Lady Mary Would Likely Wear(-y) Barefoot Tess!

12 Feb

Let’s talk two of my favorite things: Downton Abbey and Barefoot Tess. As an unabashed anglophile, former Victorian & Edwardian literature student, and 1920s style aficionado, my Downton obsession is arguably as natural and expected as my next breath (and as you might guess, as an eldest daughter myself—I am team Lady Mary…) About as precedented is my love for Barefoot Tess’ variety of fashion-forward designer exclusive shoes in sizes that fit me (and all my lovely tall readers) splendidly. So when I came across the new Jeffrey Campbell for BFT ‘Edna’ wedge sandal ($129), these otherwise disparate loves came together in happy, happy union…

Adorbs, is Edna not?!

Adorbs, is Edna not?!

Barefoot Tess carries the largest selection (literally and figuratively) of Jeffrey Campbell’s fashion-forward, inspired designs. Campbell is the mastermind behind the “Where HAVEN’T you seen it?” Lita bootie (available from BFT too) as well as purveyor of exactly the kind of  distinctly feminine, vintage-feel, comfortable heels that I recommend every tall lady have in her shoe wardrobe. The Edna looks straight-out of a 1920s shop window with its charming peep toe, teardrop cutouts, and mary-janeesque ankle strap. I immediately fell in love with the unusual dusty green leather colorway for spring and beyond (…and I say ‘beyond’ as these wedges are well-cushioned and versatile enough to wear every day!)—and then it occurred to me that the ‘Edna’ is exactly the kind of shoe that Lady Mary would fall for too. Perhaps to pair with a dropwaist, spangled dinner dress?

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The Barefoot Tess/Jeffrey Campbell ‘Edna’ wedge sandal in perforated green leather…

Since I don’t have a dropwaist, spangled dinner dress lying around, I channeled all my haughtiness and imperiousness to style the gorgeous Edna as a present-day homage to Lady Mary (and all you Downton-loving, leggy lasses). I love wedges with dresses and an updo for an easy, sweet, warmer-weather-please-come-soon look, but I think the Edna would look equally fabulous with skinny jeans and a striped tee…or even a wedding dress (post to come, but don’t tell my Mr. Crawley yet…)!

My ‘modern’ take on Lady Mary’s style. Dress: Anthropologie, Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell ‘Edna’ Wedge Sandal, courtesy of Barefoot Tess

My ‘modern’ take on Lady Mary’s style. Dress: Anthropologie, Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell ‘Edna’ Wedge Sandal, courtesy of Barefoot Tess

A note about sizing on BFT’s Edna: I sized up in this shoe, as I find that wedges tend to push my foot forward. I’d recommend sizing up.

Have any questions? Want a recommendation on which colorway works for you when selecting the right ‘Edna’ for your wardrobe? Send me a message or comment below!


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Barefoot Tess Review: Adore Those Ankles!

4 Feb

My sole-centric philosophy is that shoes make the outfit, and ankle boots make the outfit better. As a New England city girl, I place a high value on shoes that can tally many pavement miles, offer coverage and warmth in unreliable weather, and look intentional with everything they’re paired with. Ankle boots fit all these specs AND can be worn year-round…with everything from my favorite Rock and Republic skinnies and a sweater to a flirty sundress and little else (one of my favorite pairings, to boot, haha)! 80% of the time, you can find ankle booties on these very long tootsies of mine. But in reality, I only have 3 existing pairs of ‘em, 2 of which are sadly worse for all that wear they get…

Since I browse Barefoot Tess almost every other day, I had the 80/20% ‘Clyde’ ankle boots in the grey colorway on my radar since the moment they popped up on Barefoot Tess’ website. Barefoot Tess is my chosen destination for on-trend designer exclusives in my otherwise-rare size 12/13s—and since falling in love with BFT-exclusive 80/20% hidden wedge desert boots last winter (and wearing them into the cement), I was waiting for an update. The ‘Clyde’ is a Western-inspired bootie with a flattering lower-cut AND signature hidden wedge that adds a nice 2” boost in height—all in all, the most leg-flattering COMFORTABLE ankle boot you will find. And the grey and navy colorways are much more spring-friendly than black or dark brown booties…

Barefoot Tess' 80%/20% 'Clyde' Ankle Boot

Barefoot Tess’ 80%/20% ‘Clyde’ Ankle Boot

…in short…I had multiple justifications as to why I needed Clyde in my life. Now that I’ve received my boots from BFT, I simply couldn’t be happier with the style, the true-to-size fit, and the experience. I’ve been a customer of Barefoot Tess since 2006 and have kept coming back for their second-to-none attention to customer service and great editorial feel (check out TesSpeaks!). Plus, for any tall girl, it feels right to support the namesake business of Karen Williamson—she initially started the site to help provide her uber-fashionable, vertically-inclined daughter Tess with options in larger-size shoes…

The Clydes, styled for winter. Dress: French Connection, Tights: Legale, Necklace: Eddie Bauer, Shoes: Barefoot Tess

The Clydes, styled for winter. Dress: French Connection, Tights: Legale, Necklace: Eddie Bauer, Shoes: c/o Barefoot Tess

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I styled the Clydes with my fleece-lined tights and a dress from French Connection, but am dreaming of warm spring days when I can wear them bare-legged, hop-skipping my way down the streets of Cambridge. After all, when your larger-sized feet are treated to comfortable, stylish shoes like these, why not hop, skip, and jump for joy?

These booties are incredible on!

These booties are incredible on! (c/o Barefoot Tess)

Stay tuned for more BFT reviews of spring styles, and be sure to check out their newest arrivals and Photo Contest, going on now!

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This One’s For the (Tall) Guys…

1 Feb

Okay, so I get that you guys will all tell me that you HATE shopping. My (6’8”) fiancé has even resorted to nonverbal assertions of this every time I pop into a Banana Republic for more than 90 seconds—mostly by pacing furiously outside the entrance—stopping only to intently stare at my movements as though scouting for an adult kickball league. And while I always chalked this up to him really just hating shopping (and potentially a nudist proclivity), I started smelling a fish when I spent FOUR HOURS trailing him through an L.L. Bean a couple of weeks ago—weighed down by armfuls of his try-ons.

Spurred by a sneaking hunch that I wasn’t getting the full story, I asked him why he hated clothing shopping post-‘The Bean Affair’. And this time, my answer was markedly different:

“Actually, I don’t hate shopping or clothes. I just hate going into stores when there will only be one ugly shirt that fits me. It’s not only frustrating—it’s embarrassing.”

Have you (unintentionally) been here? Read on, guys...

Have you (unintentionally) been here? Read on, guys…

And suddenly, I got it. While we tall ladies may complain that shopping off-the-rack is painful (it often is), we can usually squeeze in to size-ends; “put a boot on it” to camouflage short pants; choose fabrics with two-way stretch; or just wear tights for extra coverage when donning that knee-length (ahem, mid-thigh!) dress. But exceptionally tall dudes don’t have it so easy—they inherently have fewer options to choose from, and that one shirt or trouser they can pull off the rack in their size? Ugly. Dowdy. And usually wide enough to accommodate a sumo wrestler, but barely long enough to tuck or cover their ankles.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled my favorite online and in-store options beyond Gap’s ‘Big and Tall’ selection for you tall fellows looking for clothing to make you feel as good as you look. Shopping may never be a process you love—but I’d love to get you towering handsomes to a place of less frustration and more freedom…to express yourselves through clothing and accessories that actually fit and look cool too.

Some casual options for you tall guys...

Some casual options for you tall guys…

 In-store:

 1)   L.L. Bean Signature: The Signature line is the hip offshoot of Bean’s, helmed by Rogues Gallery’s Alex Carleton. Think modern, urban-rugged takes on Bean’s classic chinos, Chamois shirts and boots. In up to an XXL Tall, and 42” (waist) x 36” (inseam) pant—great for casual/weekend basics.

2)   Lands End: Chock full of high quality work staples and a great selection of tall outerwear at reasonable price points, LE offers the bang for your tall buck—and one of the most flattering dress pants I’ve seen for tall men—the Plain Front Tailored Fit trouser. The guy particularly loves the three-season Sportsman Field Coat—now on sale for $54.99.  In up to a 4X Tall; 54” (waist) x 38” (inseam) pants.

3)   Nordstrom: For the best selection of stylish shoes in up to a size 16 extra wide, hit Nordstrom—or better yet, Nordstrom Rack for racks and racks (literally) of cool, big-guy shoes at clearance prices.

Some business-casual options for you tall guys...

And some business-casual options for you tall guys…

 Online:

 1)   Longshot Apparel: Simply the best option for USA-made, high-quality shirting engineered specifically to fit the proportions of tall men. Purveyors of the ‘Tailored Taller Fit’, these Egyptian cotton oxfords are perfect for looking good at work or at play. In 8 brand-specific sizes and length iterations—1-4L.

2)   Paul Fredrick: This retailer has been offering house-designed business and business casual separates in quality fabrications for going on 30 years. What it means for you? Snazzy designer looks without the designer-tag markup. Be sure to check out the tall 3-piece seersucker suits for summer! Up to a 54” (waist) x 38” (inseam) pant; up to a 4X/Extra Long jacket or vest; shirts can be custom-sized.

3)   Hats in the Belfry: This punny e-tailer offers a wide selection of  larger-size hats ranging from newsboys to fedoras to pork-pies. Great option for picking up some signature toppers to polish off your look.

Have a question? Need some help? Drop me a line or comment below!

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Love FREE shoes? Enter Barefoot Tess’ “Show us the Love” Photo Contest!

31 Jan

How much do you ladies love Barefoot Tess?!?! If you’re anything like me, the mere thought of a rainbow of designer-exclusive shoes in sizes 11-15 induces paroxysms of bliss. Even more exhilarating is the fact that BFT just launched the “Show us the Love” photo contest on Facebook—tell the Tess girls what you love about the brand, submit your creative photo, and you could win a $150 Barefoot Tess gift card for shoes, shoes, and more fabulous shoes! 

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So get on over to Facebook, submit your entry, and get your friends in on voting for you, my long-footed friends! 

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The HEIGHT of Style in….ELLE MAGAZINE!!!

24 Jan

I have been keeping zipped-lips on a few very exciting upcoming partnerships with brands and publications (please stay tuned!)—but I am super excited to announce that my interview for Elle Finland has now hit newsstands and the web! I was interviewed with some of my favorite leggy and loquacious peers including Laura of All the Tall Things, Alicia Jay of TallSWAG and Irene of Mademoiselle Pigalle in a feature showcasing tall & petite brands and bloggers. I am riding the dazzle wave that comes from being included on this roster of uber-talented blogging dynamos, and truly have you all to thank for it! Thank you for reading, emailing, commenting, and sharing here at The HEIGHT of Style. Without you, I wouldn’t be inspired to write—and with you, our growing community of vertically-inclined fashionable lovelies will continue to thrive…

So please continue to stay in touch—if you need styling advice, have an idea for a feature, or want to establish a sponsor relationship, drop me a note! I will get back to you as quickly as I can. And check out the gorgeous shot below from my photographer friend Alexandra Shlimovich. She’s an artist in every sense of the word, and I actually felt like I started to embody ‘The HEIGHT of Style’ in front of her lens…thanks Alexandra!

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Here is my full, unedited interview with Elle in English. Happy reading!!

Elle: What is the best style advice you’d give to your tall fellow women?

HoS: Being tall isn’t an inconvenience or impediment to being stylish—it’s a gift. In our age—where uniqueness is valued, and individuals like Alexa Chung, Tavi Gevinson and Iris Apfel are considered style visionaries—height is a rare asset; a long, elegant, canvas to start embellishing on. It’s not a mistake that high fashion models are all at least 177 cm—clothes look wonderful and fall wonderfully on a tall figure. The best style advice I can give any tall woman is to love your height; embrace your shape; and dress in a way that feels quintessentially you—with our elongated frames, we tall ladies can pull off practically any style, and look completely intentional doing so! Oh, and when in doubt—wear heels!

Elle: Could you name three pieces of clothing that fit you / tall women in general perfectly? I mean the ones one should really invest in…

HoS: For tall women, I always recommend boyfriend blazers in neutral shades as separates/outerwear pieces— many tall women can find them to fit right off the rack, and the exaggerated, longer silhouette looks very flattering on taller frames (boyfriend styles can tend to overwhelm shorter women). Plus, I particularly love slightly-oversized boyfriend blazers over flirty dresses on tall women—it’s the perfect juxtaposition. Zara is a great place to shop for boyfriend blazers off the rack, as is Long Tall Sally (www.longtallsally.com) or Topshop (their tall line).

I also think that every tall woman should have a luxe miniskirt in her wardrobe. For many of us talls, our legs are our favorite asset, and I particularly like how a miniskirt—in a sumptuous fabrication like brocade, leather, or suede—can highlight those lovely long limbs. It’s amazing when tall women rock mid-thigh luxurious skirts (and many off-the-rack skirt styles ARE minis on us) with simple separates like long sleeve tee shirts, tights, and ankle boots—it is such a fashion-forward—yet understated—look.

Finally, I think the investment piece that a tall woman must have is a fabulous, personally-appealing heel. I know many tall women are nervous about donning shoes that make them taller, but a heel has transformative effects on the body—it makes you stand straighter, makes your legs look super-sculpted, and is an instant confidence booster. I particularly recommend Shoes of Prey (www.shoesofprey.com)—a bespoke shoe company out of Australia that allows you to design your own dream shoe in up to a European size 49 and Barefoot Tess—the most comprehensive site for designer exclusive shoecandy  in sizes 11-15. 

My ‘Diamonds’ in the Rough…

17 Jan

As much as I *claim* having to subvert my crow-like impulse to snatch up anything that sparkles in the sunlight (not including Edward Cullen, sorry to say)—I am actually quite a minimalist when it comes to jewelry. It’s rare that I wear earrings AND a necklace, and rarer still that I even bother to change out my customary pair of  ruby studs. But my minimalism isn’t symptomatic of being unimaginative—it’s exactly the opposite. I imagine that a pair of earrings, a necklace, or a ring—like any object of true beauty—should be the perfect juxtaposition of  polish and rawness; darkness and light; perfection and imperfection. When I find a piece that speaks, I wear it indefinitely (doggedly?) to the point of it feeling like an extension of my body. But usually, my standards get in the way and halt the procurement process before it really starts.

I had been looking for versatile, work-friendly stud earrings for months. And was getting worried that my inner precisionist would never quit rearing her picky head until I discovered Herkimer ‘diamonds’—and subsequently, Anna Vasquez’s/Nested Yellow designs. Trained as an architect but reared as a naturalist, Vasquez’s designs are simultaneously organic and sublime, rustic and refined—and her elevation of the Herkimer from a garden-variety quartz to a gemstone befitting its etymological associations is pretty phenomenal (maybe it’s that only an architect could tame the inherent, wild structural angles of the stone?!) I first spotted her hand-forged, gold-filled studs on Etsy—and since they arrived on my doorstep, they have not left my ears. They don’t sparkle quite like carbon-based, fancy-cut, real diamonds—but then again, real diamonds are a little too perfect for me anyway…

Herkimer diamond and gold-filled stud earring by Anna Vasquez, $56.00, Etsy

Herkimer diamond and gold-filled stud earring by Anna Vasquez, $56.00, Etsy

Just the same, there is truly something to be said for these ‘diamonds’ in the rough from central New York state—and  judging from the thousands of Etsy artisans incorporating them into boho-chic designs, this subtle stone is here to stay. Pick up a pair of studs, a graduated chunk necklace, or even a rock-candy  ring to pair with everything from an edgy leather jacket to a feminine floral dress to even a distressed chambray oxford and pressed trousers—and if you’re anything like me, Herkimers will become your best friend too!

Happy cool-mining, leggy lovelies!

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Hunting Down the Perfect Shoe…with Shoes of Prey

20 Dec

“There’s a little hunter in all women, right? Think about it: every woman is constantly stalking the perfect pair of shoes…”-Shoes of Prey

I know ladies everywhere will agree with me when I say this: there is nothing so evocative as a fiercely fabulous shoe. Whether your idea of  ‘fabulous’ is a prim ballet flat or an aggressively ostentatious stiletto, a fabulous shoe speaks—and more than that, imbues its wearer with the near-magical power of transformation. Any woman who has slipped a foot into her dream sky-high, peep-toe, red  leather platform after tossing on a years-old, staid sheath dress feels that power. A shoe can really be a game-changer; a transporter; and a confidence rocket.

But for many of us sized out of conventional women’s footwear—we forgo “fabulous” for “sufficient”; “jaw-dropping” for “tolerable”; and hope that we can find shoes that are marginally stylish but mostly offer us room and the right fit. While I personally hadn’t entirely hung up the towel on fierce, wonderful, and COMFORTABLE size 12.5s when Shoes of Prey first contacted me to write a review of their product, I was admittedly skeptical. I couldn’t imagine that designing the transformative “shoe of my dreams” and getting a model that was high-quality, comfortable, and at all affordable was even in the realm of possibility. I couldn’t fathom that “bespoke” shoes sized specifically to my feet would be any better than a standard size 12.5 picked up at Nordstrom Rack. And yet, Shoes of Prey—true to their word—offered me a shoe that was worth hunting to the ends of the earth (and back) for.

My Shoes of Prey-centric outfit: ASOS blouse; J. Crew skinny belt; Rock & Republic miniskirt; Simply Vera Vera Wang tights; Shoes of Prey custom heels

My Shoes of Prey-centric outfit: ASOS blouse; J. Crew skinny belt; Rock & Republic miniskirt; Simply Vera Vera Wang tights; Shoes of Prey custom heels

 I was nervous with anticipation opening the well-appointed black box that arrived speedily from Australia—impeccably packed with a suede dustbag, complimentary gel inserts, and a charming handwritten note from Lucy, the “Customer Happiness Wonderperson” (indeed!) When I pulled the kitten-heeled, ankle-strapped, black suede-and cream-Italian-silk-peeptoes from their smooth tissue wrappers, I must have audibly gasped, as—in that moment—I imagined myself slipping them on for New Year’s Eve with a coquettish frock. They were girly and gorgeous and as I buckled them on, sans inserts—I realized that the 43.5s were a customized fit unlike any other shoe I had tried before. As you might imagine, I have tried on, lusted after, squeezed into, and suffered my way through numerous shoes in my lifetime. But with this singular pair, I got it and felt what—for me—was one shoe of a game changer; transporter; and confidence rocket.

Me in my gorgeous new Shoes of Prey bespoke heels!

Me in my gorgeous new Shoes of Prey bespoke heels!

Each shoe produced by Shoes of Prey is handmade in Australia, down to your specifications as to heel height, toe style, fabrication (in leathers, suedes, textiles, sequins and more), and embellishments (stitching, bows, straps, et cetera). Offered in European sizes 35-49 and ranging from $219-$379 based on chosen design components, each bespoke pair of shoe can be sized to wide feet, narrow feet, excessively large feet, quite small feet, or even feet of two different sizes—and the Shoes of Prey artisans will work with you to get the exactly right fit for your unique footsies with a liberal return policy (and free shipping worldwide!). Better yet, each design is thoroughly unique—meaning you will never see the exact same pair anywhere, and will have a customized collectible to wear and enjoy for years to come. Founded in 2009, Shoes of Prey is now a global force of a brand and favorite of numerous celebrities and editors including those of Vogue, Grazia, Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, and The Wall Street Journal. So what are you waiting for? Visit the site, chat with the indeed-wonderful Customer Happiness team, learn about the cat behind it all,  and hunt down your own fiercely fabulous shoe (or choose from the equally-awesome online gallery of favorites)…I guarantee that your life will never be the same, my tall lovelies!

Merry Christmas to T(all)! And to Tall a Great Wishlist!

14 Dec

I love the holiday season. The lights, the parties, the music, the cookies…and, of course, the giving of gifts to those loved. As anyone will tell you, I adore giving gifts and can spend days planning the perfect gift. I consider every year an opportunity to do better—an opportunity to show those close to me even a fraction of how much they mean to me (if you hadn’t guessed, I’m a show-er, not a teller). But—honestly—I also delight in receiving. This is the time (thank goodness it only comes once a year!) that I feel less guilty for wanting completely whimsical, pretty, and often utterly impractical things under a cute little tree. In truth, I have never *really* let go of the greedy excitable child within…and there’s always a bit of magic in waking up on Christmas morning to find nattily-wrapped presents under a glittering tree. I love you, Santa (I mean…Mike, my incredibly generous fiancé)!

So without further ado—here’s my wishlist of all things pretty that I’d like to find under the tree. Hint to all ‘Santas’ out there: All of these clothing items are GREAT if you have a tall lady in your life…but be sure to send me an email if you need a little extra help in shopping for that leggy elflette in your life. I am happy to help out with more ideas!

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1. The Land’s End Tall Luxe Scoopneck Coat: I love coats of all shapes, sizes, and fabrications. But even with a veritable wardrobe of coats for all seasons (hey, it’s New England!), I have NARY a black wool coat! This year, Santa wanted to get me a classic black coat that would stand the test of time—and I picked out the Land’s End Tall Luxe Scoopneck Coat. In a cashmere blend with on-trend, military-inspired epaulets, leather buttons, and a sweet scoopneck, this coat ticks off the boxes for stylish, high-quality, budget friendly (with the current 30% off, it’s now under $100 down from $289!), AND tall-of-all-sizes-friendly (from 4-16T). It also comes in red, yellow, green, and camel colorways. THE best tall, classic winter coat for all elflettes.

2. Madewell’s Belted Silk Dress in Dashdot: Getting dressed up for holiday occasions is a fine art—don’t we all want to look festive yet comfortable (allowing for lots of noshing)? Enter this Madewell dress. Although it is unlined, the silk fabrication and pattern is thoroughly gorgeous, and the tie-waist means a flattering, customized, yet unrestricted fit. While it hits mid-thigh on us tall ladies, it is flatteringly-short and a great companion to black tights and heels. I plan on wearing it year-round, too!

3. Long Tall Sally’s Pindot PJ Set: I’ll be honest—I spend 90% of the time when I am not in work clothes in pajamas. Red plaid flannel pajamas. Completely unsexy, unpolished, and absolutely slovenly heavenly! I love flannels (am always cold), so I would love to find this pajama set under the tree. Bonus: these PJs are far cuter and more feminine than my red plaid flannels, and would also offer necessary winter limb coverage. In teal and purple.

4. Love Knot Earrings in Rose Gold Vermeil: I wear lots of post earrings, and prefer them for professional occasions. I also prefer rose gold. These classic love knots are slightly oversized, completely chic, and would go with any single outfit I’d wear (including red flannel pajamas)…and I simply cannot get over their price. It’s $24.50! An unreal stocking stuffer from Ross-Simons!

5. J. Crew’s Copley Saddlebag: This little bag (and it is little) packs a lot of punch for its size. With multiple pockets, a removable crossbody strap, and unexpected colorways (wisteria! neon persimmon!), this petite number would be perfect for work, play, a party, a snowball fight, or any other hands-free occasion. (This is why I love crossbody bags…) With an extra 30% off and free shipping, this bag is ALSO under $100, so another bargain Christmas buy!

6. Any Fossil Women’s Rose Gold Watch…: As you know, I like rose gold. But what you may not know is that I am desperately in need of a new watch as my Rotary is banged up beyond belief. Fossil offers the best selection of fashion-forward, mid-range watches in rose gold plate—and I particularly love the chronograph, chunky ‘boyfriend’ styles (it’s all about juxtaposition)…

7. Tamarac’s Molly Slipper: Who doesn’t love/need a warm cozy slipper? With this suede, fur-lined cutie, your toesies will stay warm all through the winter. And with sizes up to 13 M, these babies are great for those of us outsized by typical ‘S-L’ slipper sizing.

Merry wishlisting to all you t(all) lovelies! Leave a comment and let me know what you’re coveting this holiday season!

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Fill my stocking with…Elie Tahari

30 Nov

“Clothing should be quieter than the woman so that her true beauty can shine through.”-Elie Tahari

Another year has come and nearly gone, but one of my greatest joys STILL remains helping women of all shapes and sizes express themselves through clothing.

But to begin to accomplish that, a woman has to know herself—and be able to articulate—and embrace—how her preferences, livelihood, personal life, and physical presence defines her. I will tell you that a woman who knows herself IS the most beautiful creature you’ll ever encounter—and you will feel her beauty as well as see it. As a stylist, I’ve worked with countless beauties who DO know themselves but DON’T know what clothing reflects them best. And whether tall, petite, plus-size, curvy, slyph-like, 25 OR 65—I start with putting them into an Elie Tahari dress and see how they feel.

In 99% of cases, they are headed home with that Tahari dress. And with about the same frequency, Tahari becomes one of their favorite designers.

L to R: Elie Tahari Cotton Lolly Dress, $498, Saks Fifth Avenue; T Tahari Calli Colorblock Dress, $128, Nordstrom

L to R: Elie Tahari Cotton Lolly Dress, $498, Saks Fifth Avenue; T Tahari Calli Colorblock Dress, $128, Nordstrom

Tahari is an Israeli-born, self-made designer whose proverbial magic bean has been his prescient forecasting of what women want from clothing—whether that was his flirtatious party dresses of the 70s, power suits of the 80s, minimalist tailored silhouettes of the 90s, or modern, elegant designs for today. Since I’ve been styling, Tahari has been MY magic bean on shopping trips—and  to great success. Luckily, I can practice what I preach. Dear readers, you know me as an exceptionally tall, curvy woman usually sized out of off-the-rack options—and I am always dazzled by how quintessentially me I feel in an impeccably-cut, jewel-toned Tahari shift (and they’re long enough, with the right proportions!).

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L to R: Tahari ASL Ivory Shift Dress, $84, Bluefly; Tahari ASL Coral Asymmetrical Dress, $50, Bluefly

While Tahari dresses and separates ($200-$800ish) certainly aren’t cheap, they also aren’t disposable. And with lower price point diffusion lines like T Tahari (modern, business casual pieces) and Tahari Arthur S. Levine (corporate and classic business wear), every woman of every size can own a beautifully-crafted wardrobe staple.

So tall lovelies, in addition to wishing for some tall-sized goodies in your stocking or under the tree, maybe take a chance and ask for a Tahari. I’m 99% certain you will be feeling your essential beauty shine through this Christmas.

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P.S. What’s on your Christmas list?

 

 

 

 

Confession: I have the feet of a middle-aged woman…

20 Aug

I have a confession to make, dear readers. At 28, I have the feet of a middle-aged woman. Or Cinderella’s evil stepsister (even in Technicolor, her feet seem gnarled and bulbous…)

Thankfully, it has only been close friends and family members who have dissuaded me from baring my battered toes, blistered heels and bunioned arches to the world this summer. I look down and see what they mean. Years of squeezing into too-tight day-to-day shoes and too-small athletic shoes have wreaked havoc on these tootsies of mine. A doctor put it to me straight—if I continue on this (arguably masochistic) path, I certainly won’t be taking my long walks or avoiding imminent foot surgery. These doggies aren’t just barking—they’re howling like hounds of the Baskervilles!

I *swear*, this size 11 will fit with just a little more effort!!

It was not easy to go into my closet and weed out my pointy-toe pumps; *SIZE 11* oxfords; and sky-high sandals. But it needed to be done. I had thought I was saving money by squeezing my feet and curling my toes into ANY sale shoes that came remotely close to fitting— instead, the wrong shoes have added decades to the two size 12/13 workhorses that take me where I need to go. Now it’s only good fit and good feel from here on out!

My favorite of the handful of pairs left in my closet is a Fidji maryjane that I nabbed from Nordstrom Rack. I can—and have—walked miles in those gray, perforated beauties. Remarkably, the heels have held up, the cushioning has stayed spongy, the leather has conformed to my feet, and as I’ve bumped my toes, scuffed the straps, and flexed my feet, they’ve only gotten somewhat patinaed.

My Fidji E774 mary jane in warm grey…

…but there’s a catch. There’s always a catch when shoes are fairytale-perfect. At retail, Fidjis top off near $200/pair. For exactly the reasons above AND the fact that each pair is meticulously thoughtful and lovely. Fidji styles are designed in France; manufactured in Portugal of the softest leathers, rubbers, and woods; and tres-tres appealing to any seemingly-effortless, dreamy ingenue or comfort-driven, whimsical femme. I may be sized out of Chie Miharas, but size 43 Fidjis hold the trump card to fit my true age, lifestyle (ambulatory?), and if not budget, then my pedcentric investment strategy…

Tall ladies, please save some 43s for me! I am dreaming of several pairs of pumps mixed with opaque black tights, muted lace dresses, a fur-collared coat, and deep-dark plummy lipstick as a moody, autumnal spin on the neo-Gatsby look. Can’t you just picture any of these worn on a cool stroll through an enchanted forest in the waning light, or donned stepping out for a mint julep and a Charleston before the clock strikes midnight?

The Fidji Brit, $186 at Zappos.com

The Fidji Bianca, on sale for $157.99 at Zappos.com

The Fidji Baird, on sale for $162.99 at Zappos.com

Truly, I need a Fidji fairy godmother for a little more sparkle in my step (that Cinderella shouldn’t get carte-blanche access to the most perfect, magical heels)!

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