Aged 32, measuring 6’ and size 14, long time LTS customer Harriet Winters had a full 3D body scan for our bespoke 3D mannequin; a first in the fashion industry.
What prompted you to enter the #MadeTall competition?
'I’m on the LTS mailing list and received details of the campaign. I thought quite hard about whether to apply or not; I told my boyfriend and he encouraged me to have confidence in myself. I was nervous though, I felt like I might be laughed at. Ultimately though I thought the campaign was very positive and that was what encouraged me to apply.'
Do mannequins in stores have any influence on your current shopping experiences?
'I do notice mannequins in store and I’ll always look to get an idea of how a dress hangs or how it will fit. But I don’t find it very helpful if the mannequin isn’t representative of how I look.'
And how does that make you feel?
'I think it’s twofold. It makes me feel bad that I won’t look as good as the mannequin but also it makes me think I don’t want to shop there as it doesn’t feel like they’re making clothes that are practical.'
Looking at my mannequin I find it all quite surreal!
So a difference in mannequins would ultimately change your shopping preferences?
'Yes definitely. So I'd get a better idea of how clothes would actually fit on a regular body. That’s what I’m looking for when I’m shopping; I don’t want to try on 20 things and chance upon one that will flatter the right bits. I’d rather see up front whether it’ll be a flattering style for my body shape or not.'
How has the #MadeTall mannequin making experience been thus far?
'It’s been very interesting. I felt a bit self conscious being scanned but I think it’s an important thing that Long Tall Sally is doing - it’s a good step - so I’ve been trying to put the self consciousness aside!’
How did you feel when the mannequin was unveiled?
[Laughs.] 'Surreal! Especially when I heard it was all chopped up and laid out in the back of Thom’s (mannequin maker’s) car!'
Let’s talk practicalities. How long did the actual scanning take?
'Only about 10 minutes, not long at all. It looked a bit like an iron with lights on. Quite odd!'
Do you feel proud looking at your mannequin?
'I think so. I’m proud of my height and my figure so it’s a positive thing. Although I do feel a bit self conscious!'
32 years ago I was made tall and today I’m made tall again!
Has the experience taught you anything?
'Yes, I’m more conscious of how I hold myself. Certainly being scanned made me a lot more aware of my body position.'
What do you love about being tall?
'I’ve come to love being tall. I didn’t like it when I was younger but as I’ve gotten older I’ve seen it more and more as an advantage; being able to look people in the eye at work and having a certain amount of authority. My boyfriend is shorter than I am - he’s 5’7” - so we have fun with the height difference!'
So he doesn’t mind about the height difference?
'No, he likes it. We find it funny! I think that’s really helped me - the fact that I’m going out with someone shorter is a sign that I’m more comfortable with my height. Before I would go for taller men so I’d feel smaller. Yes, I do enjoy being tall and it’s part of who I am. I’ve discovered wearing heels and I have some great ones. I wear heels routinely now, usually between a three to four inch heel.’
I’m proud of my height and my figure.
Tell me about your go-to style for work and play.
'For work I like tailored skirts, jackets and dresses - quite structured pieces. For fun I like dresses, like this style with nipped in waists. I’m quite into motorbiking, I have a CBR600RR, so I like leather jackets, T-shirts, cardis and casual clothes.’
What was the last thing you bought from LTS?
'Jeans. I always buy my jeans from Long Tall Sally. I’ve been shopping with you for about ten years, online and in your Chiltern Street store.'
Do you hope that your experience will empower and encourage other women to feel better about their body shapes?
‘Yes, I hope so. I think if I went into a shop and saw a regular shaped mannequin I’d feel better. I hope other people will too.'
Any final words for your tall sisters?
'Just embrace your height! I get quite excited when I see another tall woman, especially if she’s wearing heels. We’ll definitely have a little chat about it!'