TALLSWAG

Cuffing Season

Alicia Jay1 Comment

Just in case you didn't know...it's cuffing season (insert your favorite love emoji here). And currently I am cuffed all the way up with something warm, soft and just my type. Introducing my boo...

The CURATD x LTS Heavy Turtle Neck Knit (swoon)

I be cuddled up in this thang all day long. It's seriously an amazing sweater from an amazing collection. Listen...tell me the last sweater you had with pockets!?! My mind is completely blown. You KNOW how I feel about pockets. It was clearly meant to be.

I paired it with the CURATD X LTS 7/8 Raw Frayed Jeans that go with everything and have just the right amount of stretch. They hit right at the ankle and although you can't see it in these photos, the frayed hem is sublime.

Last but certainly not least are the LTS Lexie Over The Knee Boots that are...wait for it...actually over the knee!!! Go ahead. You can squeal. I do every time I put them on.

I love this look but trust me...stay tuned...because part 2 of the CURATD collection is coming soon and I can't wait to show it to you!

Until then mon cheri...

All The Way Up

Alicia Jay1 Comment

Queen...can we talk?

Yes. I am talking to you. 

I hope that you know and fully understand that you weren't created to be average. Nothing about you is average. In fact, you were crafted and carved out in a specific way to accomplish great things in your life. Every single aspect of your being was selected on purpose and for a purpose. 

As you walk through this thing called life, there will be people and messages that will attempt everything in their power to make you feel inadequate. 

Do not let that in. You choose what to let in and what to let out.

More often than not, some of the most damning messages that you have to combat at the ones from yourself. 

Yep. You. 

We must not only be a gatekeeper to outside  lies but also the ones we tell ourselves on a daily basis. 

It's not going to be easy nor will you be successful 100% of the time. I personally battle with this negative self-talk regularly. However it is something that you must be vigilant about because if you are attacking yourself, you are most definitely weak and ready for the world to finish the job.

It all starts and ends with you.

Now that we have fully embraced the fact that we are responsible for our part of the story, please remember that you are extraordinary, can do all things and have all the tools to be exactly who you were created to be. Walk above the standard expectations that this world pushes and settles for. Work daily to prevail over the fear induced limits that we often set for ourselves and soar in the space that you deserve.

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he creates us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Celebrate the Luxury of YOU

Alicia Jay1 Comment

Tell me when was the last time you tried on a garment or pair of shoes that had the trifecta of luxury: custom fit, quality and great design?

I know. That's a tough one. Especially for us.

Fit is probably the hardest of the three however I've partnered with @PoppyBarley & @MARGEClothing to champion a message to tall women everywhere: Celebrate the luxury of you with clothing and footwear exclusively designed to your unique frame and lifestyle.

Poppy Barley is a premier designer of ethically handcrafted leather footwear in custom foot widths, calf widths and boot heights ranging in sizes 5 to 12. MARGE is a premier upscale womenswear brand designing luxurious collections and custom pieces for the tall, confident, modern woman.

Want a chance to win a little bit of this luxury? Enter to win a luxury wardrobe of your choice from Poppy Barley (valued at $500) and MARGE Clothing (valued at $1000) when you sign up to the #PoppyBarleyxMARGE mailing list (link in profile), plus, automatically claim your exclusive discount code just for entering. Indulge in beautifully curated, thoughtfully constructed clothing and footwear essentials. 

If I could enter, I most certainly would...there is nothing like a custom made piece and both Both MARGE and Poppy Barley craft key pieces that are custom made for Tall women. Both companies hold themselves to the highest standards of construction and ensure that their products are special for every customer. They value the process and the final product and that makes their shoes and clothes valuable to me in more ways than one.  

Now there are some little rules to go with this amazing contest, so make sure you check them out and enter away. Also, stay tuned to the other lovely tall bloggers included in this giveaway and see how they styled Poppy Barely and MARGE! @CarolineGault, @GinnysCloset and @PrettyTallStyle 

I wish you the best of luck! You deserve luxurious moments like these;) Celebrate the luxury of you with Poppy Barley & MARGE!

*This opportunity ends Nov. 28th, 2016, and is open to Canadian and US residents only. By entering the contest, you agree to become a subscriber to PoppyBarley.com and MARGEClothing.com. If you are already a subscriber, you can still enter the contest. The prize is valued at $500 from Poppy Barley Inc. and $1000 from MARGE Clothing. Your orders will be placed and discounts applied in-house by Poppy Barley Inc. and MARGE Clothing after the contest closes. The winner will be selected at random and contacted via email the week of Nov. 28th, 2016.

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.