In My Shoes is a new series featuring women with large shoe sizes from all walks of life. First up is Beth, an American tall fashion blogger.
Welcome Beth. Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m a 30-something, 6’2 tall fashion lover who used to have a career in the legal field and am now doing the stay-at-home-mom thing with my delightful (and tall) 2 year old daughter. Since my husband is in the military, we move every 2 years and have had the opportunity to live all over the US and in Germany which keeps life interesting! I've been blogging about all things tall off and on for almost 11 years and am passionate about supporting independent brands that offer tall clothing and large size shoes.
What's your height & shoe size?
I’ve been 6’2 since I was 14 years old and wear shoe size 11.5 US / 43 EU.
How did you find growing up tall with big feet? How do you feel about it now?
Overall, I had a very positive experience growing up tall. I always loved my height because it made me feel unique. I did occasionally get teased in school by boys who were shorter than me but I just shrugged it off and assumed that they were jealous of my height.
As far as growing up with big feet, there certainly weren’t as many options in my size as there are today. I mostly wore trainers (often in men’s sizes) but I also started wearing heels with skirts and dresses when I was 15 or 16. Thankfully, there were a couple of stores that carried my size but it did feel like slim pickings back then compared to the options we have now.
I still love being tall and am thrilled that there are so many more options for clothes and shoes now! It’s so exciting to see all of the independent brands and shops (most of which are run by tall female entrepreneurs) that offer tall clothing and large shoes.
I recently bought Tilly boots from Otto+Ivy and they are definitely my current favs! The quality, fit and comfort is superb and the beautiful details are to die for. I’ve known the founder Laura for quite a while after discovering her tall blog 10+ years ago. I even had the pleasure of meeting up with her for brunch when I was in London. I know she puts the utmost care into choosing her factories and designing her shoes and am just so thrilled that she is creating these beautiful, unique shoes for ladies who need larger sizes!
As far as shoes are concerned, I used to be a size US12 which was near impossible to find growing up. I squished my feet into 11s enough times over the years, that I can sometimes wear an 11 but I'm really an 11.5 which is VERY hard to find.
One of my biggest pain points for clothing is that I’m a size large on bottom and small to medium on top so it’s sometimes hard to find fitted dresses, jumpsuits or one piece swimsuits that fit.
Another challenge is that I care a great deal about where/how my clothes are made so I prefer to only buy items that are responsibly made. The desire to buy responsibly made items coupled with the challenges that my height brings does feel a bit limiting at times. BUT I keep finding more and more independent tall brands and large size shoe brands that focus on ethical and/or sustainable manufacturing which is really encouraging!
- Otto+Ivy (UK) up to 46 EU
- Horsch Schuhe (Germany) up to 46 EU
- Rothys* (US) up to size 13 US
- Aquatalia* (US) up to 12 US
- Juni Fashion (Germany)
- I Love Tall (Germany)
- Allta (UK)
- Amalli Talli (US)
- Tall+Isi (US)
- At Last Denim (US)
- Hye Fashion (Canada)
And there are a BUNCH of new tall brands (especially ones with responsibly made items) that I’m eager to try!
I’m so glad you asked since I’m so passionate about this topic! I started to become curious about where my clothes came from and how they were made after I read a post by the lovely Alison of The Tall Mama blog back in 2016. She encouraged her readers to ask themselves: Why is this garment (or fabric) so darned cheap? If the answer doesn’t sit well with you, in that it involves workers who are not paid fairly or other such injustices, then maybe you shouldn’t buy it. Or maybe you shouldn’t buy it until you’ve had time to do a little research into how, where and by whom it was made.
On the flip side, I realized that just because an item is expensive doesn’t guarantee that shadiness wasn’t involved in the making of it. Through some of my research on this topic, my eyes were opened to the fact that the supply chain and manufacturing process for clothing can be a tangled and complicated web. Sometimes brands don’t have complete oversight as to what is going on in the factories where their clothing is made or what is going on with their suppliers etc.
In 2016, I started my Thoughtful Shopping Series and I still follow the rules 5 years later. Here are the rules: Before I make a purchase, I research the company to find out as much about their ethics and production as possible.
If something seems iffy to me, I won’t make the purchase or I will reach out to the company for further clarification. I also give a lot of thought to what I’m going to buy before I buy it to make sure I really need it and will really love it. This has resulted in a wardrobe that I truly love and items that last for years and years.
One of my biggest tips would be to go through your closet and donate everything that you don’t love or haven’t worn in the past year so that you can actually focus on the pieces in your closet that really do strike your fancy.
Then, rather than focusing on trends, keep "shopping your closet" and wearing what you have and slowly start to add higher quality, responsibly-made items to your wardrobe. Only buy what you truly LOVE and know that you’ll wear a bunch.
In order to figure out what items you'll get the most wear out of, take some time to go through old photos of yourself over the years to see if you can spot any items or styles that you tend to wear a lot. Those are probably items worth investing in.
The 3 Cs: classic, comfy & chic.
Flats but make them pretty with fun details! I used to wear heels all the time in my 20s and early 30s but flats are where it’s at now I'm chasing after my toddler. Pointed toe flats are my faves because they’re both comfortable and chic.
I love the style of fellow tall ladies Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama. Their outfits always fit them so well and often have eye-catching details.