Team Tall

Let God

Style posts have taken over my life for some years now. People don't understand how much work they really are. Imagine every outfit you have worn in a 2 week span, constructed, gathered and shot in a single shoot. It's taxing. While this style schedule has been draining, this post is the first time in a long time that I actually had fun doing one.

In the past I put so much pressure on myself to look perfect, have the perfect on trend clothes and obsessed about angles. I was unknowingly creating an image that I could never live up to. I was doing you a disservice and I apologize for that. 

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I would toil over every detail and it was taxing.

No more.

Whenever I shoot these from now on, I will just let them unfold organically. Those veins on my hand will be poppin. If a hair is out of place, that is where it will sit. If my nails don't match, oh well. If I don't feel like rockin a trend, I won't. I will no longer push outside ideals of what I think I should be. That drug no longer has a place here.

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For the past 6 months especially I have been stretched to the hilt. I have found out so many things about myself. I love the beautiful things and am repairing the ugly ones. My confidence is a constant werk in progress. It ebbs and flows. I don't want to preach that it is always positive. While our confidence is always there, no doubt there are days when it's exausted.

There will be many more days where I will need to build my strength. This doesn't make me weak, it makes me human.

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And really I need to stop caring about what you think. I found myself caring more about your thoughts of my content than the purpose behind the pictures and words. 

I absolutely enjoy sharing our stories and beautiful comments about life. It is one of my favorite things about being a blogger but I need to shed the act of caring what you and other people think. The only opinion that should matter is God's. He built me, He gave me my purpose and has made me exactly who I am. He and He alone is who I should be concerned with. I love you and will listen to anything you have to say but at the end of the day, He is the only opinion that matters. To fully live my life, I must walk tall in this fact every single day.

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Sweatshirt - STUZO Clothing / Tall Mom Jeans - ASOS /Glasses - Opaque Eyewear/Kicks - Nike via Nordstrom Rack  Photo credit:  Ashdav Photo

Sweatshirt - STUZO Clothing/Tall Mom Jeans - ASOS/Glasses - Opaque Eyewear/Kicks - Nike via Nordstrom Rack

Photo credit: Ashdav Photo

This is a revelation that came out of a 14 day period of non-stop anxiety about the show. When I dropped the trailer, anxiety enveloped every being of my body. I didn't like the reactions of some people, I didn't like the way I looked with my natural hair (silly yet real thought), questioned the telling of my story and a hundred other completely fabricated things. I built a false mountain out of a non-existent molehill.

I relied on my own view of the situation instead of relying on God's principles and promises for my life. He has given me this opportunity, told me to do it and will do great things with it despite what my view of it may be. Our steps of faith are hard and often confusing but lead to God's plan that is always better than anything we could ever piece together. 

I say all of that to say this...stop trying to control your life and let God take the lead. Work on giving Him the reigns for good. Your life is strategically unfolding in the way that He wants it to. Get out of your own way and certainly get out of His. Listen to Him and unapologetically walk with Him. Be yourself, learn, grow, let go and let God be who He is. 

GIANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Click the image for the exclusive announcement in US Weekly

Click the image for the exclusive announcement in US Weekly

I have been sitting on this for MONTHS so I'm going to get right to it...

I am a cast member on season 3 of My Giant Life on TLC!!!

Errrrrrrrrrr. Stop the record. What!?! Alicia. That giant word goes against everything you stand for right?

Yes. It absolutely did.

The word GIANT had held me hostage since the first bully pierced me with it. It used to obliterate my confidence and crush my soul. In fact, when the show first came out I BLASTED it on my website. How dare they use that word in a show about tall women! I was ready to ride out with a sign, start a hunger strike and camp in front of the TLC headquarters in solidarity for my tall sisters. I refused to watch it and didn't until one day when I was approached to be on the show.

I watched season 2 and elected a committee comprised of friends and family to watch it too. After the viewing party, I thought it would be a great way to share my story and an amazing opportunity to be the first African American on the show but just couldn't get over the title.

Then, I started getting emails, texts and comments (from people that had no idea that I was being considered for the show, many I didn't even know) telling me that I should be on it. It was confirmation in so many ways but I STILL couldn't get over the word.

I continued to explore the process, prayed like crazy and sat down with the only person in this world that I know would give it to me straight...my Mama.

You do have a Giant Life she said. BOOM. The light turned on.

I was still letting THEM WIN.

I was letting their definition of a word become a fact in my life that was holding me back from my purpose. I was still believing a lie. I was letting the bullying linger and lock me down.

The truth is that I have GIANT faith, giant goals and an amazing, beautiful, God-given giant life that I am going to share with the world soon.

I shared a lot. From my virginity to issues with self-love, I bore pieces of my soul. I still shudder at my vulnerability at times. It's a gamble for sure but it's something I feel God has placed in my life for a reason. I am a ball of terrified excitement, placing faith over fear and I am so blessed to have you right there with me!

I will keep you updated. The coming weeks will be full of new experiences that I can't wait to share. Buckle up baby...it's time to jump in with both 12's...let's go!

#TallGirlInTheTunnel

As you know (or maybe not), I work for the Golden State Warriors. Right about now, at this point in the season, we are crazy busy. Not only are we finishing our regular season games (12 home games this month alone), we are also preparing for the Playoffs. It has been quite the month to say the least. Definitely blessed to be here, but we are workin yall!

With that said, I have been serving some major #TallGirlInTheTunnel posts and I thought I would tie them all together in a lovely post just because :-)

What in the Sam Hill is the #TallGirlInTheTunnel?

Well my friends, I stand in my heels in the north tunnel (a.k.a. the tunnel that the visiting team runs out of ) during the games. I direct the Warriors TV pregame show and then I am a stage manager for all of the talent and contests that come out of the north side during the actual game. While out and about in The Bay I often get, Hey! You are that Tall Girl In the Tunnel! Thus, BOOM! #TallGirlInTheTunnel

So here are 6 looks that I werked while I worked. Click on the photos for all of the details on my Instagram. I would love to hear which one is your favorite in the comments below.

Smooches! *In my Regine Hunter voice*

Orange Crush

Growing up, I always thought that wide leg pants would make me look taller and guess what...they do boo. They bring attention to the length of those long legs (especially when wearing a print). Now. my younger self ran from this because why in THE HECK would I want to look taller? However, I now know what a blessing this height is and why not highlight the gifts that God gave you?!?

The Abstract Chevron Palazzo is the perfect pant to accentuate your tall, beautifulness (it's a word in the Alicia dictionary:) They are cut exceptionally well, have a bold vertical print and the fabric flows like a crisp, clean river (too much Alicia). But seriously...these pants are amazing. They are one of my favorite pieces from the latest Taller Than Your Average for Long Tall Sally Collection. They are always HOT and I always want every single piece (winning that for life would be like hitting the lottery). I can't wait to see what's next.

I paired it with a hat, some killer patent ankle boots (that go up to 14) and one of the LTS Basic pieces that I love (and have in multiple colors), The Roll Neck Jersey Top. Just in case you didn't know, Long Tall Sally has amazing basics that are long and will expand your wardrobe in many ways. They enable you to have a proper fitting foundation and that is half the battle in dressing Tall.

Bottom line. Wear what you love, love what you want and leave the self-doubt behind you where it belongs. You are wonderfully made...never forget it!

Meet MARGE

Today I want to introduce you to my new friend MARGE. She is elegant, one-of-a-kind, tall and beautiful. MARGE is a brand new line of tall clothing created by 6’1” fashion fatale, Kaersten Cooper.

Today’s look features the MARGE Gitte Silk Print Top. I cannot express how amazing this piece feels and the fit is impeccable. Like the entire line, the Gitte is not your run-of-the-mill garment. It is a top that is exclusively tall and exquisite. Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that the price points are higher than clothes that I usually spotlight on TallSWAG but the line really is groundbreaking and something I feel that every tall woman should know about. 

Gitte Silk Print Top - MARGE /Joggers (36") - Long Elegant Legs/ Heather Snakeskin Heel - Christian Siriano for Payless  (up to size 13. On sale for $15)/Sunnies and neck piece - Forever 21/Clutch H&M  Photo Credit:  Meg Russell

Gitte Silk Print Top - MARGE/Joggers (36") - Long Elegant Legs/Heather Snakeskin Heel - Christian Siriano for Payless (up to size 13. On sale for $15)/Sunnies and neck piece - Forever 21/Clutch H&M

Photo Credit: Meg Russell

Recently I had the pleasure of having a ladies' lunch with the amazing creator of this leading edge tall line and here is what she had to say about her beloved MARGE…

ALICIA JAY: Where did your inspiration for MARGE come from?

KAERSTEN COOPER: MARGE is inspired by my grandmother. She was a fashion illustrator in the 30’s and 40’s. She has been my inspiration from a very early age. Although at her top height she was 4’11,” and I quickly grew past her, I was always very inspired by her because she was always incredibly creative, driven and very sure of herself. She was the ultimate female role model for me and always encouraged me to embrace my differences such as height. She told me it was a gift, a blessing and told me that clothes can fit you in a way that won’t fit other women. I look fondly at her teachings. She not only inspired the brand, she inspired me to embrace my elevated perspective every day.

Check out this video of The Story of MARGE in motion. Below are the sketches that creator Kaerston Cooper shared with me at our ladies lunch. I was honored that she shared this precious memory of her grandmother Marjorie Boldt with me.

AJ: How did you come up with MARGE as the name for your brand?

KC: Marjorie is my grandmother’s name but I actually decided to name the brand after her the day that I found some love letters that she had written to my grandfather while they were courting. They were wrapped in fabric and each letter was signed XO MARGE. Before then I only knew her as Marjorie and in a way MARGE was like the younger version of my grandmother that I didn’t know. That resonated with me and I embraced that as the name for my tall brand.

AJ: What an amazing story! Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman.

KC: She definitely was! Even though she didn’t give me my height, she gave me an appreciation for it. In many ways she gifted me a lifelong love story of empowerment, unconditional love and the power to be expressive and thoughtful. I tried to bring everything from my relationship with my grandmother into the line. Every detail from the opening of the garment box to wearing the pieces, I tried to make it an emotional experience that you can see, touch and feel.

This is the box that every MARGE order comes in. I absolutely love all of the details of the brand.

This is the box that every MARGE order comes in. I absolutely love all of the details of the brand.

AJ: I would say that you achieved the experience in every way. On top of the experience, what message do you want MARGE to convey to tall women?

KC: Our goal at MARGE is to create a community of and an appreciation for, this amazing bountiful life. Even outside of height. Yes, we live a Life Up Here but we live a beautiful, multidimensional life. We are very dynamic. Tall women are strong, successful, smart and talented. It’s more than being tall but tall is one of the strongest assets you have.

AJ: That is quite a message and I couldn’t agree more! Why did you use fashion to convey this message?

KC: I have always been inspired by fashion and fashion has been in my life since day one. My grandmother taught me how to sew and my mother and aunt made all of their clothes and my mother made all of my clothes as well. When I entered college I felt like I was being put into a box career wise but it came to a point where I knew it wasn’t my passion. I didn’t fit and felt very empty. I knew I always had a love for fashion and after college I jumped in and never looked back.

AJ: I admire your fearlessness to pursue your passion! Why a tall line specifically?

KC: I just saw a real massive void in the market for elegant tall clothing with rich textures that you can easily transition from day to night and do so in a very elegant and sophisticated way. There are some silhouettes that are really simple and very classic that enable the woman who wears them to infuse her own personality into the look. You can add your own flare and make the pieces yours. They invite the MARGE woman to express herself through the elegant, easy to wear options.

This live lookbook is everything. I seriously love everything but the ANJA dress is ridiculously awesome. Swooon! Side note: The shoe selection in this video is perfect for each look. Love the styling and feel of this video.

AJ: You can definitely see that attention to detail in the line. How long did it take you to create the debut line of MARGE from start to finish?

 KC: That’s a good question…a long time! I started almost 5 years ago and that was just coming up with the brand concept and what MARGE needed to look and feel like. It then took a mountain of a business plan, hundreds of fabric trade shows in places from Paris to New York, endless fittings with fit models from 5’9” to 6’5” and an immense amount of work to make MARGE what is it today. It was a long process but I wanted to be really thoughtful about it and launch when we felt it was complete and right. We also had to do a ton of research to see what is out there. I think there are some great options for tall women but we wanted to come out with a line in a different way, in a different fashion and that took some time.

AJ: Thank you for the taking the time because the line is truly beautiful. Will it always be online or will we have a chance to buy MARGE in stores?

KC: There will be some opportunities to be up close and personal with MARGE. We are planning on pop-up shops and we’ve got some great ideas on how to create a more intimate setting for people to experience the line and also what is behind the brand. In many ways we are redefining the fit for tall. Our measurements are different than the standard tall measurements. Having an opportunity for women to come and experience that first hand is essential. 

The MARGE Clothing fit.

The MARGE Clothing fit.

AJ: I can’t wait for those…I love a great pop-up shop! Now that your first line of MARGE has finally arrived, what is your favorite part about it?

KC: My favorite part would be getting the reaction from clients, actually seeing the garments on them and seeing how my vision enhances lives through fashion. It feels great to adorn a tall woman’s body with fabulous clothes and to see her face light up because the clothes enhance the beauty that she already has. That is why I love what I do and I would not be doing anything else.

AJ: What reaction have you been getting from clients about the brand?

KC: A lot of the feedback has been about the fabrics in a sense that they are ones that they have never seen before, or haven’t necessarily been catered to their tall frame. From our silks to jacquards, we have definitely been getting positive feedback on our one-of-a-kind fabrics. Another great thing is the fit. Clients are giving us positive feedback on our fit modifications in our pants, arm and body length. It’s more of a surprise and a thanks from people for bringing something to the market that didn’t exist.

AJ: Where do you see MARGE in the future?

KC: I’m really excited for MARGE. We have so many exciting things coming up. We are already in production for Spring 16 with more size offerings and beautiful options. We are looking to possibly be in stores that are in line with our brand and are growing in leaps and bounds every day!

It was truly a pleasure to interview Kaersten. The line is beautiful and I can't wait to see what MARGE has for us next! Make sure you let me know what you think about the line in the comment section and for the most up-to-date information on MARGE, including shopping the Fall 15 line, visit MargeClothing.com.

Don't forget to follow MARGE on Instagram:-)

Don't forget to follow MARGE on Instagram:-)

Candy Striper

Dress - ASOS Tall /Heels -  Mercedes from Smash Shoes (size 12) /Neck Piece and sunnies - Forever 21/Belt - Thrifted  Photo Credit:  Nikki Notarte

Dress - ASOS Tall/Heels - Mercedes from Smash Shoes (size 12)/Neck Piece and sunnies - Forever 21/Belt - Thrifted

Photo Credit: Nikki Notarte

I know you did a double take on that title (insert crying smiling face here)...

Anywho...pockets = magic. They are a crazy combination of comfortable and fierce (we all have a go-to pocket pose). Pockets are definitely this Tall Girl's best friend. If I find a dress that fits with pockets, it's a safe bet that it will be in my closet immediately. 

This Tall dress from ASOS not only fits the pocket bill, it also has vertical stripes to accentuate your long and leanness (yes, I know I just made that word up). The slits are placed appropriately and when you want to be office appropriate, you can zip the top up, throw on some pumps and walk through the office like the boss you are.

This is definitely one of my ASOS Tall favorites and when I was on the site the other day (ok, truth...I go on it almost every day) I saw some fall favorites that I will soon make mine. Check out the full selection of dresses and new fall arrivals on ASOS.com.

PS. Smash Shoes is the bomb diggity. So good, I clearly brought back an 80's phrase for it. They have shoes up to size 14 and styles that you will want to bag right up!