have never been to an exclusively tall retailer before so lived vicariously through you. There are NONE in Australia which is such a shame. Thank goodness I sew!

    My focus for 2016 is knowing where clothes I buy are made and importantly where fabrics are made. So many fabrics are made in horrible conditions for the workers. I think we all need to stop and ask ourselves “why is that so cheap??”. x Allison

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures January 28, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      That is too bad that there aren’t any tall retailers in Australia as it seems like there is certainly demand. I’m glad you enjoyed living vicariously through me!

      I love your focus for 2016 and wondering how an item of clothing could possibly be that cheap has definitely given me pause more than once. I also want to explore fabric sourcing and ethical fashion more this year. Hopefully, we can share all of our knowledge and help each other make informed choices.

      • Reply Allison @ The Tall Mama January 29, 2016 at 1:34 am

        I would love everyone to join me for ethically sourced clothing & fabrics! The fabulous MARGE Clothing uses only ethically made fabrics from USA and Europe. And BONUS, they are designed for tall women (in addition to being timeless designs)! For fabrics: http://www.offsetwarehouse.com has ethically sourced eco friendly fabrics.

        I’m really excited to be meeting up with some amazing people who support traditional and ethical fabric production in Bali in April. My fabric obsession will be documented on my blog!!

        I know I can’t change the world with my choice to only buy ethically made fabrics and clothing but I can change the way I feel about my place in it. x Allison

        • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures January 31, 2016 at 8:39 pm

          Thanks for the extra info Allison! Bali in April sounds divine! I can’t wait to hear about it. I know you think you may not be changing the world with your choice to only buy ethically made fabrics and clothing but I actually think you are. You can only control your own actions and you’ve chosen to be thoughtful about your purchases. Plus, you’re influencing others to do the same via your online sphere of influence. So in my opinion, you are changing the world! xo

  • Reply Siggi January 26, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I have shopped at Long Tall Sally (both online and in the London store) and I loved the experience of finding jeans which are actually too long for me (so I can wear them with heels which is nice for a change). I’m a 6″ girl, so 36″ jeans are a great length for me. During the last year, my shopping focus has shifted to buying “sustainable” and fair fashion, so the challenge is to find fair and long fashion at the same time. Talk about thoughtful shopping! Unfortunately, I could not find any information about the origin of the fabrics which are used for LTS clothes. I think they are a bit pricey and in my opinion the quality is good, so I hope that they also look into this topic, but it would be nice to know more about it. Thanks for the input on the other stores and good luck for your 2016 shopping adventures!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures January 28, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Siggi! That’s interesting that your focus has shifted to sustainable and fair fashion since Allison from the The Tall Mama Style blog and I were just discussing that in the previous comment. Finding tall sized clothing is hard enough but I can imagine finding tall fair trade clothing is a whole other dimension! I know tall fashion newcomer Marge Clothing uses ethically sourced fabrics and their items are very expensive as they are a luxury brand. I am now extremely curious to know where LTS’s fabrics come from and where/how the clothing is made. I’m going to look into it too.

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