Friday, 29 June 2012

Wednesday Words: Six Foot

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UK Writing blog

I'm 6ft tall. It's a blessing and a curse, all in one go, if you ask me. I love my height, don't get me wrong. There's something really satisfying about being the girl who towers over everyone else, the girl who can reach for the highest shelf to pull the bag of crisps down for the people who can't reach in Tesco, the girl who gets asked if she slept in a grow bag as a baby, by elderly folk. My height gets complimented a lot, and I love it. I don't need to wear heels (I tried, it failed when I hit my head on the door frame), or have my trousers or skirts taken up. I certainly don't need a couple of phonebooks to stand on to look eye to eye at a boy. (Remember that old Yellow Pages advert? No?)

I've always been a tall girl, it's never been a sudden overnight growth spurt. I was by far the tallest girl in my primary school class (of twelve kids - small school) and to be fair, I was taller than most of the boys! I even remember buying school trousers one year and seriously struggling - I ended up in the ladies' range in BHS. Back in the day I was able to head to places like Topshop and the tall range in Dorothy Perkins (much more dedicated back then than it is now!) for my clothes. Although most of the time they got it right I always felt like I was dressing far too old for my age - there was nothing really suitable for a twelve year old girl who just wanted to fit in like everyone else, in combats and vest tops and babydoll-style camisoles and jeans. Okay, so fashion then was pretty dire, but I'm sure in ten years time we'll look back on what we wore this year and cringe. A lot.

I wasn't going to complain about my fashionable choices, in a way it taught me about classic dressing - the less is more approach, co-ordinating colours so that they didn't clash and always dressing to suit the occasion. Stuff which I use every day in dressing for work, which is the only time I'm toned down! Like every teenager heading for a rebellious stage I decided to give my wardrobe a bit of a rock edge, wearing some truly weird combinations of plastic beaded jewellery, adding studs to my school backpack along with a Linkin Park patch (oh, how embarrassing - didn't even own a single album by them either) and wearing black cullottes with stripey knee high socks. I didn't care. I liked and embraced my "rock chick" (um...) look even though I wouldn't do it now. I just do it differently - wearing more unusual accessories and going bold. I embraced the little twelve year old Rach in me recently by purchasing a pair of purple jeans and then a pink pair of cotton sateen trousers. Twelve year old Rach would have approved. She had a pair of hot pink tie dye cords and wide leg Punkyfish jeans. And a rainbow striped crochet bag. She didn't care, not even when the elderly lady in the supermarket once stopped her and laughed at her all-in-pink outfit.

It's no wonder I absolutely love colour blocking - I'm mostly looking forward to wearing said hot pink trousers with a hibiscus pink t-shirt, a leopard print belt and leopard print Converse. The jeans will be getting more of an understated look, paired with a black t-shirt and cardigan. And, um, red Toms.

There is a lot of difference being tall to being a regular size. Getting clothes is a huge deal - in that we have really only certain cities and shops that cater for our size. Us ladies hit up places like Long Tall Sally, which has had a certain bit of a revamp - brighter colours, younger pieces and better fits in trousers and jeans. The tall menfolk I know head for places like High And Mighty - like Long Tall Sally, but for blokes. I can't comment much on this shop, other than I like sitting on their sofa and reading one of the magazines on the coffee table while I wait! As for shoes, it would help if my feet were a regular size to begin with! I'm roughly an eight and a half - although thankfully many companies which make trainers are unisex so a ladies' eight is a man's eight, and if they make it in a man's eight you'll have more room for your feet to wiggle, which is great. If I want smart shoes I end up buying from the kids section in Clarks. Try explaining that one to a shop assistant! Thankfully my local shop are totally aware of this and I've had some lovely ballet flats from them in the past. Now, I just wish they did half sizes in their normal ladies range...

Most importantly, for any tall girls out there reading this - it's tough being tall and dressing to suit your height. But if you look closely and research, you'll be able to find some serious gems out there. It may take longer to find the things you need but eventually it will happen. Keep shopping, and keep looking. It will happen for you!

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Wednesday Words is my new attempt at writing a little bit every Wednesday (except today as the internet didn't publish my post on Wednesday, gah!), documenting untold stories from my life and some of my own personal embarrassing moments.

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