Contemporary Tailoring for Tall Women

Contemporary Tailoring for Tall Women

Contemporary Tailoring for Tall Women

Goodbye Long Tall Sally…

Long Tall Sally, for years the only supplier of clothing designed for tall women, has announced it is closing its doors. After 44 years of trading the company has said that the “changing economics of retail, along with fierce competition”, have made it very difficult to continue. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated and compounded these difficulties, so the company last week released the news that it is to close.

That has left many tall women wondering where on earth they will find their wardrobe staples in the future. Here at Allta, we have discovered a number of tall-focused labels in the two years that we have been in business. Whilst they don’t have the profile of the big brands – and are not always able to match their prices – brands across the UK and Europe are offering individual styles for most tastes. We have compiled a list, below, which may help you find some new names and styles when you are next looking to shop (links not clickable, sorry).

Many of these brands are available from the online tall shop, The Tall Collective, which also lists footwear brands including Apavi 40 Plus. And you can check out the tall shoe brands, Otto + Ivy and Low Heels, both of which offer a great selection of shoes and boots for larger feet.

As many of you will already know, there are good tall sections also available at Asos, Next, Boohoo and New Look. And don’t forget, your Allta jacket will provide the perfect finishing touch to most outfits.

Allta’s Moreton blazer and Blewbury utility jackets

If you are interested in supporting small, independent brands, then don’t forget to sign up to the forthcoming event we’re involved with: discoverHer Goes Pop. As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, it’s a two-day online pop-up shop happening at the end of this month, which will feature over a hundred small brands offering bargains to new customers like you.

Sign up today to gain access to the directory of brands:  discovHer Goes Pop!

Once you’ve signed up, then a day or two before the 30th of June you will be emailed the link and password to the exclusive directory to access all the discount codes that will be available over the two-day sale.

The event kicks off on 30th June until 1st July so you’ll be privvy to exclusive discount codes from all participating brands. Why not sign up so you can treat yourself to a bit of luxury and support all the retailers who are struggling to get through this difficult time.

Just CLICK HERE to sign up (free of charge) to the directory!

There will undoubtedly be further retail casualties before we’re out the other side of this pandemic, but we hope that by working together and supporting one another, essential tall brands catering to women like you will survive.

Thanking the NHS – nominate a key worker

We heard at the end of last week that a new work of art by Banksy had appeared at Southampton General Hospital. The one metre square painting has been hung in the hospital foyer near the emergency department. It shows a young boy playing with his superhero action figures. He has chosen an NHS nurse over his Batman and Spiderman toys.

The new artwork by Banksy in Southampton General Hospital

Banksy speaks for the nation by depicting a nurse as a superhero, now more than ever. I have my own reasons to be grateful to the NHS staff – particularly those at Southampton General Hospital – and was pleased to see my story appearing in The Express newspaper today (print copy only, it’s not made it online, sadly, so I can’t share a link).

The piece tells of my cycling accident almost five years ago, when I fell off my bike and, because I wasn’t wearing a cycle helmet, suffered a factured skull and blood clots on the brain. I was rushed to Southampton General for emergency surgery where they performed a craniotomy (removing a section of my skull to relieve the pressure on the brain) and kept me in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit for 10 days.

I spent a further few days in hospital at Southampton before being transferred back to Oxfordshire, where I live and where Allta is based.

What a stressful time that was for my friends, family and particularly for my husband, who made the journey to see me in hospital and then afterwards at the Oxford Centre for Enablement every day for almost 10 weeks. All time time whilst running his own business, too.

It was during my recovery from this accident that the idea really took hold to launch my clothing business.

So now it seems appropriate to offer a little something to an NHS key worker by way of thanks for my recovery and for all the hard work they are doing treating the huge number of Coronavirus sufferers in this country.

If you know of a tall healthcare worker you think would like an Allta jacket, why not email me on emma@allta.co.uk telling me their name, size, height and why you think they should receive a jacket. I will choose someone at the end of this month to receive one, so may be in touch with you to discuss the details.

Remember, that’s emma@allta.co.uk and you have til the end of the month to drop me a line.

Tall Shopping Day in London

Were you one of our visitors at M Restaurant, Victoria in London on Saturday?

Lots of you braved corona virus fears to join Allta and Low Heels for a day of trying and buying all washed down with a glass (or two!) of prosecco.

Posing with Joanna from Low Heels just before we opened the doors to our first eager shoppers

It was great to meet so many of you and find out what issues you struggle with when shopping for tall fit clothing. Even within the tall niche, it is fairly true to say that everyone is a different shape and struggles with different fit issues, such as wide shoulders, big bust, long body or thick waist, to name but a few. We are all unique so it was interesting to find out which brands people have as their go to for a reliable fit.

We had lots of you trying on our Moreton blazers, Blewbury jackets and Aston shirts. Take a look at the pictures below to see how some of them looked when on:

And great to catch up with SheSoStyles, aka Sherene Morrison, who was telling shoppers how much she loves her Blewbury jacket. She gives some styling ideas on how to wear it here:

We had one lucky shopper win a jacket: we just drew the winning entry today and will be getting in touch with Maria (seen above in the pink blazer) to let her know she has won that jacket.

For those of you that weren’t able to make it along, or didn’t make up your minds on the day, we are happy to say that we can continue to offer Saturday’s discounts for online shopping until the end of the month.

To get 50% off the Blewbury jacket, just type the code BLEWBURY50 in at the checkout.

MORETON40 gets you 40% off any of our blazers and ASTON20 gets you 20% off any of our shirts (although we are out of stock on most of the size 16 shirts – only the blue/green version left in stock in that size). And there’s free UK-wide shipping for all orders over £100.

So don’t forget you have until the end of the month to take advantage of the offer.

Happy shopping!

Tall women under the spotlight as ‘Tall Girl’ comes to Netflix

Tall women are under the spotlight more than ever this week with the release of Tall Girl, which charts some of the difficulties faced by 16 year-old Jodi, a 6ft 1.5” girl in high school. The Netflix drama follows on the heels of Game of Thrones, which featured 6ft 3” Gwendoline Christie as the indomitable Brienne of Tarth.

But this year Long Tall Sally opted to close the last of its bricks and mortar stores to focus on online sales. Is it actually becoming harder for taller than average women to find clothes they would really like to wear?

We’ve spoken to some of you about your shopping issues and here’s what you told us.

Caroline Gill, who is 5’11”, says: “It’s difficult to just go along the high street and browse. I can just about fit into high street sizes but only in certain stores, and even then I have lower expectations for the actual fit.”

Aleesha Hansel is 5’10” and a professional model. Being a professional clothes horse doesn’t mean she finds it easy to find things that fit her tall frame. She says: “Buying trousers, jeans, jumpsuits etc. is an absolute nightmare because they are always too short. Even dresses with waistbands are difficult as they are often not at my natural waist.” And the fact that some high street brands to have tall sections isn’t always the answer for Aleesha, so she takes matters into her own hands. “Some high street stores do have tall divisions, but they only do them online, which is frustrating.  I actually get a seamstress to alter things for me.”

And she is not alone. Caroline’s experience is that the high street names do not invest in their tall ranges. “Rarely in the things that will obviously cost them more to produce, so usually the nice stuff doesn’t come in a tall version.” Like Aleesha, she has things altered. “Nearly every time with jackets or trousers.”

 Jane Anderson is taller still. At 6ft 1”, she says, “I hate shopping and go only if it’s absolutely necessary”. She has problems with everything from leg length to the position of pockets and finds that many stores don’t alter the cut and proportions when making clothes for taller women. “[They] just stretch things out without considering what would suit a taller person.”

The choice for tall women has improved in recent years with some niche tall brands popping up online and Allta is one of them.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following us for a while, our collection features a range of shirts and jackets made in London from high quality fabrics in natural fibres, helping to cut down on the microplastic waste caused by washing synthetic fabrics in our machines.

Our shirts are made from cotton gingham and our jackets are either cotton twill or Shetland wool and we use mother-of-pearl buttons to finish our garments with quality trims.

You can see our full range here and don’t forget to look at The Tall Collective for some other tall-specific brands you may not yet know.

And as well as selling online, we’re also getting out and about to meet you at various events across the country.

If you would like to come and visit us to try before you buy, Allta will be at the Blenheim Horse Trials, 19-22nd September and then at the Belvoir Castle Countryside and Horse Lovers’ Christmas Shopping Fair at Belvoir Castle near Grantham, 29th November – 1st December.

Feeling short at the Tall Society London Brunch!

When was the last time you felt like the shortest person in the room?

For me that was on Sunday at the Tall Society London Brunch. The Tall Society is the brainchild of Bree Wijnaar, a US-based 6’4” woman who has made it her mission to bring like-minded tall women together to network, share stories, laughs and clothing tips. Bree was back in London for the second of her Tall Society London Brunches on August 18th. 50 tall women gathered at the W Hotel, Leicester Square to enjoy some prosecco, a delicious buffet and do a bit of shopping.

From l to r: Laura Schofield of All the Tall Things blog and Otto + Ivy shoes, Emma Stewart from Allta, Bree Wijnaar the Tall Society organizer, Joanna Scott from Low Heels and Natalie Matthews from Height of Fashion

Allta was one of the five sponsors taking a vendor slot and we were there alongside other tall clothing and footwear brands: Tall Glass of Water, Height of Fashion, Sante + Wade and Low Heels.

What a great experience it was, too. After a bit of networking and retail therapy, the group was treated to a great speech from Laura Schofield, the brains behind the All the Tall Things fashion and lifestyle blog, who is about to launch her own footwear brand, Otto + Ivy. Laura spoke about the connections tall women make with other tall women: those who actually get what it’s like to stand out from the crowd. She spoke about ‘tall shaming’ and how it is, actually, a thing. You can see and hear Laura in action by going to her Facebook page, here.

I spoke to women about various tall issues they have from the struggles they face raising their tall daughters, how difficult it can be finding party clothes with a wow factor in longer lengths and how difficult it is, generally, finding good quality clothing that fits.

And that, in case you had forgotten, is why Allta came into being. We recognize that finding good quality clothing made from top quality fabrics that is designed to fit a taller frame is difficult and we want to help. After years of not being able to find shirts and jackets that weren’t either too short in the arm or made from a shoddy polyester blended fabric, we decided that enough was enough. We wanted to wear jackets that would actually fit us, flatter us, be made from great fabrics and come in different colours to the standard black, navy and brown.

Allta’s Moreton wool blazer in turquoise and pink, and our Blewbury military style jacket in olive green

So, here we are, one year on from our launch and with our gingham shirts newly released to add to our collection. The focus is still on getting things long enough in the arms and the body (and we’ve added a couple of extra centimetres on to both in our shirts to allow for the fact that they are made from cotton, which is prone to a little shrinkage), and on being made from the best quality fabrics.

Our Aston shirt is made from cotton gingham, a perennially popular fabric that is light-hearted and versatile enough to work either for a day out in the country or a day in the office. It always looks crisp and fresh and we’ve added contrasting button plackets and cuff insides as well as contrasting mother-of-pearl buttons for that extra bit of interest.

Allta’s Aston gingham shirt in blue, navy and pink

I was wearing one on Sunday, which is maybe one of the reasons why I felt ‘normal’ height: I am 6ft tall and was wearing a shirt and jacket that actually fit!

Shirt Giveaway!

Allta is teaming up with @Lucindervention to offer one lucky follower the chance to wine one of our Aston cotton gingham shirts.

Here’s Lucinda in the Aston gingham shirt last week (photo courtesy of @lucindervention)

Here’s how to enter: Follow @allta_clothing and @Lucindervention on Facebook and leave a comment about what is missing from your tall wardrobe. Sign up for the newsletters at https://www.allta.co.uk/ and www.lucindervention.com for additional chances to enter. Winner will be selected as random when giveaway closes on May 15, 5 pm EST. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook. Users must be 18+ and living in the US or the UK.

For full terms and conditions, visit: www.allta.co.uk/competition-terms-conditions.

Normal exclusions apply. Opens: 05/08/19 Closes 05/15/19 17:00 EST (22:00 BST)