May 17, 2011

standing tall.

At 5 feet, 8 inches, I'm tall. Not, you know, crazy tall, but definitely tall. For years I've been one of the tallest--usually the tallest--within my different groups of friends. This hasn't wildly affected my life. I don't have any horrific insecurities, don't have any real problem with my stature. But my height has managed to shape one area of my life quite incredibly: my shoe collection.

Flats, flip flops, low-heeled boots--the shelves of my closet are lined with short shoes of every type, every fabric, every color. Suede ballet flats, canvas boat shoes, a supply of leather sandals so enormous it's borderline embarrassing. And yes, of course--of course--there are heels. Plenty of them. But they've always come out only when absolutely necessary. Only when I know that every single one of my friends will also be towering in stilettos. Only when the circumstances are just right. 

I love shoes. Adore them. In fact, ever since I was little I've dreamt of becoming a shoe designer, and in high school I even created an entire portfolio of sketches. At one point, I very seriously considered design school. But, I thought, how could I--the girl who wore flip flops whenever possible, whenever the temperature rose above sixty degrees--even pretend to have enough credibility to create an entire line of heels? It felt ridiculous, like some sort of joke, and so I tucked away the fantasy.

And then, a few weeks ago, I bought the shoes pictured here. They are from Target (of course) and entirely out of my comfort zone. When I grabbed them, Radley raised his eyebrows--and I admit that I, too, questioned myself: platforms? four and a half inches? really? But I ignored my own doubt. Told myself that there would be some day, some fabulous occasion when every friend would be in her highest heels and I'd be able to wear them without feeling like a total giant.

They called to me, though, almost immediately after I bought them. Each day I'd scour the shelves for the right (flat) shoe for my outfit, and each day I'd spy the perfect cork wedge, the perfect woven fabric. Sighing, I'd put them on, notice how much they made the outfit, parade around in them for a few minutes, and then, crestfallen, return them to my closet. It was, well, pathetic. 

Until, one day, post-parading, I decided not to take them off. Decided--what the hell?--just to wear them. Rock them as any shoe-loving girl would. I sported them to run errands, to meet a friend for lunch, to class. And yes, people made comments: "Heels? But you never wear heels! You're so tall!" And yes, I felt a bit ridiculous, a bit like a giant at different points throughout the day. But I loved them--loved the look of them, loved the feel of them. Loved the sensation of embracing my size--exaggerating it, even--without being afraid to stand out.

Ever since, I've been sporting a heel of some kind at least a few days a week. No, I won't be getting rid of my extensive sandal collection. And no, I most definitely won't be retiring my ballet flats any time soon. But it's nice to know that I can wear what I love without being embarrassed. It's nice to know that I can stand tall every once in a while.

And, besides, Radley's 6'7"... So, you know--why not, right?


Ana* said... [Reply to comment]

I am 5'5" & I feel like a giant most of the time I wear hills. Sunday and yesterday were the exception. I wore 4" platforms and loved every extra inch.

Kristina said... [Reply to comment]

I'm glad to hear you are rocking the heels and embracing it. I do love heels - I always had a thing about only dating guys taller than me so I could wear heels and not be taller than the guy. Silly huh? I did end up with Ryan, my husband, that is 6'3" so heels - I can always rock them and feel good. It's funny though because he never quite realizes how short I am compared to him until one of two things happens : I wear heels that make me taller and I'm somewhat closer to eye level OR I'm too short to reach something and I prove it after he clearly says, "You could totally reach that". hehe.
Hope you are having an awesome Tuesday!

jackiek said... [Reply to comment]

I can relate to this so much. I'm 5'7" and have a plethora of flat shoes, boots, and sandals that I wear. And I also have the collection of wedges, heels, and high boots. But considering my mother is around 5'2" and most of my friends are below 5'5", I always feel like a giant towering over everyone when I wear the heels! I love my height, but combined with being a muscular athlete, sometimes the heels are a bit much. That being said, i can never stop myself from buying a cute pair of heels, and therefore am making it a goal this summer to rock the heels at least once a week! xo

Heba said... [Reply to comment]

I'm 5'4 and I've never wore high heels before

Abi P. said... [Reply to comment]

That's so funny, I just had the discussion of height with my husband a few days ago. I'm 5'6 and my husband is 5'8. I bought these amazing platform wooden sandals. I wore them with a pretty tank, and a floral skirt. On the way out- I stood next to my husband, and I felt sooo insecure. I'm like, "look at me! I look like a humungo giant!!" My husband says it doesn't bother the fact that I'm taller then him with certain heels. Most of the time when I wear heels we are the same height. I felt so bad though, I went back inside and changed into my flats. My husband, was like.."why are you changing? I'm the short one!!" I thought that was really cute. I figured that even tho, I may be a little taller then him with my heels, and feel insecure- my husband feels insecure too, esp. when I bring up the fact that I'm feeling so tall! Now I'm starting to feel comfortable with the fact that I am a tall girl- yup. Take it or leave it ;)

Just the fact that Radley is 6'7!

Girl, you rock those wedges!

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

Wow. I didn't realize you were so tall! Lucky!! Yep. I'd probably reach your...shoulder?
But that's awesome that you're rocking those heels! Why not?! Who says tall girls can't wear heels too?
You would think I'd wear heels...but no. I haven't really tried to. Maybe your blog post will pump me up for some!

christine donee said... [Reply to comment]

tell me about it.

I'm 5"9.

The heels are hardly ever worn.

lrs said... [Reply to comment]

girl, rock those heels!

lrs said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author. said... [Reply to comment]

Work it, Laura! Nothing looks more confident than a tall girl in heels, and if your boyfriend will definitely never be shorter than you, then even better :)
Hope you're having a great week!

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh I'm so jealous of your height! I'm 5'2, so with 4.5 inch heels (the tallest I have) I'm only like 5'6!

The Many Colours of Happiness said... [Reply to comment]

They're lovely!! Haha I'm 5'8 but I am the shortest of my friends! They are all around the 5'10 mark, and they all rock heels :)

Nicole Marie said... [Reply to comment]

i'm 5'9'' and never wear heels because i feel like suuucchhh a giant!!

Pia Zwegers said... [Reply to comment]

i was so excited to see this post...

my whole family is super tall, so it's no surprise that i am 5'11"! my soon-to-be husband is the same height as me, so as far as heels go... i do not wear them too often. i already tower over most people with nothing more than bare feet, so when i put on heels i am at least 6'2".

sometimes i miss wearing them, but i do have to say, that i hardly ever go out and complain that my feet hurt :)

happy heel wearing!

Hannah Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

how lovely and inspiring to read friend! I'm 6'0' so I literally only own like 3 pairs of heals. I'm sure my sandal collection could rival yours.

my boy is only 6'1' so the heels don't come out to play much. but you make me happy. and it makes me happy to know there are other giants out there :-)

Chels said... [Reply to comment]

Love those shoes!!

Great post :)

allie margaret said... [Reply to comment]

I know how you feel, im 5'10" and im constantly getting comments about how tall I am. Throughout high school I was always sporting flats, but now I've finally embraced my height and I sport heels just as much as the next girl and I absolutely love it. And since I'm not dating anyone, it doesn't even matter! (maybe it'll attract the tall guys to me anyway...)


Hannah said... [Reply to comment]

I'm 5'9, and I feel like I could've written this post myself. Way to go, sporting those platforms! Now I just need to convince myself to do it. My husband is only a little bit taller than I am, so I need to pick a day when I'm just with my girlfriends, and they're all wearing heels, and I'm wearing the right outfit, and the wind is blowing just right, and the stars are perfectly aligned... yeah maybe one of these days. :-)

Eleanor said... [Reply to comment]

Hi laura,
Im 5'10 and most of my friends are between 5'0- 5'5! As a result I always get comments- wow youre so tall. I love my height but i hate that when I wear heels (again I wear maybe 1/2 inch heels for a wedding) its only for a necessity and I hate wearing them around men because they seem to feel emasculated!! Its horrible!
Even so- i definitely should wear heels more, I love them.
Good for you!

Eleanor xx