Jul 6, 2012

Chapter 5: Dear Clothing Companies

To Whom It May Concern::

I am tall. I am not over 6 foot, although put me in heels and I hit 6 foot easily. I have long legs to go with all that tall - it only makes sense. Heck, I have a long torso but that's not the issue. It is just a simple fact: I have a whole lotta leg. I had my growth spurt in 5th-6th grade, so I have always felt a little freakish being so tall. Volleyball, basketball and track team coaches begged for me to join because of my height and those long legs. (Well they did until they probably learned I'm athletically challenged from my P.E. teachers - but that's a different story.) The point is I'm tall and I have long legs. And all that means I have to dress all that tall.

So now I want to tell you a story. A story that is sad and frustrating but takes a happy turn before going down that same sad and frustrating road again, so just hang with me here:

When I was younger, it was a constant battle because nobody - and I really mean nobody - carried pants in longs. As a young girl especially, I felt like a freak and outcast being as tall as I have always been. Then on top of that, you can't find anything to wear that is long enough and that just drills that freak notion harder into your head. Most of my pants shopping trips resulted in tears. I started to envy my older sister who was (and still is) a full head shorter than me (if you think I'm kidding I'm not: I'm about 5'9 1/2" and she's about 5'4" or so). She'd put on regulars and yes they'd probably be too long but she could just roll them up or wear them with different shoes and they'd look just fine. I'd put on regulars and I have high-waters. I would have given anything to short. It's also some of the reason to why I tend to hunch a little.

Over time I realized it's really not so bad being tall, but then again my tune changed right about the time when more stores sold longs. Granted, I had to buy many of them online but I at least could find them now. I could be comfortable and not feel as out of place, at least in regards to my clothes. I started feeling better about myself. Without realizing it, my height had become a major issue in how I felt about myself and my self-esteem. And you all, as clothing companies, only made me worse most of the time until I got a little older. I was finally able to stand a little taller. Walk a little straighter.

Fast forward a couple years and I got married. We even saved money not having to get my dress hemmed, so that was definitely nice. Fast forward again to just over six months beyond that and I found out I was pregnant. I couldn't have been happier. I was over-the-moon excited about our newest addition due in November. Weeks started ticking by and I noticed my body changing, and suddenly my regular pants were just a little too tight. I began the search for maternity pants and that insecure teenage girl reared her ugly head again. And I'm not just talking about those hormones and ache breakouts. Those self-esteem issues came back in full force. It wasn't about weight gain because for one that's a natural part of pregnancy (I am growing another human being in my body after all), and two I have been worried throughout that I haven't been gaining enough. No, instead I went back to hating all my tall and my mile-long long legs.

Truth: I can still wear my own jeans. I can no longer button them because they are uncomfortable and well impossible to actually button. So I use a belly band so I can keep them up and hide the fact that my pants are neither buttoned nor zipped. It seems like a perfect solution, but don't get too proud of yourself for coming up with the belly band just yet. Sometimes I don't want to wear those jeans with the tight belly band. Sometimes I want to wear something - anything - with an elastic waist. Plus I still have my occasional pout of morning sickness so the last thing I want is the belly band pressing on my already nauseous and upset tummy.

So I figured it was time to start hunting for those maternity pants with an elastic waist. Perfect solution and I'll be comfortable all day and not just when I get home from work and put on my sweatpants. One problem: my  long legs. Another truth: You will be hard pressed to find causal maternity pants in longs. I am a simple girl with a simple style. I work a simple job that doesn't require me to dress up in business pants at all. My style has always been pretty much the route of Old Navy and Target. They have comfortable and affordable clothes. But as it turns out neither make those causal elastic band waist maternity pants in longs that I so desperately seek. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is?

I have held it together fairly well through my pregnancy. I don't cry easily - or at least not at the drop of a hat. But the evening I spent searching for pants reduced me to tears. I searched every site I could think of and googled others. I even found a baby website with community boards with several women asking for help with the same issue. But after trying the places that were suggested I learned a couple different things: First, most of the places that sold longs are based in the UK. Second, charging us $60-$80-$100 for a pair of longs in maternity pants when someone just a little shorter can get the same pair so much cheaper should be a crime.

As far as shirts and skirts and dresses are concerned, you are doing a great job. There are tons of cute stuff out there that I can easily wear. No complaints there - in fact, keep up the good work. But in regards to the pants matter, it's a nightmare. So I want to end my story by saying this:

I am an average girl with long legs. I am not a model so don't bother with your size zero - never going to happen. I am in fact pregnant. I am so completely excited about the birth of my first child, but stop making me feel insecure and like there is something wrong with me. I am tall. I am not ashamed to be tall. There are lots of other women like me in the world. And I may even have a tall daughter one day, so I'm asking you to not make her feel like a freak either. She will be beautiful with her long legs. I am beautiful with my long legs. So don't forget about us. Don't charge us so much more for the same pair of pants that has a couple more inches. We are pregnant. We are tall. And we are proud to be both. So just make us some pants that are long enough already!

One Tall, Pregnant, Frustrated Woman

P.S. My inseam is 34".

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