TALLSWAG

The Height of Confidence

Alicia Jay4 Comments

I just had the blessing of walking to a store and picking up a San Francisco Chronicle newspaper with a feature about Tall Women in it!  

Do you know how huge that is! 

We have an entire, very prominent feature in one of the top newspaper publications out there! Our beautiful gift is there for everyone to see and appreciate. Our confidence is on display in a major way and I for one look at it is as a WIN for Tall Girls everywhere!

As you know, it took me a long time to recognize how truly amazing our gift of Height is, and completely believe that a large part of my purpose is to show women everywhere that their gifts are beautiful and selected just for them! What an honor to be able to live that out in articles like this one.

I am in some amazing company too! The article focuses on many stories that should be read and shared. I can't wait for you to check it out! In particular with your Tall daughters. They need images and stories like this. I know that I did and I pray that every Tall Girl and Tall Woman receives what they need to stand tall. 

A HUGE thank you to The San Francisco Chronicle, editor Laura Compton, writer Ruthe Stein, make-up artist Nikki Notarte, photographer Russell Yip, stylist Mary Gonsalves Kinney, styling assistant Elise Filter Von Arx and last but certainly not least, Tall Retailer MARGE Clothing for putting the whole idea in to motion and providing some of the beautiful garments for the shoot. [Check-in to my social pages for more about the shoot, including a behind the  scenes video]

I just love you guys and will continue to do everything I can to show the world that Tall is Beautiful...stand Tall every day, in every way! 

#HiFelicia

Alicia Jay2 Comments

I have not blogged in 16 days because I have been truly tired and uninspired. Quite frankly, I have been busy climbing out of a deep hole of perfection that I dug and then dove right in to. It's been an exhausting, yet beautiful process.

I worked incredibly hard to attain the confidence that I have now. I earned every moment of my self-esteem. While it fluctuates from time to time, it has grown in a powerful manner and wins more than it loses. I am proud of me but must continually monitor myself because while I am a great gatekeeper, I am human and life inevitably makes it's way in.

This is normal. This is life. This shouldn't be denied or disguised but from the moment I started my blog, I felt an overwhelming sense of portraying this perfect existence that is completely unrealistic. Not so much in my words, but in my photos. I started scrutinizing every pixel of the pictures. My weave had to have the perfect wave, never revealing the transitioning curls underneath the cap. My makeup had to be on point, with any unsavory blemishes shopped out. Every piece of clothing was painstakingly pressed because that is how it is in real life right? I was chasing a faux goal and it was making me rot from the inside out.

Enter social media.

The Internet's shallow ways sucked me in. I became a sucka for the gram and started comparing my photoshopped images to other photoshopped images. I was fighting fake battles that created real stress. Bit by bit, that confidence that I fought so hard to attain was crumbling and I blindly blogged right through it.

I started praying about it and God really began to show me in little-big ways how silly I had been and presented opportunities to face the fear that I had created.

One, was taking my weave out. Now listen, I am all about changing your hair. Hair really is another way to express your style. If that means adding to it, or taking away from it, please commence. However my weave was not a form off expression, it was a safety blanket. Instead of a compliment, I used it as a form of completion and that had to stop. I was enormously uncomfortable and had literal anxiety attacks but it was something that had to be done. Taking my weave out and rocking my natural curls has stretched me in countless ways and continues to do. While you will see me change my styles up, I can say that I will not depend on one, nor hair in it's entirety, to define me.

I then stopped aggressively photoshopping my photos. I still play with light and clean up the background but for the most part they are raw. The last 5 style posts reflect this ongoing change.

Dating completely transformed. I realized this perfect blog life had spilled over in to my relationships. How can anyone bond with you, when the real you is concealed in unrealistic expectation? While there were many contributing factors, I pinpointed that even my longest relationship wasn't completely authentic. I was so busy trying to be perfect that it was impossible for him to fall in love with me. No more. 

And then there was Felicia.

Listen. My Felicia appearance this Halloween was a statement of complete growth. I had no makeup on, my hair was braided up in to 4 very shrunken braids and I was picking Friday wedgies out of my crack all day. That's as raw as you can get. To be honest, it all started because I didn't want to do my hair but it ended up being far more significant for me.

Felicia was my second Halloween costume. My first was a chic interpretation of Prince. I walked in to the Purple Rain party with my makeup, curls and curves poppin. She did that! You couldn't tell me a thing. I felt completely comfortable and powerful.

While I was crafting the jacket for the Prince costume with a friend, I was simultaneously air drying my braid out for the curly doo that would polish off the look. We snapped the scene for another friend and when she brought the phone over to include me in her story, she said BYE FELICIA! It was funny but I was lightweight mortified. How could you compare me to this disheveled character? My friend suggested that I actually rock the costume at work on Monday and my immediate thought was you must be out your mind.

But then, like all of the other little ways, God conveyed that this fear of being Felicia in public was also silly and that I had to conquer it. So, I swiftly went to Goodwill and found the costume in 10 minutes for under $7. I washed it, cut the collar, braided my hair up and BOOM...Felicia was in the house.

The reactions were hilarious. A broad spectrum of who the heck is she supposed to be to that is the best Halloween costume I have ever seen. Walking around the office naked was a great feat but that social media realm was a whole other story. With this one Felicia post I would exterminate the perfect existence that I had crafted for years.

So with anxiety in my chest, I did my best Felicia impression, captured the photos and posted them. For all intents and purposes, I was frolicking nude in a field of followers.

And guess what. It got WAY more response than the Prince costume. People recognize real and they respect it. That was the realist Alicia they ever known. Applause.

It all comes down to this: The Alicia on the left is the same Alicia on the right. You must rock with both to be truly authentic. Both portraits are beautiful together and beautiful apart. Neither of them are perfect and it's impossible for them to be. Every unique aspect is an imperfectly picked accumulation of the real you that should never be suppressed out of necessity. 

Those are commanding, true words that I am on a mission to live by. I won't be this strong every day, but with every fear I overcome I get closer to living in my purpose and being the person that God created me to be. The person that God built to be loved in her entirety. The woman that won't let perfectionism block her from her blessings.

You will certainly see pretty photos adorned with variations of hair and makeup on this blog but the most beautiful thing is, there will be absolutely nothing perfect about them.

Say hi to Felicia and all of her gorgeous imperfections. She's here for it. She's here for it all.

Zip and Laced

Alicia JayComment
Long Line Pocket Knit Beige - Tall Girls UK/Leather Look Leggings - Tall Girls UK (36" inseam)/Boots (size 12) - Sam Edelman (sorry...2 seasons ago)/Tunic - Forever 21 Plus/Choker - Alloy Apparel/Necklace - Charlotte Russe Photo Credit: Lakeela Smith

Long Line Pocket Knit Beige - Tall Girls UK/Leather Look Leggings - Tall Girls UK (36" inseam)/Boots (size 12) - Sam Edelman (sorry...2 seasons ago)/Tunic - Forever 21 Plus/Choker - Alloy Apparel/Necklace - Charlotte Russe

Photo Credit: Lakeela Smith

When you find a cardigan that is long in the body AND in the arms, you stop whatever you are doing and order it right away! This is certainly the case with the Long Line Pocket Knit Beige Cardi from Tall Girls UK. It's part of their new fall collection that is completely loved by me and I know that you will love it too.

Yes, I wore these leggings in the last post and guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. Recycling clothes is perfectly fine and at the end of the day who cares!?! Rock a basic piece like the leather look legging with multiple fits. That is what basic pieces are for.

Now...please don't kill me...but the boots are from 2 seasons ago and are no longer available (sad face). But here are some fun lace-up boot options that I found in various price points:

LTS Harriet Lace Up Knee High (up to size 15)

LTS Lola Combat Boot (comes in 2 colors, up to size 15)

Bella Vita Kirby Bootie (up to size 12)

Women's March Lace-Up Boot (up to size 13)

Yet another fit you will see me in all season! I've been on the go so much lately and crave comfy, chic styles. What you you looking forward to wearing this season?

Have a fabulous Monday and a crazy-good week lovely!

Length Check

Alicia Jay3 Comments
Biker Jacket - Tall Girls/Leather Look Leggings (36") - Tall Girls/Pumps (size 12) - Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack/Shirt and clutch - Target Photo Credit: LaKeela Smith (her new site is BOSS by the way)

Biker Jacket - Tall Girls/Leather Look Leggings (36") - Tall Girls/Pumps (size 12) - Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack/Shirt and clutch - Target

Photo Credit: LaKeela Smith (her new site is BOSS by the way)

My photographer LaKeela is a saint. She shoots me all of the time and I am so thankful! She also acts as my friend-therapist sometimes and this shoot was no exception.

When we shot this look I was really having a hard time seeing myself with my natural hair. I hadn't rocked it for a minute and quite frankly was uncomfortable. I felt awkward in every photo. Silly me.

It's been some weeks since this shoot and I actually had a hard time picking photos because I loved all of them! This is the longest I have had her out and I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I really, actually love my hair. Furthermore, I really don't care what others think about my hair.

That, my friends, is very freeing.

You see, I have always felt pressure to JUST wear it natural and I have always felt pressure to JUST rock the weave because I was afraid what people would say either way. being 100% certain that I don't care what people say about my pelo is incredibly freeing. I cannot express to you how great I have been feeling. We are all works in progress. I continue to work hard on my confidence every single day. This was a breakthrough for the books baby!

So guess what? My hair, like my style, has no box around it. I will define it as I see fit and can't nobody stop me!

Now for the fabulous fit. Tall Girls out of the UK is doing their thang yall! I love their fall line of tall clothes and shoes and wear this biker jacket and Leather Look Leggings on the regular. They are both cut just right and both go with everything, Two must have pieces for tall-fall.

One thing about the leggings that I specifically love is the thick waistband. It really gives you shape and keeps the leggings up. Nobody wants a saggy pair of leggings boo.

So that's my story and I'm stickin to it...have a great week beautiful!

Fall and Circumstance

Alicia Jay2 Comments
Charcoal Grey Maxi Skirt - Amalli Talli (comes in 46" and 48")/Tall Chambray shirt - Gap/Boots - Nine West (size 12)/Scarf - Thrifted Photo credit: LaKeelah Smith

Charcoal Grey Maxi Skirt - Amalli Talli (comes in 46" and 48")/Tall Chambray shirt - Gap/Boots - Nine West (size 12)/Scarf - Thrifted

Photo credit: LaKeelah Smith

I have loved tall retailer Amalli Talli for awhile and guess what!?! They have their own brand now! They are making the pieces that are hard for us to find and a perfect example of that is their Charcoal Grey Maxi Skirt (it also comes in black).

Do you see this length boo? I am wearing 4.5" boots and it's still long! There are actually two length options, 46" and 48". Yes and yes. I also love the fabric and the waist band is super comfy.

Another thing about this tall basic is that it's incredibly versatile. At $55 it serves all seasons because you can layer it up for the cold months and accompany it with sandals and tanks for the hot moments. It's a great price for a great piece.

I paired it with a casual chambray shirt, fringe scarf and my favorite stacked boots. It's a classic look with some trendy moments as stacked heels and scarves will be everywhere this fall and winter.

How would you rock this skirt? Is there anything that you want Amalli Talli to include in their new brand? Let me know and I will be sure to pass it on:)

Talk to you soon beautiful!

Chic on the Go

Alicia JayComment

Could I be any more dramatic in these photos? I mean geeesh,,,smile or something!

It's ironic that I am not smiling because I LOVE this set from the New Look Tall line. It is so comfy and chic that it's almost ridiculous. I have been looking for a put-together casual look and I definitely found it with this sweater and jogger set....a match made in style heaven! It's also incredibly soft and as you can see...long enough for us! One thing...the drawstring is just there for show but I actually like it that way because the joggers fit nicely with the elastic band and you don't have to mess with the drawstring all day.

As if the set wasn't enough, this bomber jacket is just ridiculous in the best way possible. The length in both the body and arms is perfect for a bomber, I love the army green color and it has the right amount of room for a fall jacket...in the words of baby bear it's just right. This tall jacket is just FAB.

I have really been wanting comfort lately. My busy has been increasing and I am constantly on the go. Sets like these are perfect because you can throw on chic and go! Athletic gear is also in for fall so this look from New Look is right one time,

What's your favorite comfy gear to throw on during your busy moments?

PS. I pretty much want every piece in the New Look tall line. I am in LUV (insert floating heart emoji here). Check out the entire fall line here.