The pinnacle of my self-conscious years as a tall, gangly teenager can be brought down to one moment. It was the early 90s and I was home from school for a brief weekend of relaxation. My ever-helpful Mum had left a selection of articles on my bed, collected from the previous months from various newspapers and fashion magazines. This was a regular occurrence for myself and my four siblings – any guidance that could be found for aimless, drifting youths was hastily gathered up and distributed without comment (and usually binned with equal disdain).
Amongst this latest pile was an agony aunt column, from a tabloid of some sort. A desperate mother had written in on behalf of her lofty daughter, needing advice on where to buy tall fashion, which would not only cut the mustard with a style-conscious teen but also fit a six foot frame! My attention was piqued and I read on. The agony aunt sympathised and explained there was a lovely shop on Chiltern Street by the name of Long Tall Sally, who specialised in tall fashion, and while there they should also visit the transvestite shoe shop over the road which would cater for her big feet.
There it was: the sum total of my fashion future. As my friends shopped the high street every weekend, I was destined to be sporting the same old leggings and jumpers for a while yet.
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