Summer shopping is underway. As a 6-foot-tall woman it’s another exciting round of “is it a dress or is it a shirt?” Most often I find a lot of gorgeous frilly “dresses” that barely cover my butt.
I have just one plea to clothing manufacturers everywhere: Please give tall girls a little love with a little extra fabric.
Shopping as a tall girl is near impossible. Dresses become over-the-top shirts, jeans become Capri pants and shirts become awkward crop tops. I once thought that since I was tall, clothes weren’t supposed to fit me. I wasn’t of average height, so having to squeeze into clothes that made me look like a lumbering giantess was my punishment.
I remember perusing the racks of dresses during a first adventure dress shopping as a fully developed woman. The first challenge was finding my size. It seemed like the world of clothing stores only believes in ordering extra small through large sizes. I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt.
After going through 10-15 dresses that accentuated my unwanted bulges and misplaced curves my self-esteem was almost obliterated. I didn’t want to try on the last one, but I had come this far. The 16th time’s a charm, right?
I looked up from adjusting the dress at my reflection in the mirror. A feeling of relieved joy washed over me. A feeling that I’m sure most women can relate to. Was this it? Had I finally found it?
Just after letting out a self-satisfied squee, I noticed it. The lower half of my derriere was colder than the upper half. This dress—this beautiful lacy light blue empire waist dress—was not long enough to hide all of my … assets.
Disappointment and shame weighed down on my shoulders as I took off the beautiful dress and clambered back into my own clothes. To me it wasn’t the dresses’ fault. It was my own.
Sure, people told me to check out specialty shops like Long Tall Sally, but usually those types of stores only exist online. They are also much more expensive than what you can find in Macy’s and Kohl’s. And since they’re online, you can’t try anything on before you buy it. It can literally take weeks of back-and-forth shipping to find a pair of jeans or a dress that fits, which makes things even more frustrating and demoralizing.
And then there’s the petite section … I’ll admit that it makes my blood boil when I find myself at the border of “small-girl-ville” and the Misses area. I usually try to avoid it like the plague, because every time I walk past that bolded “petite” sign I get a jab to my self-confidence. It mocks me as if to say, “If only you were a tiny skinny girl, the ideal beauty, you could be admired as a beacon of perfect womanhood and have your own section too.”
I have to stop myself and remember that being tall is actually pretty awesome. In the business world people over 6 feet have a head up on the competition and the weather up here really is nice, for those of you who keep asking. The petite section itself isn’t to blame for my frustration; because I’m sure petite girls have a hell of a time fitting into “regular” sizes as well. But at least they have a section of their own
I beseech clothing retail stores nationwide: Make tall-girl specific sections so the statuesque women of the world can feel beautiful and sexy in short dresses that don’t expose our posteriors.