In My Shoes features women all over the world with large shoe sizes. This time, I'm chatting with Laura from Spain.
Welcome Laura. Tell me a bit about yourself.
I'm Spanish & live in Pamplona, a city in northern Spain. I previously lived in the UK for 6 years. I'm mama to Nora, who is now 18 months old, and also work full time for an energy company. I'm a tall blogger on Instagram too. So life is pretty busy!
What's your height & shoe size?
I'm 6 ft 1 inch tall (187cm) & my shoe size is 44 EU (10 UK or 12 US).
How did you find growing up tall with big feet? How do you feel about it now?
It did upset me from time to time growing up. I was sent to the men's section with no fun colours at all!
There were trends like Spice Girls shoes that I missed out on. But I also remember wearing baggy pants with skater sneakers which I really loved.
Luckily back in the 90s fashion wasn't a big deal - at least not in my home town. In winter I managed to find cowboy boots and I adored them. So overall I don't remember being too upset about not finding shoes - every now and then but I managed.
Nowadays it’s totally different, there are so many more trends and everyone is aware of them because of the Internet. There is much more pressure to be trendy and fashionable. I don't think that's a good thing. Teenagers who are not a standard size could be upset by it.
Thanks to online shopping, there are way many more choices now than there were back in the 90s. That’s awesome!
Although I think the high street shops really have to step up on this. In 20 years there have been no changes at all in stores. They still only carry shoes up to size 41 or maybe a couple of size 42. No progress in 20 years?? That’s just wrong.
OMG now you are making me really think! Since my knee injury a couple of years ago, pregnancy and lockdown I literally live in sneakers.
But let me think... in winter I love to wear cool comfy boots or cowboy style boots. My faves are a pair of Blowfish Malibu boots I bought in Long Tall Sally. I love everything about them!
In summer I used to wear flats but they hurt my feet and back a bit. It turns out totally flat isn't great either. So in summer, I now live in sneakers and some espadrille wedges. I got mine from Oinak. I find them classy, comfy and they easily dress up any outfit.
I’m currently looking for some sandals from Romika or Remonte as I know they are really good for your feet.
You share openly about your personal life & fashion on Instagram. Is it hard keeping it real and deciding what to share?
I am stepping out of my comfort zone lately on Insta (@tall.lika) and it’s going well. People are much more talkative and understanding when you show up real and vulnerable.
Before I thought everything I shared had to be perfect and spot on. I soon realised that wasn't for me. The accounts I like and follow aren't like that so why should mine be?
I changed my way of thinking and I started to show the real me: my clothes struggles, my real size and a bit about motherhood too. I also share my grief journey which is totally upsetting but it helps others and it helps me too.
I try to be careful with pictures of my house and daughter for privacy reasons. I obviously don’t share everything and I will probably keep it that way but you can be sure that everything I share is real.
My main struggle is being both tall & mid/big size. There are sections for curvy or plus size and there are sections for tall but usually I need both combined. Size 18/20 UK clothes are not everywhere and if you bring tall into the equation, there are not many choices. I would like to see more tall fashion for bigger women.
For shoes, my biggest pain point is not being able to try on shoes in most stores!
Also, it’s so hard to shop and pay in advance when you can mainly only shop online. I have to pay hundreds of euros in advance and then return (usually paying shipping costs) and wait days/weeks to get my money back. Even if I put it on my credit card sometimes it takes so long and causes problems.
For shoes, it's a bit tricky. I wear a lot of trainers which are never pink because I buy mens! 😞
Depending on the occasion and my budget, some of the shoe stores I check before I shop are Long Tall Sally*, Oinak, XLPie, Magnus Shoes, Deichmann* and Jose Luis Deza.
For clothes I'm a big fan of Long Tall Sally* too. I moved to London when I was 25 and I still remember my first visit to their Chiltern Street store. OMG! The feeling of being normal & being able to try on everything the shop had. I was so excited I called my parents right on the spot! I'm loyal to them for helping my confidence and for catering for us tall girls. I lived near the shop so I visited them regularly.
I recently started a collaboration with TallMoi which is really exciting. I have only tried a pair of jeans but quality, customer service, price and delivery times were great. I really like their range and I’m waiting on some items from the new collection which I think you are all going to like. I can’t wait to share them with you!
Special shoutout too to the uk brand Acai Outdoorwear who do a tall women's range. I'm amazed by the fit and quality. Outdoor wear is something I have always struggled with; women's were too short and men's wouldn't fit my hips and body shape. Acai is a gem for me - that’s all I wear outdoors now, and sometimes in the city too!
Do you have any fashion or shoe styling tips to share?
When I was younger, sometimes I wanted to jump on a trend which just wasn't for me. I now realise that just because it's trendy you don't have to wear it: just wear what makes you feel good and confident.
The classic of "sometimes less is more" is so true in many aspects of life including fashion.
For styling a blazer is a must have. You will be amazed how many things you can combine with it. It dresses up or down any outfit you love. The best part is, it goes great with trainers too!
Casual Street Style or... Sporty but Cool 😉