Meet your tall sister Chelsey Lee, the CEO and founder of tall fashion brand Legs For Days. Today we chatted with Chelsey about growing up taller than kids who were upperclassmen as well as her new line of on-trend tall clothing.
What is your full name?
How tall are you?
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Miami, born and raised. For about 8 months out of every year, I live abroad. So far, I’ve lived in Spain, Romania, South Korea, and most recently Bulgaria. During the summer months, I return home to live in Miami.
How has your height played an influence on your life path? Have you always been confident about being tall?
All my life, I’ve been the tallest kid in every situation, from grade school to high school. I’ve always been taller than all of the other girls in my grade (which also made talking to boys a hassle since I towered over them), and even most of the boys and girls in grades older than mine. It was hard at first because when I was 9, I looked about 13 so people always assumed I was older than I was.
I wasn’t always confident about my height for most of my teenage years. I hated being tall. I used to walk slouched over so as not to appear too tall. Growing up taller than the other kids and also darker than the other kids, I never really wanted to be in the spotlight. I acted very quiet and shy to avoid bringing too much attention to myself.
Gradually, I did become more of a social butterfly. I wanted to be JUST LIKE my big brother Edward at the time, so I started getting into everything that he was into–from his favorite rapper to his favorite player, which eventually lead me to playing basketball. I tried out more than one sport before it was clear that basketball was my IT sport. Once it became clear to me and everyone around me that “hey this kid is actually good at basketball,” my whole outlook on being the tallest girl took a complete 180. Now I was a jock and my height was a big contributor to this change in social status. It gave me this new sense of importance about myself.
After playing basketball for so many years, you decided to start your own clothing line, Legs for Days. What made you decide to do something different?
When most people think of professional women basketball players, the image that comes to mind is more of a manly, masculine persona and as sad as this is, it’s the reality of what most people think. For me, when I’m on the court inside those 4 lines, I’m just as dominant and aggressive as a male athlete. But when I step off the court, I’m just as feminine and graceful as a Victoria’s Secret model. My style can easily go from comfortable Nike Dri-FIT gear and Jordans to maxi dresses and rompers. The only issue was finding maxi dresses and rompers that could accommodate my long limbs and torso. Yes, I know that there are brands out there that support tall women, but I wanted to bring a different look of affordable, current fashion trends to the tall society of women. The kind of clothes that can help tall women feel confident in their height.
I shop all day at places like Forever 21 and H&M, buying maxi dresses and pants that don’t touch the ground. Or, after a few washes, the size shrinks. I thought to myself, there’s gotta be something different that I can do, something I know all women who are part of the 5”10 and taller community can appreciate.
Tell us about the development process for Legs for Days. How do you create pieces that will fit tall women with different body shapes?
At first the ideal for LFD was to do replicas of fashion trends and looks that didn’t come in the proper lengths for women of height because fashion is changing everyday. Then I decided to add a few designs of my own, signature pieces that I felt like every tall women should have in their wardrobe.
For the first collection, I tried to include pieces that could accommodate different body structures: a maxi dress, a full body romper, a two-piece skirt. In this collection, I’ve also created a range of tops that are a little revealing as well as some pieces that cover up the body. You should be able to find something from the first collection to use for every occasion.
What is your favorite piece in the collection and why?
My favorite piece in the collection is one of my maxi dresses in a pastel color that translates into a summertime lunch or beach look. The fact that the dress offers a longer length isn’t the main selling point of this piece; I love this dress because it gives off a vacation resort look. See some of the LFD pieces below.
What words or advice can you share with our Tall Sisters who might be struggling with their self-worth or confidence?
Never try to fit in, because you were born to stand out.