The husband and I made our way to Center City on Sunday. I had plans to hit A.C.Moore and stock up on arts and crafts supplies to put under the trees of less fortunate families. This year has been so full of blessings that I could not help but pay it forward.
As we walked past Philadelphia City Hall, we noticed the Dilworth Winterfest. Dilworth Park has been converted to accommodate a ice skating rink, cocktail and food tent, garden maze, and local vendors. Very festive and it adds more zest to Center City! I can practically smell the cedar and balsam just thinking about it.
My brother-in-law is very straight forward when it comes to gift ideas. This year? Cable knit sweater, cable knit blanket, pink oxford, workout gear. I tend to color in the lines when it comes to his gifts, although he does give me carte blanche with the most details like colors. Unless it is the pink oxford. Got it. We are going pink with the oxford.
He actually said he enjoys my style and what I pick out; in fact he was able to recall my gifts to him for the past few years.
I stress out about Dad’s gifts the most. The only time I have ever seen him get excited about a gift was Christmas 2002, when my sister, mom, and I tracked down a KROQ promotional record of “Shake It Up” by The Cars released circa 1982. Very limited release, very happy Dad.
These vintage items are very hard to track down and to be honest, very risky.
I never know if he is going to like what I gift, so I started giving him more utilitarian items that I know he will end up using. Classic plaid pajamas, done.
Does anyone else recall when J.Crew introduced The Hookup and The Breakup? The former was the pairing of a top and bottom of the same print. The latter is wearing one of them at a time. While wearing one printed piece at a time is not revolutionary, I fell in love with wearing one print top to bottom, and not in the form of a dress or jumpsuit. Something about purchasing two pieces in one print feels very luxurious, yet attainable.
I was watching season one of The City and doing some online window shopping when I found this shirt and skirt combination. As much as I fell in love with this print via the website I purchased from, photos just do not do it justice. The texture and the pattern are next level. I knew that the colors were based in a neutral palette but I was pleasantly surprised that in person the cobalt blue and petal pink pop.
A little game that I like to play is Let the Husband Style Me. I will give him the top / bottom / dress and allow him to pick shoes, jewelry, and when appropriate, outerwear. Sometimes I go with his suggestions. Sometimes I exercise my veto power. Yesterday, I kept the necklace (last seen here) he selected and I layered on pearljewelry. I added a pair of sunglasses. I switched out the gold bangles for my bow cuff, mycoilbracelets and ring. (I know, how very #standard of me.) He initially picked out a Columbia puffer vest; to his credit my faux fur vest (last seen here) was still packed up from last winter. Lastly, the gold heels he picked had to go for patent dark green heels – much more seasonally appropriate for a fifty degree day.
My mom might be the easiest to shop for. I literally have it down to a science. A pair of chic pajamas and a non-brand-emblazoned structured purse. Rotate the colors every year. Call it a day and be happy Mom has a gift formula.
My husband is super tricky to shop for. The family pajamas that I gave him last year? Well, I am still wearing the piped pajama top from the set, albeit with my (long length) pajama bottoms. This year, I am going to stick to what I know he wants. Unfortunately, all he wants is something super basic and not at all exciting…
This is all he wants from Santa. Le sigh. We are officially in adult territory.
The husband bought a tuxedo for our wedding. He is fancier than he will let on. I just know he just is itching to break it out again. I have my eye on these pieces; I know he would love mixing them with thetuxpieces already hanging up in our closet.
Lately, the husband has been loving his Lululemon sweatpants. I mean, to the point where I don’t think he actually wants me to wash them because the line drying takes too long. I discovered this matching set that comes in long, for the hoodie and the pants! Throw this set on a delicate setting in the dryer and don’t worry about the length shrinking – that much, anyways.
My little sister is one of my favorite people to give gifts. She is awesome at pinpointing exactly what she wants, while still delighting in a surprise. Cut to the year she had no idea that there was a Marc by Marc Jacobs hobo bag coming her way. She cried tears. And years later, it is still on rotation in her closet.
Ear warmth is so clearly of utmost importance this winter.
My little sister is also big into beauty. Not vlogger or blogger level, but definitely more so than I am. She is the one who introduced me to the Caudalie beauty elixir. (Or rather her dog, Elsa, did as the gift was “from” her.) She has not really caught on to Glossier or Frank Body yet. I am especially looking forward to introduce her to the former, as the natural/low-key philosophy of Glossier is very consistent to her approach to skincare and make-up.
I am certain that you could tell by the post title and the above images that the answer to that would be sweaters. Even brands that have tall lines seldom include a tall sweater assortment. (This is me giving the side eye to J.Crew. To only have a long length Cambridge cable crewneck, cardigan, v-neck, and turtleneck…)
When I was a junior in high school, I fell in love with a Gap black merino turtleneck sweater. My mom purchased it for me despite the fact that it was dry clean only. My mom would rarely purchase dry clean only items, so you have to understand what a huge deal this was for me. Because it was 3/4 sleeves, I was not concerned if they were too short; they were intentionally cut that way! I wore it with a pair of Gap red satin cropped pants (also got them in black and my little sister had them in gold) that, again, were intentionally cut short and looked phenomenal on a tall, lanky frame, if I do say so myself. And I do. I felt unstoppable in that outfit. History test? Wear the outfit. Showdown with the coach of the dance team about the team uniforms? Wear the outfit. Running against the class mean girl in the student council runoff election? Wear the outfit. And then win that election.
The length of the turtleneck in the torso worked with the rise of the pants in a way that I did not have to worry about my midriff being exposed. I knew what it was like getting sent home from school for “wardrobe infractions,” and I wasn’t going to chance getting sent home from second block Biology with Ms. Boatner again. (Just kidding. I despised that teacher after she threw me under the bus for something that I could not help and I would have been happy to get out of the class.)
Fair isle, striped, cotton, merino. I will take them all. I have in my possession or have ordered most of the above sweaters in tall, and I can say with the confidence of my go-to junior year outfit, that they are winners.
Keeping with last Wednesday’s My Book/Mark/Down post, I am sharing the best Calypso St. Barth buys. I don’t think it is any secret that IloveCalypsoSt.Barth. While the official site has the full line, it is also accessible via Neiman Marcus, Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue, Off Fifth, and Bluefly. The three discount stores are great for finding pieces that you missed the first time around.
These are the pieces I want and possibly already bought (looking at you purple kimono):
I was so excited to join Long Tall Sally at the Philadelphia pop up shop this past Saturday. Initially overwhelmed by the selection of product at the shop, I spent the first 45 minutes of my time there publishing Instagram stories of the standout items, and guys, every piece was better than the last.
I had a great time interacting with so many other women who were members of #teamtall! I mean not only those who were shopping the pop up, but the Long Tall Sally team too. I will say that I was initially surprised that not everyone on the Long Tall Sally staff was physically part of the six foot club, but their entire team was most definitely part of it in spirit. The energy at the pop up shop was so remarkable; even my husband could not keep from tapping his toes to Olivia Newton John’s Physical.
I paired the leather coat with a Stepford Wife-esque shaped dress. I love that it makes the dress a touch edgier. A note about the cut on the coat: perfection. Long in the torso, long in the sleeves. The armpits do not fall towards the ribcage in the way that standard sizes do. As I mentioned to Courtney, one of the Long Tall Sally team members, I cannot wait to wear the coat over a gown to the ballet this winter!
The husband and I took a second to take a walk in the park across from the pop up shop location, just before joining the pop up. While many people walking around outside were bundled up, the sun was shining bright and warming the park. This might have been the last day this year for me to go bare-legged though. I nearly turned into an icicle during the ten foot walk from the restaurant door to the Lyft later that night.
A few weeks ago, I received the follow message via Instagram:
“How are you so confident with your height? 😅 I’m 5’8 and I’m always self conscious with the way I look, especially my height. I have heels but I don’t wear them a lot because I feel like everyone just stares at me because I tower over them.”
I will preface my response by saying that I think the young lady who asked this is in middle or high school. 5′-8″ seems a typical height to me, but I know that being tall is relative to one’s age.
But back to the question. It took me two days to even respond back to her because, to be honest, there is a lot to unpack for me. I related on such a personal level to the insecurity that underscored her message. I knew if I tried to write it in a message, I wouldn’t be able to cover it all and I told her such.
The summer between middle school / eighth grade and high school / ninth grade, I shot up enough inches to stand out against the other freshmen. Who would think that the girl who is 5′-10″ is fourteen? (I was on the young side. One of the youngest in my grade, I only turned eighteen only five days before leaving for college.)
Growing confident did not come naturally or overnight, as I think is the case with all young ladies. There were a few things that happened that helped me gain confidence in relation to my height:
My mom and I were in the waiting room at my old dentist. This must have been around 1998; late enough to realize that my height was going to be a “thing” but no earlier than hitting my peak height of 6′-2″. An old People magazine from 1997 was sitting on top of one of those waiting room side tables. One of the front page headlines boasted Attack of the Six Foot Tall Woman, along with a very glam photo of Cameron Diaz. I snatched that magazine and when I wasn’t finished reading the article when my mom was ready to go, did I take it with me? Maybe. (Read: Definitely.) I read the piece from title to end and every caption, and realized that I, too, can capitalize on my height. I only wish the linked article had the layout available; the women featured were so fabulous!
Having taken dance classes from elementary school into the junior year of high school also helped with my confidence. While I spent many a number towards the back in the line formations, there were two teachers in particular who recognized my attendance (my mom would not allow me to skip a class), effort, and dedication and disregarded my height as they pulled me to the front lines. (Shout out to Miss Harmony who taught lyrical and Mr. Richard who taught pointe.) At the very least, hours and hours in the studio ensured that the good posture became second nature.
I found a pair of 36″ inseam jeans. The Abercrombie & Fitch slouchy bootcut was not the denim they offered in the early-to-mid aughts. These were the jeans that LFO sang about (RIP Rich Cronin). I was thrilled to find this pair in my length at the Riverwalk location of A&F. I wore them nearly twice – thrice? – a week from 1999 to 2003. This is all to say, much like Wonder Woman armour, an well-fitting outfit does wonders for one’s esteem. Find your slouchy bootcut jeans.
Around the time I was a senior in high school, I came to terms that this is the body that God gave me and it is something that I would never be able to change – and I wouldn’t want to. Height is my thing. I know I am pretty average in terms of looks, but being 6′-2″, people notice when I walk into a room.
Did you know that Jenna Lyons of J.Crew is over six feet tall? True story – and she shared her story! If you haven’t read Jenna’s essay “The Watermelon Skirt” in Lenny Letter, what are you waiting for? Read it and come back to the rest of this post…
Are you back? Good. I hope you enjoyed Jenna’s essay as much as I do.
I reached out to my network of fellow tall ladies (we have each others’ back and trust when I tell you that it is a wonderful sisterhood) and they had the following to say:
It honestly has taken me years to accept the fact that I am tall. However I have over the years learned how beneficial it truly is to be tall. First off wear those heels and strut your stuff. I didn’t start wearing heels until a couple of years ago, and I wish I would have started wearing them sooner. – Abby Brady, The Classy Giraffe
Being young and tall can be hard because when you’re young. You aren’t trying to stand out, you’re trying to fit in, and being tall makes it really hard to do that. The one thing I’d remind young girls is that for one, you are not alone. No, every girl won’t have the same trigger, but most every girl has some trigger that may negatively affect their self-esteem. Whether it’s being too short, too thin, too big, too tall, it’s going to be something. You are not alone! You were made exactly the way you’re supposed to be made with purpose by God. Every inch is precious. Standing out is a wonderful thing you’ll have to learn to love, but in time you will. I’ve heard so many shorter people wishing they could stand taller than they do. Know it’s an asset, and treat it as such. They use tall women as models, for goodness sakes. Why do you think that is? Because tall women are beautiful! You are beautiful! – TallnNatural
For me, it was always the ill fitting clothes that made me the most self conscious. Because I knew when people stared because of my 6’4″ height, it gave them more to stare and gawk at when my clothes didn’t fit. Maybe it’s finding a tall friend or two to walk around with, or share stories with. There is power in numbers and it wasn’t until I had met other tall women that I truly embraced myself and began to celebrate my height. – Helen, Talltique
I tell my daughter who is 10 and 5′-7″ (the last we checked) that it is okay to be different. Everyone in the world now is trying to be unique and different so they can be seen as an individual. We are blessed to be born with a height that instantly makes us stand out from the crowd. All we need to do is add a little sparkle to it with our personality. And in order to do that you have to not be afraid of being yourself. Wear what you want and walking with your back straight and head high automatically screams confidence. It’s your way of saying look out world, I am here. – AkiaDanielle, The East on the West
Here’s what finally helped me stand tall and love myself: positive affirmations and meditation every night! I know that might sounds silly, but I write things down in a piece of paper like…I love myself, I cannot change my height, and that’s okay because I am beautiful. I stand out for a reason, and if I can’t go unnoticed, I want to be a positive influence. I am loved, I am appreciated, I am important, there are people who love me and my height. Models are tall, most people wish they were actually taller, I am strong and brave and not afraid, etc, etc… And then one day after a hard day of school, I stopped and asked myself, what good positive thought have I actually thought today? And because I was so sick of feeling down all the time, I told myself that I was going to think something positive of everyone I saw that next day instead of something negative. It was challenging, especially when it came to running into a bully, so I would pick something as silly as, I like that button on her shirt, or I like the color of his hair, etc, etc. And by the end of the day, I felt so good! Then after reading those positive affirmations every night and clearing my mind for a minutes each day, I really started to like being me and felt at peace with what I was and didn’t care anymore what anyone thought. – Nichole Terry, Alluring Heights
Let’s conclude this with a list of famous ladies topping 6′-0″: