Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Something funny happens the first time a client attends one of our trunks shows.

They walk in. Look around. Look at me. Look around again. And, then, we hug.

It's like years of painful shopping memories are erased because finally, finally, they can shop "off-the-rack."

Inevitably, we then have a conversation about where they played college sports, what size shoe they wear, their inseam, if their spouse/loved one is taller and whether they'll wear heels.

Owning your own business has its share of ups-and-downs. But, it's these moments, when you connect with clients over having to wear men's jeans, bad prom dresses and shoes that don't fit, that you know it's all worth it.

OKC tall chicks do indeed rule.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pack rat

I was born without the ability to pack. It's like a genetic deficiency.

A two-day getaway takes my hubby 15 minutes to prepare for. I can see the calculation in his head. "Two days. That's how many Royals' shirts? Done."

And, then, there's me: Ms. Katie Overpack.

Our last vaca was for 10 days. Holy mother. You can't imagine the stress this caused. How am I supposed to know what I want to wear eight days from now? I can't decide what to eat for lunch.

And, then, there's that 50lb. weight limit the evil airlines impose. Sigh. Don't they know I'm tall and my clothes are heavier? (Can you hear me whining?)

I have been that girl at the front of the line sorting through my clothes for all the airport to see, looking for a way to make my bag lighter. Sometimes it just takes a few shakes of the bag -- and, maybe a kick -- and those pesky numbers go down. (If only losing weight were that easy, right?)

Other times, it takes luck. Like on the way home from our 10-day escapade, I knew my bag was over the limit. But, an (un)fortunate incident at skycap saved my tail. While checking in for the flight, I happened to gaze down and realized my skycap's fly was open.

"Hmmmm," I thought. "That looks like leverage." Well, leverage and somethin' else.

As the skycap lifted my bag on the scale (think Olympic-style weight lifting) and started to read the number, I politely informed him that his barn door was open.

Miraculously, the number on the scale no longer mattered. I checked in. And, me, half my closet, and all my vacation treasures made it home in one bag.

Would I have felt bad if the plane went down because I was over the limit? Well, sure....

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The hubs and I live in a condo so closet space is at a serious premium. I have dreams of my next house having a huge walk-in closet with a big overstuffed chair so I can sit and make wise decisions about what I'll leave the house in each day. (Here's a hint: It will be black.)

Until then, though, I'm stuck with only having the current season in my purview. The rest, is banished to storage until the seasons again change.

The benefit of having NO closet space though, is it makes you edit. With the arrival of a new season, I remove the previous season from my closet and divide the clothes into piles of keep, mend and donate. Thanks to the wise counsel of my sage mentor, Tim Gunn (he doesn't know he's my mentor), if it hasn't been worn in more than a year, it goes to the donate pile.

I'm not joking when I say this ritual takes me hours. It took me three hours last night to sort thru spring/summer. (Let's just say some tall woman shopping at Goodwill in KC with a size 14 shoe is gonna be REALLY happy.)

And, today, I spent two hours unloading my fall/winter clothes making sure they still fit and the slacks were long enough.

While the process seems to take forever (a good Julia Roberts/TBS movie in the background does make it go faster), I go through this ritual each season before I let myself shop for new things. This helps me avoid buying too much black (okay, bad example), determine which shoes I need to replace and what colors/tops I need.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Making the case for white

I've never been a fan of the antiquated can't-wear-white-shoes-after-Labor-Day rule. For cryin' out loud, it's hard enough for a tall chick to find cute white shoes and now I can only wear em' four months of the year? No.

My quick Google search for reasons behind this unofficial fashion rule cited temperature and some blah-blah-blah about the color white reflecting light. In the summer, this of course keeps you cooler, but in the winter, it also makes you colder.

So, I'll put on some wooly socks. Big deal. Light reflection is not enough to convince me of the evils of wearing white shoes after Labor Day.

Another reason cited was etiquette. Perhaps I'm a little over-attached to my fabulous white heels but if me wearing white shoes in November offends you, we're probably not going to be friends anyway. And, I'm okay with that.

I'm going to continue wearing my fabulous white shoes right on thru fall. Who's with me?

Monday, August 10, 2009


Confession time: I don't like Twitter. Yes, we have a KAT Clothing account (@katclothing) and yes, every major biz publication is writing about how fabulous Twitter is, but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.

You're supposed to post stuff throughout the day that answers the question, "What are you doing?" But, here's the deal: I'm just NOT that interesting. And, I don't want people to know if I'm getting my hair colored. (I don't. This is natural.)

And, when I hear ridiculousness like Ashton Kutcher and CNN racing to see who can get 1 million Twitter followers first, I think, "Aren't there two wars going on? Shouldn't CNN be covering THAT?"

Admittedly, I'm a notoriously skeptical adopter of things like Twitter. I rolled my eyes at Facebook and now I'm pretty much a junkie. I wasn't much of a texter (see Teribl Txtr) and thanks to my new Blackberry, I'd much rather text than talk on the phone.

So, there will likely come a time when I think, "How did I live without it?" But for now, even the name "Twitter" annoys me.

I'm not always this crabby.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tie one on

In the August issue of Lucky magazine, one of the writers discusses her love of neckties.

Ugh. There are certain clothing fads I participated in that I don't like to discuss. (Did someone say knickers? Mine were cranberry corduroy.) It's like a hidden family secret that's not to be mentioned. And, if someone dare bring it up, say at the dinner table, I give them that "shoosh" sound followed by a no-nonsense glare, a request to pass the salt and a quick subject change. There, crisis averted.

For a period of about 8 months in 3rd or 4th grade, I wore ties. I don't know why. I don't know where it came from but I thank God the urge has never returned. They sure as heck didn't look good. But, I loved wearing them with this pinky-peach cardigan I had and a white collared shirt.

My favorite tie was navy blue and had birds on it. Yes, I said birds. And, no, I'm not really an animal lover. I think the tie was my favorite because it was given to me by my grandfather's "special lady friend," Rose. (At our house, special lady friend is code for geriatric love.)

I can't be the only one who participated in this fashion travesty. Did anyone else wear ties? Or, better yet, what other fashion trends did you support that you'd rather forget?

Come clean. You'll feel better.

P.S. For the record, jelly shoes are off-limits. I never wore em' because they didn't make my size. And, I've never recovered.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My girls

I have three best friends. Two of them, I've known since I was 13. My other best friend is my sister.

I absolutely treasure the history I share with these three women.

Though they all live in different cities, in the last month, I've been able to spend time with each of them. And, it has brought me tremendous joy.

When I sit down with them, it all makes sense. Things I couldn't articulate suddenly become clear. Doubts erase. Memories come flooding back. And, the hours fly by like minutes.

When we leave, there are always tears in my eyes. The kind of tears you get when you care for someone so much and you have so much history that your heart kinda hurts and words can't explain it.

Man, I love my girls.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My dad

I have an awesome dad. Sure, he always has the TV on too loud, tells really bad jokes (something about watermelons going to John Cougar MELLENcamp's for the summer) and most of the time, I look at his outfits with a furrowed brow, but the man really does rock.

As an adult, you think you know everything about your parents. Because, after 30+ years, how could there be any more secrets, right? But, my dad continues to surprise me.

Last week he told a story about the Chicago race riots in the late '60s. The city was a hotbed of racial tension. He saw a black man leaving a building and realized this guy would have to walk through a mob of white men – who’d been drinking -- to leave. Seeing where this was going, my dad stood next to the black man, walked out of the building with him and there was no incident.

His commitment to doing the right thing has always been a powerful example to me.

Every parent knows that sacrificing time, money and opportunities comes with having kids. And, my parents certainly sacrificed for my brother, sister and me.

But, my dad started supporting his family in high school. There were often strikes at the phone company where my grandfather worked. But, a labor dispute doesn't stop rent from being due or the electricity bill from arriving. My dad worked thru high school to support his three sisters and parents.

I wonder what it would have been like to go to work for my family after school instead of basketball or volleyball practice. Because of my dad and his hard work, I never had to know.

I don't want this post to sound too Hallmark or mushy but I have a really great dad. He's wise, generous, funny (sans the watermelon joke), loving and most importantly, always makes time for me and my siblings.

I hope your dad is like my dad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eww de Parfum

People, I can't make this stuff up.

Riding in the car last week, a girlfriend of mine started fishing through her handbag for a little jar of Vicks VapoRub. She put some on her lips and under her nose. Honestly, I was so busy putting on my own lipstick that I barely noticed.

When we arrived at the destination, she asked if there were any white traces on her face from the Vicks. I told her no. To which she responded, "I'm sorry, your perfume is just too strong for me."

(Insert sound of screeching noise.) Wait a minute -- what? My perfume is so strong that the best alternative is to slather Vick's on your face? Seriously?

Now, I'll be the first to admit, I over water my plants and I tend to over spray on perfume. But so much so that my friend would rather inhale menthol?

LOL. I don't even know what to do with that.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


This week, I put on a show for all the ladies at the local TJ Maxx. I was shopping for spring shirts when I was confronted with the terrible truth: The dressing room doors literally hit me at the bust. And, I was wearing flip-flops.


First thought: “I guess we’ll find out who brought their dollar bills.”

Second thought: “I’m hungry. Did I bring a snack?”

Third thought: “I hope no one puts this on the Internet.”

Then, I went to work. I strategically selected my dressing room away from the entrance. (We wouldn’t want a mob scene, right?) Made sure there were no cameras to entertain the elite TJ Maxx security team. Practiced my best bob-and-weave every time someone walked by. And, 20 shirts later, made a mental note that the TJ Maxx dressing room design team had to consist of the shortest people in the world.

Sigh. It’s going to take some time to recover from this traumatic experience.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don't move my cheese

I love cheese. I mean, I really love cheese. Technically, I'm allergic to it and not supposed to eat it. But, this week I've been re-introducing it to my diet to see if the ol' stummy can handle. And, may I just say, it's been a good week.

Cheese. Sigh.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Super Fan

It's opening day in Kansas City. And, throughout the city, there's excitement around the Royals and the team's newly renovated stadium.

I am married to a Royals super fan. And, I mean super fan. Ya know those Star Trek conventions? He's the Royals' equivalent.

Much to his dismay, I am not a super fan. And, really, just barely, even a fan.

Before we married, I thought going to Royals games was about looking for cute boys and eating jumbo pretzels. I was shocked to learn people actually watched the games.

Before we started dating, my husband had never left a Royals game early. Whereas, I would start schlepping to the car about the sixth inning. I had to. I couldn't walk that fast in my heels.

I'll never forget one of the first Royals games we attended together. A foul ball was hit right next to me. It bounced. I looked at it. It kept rolling. Seeing the disbelief in my super fan's face still makes me laugh.

For the record, I am athletic. I love sports and I love to compete. But, baseball just doesn't do it for me. You can go the entire game with only the pitcher and catcher touching the ball. Bor-ing.

And, have you ever noticed how many overweight pitchers there are in baseball? You mean to tell me they're getting paid millions of bucks and they can't bust out a few sit-ups? I cry foul.

I will end with one truly endearing thought about my hubby's un-natural man love for the Royals: He sticks by them through thick and thin. He loved em' when they rocked in the '80s and he still loves em' now ... when they're not so rockin'. And, I love him for that. It makes all the jerseys hogging our closet, the signed baseballs cluttering our furniture and those creepy bobbleheads, palatable.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Let me tell you why

This week, we closed the KAT Clothing retail store. The retail store only. The Web site is alive and kickin'.

As I've been telling people, I'm continually met with that face that seems to say, "Oh crap, the economy is eating you alive, too?"

Honestly, though, it's more of a strategic decision than an economic one. Would we have closed the retail store if we were bringing in $50K a month? Well, no. But, when I started this little venture that seems to be part vacation, part hell, my goal was specific: To have a successful online store that met the underserved clothing needs of tall chicks.

While the retail store was great for raising awareness and learning, it became clear that it wasn't advancing our primary goal. And, since we're funded by the Bank of Me and it didn't appear I'd be receiving a bail-out any time soon, we made the business decision to direct our resources to the Web site.

So, if you're in the Kansas City area and didn't get to come by the store, I hope you'll visit us online. Also, we're having trunk shows throughout the year across the Midwest. Stay tuned for more information about our first one on May 2. I look forward to huggin' it out with you then.