Long Tall Sally: where dreams of covered ankles are realized

Lonely giraffe

Something magical happened last week: I ventured a step into Toronto’s Long Tall Sally store and I nearly cried. 

The magic is not in the salty tears, but in the discovery of the length of the fabric sold.

Located at 595 Bay Street in the Atrium is a beautiful store, upheld by beautiful, tall women, displaying current fashions for, you guessed it, tall women. It runs the gamut of attire, from PJs to workout gear, shoes to outerwear, and then of course clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. The Atrium is a location I have walked by many a time, but have never wandered in. I need to stress, I have lived in this city for well over six years and I have NEVER visited the Atrium, let alone Long Tall Sally (“LTS”), also formerly known as Tall Girl.

It was about damn time, don’t you think?

How did I hear about LTS?

A friend whom I tower over… Maybe not tower, but she wouldn’t be LTS’ clientele per sé, told me about them. I had just thrown out another pair of black pants because I had worn them to death and they had developed a very unflattering diaper bottom, and was in need of replacing them. I was busy complaining to Era at work about how hard it is for me to find pants that look how they’re supposed to look, as in, not like I’m wearing flared ankle skimming trousers. That is, everything is always a few inches too short.

Even pyjamas.

Something as silly, maybe even trivial, as pyjama pants are often worn as floods on my part, though I did find a Joe Fresh pair that are long (by long, I mean, they fit) on me, and am presently wearing them to their near death. My favourite solution store clerks often tell me? “Just go up a size.”

Umm… I’m not in the retail business, but I know that length doesn’t always go hand in hand with just going up a size. Besides, I’d like them to be able to not fall off my body with all that going up a size extra material.

Era suggested I try LTS. She said they’re a bit pricey, but they have great stuff. That was months ago. Months. Until. Until last Friday.

How tall am I?

I’m not that tall. I mean it’s all relative. I stand a little over 5’9 so you tell me. Regardless, though, I often refer to myself as being bottom end tall. I have tall family, and I’m certainly not the tallest. Some awesome lady friends, Sian and Marisa, in my building are taller than myself, and thinking back to my high school rowing days, I often felt kinda shrimpy when I rowed in a crew of eight. In fact, I used to want to be an extra three quarters of an inch taller, because 5’10 sounded like the proper beginnings of tall, rather than this weird in between that I believed I fell into.

Julia van der Sluis skulling

Interestingly, I grew up in a country where I was considered to be quite tall. At 10 or 11 years old I was refused entry into a McDonalds’ ball pit by a Filipino manager because he assumed I was older than I was based solely on my height. I convinced him otherwise.

I was sometimes referred to as ‘Tally’ or ‘Giraffe’ by a few of the, less than creative, boys in my class who hailed from countries within the Middle East, where height isn’t normally associated with the collective Middle Eastern gene pool.

But by far the most favourite image I hold dear to my heart is that of class picture day. I have a class photo (I think even more than one) where I am standing, not sitting, not with the cute girls in frilly dresses and patent leather shoes in the front row, nor standing in the middle row amongst the boys and girls, but in the BACK row… Dead centre, boys flanking my left, boys flanking my right. Further enhancing this image, is just how white my skin is in contrast to the mix of international kids I called my classmates. My height, my gender, my skin, heck, even my low concentration of brown eumelanin hair, turned me into a very bright, sticking out like a sore thumb, beacon… with very large sticky-outty ears. 🙂

Fast forward a couple decades, cue Long Tall Sally.

I had a couple hours to kill and thought it was time to find me some pants. Nearly as soon as I walked in, I was met with beautiful Jaclyn who stands at 6’8.5. I immediately thought this store isn’t for me and asked her,

“Am I tall enough to shop here?”

With a friendly smile, I was assured that I was and Jaclyn proceeded to tell me all clothing length starts and stops at a 36″. I vary between 33″ and 34″. I was even told, people with far less height shop at LTS because bodies. Bodies come in all different sizes and proportions. For example, a woman shorter than I might have longer legs.

Jaclyn passed me on to Monique (a glamorous 6′) who assisted me with finding the black pants section. True to habit, I’d select a pair of pants and hold them up to my hips to see where they dropped. I simply cannot express the joy of seeing all that length unfold onto the floor in a pool of a few inches beyond my heeled feet. One pair, two pair, three, and four. Monique collected them and started a change room.

Five pair, six, and seven.

I wandered a bit more. Monique pulled a floral playsuit maxi by LTS brand Curatd. Heaven. Feminine in print and its flow, fun in its duality, and sexy in it’s neckline. Love. And it was super marked down. Love X two.

I came across a jumpsuit. Now, I have a love for jumpsuits. I have tried and tried them again, but have never been successful in finding one that fits. The problem, besides the lack of length in the inseam, is torso length. Bums should not be making a meal out of clothing. Nor crotches for that matter. And a jumpsuit from LTS sits as it should.

Into the changeroom, I went.

One of the first items I tried on, was a pair of black, buttery soft, NYDJ trouser jeans Monique introduced to me. They were a bit pricey and out of my budget really, however, Monique made a case I fully support and that’s that they last.

I pranced out of the change room, and still a little uncertain if I should make such a purchase, questioned Elizabeth (a stunning 5’11.5). She affirmed what Monique said previously, and added they’re made in the US. A notion I can really get behind. They’re body sculpting, awesomeness, known for not fading, nor losing shape.

I couldn’t pass them up. I have worn them a few times this week alone, and am very impressed by their fit. They’re about three inches too long, but given their straight leggedness, I can fold them inwards and no one would be the wiser. I have options. and I’m really down with those options.

I walked away, more or less (the playsuit to be shipped in my size), with three stunning items. Stunning, practical, good quality items that fit, and will last.

I also walked away with pep in my step, having found LTS, and shared my joy with three amazing vertically unchallenged women.

Riding the Long Tall Sally high.

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