You Never Know

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of beautiful young women at Westlake Middle School in Oakland, CA. It was an amazing afternoon of positivity that Principal Maya Taylor spearheaded. I was honored to share my story and life lessons at the first Women’s Empowerment Day at Westlake. Check this Oakland Post article out for more details on the beautiful event.

 It was a complete blessing to speak to this room of young women that will change our world in so many different ways.

It was a complete blessing to speak to this room of young women that will change our world in so many different ways.

While I pray that I impacted everyone who needed it, by far, the person who was impacted most on this day was me.

While leaving my job of 13 years has been imperative and amazing, I have struggled with direction. There are so many things that I feel God wants me to do, it has been hard to trust myself to select where He wants me to go next. However while speaking at Westlake, He affirmed something in me that cannot be denied…no matter what I must continue to speak about confidence, bullying and standing tall in every way.

I literally went through (and go through) everything in my life to help build others up. It is my life’s purpose. I can see Him working through me in amazing ways. I do not know how I am going to get there but what I do know for certain is that He will make it happen in His timing. The work He has for me is great and I will trust Him through all of it. I will emphatically move my feet and let Him beautifully connect the work together for His purpose for my life.

Currently, I am in the process of revamping TallSWAG to not only be a space to stand tall in style but in all things. I aspire to inspire in all areas of life through the lens of my own. I want to do this through speaking, writing, lifestyle, events, design, travel and every other constructive way I can.

If you feel compelled to connect in any of these spaces, please do. If you have a lead, open position or idea for me that aligns with my purpose, I dang sure want to hear it. God doesn’t waste anything and maybe you are reading this right now to link me to the next step in His plan for me. You never know and I sure don’t see any harm in putting it on the table.

I want to be the light that He needs me to be and will work tirelessly to make it happen. I’m not above giving God a conduit to connect. He uses all of us and I will continue to walk down the avenues He presents to me.

info@TallSWAG.com

Speak Up

When I saw this jumpsuit, I literally shed a tall tear. Yes. I am emotional by nature. Sappy commercials can trigger watery eyes but this jumpsuit called out to me. It was like hey Alicia girl! Not only is it animal print (which you know I live for), it’s also LONG ENOUGH in every way. You wanna hear the most amazing part? It was only $29. That’s not a typo my friend.

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Now. Don’t hate me…but this beauty was so popular that it flew off the shelf before I could shoot it BUT it’s just one of the many pieces that are the new COLLUSION line from ASOS. The site describes the line as:

A new brand for the coming-of-age generation that refuses to compromise on principle or style, COLLUSION believes clothes that celebrate self-expression and inclusivity should be the norm. It's no surprise then that it's linked up with six inspirational creatives to shape its first collection, which includes denim, knitwear, dresses and loads more.

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Now apparently this was made for something called the Gen Z that apparently I am aged out of but I don’t give a dang. I really like a lot of the pieces and will rock them as my older self pleases. The design and the price are winners for this lady.

I also love that they had a collective of six young designers, models, artists, and influencers that created the line. That is dope. Creative collaboration is my jam. Let’s just pray that ASOS calls me to help create their next Tall line. *speaks it into existence*

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Now, let’s talk about these beautiful sock boots. They are from none other than Payless. Payless has been a staple in my closet since I was young. As a whipper snapper, not only were they the only shoes my Mom could afford, they were also the only ones that could fit. They have been holding it down for size 10-13 for years and continue to step their game up design wise. These joints are a testament to that.

While we are speaking things into existence, Holla at me Payless! We have a capsule collection to make, as well as a sick commercial that I have already scripted. Let’s do this!

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 See…they really are long enough. I knew you were wondering.

See…they really are long enough. I knew you were wondering.

 Photos and MUA by  Nikki Notarte   Tall COLLUSION Jumpsuit - ASOS ( sold out. Check out the new line here )/ Brash Women’s Xaya Pointed-Toe Sock Boots - Payless  (shown in size 12)/Belt - Thrifted/Hoops - Forever 21

Photos and MUA by Nikki Notarte

Tall COLLUSION Jumpsuit - ASOS (sold out. Check out the new line here)/Brash Women’s Xaya Pointed-Toe Sock Boots - Payless (shown in size 12)/Belt - Thrifted/Hoops - Forever 21

I will be rocking this jumpsuit a lot. That $29 will be put to good use! Don’t be surprised if you see me running down the street wearing the suit, some sneakers and a faux leather jacket. Yep. That’s gonna be me.

PS. If you even had a thought, even for a moment, that you shouldn’t wear this much print…THROW THAT THOUGHT OUT THE WINDOW AND RUN OVER IT. You can wear whatever you please. Give them somethin to look at hunni!

Starting Line

When I took the leap to follow my dreams, I knew it would take a lot of hard work. Being a dream slayer is a relentless pursuit of getting the bag your way, every day. I’m knocking on every door that I am passionate about, and praising God for the ones that He opens, as well as the doors he creates. It’s a faith fueled grind and I am here for every minute of it.

Perhaps the thing that is hardest, is my budget. While I was saving up for this time before, now I am living solely off of my pursuit and savings. By no means am I broke but there is still a change in the way that I spend my money. I was a baby about it at first, but I am adjusting in the best way I know how. I am well aware that I have more than most and every single day God shows me that money doesn’t make you rich. It’s a lesson that humbles me constantly. My eyes are being opened in ways that I didn’t know I desperately needed.

With that said, mixing and matching are my jam right now. The days of acquiring pieces that aren’t thoughtful are over. If I can’t wear them in every season, in multiple ways, it more than likely won’t end up in my cart. Also, I am moving into a time of living in a more minimalistic manner. I have too much stuff and it’s time to simplify everything (something exciting is on the way there so stay tuned).

Take these pants for example. I have been wearing them all summer with some sandals and a bodysuit but now that it’s fall, they will get a remix. Not only because I love them, but also because they are a pant that you can literally wear everything with.

All of these pieces are from Long Tall Sally. The construction is stellar. Wanna try their pieces on? Check to see if there is a pop-up shop near you. I’m telling you, it’s worth your time. When was the last time you walked in and were able to try everything on? It also helps to know your LTS sizing for future online orders. THE BEST part is meeting your fellow tall queens. It’s magical.

 Throw on a  cardigan  and  sneaks  and walk right into fall.

Throw on a cardigan and sneaks and walk right into fall.

From a cardigan, to a blazer, to a sweatshirt, these leggings are on trend and go with everything. I have been channeling sporty spice like a mug. I’m also incredibly comfortable which has been very important to me these days. I’m working hard and not trying to be irritated by my clothing or shoes. Actually never but you know what I mean.

Now, I am going to post a thousand more pictures in this outfit because it’s a lot of work to take them (check out my IGTV episode on blog shoots on IG) AND Nikki shot some killer shots. She not only shot the photos, she also slayed the makeup. Please follow her page @TheEyeThatGetsThePicture. Enjoy the blizzard of photos and like the great blogger that I am, I will sum them all up at the end.

  Side Stripe Ponte Leggings (shown in size s) / LTS Peyton Lace Detail Sneaker  (shown in s size 13. I always personally size up for LTS Sneakers)/Bodysuit and necklace - Forever 21 (some of the bodysuits actually fit me. Emphasis on some.)/ Block Sandals above  - Target (shown in size 12).

Side Stripe Ponte Leggings (shown in size s)/LTS Peyton Lace Detail Sneaker (shown in s size 13. I always personally size up for LTS Sneakers)/Bodysuit and necklace - Forever 21 (some of the bodysuits actually fit me. Emphasis on some.)/Block Sandals above - Target (shown in size 12).

While I definitely still have my moments of uncertainty, I rest in knowing that I am rockin whatever I wear on the right path with God leading me all of the way. I am working harder, smarter and in a fiscally responsible manner. The lessons that I am learning far outweigh the change in my payroll. God wants it ALL for me and I will faith it forward, achieving His purposes for my life along the way.

It’s the start of fall, but every day is a start of something great that God has planned for you. Whether a new path, new project, or new frame of mind, it’s never too late to start. Are you ready? Get set. Go!

Discover Her Journey

If you don't know, the Taylor Jay Collection is an amazing line with pieces that not only look great together but can be paired with other pieces to create looks that empower anyone's style. They are comfortable, chic and perfect for a woman on the go. 

Behind the line is Taylor. She is a mom, relentless entrepreneur and someone that I am honored to call my friend. She is passionate about what she does and created the #DiscoverHerJourney campaign to expand her scope of sizes to cater to plus as well as special collections that cater to all women in special ways.

I have always been amazed that her pieces are long enough for me. I have been rocking her collections for years and always look forward to her new, thoughtful styles. She really makes things that not only make sense but also make you feel stylish and carefree when you wear them.

 Support a brand that supports you. #DiscoverHerJourney.

Support a brand that supports you. #DiscoverHerJourney.

As a Tall, African American woman who is very underserved in the media and fashion industries, I am so thankful for designers like Taylor who cater to all women and are making strides to include everyone.

It is incredibly important that we support each other and brands that believe in US, so please support #DiscoverHerJourney in any way that you can. From sharing the campaign, to donation, there is no such thing as a small contribution. Every supportive move is a move towards an industry that represents all of us!

Thanks in advance. We all thank you! #DiscoverHerJourney

The Leap

 My friend Shay took this photo in Ibiza on a 3 week trip through Europe that I took with a group of friends a week after my leap. It was such an incredible trip. Freeing. Affirmative. Enveloped in God's love. I am so thankful for the time He has given me to recharge and repair. I know that both are necessary in preparation for the path He is about to lead me down.  

My friend Shay took this photo in Ibiza on a 3 week trip through Europe that I took with a group of friends a week after my leap. It was such an incredible trip. Freeing. Affirmative. Enveloped in God's love. I am so thankful for the time He has given me to recharge and repair. I know that both are necessary in preparation for the path He is about to lead me down.  

Well...I made the leap.

As many of you saw on Instagram, I stepped away from the comfort of a position that I had for 13 years, to let God paint the picture. I literally stopped letting the fear of what could go wrong stop me from living to my fullest potential and pursuing the things that God has placed in my heart. 

I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't share the moments of terror that I have. What did you do Alicia? What will you be Alicia? What does God have planned for you Alicia? But then Faith comes through like a wave to wash them out because I know that it was a God-led decision that was 6 years in the making.

No. This decision was not made in a split second. I have felt restless for years, knowing that I was made for more and deserve respect for the hard work that I bring to the table but I didn't want it be my decision, I wanted it to be God's.

So I prayed, continued to work hard, navigated through it in the most gracious way I could and waited on God. Along the way I was prompted to do things that I didn't understand (that I now know prepared me to walk away from my comfortable captivity), until the day came that it was time to trust Him more than I trust myself.

Now, 3 months into it, I am emphatically moving my feet and knocking on all of the doors that spark passion. I am revamping some things (both internally and externally) and going after my purpose. However the thing I am doing differently, is giving God the control and the room to do His work. It's a hard thing to relinquish, but I must get out of His way to find my way. The picture undoubtedly will look far different than what I think but will give me the peace of knowing that I am walking His path of purpose for my life. I am here for it Lord!

I can't wait to share this path with you. Knowing you are there to grow and learn with me, means the world to me! What better way to start this journey than to talk about some of the things he did to prepare me for the leap.

Alicia, you just leap right!?! Yes, that has been what some were called to do but God knew that I needed to ease into this thang. I think we forget the He created us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and so when He wants us to make a decision like this, he gives us some type of nudge that makes sense to us. Something that gives us the courage to take it.

One thing my Pastor always says is do the last thing that God told you to do. With that said, I wanted to share 5 steps of obedience that helped me see God's timing for my leap:

1) Steward my money. 6 years ago, the Holy Spirit was like girl you need to get your finances right (me and the Holy Spirit go way back so He can talk to me like that). So I did. I tithed (wasn't perfect every month but I grew in leaps in bounds), saved and God gave me the resources to pay off all of my debt. This gave me a cushion. It doesn't mean I don't have to hustle, but instead of jumping off the cliff without a parachute, I have a thin one that made the leap far less scary. God knew this child had to have a little rope to hang on to.

2) Car Shopping. I got into a fender bender with my old faithful 4Runner that I picked out with my Dad. When I took it to the shop to get it fixed, even though it looked perfectly fine, they said there was internal damage that you couldn't see and they totaled it. I cried because it was sentimental, made me feel close to my Dad and I just knew I would have a car payment that would set me back financially. God sent a car that had great mileage and I could pay for it in cash from the payout of my totaled car. I didn't want it. I fought it for a hot minute until I heard chill, this is the one. I begrudgingly did what I was told to do and now this car completely makes sense and is a total blessing. The gas mileage is on point, it runs really well and is exactly what I need right now. No matter what, listen. It's all part of the plan.

3) Find Community. I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember but there was always something missing. Sitting in church alone was something I had become accustomed to but after a taping of my show, I met The Movement Church and it has changed my life. Among other things, it has shown me the importance of having a strong group of believers around you to lift you up, talk it out, hold you accountable and bring you back to God's word when you want to run from it. By no means did they tell me to do this. This leap was prompted by God but my community is certainly helping me navigate through it. My wise council game is strong.

4)  Amplified Prayer. Years ago, my prayer life was weak at best. I really believe it's a lifelong practice that you must constantly work on. So I stepped it up and continue to do my best to enhance and increase my prayer life. Praying about this decision was a daily essential. I wanted to make sure the move was from Him so I stayed prayed up. I didn't get the answer for many years, so don't think that your answer will come overnight, nor that it will be the answer that you want. Prayer changes things, fosters power and gives direction. In everything that you do, integrate prayer as a main ingredient.

5) Trust the Process.  That word trust comes up all of the time. Either the word itself, or an amazing example like this one I shared on Instagram, God constantly brings me back to trusting Him. It's not always easy, but it is a constant step of obedience that I have to foster daily. He knows I need those reassurances and He continues to unfold them through the most confusing and beautiful moments of this whole life thing.

These most certainly are not the only things that He did to launch my leap. You see, God already knew when I would do this before I was even born. Our stories are meticulously planned by Him. He knows all of the failures, wrong turns, mistakes and successes. His plan is in constant motion. We must show up, do the last thing he told us to do and rest in the peace that it's already happening. It's going to be a wild, emotion filled ride but I am thankful that He is the one behind the steering wheel.

 The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8       

Make Me Blush

Right now, I am infatuated with blush. I literally have a blush piece of clothing in every genre. So when I found some blush jeans that were long enough for us, I pounced. No literally, I attacked these jeans. They had no chance but to be in my closet. 

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And I am so glad that I did because these babies from Alloy Apparel are amazing. They come in 35" and 37" length and in sizes 3-15. In fact, Alloy just launched a curvy line that includes tall and I couldn't be more excited. It's about time a brand has us ALL covered.

Not to mention, they have just the right amount of stretch and are high waisted. I don't know about you, but I'm not really in to showing booty crack when I bend over and there is no way that you can do that in these jeans. They hit the waist just right and give you that curve that's hot like fiyah.

The top is also a tall alloy piece. I love a sheer top that actually is long enough...win-win. 

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Let's talk about these shoes. They are from Target. YES. Target goes up to a size 12 online. I found some amazing, budget friendly styles that I am going to wear all summer long. Check them out for yourself! 

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I am certain this won't be the last time you see me in blush or in something from Alloy Apparel. They are all about tall and releasing great styles daily. They really do have tall and ALL covered. Check them out and let me know what you think!