Happy Wednesday leggy lovelies. Now push your work to one side, pull up a chair, and grab a cuppa. It’s time to have a big juicy discussion about shopping.
I’ve been writing, raving and ranting for All the Tall things now since November 2010. In that time I’ve discovered — with your help — lots of new suppliers of long-length clothing and large-size shoes. But I’ve also witnessed Tall ranges shrink in size or vanish forever. (Disclaimer: I take no actual responsibility for the demise of these ranges. All I do is bloody well promote them).
But why are all these Tall ranges failing when the demand for clothing in longer lengths is so evident? Why am I left with even less choice on the highstreet now than I had a year ago?
In short: What are the Tall specialists getting so wrong?
Are the highstreet’s Tall ranges designed by not-very-tall people?
Topshop’s Tall range had always been my go-to when I needed a quick clothing fix. I’m lucky that I live in London and that most stores near me do contain a Tall range.
But over the last year I’ve noticed that its clothes have become a bit… senseless. Cropped tops. Cropped trousers. Yes, I get that this is in fashion. But I can buy cropped stuff ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE SHOP. It’s perhaps no coincidence then that I noticed more Tall range items in this year’s January sale than I ever had before. Tall women don’t need (and a good deal don’t want) short stuff. Am I right?
Shoe shops can be the worst offenders. A few will make shoes in bigger sizes. But how many women with size 10 feet actually want a six-inch stiletto on their shoe? (For those that do… I applaud you. But seriously… has anyone stopped to actually think about the needs of women with feet of this size?)
What’s worrying is that retailers seem to respond to a dip in their Tall range sales by shrinking its stock or – as evidenced recently by New Look and Dorothy Perkins – taking their Tall clothes off the highstreet altogether and bunging them into a warehouse for online shoppers only. Not good when you need a dress, like, tonight. Is it really the case that there aren’t enough women to justify these Tall ranges being instore… or is it that the quality and style just needed stepping up?
Do we need a better fit?
I’ve posted before about sizing issues in Imperfectly Proportioned. Some retailers seem to think that adding a few inches onto the bottom of a “normal” length dress will suffice. But then the waistline ends up somewhere around my bust line and the sleeves don’t fit my broader shoulders. So I won’t buy.
Do we need to get EXCITED by shopping?
Just yesterday on the blog, All the Tall things reader Lucy wrote “So sick of tall ‘fashion’ specialists that take two seasons to catch up with what everyone else is wearing”.
Perhaps because they carry a smaller selection of clothes, Tall ranges can sometimes be less fun, less innovative and less trend-led than their mainstream counterparts. If you see an exciting shoe in a shop, you can almost guarantee that it won’t be the one that goes up to a larger size. I often find my eyes drawn to the boring looking shoes, simply because I know that there’s a much greater chance that they’ll be stocked in my size.
What DO we want?
What has been your Tall shopping experience and how can Tall specialists serve us better?
Is there a particular item of clothing that you always struggle with? Which Tall specialists – either online or on the highstreet — do you like? And which ones aren’t up to scratch? Go on, be completely, 100% honest.
Let me know your thoughts. I would be very interested to know how you feel about the subject. And there’s an ever-so-slightly-massive-but-secret reason behind my question.
Lots and lots of love,