The naked truth

So it's fall. And that means fall shopping. And that means that once again, 95% of the clothing I see that I want to try on, will not fit me.

As long time readers know, I am 6'2. That's four standard deviations from the mean. I understand that manufacturers are not actually going to focus on serving this tiny market.

But would it kill them to make a few more things in tall? Don't get me wrong, J. Crew and Banana Republic . . . I am eternally indebted for your line of tall pants and jackets. The last five years have been sheer bliss as for the first time, I could wear something other than a skirt-and-sweater without looking as if I'd just undergone an unexpected growth spurt. Every time I look down and don't see my trouser hem flapping well above the ankle, or a bony wrist protruding four inches from my cuff, I silently thank you.

But tall people don't just have arms and legs, y'see. We also have waists. Those waists are not in the same place as the waists of . . . er . . . daintier women. The standard flare that flatteringly emphasizes their waists before draping gently over their hips, for us starts somewhere mid-rib. The unfortunate effect is to make us look pregnant. Not that I haven't enjoyed the eager young men who leap out of their train seats to give me and my putative offspring a little rest. But I feel that it may be cramping my dating life somewhat.

This plaint surprises many shorter women of my acquaintance, who presume that since models are tall, it must be easy to find clothes. Ah, would that it were so. Models aren't actually that tall--anecdotal observation suggests that the average is more like 5'10 than 6'2. Also, the clothes are generally special fitted to the models, more than occasionally with things like masking tape and binder clips to make them fit correctly. People look at you strangely if you actually walk around on the street with your dress unzipped in the back and masking taped to your body.

Yes, I could learn to sew, and actually, I'm considering it. But specialization is the strength of our modern economy. I have a strong comparative advantage in journalism, and no advantage at all in sempstressing--so why can't I find any manufacturers to trade with me?