On the podcast this week we have one of the most fashionable ladies, she’s an influencer in the Netherlands and specifically in tall fashion!  What is that?  Fashion to fit more inclusive sizes, specifically taller women.  Marlous de Wit-Williamson goes into living in Europe, finding influencing from her sister, and inspiring others and brands to create sizes for taller women.

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Alice: Great! So, welcome Marlous. We’re so excited to have you on the podcast. Welcome.

Marlous: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Alice: Yes. Well, I’m excited to hear more about you today. And you’re tall, blonde, which is so exciting because I am 6’3.

Marlous: Oh wow!

Alice: Yes. I’m also tall, so excited to hear more about that. But first, I want to get started by talking a little bit about where you are. Where are you right now in the world?

Marlous: I’m in the Netherlands.

Alice: Amazing! Whereabouts?

Marlous: It’s a tiny country in Europe.

Alice: Oh great. What city are you in?

Marlous: It’s a really really small Village. I don’t think many people heard of it, but it’s right in the center of the Netherlands.

Alice: Oh amazing. What’s your favorite part about living in the Netherlands?

Marlous: I think I know my least favorite part is the weather.

Alice: Okay.

Marlous: But I think my favorite part is the people and how they are and things are really well arranged here. So I always said like I would love to move to somewhere where it’s warmer, but as long as I’m still working, it’s probably best to stay in the Netherlands because everything is so well arranged.

Alice: Oh that’s great. Yeah, I miss your, like Universal Health Care in Europe. Yeah, the Netherlands is so.

Marlous: Where are you?

Alice: I’m in New York City actually.

Marlous: Oh, wow.

Alice: Yeah, so it’s also cold. It’s raining like pouring right now. So I apologize if you can hear like, pitter-patter of rain.

Marlous: Beautiful.

Alice: Okay.

Marlous: weather right now. It’s not raining at the moment, but it’s like really gray and gloomy.

Alice: Oh, okay, darn! Yeah, does it get really snowy there as well?

Marlous: It can. All for the last couple of years, I guess we can blame global warming for it, but you see that the weather starts changing. So, winters aren’t as cold anymore. We definitely get snow but usually it’s just one two days and then not that it’s like four weeks.

Alice: Okay. Wow, and can you talk a little bit about the pandemic in the Netherlands? How was your country affected? What did you guys do? What your response?

Marlous: I think the way we were affected was pretty similar to other developed countries. And the measurements were also kind of similar with the exception that Dutch people are really stubborn and they have like this attitude of you don’t tell me what to do.  So, it’s been quite challenging for our government to have people obeyed rules and do what’s necessary to contain the virus.

Alice: Oh, wow.

Marlous: Yeah, but still, I mean, don’t get me wrong. There are still a lot of people who follow the rules and don’t complain about it. It’s just that the people who are against it always seem to be very loud just probably the same where you are.

Alice: Yes. I’m sure you’ve heard about America during it.

Marlous: Yeah because we are small country. So there’s a lot of looking at neighboring countries to see what they’re doing and that actually surprised me because you’re a person that big and there are so many different countries and this virus doesn’t stop at the border. And then every country is doing something different, but maybe also because they really look at the people in that country and what is reasonable for them because I know that like, we are next to Germany and we share a border with Belgium and their rules and measures are much stricter than our and well, we’ve just an hour away. So that’s kind of strange but I guess it’s the same in America where you have all these different states with their own rules and regulations as well. And it’s kind of similar, but it’s going pretty good. Now that the covid cases are rising again but the majority of those cases are people who aren’t vaccinated. Currently, I think 84% of people over 18 are fully vaccinated. So that’s very good number.

Alice: Wow. Yeah. That’s great. I wish we had that. Yeah. I hope you were safe during the pandemic, were you and your family healthy?

Marlous: Yeah.

Alice: Okay. Good. Did you pick up any new hobbies during the pandemic?

Marlous: I did a lot of walking. A lot.

Alice: Yeah, you can go outside.

Marlous: Exactly, go outside and go for long walks. And also I think the advantage of living in a small town that we do. Although I love the city, but because we were like in such a small town, I could just go out the door walking teenager and I didn’t have to come across other people. So during pandemic it was really really nice.

Alice: What is your town known for? What would you say?

Marlous: I’m not sure if it’s known for anything and I was born and raised here. But I guess it’s originally like an ethnic[?] cultural town and we’re still a lot of active Farms here right now. So maybe that’s it.

Alice: Oh, wow! Oh, that’s amazing. Yeah, well I know all about like the tulip trade and how it came out of the Netherlands and the beautiful flowers that come from your country, but I know so much more agricultural as well.

Marlous: Yeah, here it’s a lot of cows and all the majority of the Flower Farms are to the West of the country.

Alice: Okay, cool, and I’m curious. So when did you first start your Tall Blog and how did that begin to start, Long Tall Lous?

Marlous: I started in the summer of 2019 so two years ago and I’ve been playing with the idea for quite a long time, but I thought it would be fun. But it was also like my insecurity that stop me from acting on it. So it’s like who wants to see pictures of me and I also thought it was kind of a pain thing to do. So it wasn’t until my sister who has like an interior blog on Instagram. She kind of pushed me. She’s like you should something like that with tall fashion because people always come to you professional advice anyway, so and you have such a niche which is important on Instagram. And you should really do something with that. And I’m like, okay. Well if she’s now saying anything to do something with it, maybe I should. So I just took the plunge and start. At the beginning it was like really weird because you’re posting and there’s like no one watching and then a couple of friends started following and then some neighbors started following and I got some really positive responses. And so, I kept on going.

Alice: That’s amazing! Yeah, I love your blog. It’s so great and inspiring as a tall woman. It’s like, oh, wow! I can find like some cute clothes or those shoes. Like this is a little too short as like they always are but it’s like.  Yes, that I also loved about the Netherlands while I was there, I kept looking up at other women. It was so amazing!

Marlous: I think they say, were the tallest people in the world in Netherlands.

Alice: Oh incredible! I felt like I was like, these are my people. I’m here.

Marlous: Maybe you do a DNA test to see where you usually from.

Alice: Yeah.

Marlous: You have some Dutch blood in there.

Alice: I know, my grandparents were German so probably. Yeah, close by anyway. So where exactly do you find all of these amazing clothes? And I love what you’re wearing today with the feathers.

Marlous: Thank you. Yeah, where do I find it? I think, of course there are some amazing tall brands like Long Tall Sally from the UK, which I really like, but like for me it’s kind of it’s a sport to find like normal clothing that works for taller bodies. So I do try out a lot of just high street brands and stores, and I try it all out and share it with my followers. And hope to be able to inspire them in that way because I also think that the specific tall brands can also be expensive and I get why, but I don’t think it’s fair that we need to pay more for clothing that fits us just because we are a bit taller than average. And I’m also, like, I don’t shy away to call Brent’s out of being size inclusive because Brent’s they say they’re sized inclusive and what they mean is they have a plus size range. That’s not being size-inclusive. I mean, then you should also have a tall range or thin range then you’re being size inclusive. It’s not all about offering bigger sizes, as well as catering to taller or shorter people as well.

Alice: Yeah. I always find that like in stores here in America. They’ll have like the regular sizes, then they’ll have the petite sizes in the store, but the tall sizes are only online. And so, it just drives me crazy but they should have those in the store and I recognize there aren’t as many of us. But I think there are more and more tall women.

Marlous: Sorry at least you have the opportunity to buy them online because I know that in America, a lot of like either a Target or Walmart offer tall sizing.

Alice: Yes. Online.

Marlous: not the case.

Alice: Wow!

Marlous: Which is because there are so many tall women here. And that’s just no options.

Alice: Yes, wow that’s crazy!

Marlous: It’s really crazy.

Alice: That’s so interesting. You think that they would cater to the country that they’re serving?

Marlous: I would think so. Yeah.

Alice: Fascinating, what has been your favorite fashion find?

Marlous: When I find a blazer with sleeves that are long enough, yeah, [chuckles].

Alice: Yes.

Marlous: Flare jeans that are long enough to wear with hills that’s like that’s bliss. I think my absolute favorite find is
this robe I have from Long Tall Sally. Did you see a robe or dressing gown?

Alice: Yeah, robe works.

Marlous: Yeah, and it is the softest thing ever. It’s so soft and it comes down to my ankles. Yes exactly.

Alice: What?

Marlous: When it came in and I tried it on I’m like I don’t ever want to take this off. I’m 43 years old now, never in my life I had a robe it was long enough. So usually they came to my knees or something like that. So you always cold and that’s not what they’re meant for. So, yeah, that has to be my absolute favorite find and I wear it all the time.

Alice: Wow! Yeah, I never bother with the robe because it’s like, oh, this is just useless to me. But I’m going to look that up.

Marlous: your pants underneath or socks.

Alice: Yeah, exactly.

Marlous: Yeah and this thing’s just down to my ankles and it’s so softest fur and affordable.

Alice: That’s amazing.

Marlous: Yeah. They did really good.

Alice: Incredible. Can you tell us about like, where you see your blog going? What’s up for it in the future?

Marlous: I’m just hoping to keep growing. I love connecting to other tall girls all the tall women and hoping to do more collaborations with brands  and I just hope that as this community grows that we can actually make a difference and get brands  to be more size inclusive. It will be like the ideal goal.

Alice: That’s awesome. Please make that happen, Marlous.

Marlous: I’ll do my best.

Alice: Thank you and something that we always ask on this podcast is what is your definition of Womanhood?

Marlous: Good question. I would say, women supporting other women. I think that’s so important, just to lift each other up, support each other and appreciate each other’s differences.

Alice: Yeah, I think that’s wonderful and everything that you’re doing on your blog telling other women of where they can find things and trying to be more size inclusive with Brands, I think that’s wonderful.

Marlous: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Alice: And if you could give advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Marlous: Just to enjoy life and not care about what other people think or say or like as a child, I wanted nothing more than to just blend in. I just wanted to blend in but I literally stood out because of my height. So that was always such a struggle and it made me so self conscious. So yeah, I would say to just enjoy your life. You do you and don’t care what other people think.

Alice: Yeah, I think that’s awesome. That’s advice I needed for my younger self as well. We did stand out.

Marlous: Thank you.

Alice: And is there anything else you’d like to add to our listeners today?

Marlous: I think maybe a good thing to point out is, of course to being tall there’s a lot of alpheus[?] practical problems that come along to it. There are also advantages like I can always see at a concert or at a movie or [inaudible] always reach the top shelf. I had a therapist ones refer to it as the tall women syndrome. And a lot of tall women or tall girls are received as being very secure, very what’s the word?

Alice: Insecure?

Marlous: Very confident. So people think you’re very confidence just because of your appearance. You literally stand tall and people perceive you as being very confident. But like, of course, we have the same emotions as everybody else. And for myself, I was really shy and insecure. So if you grow up feeling that way but people always perceive you as being very confident, that can mess with your heads because people always treat you differently than what you actually feel like. And I learned that that something that a lot of tall women struggle with.  Of course, not all. I mean, obviously there are tall women out there that are very confident, but just not all of them and that can be a struggle but that’s just something to be mindful of them, I think.

Alice: Yeah, that’s so interesting. I’ve never heard that put so clearly before that like you are like tall you literally as you said before, you stand out in a crowd but we have all these different emotions that were dealing with and we might not be that that big on the inside.

Marlous: Yeah, exactly.

Alice: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I know for me it was really hard like being tall standing out being so much taller than every guy in every class so it took a really long time to start dating because of the height differences and just like that confidence.

Marlous: You need to grow first.

Alice: Yes exactly. Grow!

Marlous: I was always always the tallest in clubs, and in elementary school and gym class. I don’t know if they still do it like that, but you needed to line up and they always did it according to heights. So, the smallest at the
beginning of the row and then the tallest at the end of the row and all through Elementary School I was all the way at the end of the row. So you got all the girls then all the boys and then there was me at the end of the row and looking back to it, I’m like that’s so so wrong to do it like that.

Alice: That’s not helpful.

Marlous: Absolutely not. I mean, just like let the kids make groups you’re fighting into groups or let them choose groups themselves, but don’t line up according to heights. So weird.

Alice: Yeah, that’s strange. I found that always with pictures like school pictures. All of the tall kids would be in the way back which I understand. But now I consciously try to just like bend down in the front because I’m tired of being shoved to the back.

Marlous: Yeah I’m always the one offering to be like the one sitting in the front.

Alice: Yes!

Marlous: I don’t want to be all the way in the back.

Alice: Yeah, I’m not in the back anymore.

Marlous: No.

Alice: Don’t shove me in the back. Don’t put me at the back of the line.

Marlous: Yeah.

Alice: Yeah, I think that’s great. And I think like with your blog you’re doing all these things to provide confidence to these like young women and women of every age who are tall about where they can shop. How
they can look confident. You look fabulous in all your photos.

Marlous: Thank you so much.

Alice: Yes, everyone should check out her blog Long Tall Lous. Everyone, go to Instagram and look at it now.

Marlous: Thank you so much.

Alice: Yeah, Lous it was so nice to get to talk to you.

Marlous: Thank you. I love it. Thank you so much for having me.

About the author

Alice Cash is the Marketing Manager for Jubilance by day and an award winning Theatre Director by night.  Leading the podcast Weekly Woman, she loves her candid conversations with women from all over the world about how they live and the amazing things they are doing to make a difference. Alice is also the editor of the bi-monthly newsletter the Jubilee, a blog dedicated to the power of female wellness especially concerning menstruation.  She’s worked in France creating theatre pieces and taught drama and filmmaking to women and children in Haiti.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds two master degrees from NYU and The New School.  Alice has traveled to  40+ countries, including Tibet.  She is a New Yorker and can often be found in Central Park, searching out the best bubble tea, or directing a play, you never know where she’ll show up. @alicesadventuresinwonderworld
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