Archive for July, 2008

A Friendly Reminder …

… that our $100 gift certificate contest is still going strong! Simply share your most horrifying/embarrassing clothing or shoe-related experience as a tall woman, and save on your next purchase from Barefoot Tess. All entrants will win a small coupon and one grand prize winner will receive 100 big ones to spend on a beautiful pair of shoes, like the gorgeous $89 Bernardo ‘Mojo’ sandal, pictured below.

July 21, 2008 at 7:53 PM Leave a comment

Playing Dress Up

Confession: I love the film Mean Girls. Not just really-really-love-it, but seen-it-literally-a-hundred-times-love-it. Every time I come across this little cinematic gem on cable, I simply have to settle in for the remainder of the screening, and – at least according to my father – I get a positively geeky smile on my face as I recite the entire thing from memory. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the fact that Cady’s (a.k.a. Lindsay Lohan’s) big revelation comes during a “mathletes” competition and I myself was a card-carrying mathlete back in the day, with trophies and a “Divide and Conquer” t-shirt to prove it. Perhaps it’s the undeniable cuteness of Li.Lo herself – after all, it was not her lifestyle choices but rather her hair/fashion choices that ultimately turned me against her. Or perhaps it’s the sheer awesomeness of lines like this one:

“In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut, and no other girls can say anything about it. The hardcore girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears.”

Brilliant! And, to some extent, true. I really hate the predominance of generic “sexy nurse” and “sexy firewoman” costumes sold around Halloween, because they’re just so boring. This is – at least in my opinion – one of the only occasions of the year on which it’s acceptable to play dress up, so why not be creative? Lucky for us tall girls, we’re pretty much forced to come up with our own ideas, since those mass-produced, all-inclusive costume packages are all designed with the “average,” 5’4” woman in mind.

I know the holiday is months away, but in recent weeks, I’ve found myself brainstorming in an effort to top my valiant Amy Winehouse effort of last October. The two best things about that costume were a) the ability to pose for faux paparazzi shots – those were the pre-emphysema days when Amy’s erratic behavior was considered “kooky” as opposed to “life-threatening – and b) the comfort factor (cool wig+ ribbed tank + skinny jeans + miscellaneous tattoos/bandages = no-brainer).

Doing my best Amy impersonation

Doing my best Amy impersonation

For this year, I’m thinking less controversy and more class. My front runner is a sort of glammed-out Buddha look – not the fat, Westernized version but the more traditional portrayal. I’ll spray-paint a sheet gold for an easy toga dress, wear lots of exotic gold jewelry (I have a beautiful necklace that my grandmother purchased on her travels that will be perfect), order this wig online, and finish the whole look off with unibrow makeup, a bindi, and very red lips.

Inspiration

Inspiration

If I should find myself invited to a more scandalous, Mean Girls-esque gala, I might also fulfill my fantasy of recreating Bo Derek’s iconic beach style in 10 with the help of this nude-colored American Apparel bodysuit (usually their clothes are horrible for tall people but I figure because I’m so short-waisted, this would probably work in a larger size). Mainly, though, I just love wearing my hair in those tiny braids, and the crazy waves it gets when I take them out!

I WANT THIS HAIR

I WANT THIS HAIR

What are your ideas? What were your all-time favorite costumes?

July 21, 2008 at 7:25 PM 2 comments

Shoe of the Moment: All Black ‘Crosstoe’

Footwear in these dog days of July is a tricky proposition for a Baltimore gal. On the one hand, it’s easy to get tired of sporting the same sandals (no matter how cute) every balmy night. But it can be equally unnerving to lock up your nicely tanned toes within the confines of closed-toe, unventilated and ultimately unseasonable shoes. Enter the All Black ‘Crosstoe,’ a cutout flat that somehow manages to be both sophisticated and summery. The wine shade is a lot of fun, but for right now, I’m loving taupe the most. I wear mine with a vintage silk printed dress that is similarly light in color (a la this pretty pleated Castle Starr number) to keep the whole look weather-appropriate while still standing out amidst a sea of linen and espadrilles. Dainty gold jewelry from Anna Beck (a longtime favorite of Barefoot Tess employees) finishes off the look to a tee.

July 18, 2008 at 7:39 PM Leave a comment

Oh, Baby

My older sister, Samantha, is 5’4”. Apparently we sound exactly the same on the phone, but when it comes to the physical, our shared DNA is harder to recognize. She has straight, shiny dark hair and light eyes, while I possess wild “golden” waves (at least with the help of my colorist) and irises that match my pupils. Her complexion is freckled and rosy; mine is olive. We both wear a size 8, but a skirt that hits her mid-calf usually falls awkwardly around my knees, and a pair of size 29-30 jeans that hug her hips and sag at her waist inevitably have the opposite fit on me.

 

My 'little' sister and me

My 'little' sister and me

 

Sammy often teases me that I have the ideal body for pregnancy, seeing as I already dress to balance out my bit of a belly with my uberlong legs, and notes that she is not looking forward to gaining weight around her midsection, which is usually the slimmest part of her physique. So looking hot with child seems to be another advantage for us tall girls! As always, though, it can be hard to find maternity clothes that do our willowy limbs justice.

I’m a total novice on this subject (though, admittedly, I used to own a pair of designer jeans converted with an elastic waist – how brilliant for those ‘fat’ days), so I was thrilled when one expecting reader wrote me with her suggestions. The lovely 5’10” Sara, who hails from Dallas and considers anything under 1.5” a “flat” shoe, applies a discerning eye to the wares at Isabella Oliver, Old Navy, and Gap. (She also likes old standby a pea in the pod, but warns that their clothes are cut very slim and tend to get snug by the end of the second trimester.) My personal faves are listed below.

Isabella Oliver – The bestselling empire wrap dress is super sexy. The UK-based Oliver also offers lots of elegant sweaters that appear long in the sleeves, like this wrap cardi and this cute, ruched cowl neck.

Old Navy – I love the classic, all-American feel of this striped smock dress and this button-front chambray mini.

Gap – Their “fabulous” jeans are available with long inseams (only 34”, unfortunately) in both demi panel and full panel options. I think they would look boho-chic with this cute, easy pintucked blouse and the appropriate retro accessories.

a pea in the pod – Currently holding a huge sale (up to 75% off) on all their adorable Diane Von Furstenberg merchandise!

Thanks, Sara! If you have any ideas/questions of your own, don’t hesitate to send me an email at tess@barefoottess.com.

July 15, 2008 at 7:55 PM Leave a comment

Dollas, Dollas, Big Money Cash

Hi everyone! For all you newcomers, I’m Tess and this is my blog, “The Height of Fashion,” about my shopping adventures as a tall girl. (Scroll down to read about what I’ve been up to these past couple of days.) To kick things off, I’m hosting a mini-contest.

Here’s the deal – you share your most horrifying/embarrassing clothing or shoe-related experience as a tall woman. Leave your story as a “comment” to this post, making sure to include your email address somewhere. Best story wins a $100 shopping spree to my shoe store, Barefoot Tess! I’ll start:

When I was in high school, my cross-country coach gave me a pair of special racing shoes so I could run faster in competition. They were very flashy and colorful, so I just assumed they were women’s shoes, until I found out that he had actually purchased them for himself but passed them on to me because they were too big for him.

Pictured below is the $99 Corso Como ‘Fair’ sandal, just one of your many amazing options if you take the top honors. Let your creative juices flow!

July 14, 2008 at 9:43 PM 18 comments

The Long and ‘Short’ of It

Admit it, you sometimes get the feeling that you’re too cool for your own good, and vastly underappreciated for it (I think this happens to all of us). I’ve experienced frustration at my own positively prophetic taste at least three times in recent years.

1) When the song “Paper Planes” by M.I.A, my ringback tone since last August, suddenly became incredibly popular this past spring, after I had spent months enduring boneheaded questions like “Why does that weird Bollywood-sounding music start to play whenever I call you?”

2) When high-school gals all across the great U.S. of A. started proclaiming their love for Michael Cera following the successes of Superbad and Juno. Yes, I joined the facebook group “I’d let Michael Cera get me pregnant any day,” but I wasn’t happy about it. Where were all these screaming tweens when the brilliant “Arrested Development” was getting canceled due to low ratings?

3) When shorts went from relative obscurity to being splashed across the runways a few springs ago. Suddenly every major women’s magazine was extolling the versatility of the trend – “Wear them to the ballgame with a cute tee, or to the club with a sexy chiffon blouse!” To which my seething reply was always, “Well, yeah. Tell me something I don’t know.”

You see, back in the day when the offerings in the shorts department were essentially limited to matronly khakis from J. Crew or sloppy D.I.Y. cutoffs, I was something of a conscientuous objector, searching far and wide for the rare pair that was chic and fashion-forward. I have always considered my legs to be my best feature, and nothing highlights them quite like this classic summer staple.

Of course, once I got over the fact that the fashion industry had seemingly annexed my personal style, I was grateful to discover that, for the first time, there were so many great options available. As a tall girl, I avoid anything that is expressly labeled “hotpant,” because my thighs are so long that, even in a modest cut, I wind up flashing a lot of skin. Therefore, to maintain some sense of propriety (particularly in the daytime), you can’t go wrong in a cuffed short with an easier fit, like the loose, linen styles that have been omnipresent this summer. I have a feeling I’d wear these Theorys pretty much every day. I also like the relaxed look of Bebe’s offering in black twill.

However, if you’ve got the goods and are still set on showing a lot of leg in “hoochie shorts,” at least keep the look PG-13 by opting for a pair in, ahem, angelic white. These fun, blinged-out Matthew Williamsons are currently marked down about 50%.

July 14, 2008 at 6:17 PM Leave a comment

The Age-Old Question

For tall girls, it’s not “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” – instead, the debate constantly raging in our heads is one of heels vs. flats.

I distinctly remember the last time I wore high heels. The shoes in question were 4” stilettos upholstered in leopard-spotted faux fur and were an integral part of my “Ginger Spice” costume (which, if memory serves me well, was purchased entirely at Wet Seal), along with a Union Jack-emblazoned halter and a scandalous pleather miniskirt. I wiped out on the blacktop in the middle of the Halloween Parade, my Undergirl boyshorts on display to the world, and neither my pride nor my sense of balance has ever fully recovered.

That said, when a tall girl who passes me on the street is rocking sky-high sandals, I’m always tempted to shout out something along the lines of,”Work it, sister!” (Of course, I refrain from expressing my jubilation out of equal parts common decency/fear of sounding like a total square.) I also find it so refreshing to see female celebrities like Uma Thurman standing 6’4” in their strappy Manolos on the red carpet, or to see the lovely ladies of the WNBA off the court, enhancing their amazonian beauty in glitzy frocks and towering talons.

Role 'model' Thurman gets a boost

Role 'model' Thurman gets a boost

As for me, I’m sticking with my ballets. I would have no qualms about adding a few more inches to my silhouette, and maybe in another lifetime I’ll be blessed with both height and grace, but as it stands, I prefer to keep both feet planted firmly on the ground. Because there’s nothing cute about a skinned knee, a badly-bruised tailbone, or a lengthy elbow scar. (I’m speaking hypothetically, of course … not surveying my wounds. Not at all.)

July 14, 2008 at 4:47 PM 2 comments

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"Barefoot" Tess blogs about life, fashion, footwear, and the perks and pains of being model-tall.

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Remix 'L'Amour'-dkbrown

Remix 'Veranda'-purple

Remix 'Brisa'-yellow

80%20 'Millie' Sandal (Luggage)

80%20 'Georgie' Wedge (Eggplant)

Bernardo 'Mallory' Sandal (Red)

Superga 'Torino' Tennis Shoe (Navy)

Havianas Top Flip Flop (Ice)

Superga 'Bologna' Tennis Shoe (Brown)

Something Bleu 'Cafe' Heel

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