Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Shopping Guide for the not-so-vertically-challenged

I am desperately looking for some more shorts and capris. I currently own: three pairs of dress shorts and one pair of capris. In addition, two of these really do not fit after my African weight loss and really need to be taken in. This means that I actually have one pair of shorts and one pair of capris. This is not good when this is really all people around here wear! I desperately need a closet-expansion.

I was hoping Old Navy, which I stopped at yesterday, would hold the key, but alas, it did not. Part of my "problem" with clothes is that while shorts and capris are something I can buy in regular stores, I still have to be very selective. Often times the capris don't hit me in the right "capri-hitting-spot" since they obviously weren't designed for 6'3" women. This makes it look like I was trying to find pants and they were just a bit too short.

With shorts, they often are too short making it look like I am wearing shorts not designed for 6'3" women. (Which is true, but I'd like to fool people). So ... since my blog readers offered advice on where to look the last time I needed a closet expansion (Old Navy was the winning entry which, obviously, failed miserably last night) ... any other advice out there?

The problem is, right now, you are probably racking your brain and also thinking: Well I know where I would go for clothes. But Wendi is a wee bit taller than me. This is true.

So, I thought I would take a minute to tell you the advice I give every tall woman on the street who asks me where I find pants. I kid you not. I have had no less than a dozen women over six feet tall ask me this, and I am quick to give them an answer.

I often get asked where I find clothes. I truly don't mind when people I know ask me this. I did, however, get a little bit twerked when a stranger stopped me in the frozen food aisle to ask me, with the most Kentucky-southern-drawl I ever did hear (and yes, I meant for that to sound redneck), "Where in the werrrrld do you find clothes?" I am not sure this is actually a polite question, but I, of course, managed some semblance of an answer. I don't know that we would ask this of people of other body shapes, so I am not sure why it is okay to ask an extra-tall person that you don't know.

All right, so I will save my "tall" soap box for another day.

While rude when asked by a stranger in the frozen food section, the question is a good one and obviously important if I want to blend accurately into society. (I'm not sure, however, that I actually blend. The closest I have ever come is when I spent a few days in Switzerland. I stepped off the train and immediately told John, "Honey, I am home!")

All right back on track, sorry.

I am able to find shirts, shorts, capris, skirts, and dresses, at the same stores as everyone else. I just have to be picky about what I buy and where I buy them. I just try to stay with stores that favor people with my body shape. These stores, while not designed for tall people include:

  • Target: Great for shirts!
  • New York Lerner/New York & Company: Great for long sleeved items and skirts. Pants are a bit too short for me but run on the longer side for my other vertically-challenged-but-not-as-challenged-as-me friends.
  • Old Navy: Seems to have longer length. Possibly because people who shop here where their clothes baggy.
  • Gap: A little hit and miss for me, but their pants do come fairly long.
  • Tall Girl Shop: If you live near the Mall of America. (More on this in a moment.)
As far as pants, I shop at a few different stores:
  • Long Elegant Legs ONLINE STORE. Everything here is good but often expensive. I look for deals. Pants are mostly 36" inseam -- I'm a 36.5-37. But they have some in 37 or even 39 which requires me to get them hemmed.
  • Tall and All ONLINE STORE. I only buy their pants. This is a place in Europe. Their shipping is $25 but it is for everything you buy so if you buy a lot, it is a deal. Their dresses and tops are very strange and not what we Americans would wear. Only buy pants here!!!! I repeat: only buy pants here.
  • Buckle Is in many malls around the U.S. I buy their blue jeans: Lucky (goes up to 37" inseam) or the store brand (37" as well.) Strangely, the Lucky store itself doesn't have jeans my size, but Buckle carries them in their store. It's funny, nearly every time I have gone in here, I have run into some women's volleyball or basketball team trying to find jeans. Their jeans are VERY expensive but amazing!
  • Alloy ONLINE STORE. This is sort of a teeny-bopper online store. However, their pants are great, and I strongly recommend them both for fit, size, and price.

I also shopped at a store in the Mall of America (can't go there anymore!) called "Tall Girl". This store had some hit and miss good stuff, including my winter coat (can't where that anymore!) However, I hated the name of that store. After I bought something, I'd have to walk around with a description of my body shape written on the bag. At least "Petite Sophisticate" sounds sort of regal. "Tall Girl" sounds quite lame. I thought it was just me until a few friends commented in the same regards. "Big and Tall" for men follows suit. What is it with calling tall people out but labeling the petites "sophisticated"?

As far as shoes, I wear a size 12 and probably, actually a 12.5 although I have never actually seen this size. I think they stop making half sizes after 10. The ONLY real store I have ever seen that carries a 12 is Payless and they usually only have about 5 pairs in the store. Oh, and there is a store in the Mall of America (Nordstram Rack) that carried up to size 14!!! This always shocked me. Unfortunately, we don't live in Minnesota anymore and a "Rack" is a place where all there unsellable shoes went so they had some weird stuff. If I look online, Nordstram does carry my size but they are very expensive. So with shoes, I usually order Payless online. They have free delivery to their stores. You go in and pick them up, and if you don't like them, they keep them there and give you your money back. It works pretty well!

All right, so there it is ... everything you wanted to know about how to shop if you are a tall woman or love someone who is. I plan to put this post on the right side of my blog so tall friends, if you have any other suggestions, let me know, and I will add this to my blog.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend that's rather tall and I know she likes to shop at J-Jill. She's not over 6' so that may not help you much.

TAV said...

You are still post-Africa weight? I've definitely plumped up considerably beyond that... :) I think you're not getting enough desserts in your diet.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Tara, I had ice cream last night. I'm eating tons of dessert but am right where I was the day we left AFrica.

Lisa Cronk said...

I hate shopping because nothing fits right. I'm only 6'0", but I'm all legs, so finding pants stinks. Thanks for the tips Wendy! I have found some good luck with the Limited for pants. They carry long sizes and their pants usually have a long seam on the bottom so you can make them longer by having them let down a bit.
: ) Lisa

Anonymous said...

Wen; We hava a Nordstrom Rack at the SawGrass mall here.
I did pretty well with longer slacks at Dillards but not I'm only 6 ft. I did ok at Avenue but I think they atart at size 14. I haven't been in there for awhile but they did have some longer slacks for me (except I think you think I need to wear mine longer right?). Come and shop w/ me!

AW said...


At 5'2" I always have the opposite problem. Every pair of pants I ever buy has to be taken up. Unless I want to wear the 4" pointy heels that seem to be so prevalent right now. No thanks! I have no grace for such dangerous fashion attire. But occasionally I'll find a cute pair of capris that I can wear as a pair of pants. LOL!

And your comment about Petite Sophisticate v. Tall Girl: Here in Texas they have a store for Women's Plus sizes called Dress Barn. WHO ON EARTH WOULD NAME THEIR PLUS-SIZED STORE "DRESS BARN"!?!?! You realize they had to only be men in the marketing department. :-S

Anonymous said... offers the best shoe selection on the web, carrying women's whole and half sizes 3-17 in widths 4A-7E. Free shipping is provided, often overnight.

nakedcarlyart said...

Amen! Thank you so much for this. I am 6'3" also, and about a size 8, so I have loads of trouble finding clothing as well. It seems you have to be both "big and tall", not just tall. I knew Buckle has good jeans, but I had no idea about Alloy and that European store. Seriously, thank you so much for taking the time to post this.

My husband is military, so we currently live abroad, which means the majority of my shopping is done online, which is tricky. It is so nice to hear from someone else who understands.

Question--I know Alloy tends to be sized to teen girls, but you appear to be rather slim like me--if you don't mind my asking, what size do you order? I am sure that my regular women's size won't be the same as their sizing.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

It's been a few years since I ordered from alloy. I am usually an 11 and I remember always doing 13 then. Wow! Size 8. How much do you weigh?

nakedcarlyart said...

I am between an 8 and a 10. I am about 163lbs.-167lbs, depending.