A 6’2” culturally and stylishly savvy beauty from the Netherlands, whose blog, “Tall Wife” touches on every aspect of living an elevated life. Learn more about how Karen discovers the world and all the while, uncovers unique aspects of her true self, including her personal style.
MARGE: Let’s talk travel. Tell us about the most memorable place you’ve traveled.
KAREN: I have two actually. The first one was a two-month backpacking trip to New Zealand when I was in my mid-twenties. It was my first solo-trip and I loved every minute of it. I caught the travel bug then and there. I learned to be independent and discovered that it’s easy to connect with people when you’re traveling solo. The second one was our wedding in Mauritius. My husband and I eloped so it was just the two of us in a very romantic setting in a beautiful resort. Both trips were completely different but both were utterly memorable.
MARGE: Any wardrobe or packing tips to share?
KAREN: When traveling for work, I bring a few basic pieces in neutral colors, as they are easy to pair with each other. Dresses make for a perfect business outfit in the day when worn with a jacket with my hair up, but easily transforms into a dinner outfit when I take the jacket off and let my hair down. I try to add color to my outfits with accessories when on the road as they don’t take up much space. I do always struggle with footwear; there’s no easy way to pack shoes so I usually bring a pair of black leather heels as they pair with almost anything.
MARGE: How would you describe your personal style? And how does your wardrobe support your lifestyle?
KAREN: I’m a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to fashion. So over the last few years, I’ve made huge changes to my wardrobe and I am still discovering my style. I think I’d describe it as classic meets chic. I’m not overly adventurous with my wardrobe; I don’t have a lot of bold colors or extreme cuts. Maybe I should experiment a bit more! I’ve started to invest more in quality pieces rather than quantity and that makes a big difference. I love very feminine pieces like pencil dresses. And I have a soft spot for well-fitted jeans though, paired with a classic jacket with a good cut and colorful heels to add a bit of zest. My wardrobe needs to be versatile and multifunctional; I’m constantly on the go, so I don’t always have an opportunity to change.
MARGE: You just completed your first year as a blogger and you mention that “Tall Wife” is about much more than being tall. Tell us a little bit about that.
KAREN: When choosing a name for my blog, I was looking for something that was unique to me. I soon realized I wanted it to feature “tall” topics, as that’s a daily part of my life of which I am proud. However, I didn’t want it to be just about that. My height greatly contributes to my life and I love it, but it doesn’t define me. So I really wanted my interests and passions to shine through as well.
MARGE: You feature famous tall women on your blog. Who is your current role model and why?
KAREN: In my series ‘”Awesome Tall Girls”, I feature famous tall women who prove that being tall can propel you toward your goals versus standing in your way. Whether it is in sports, fashion, writing, acting or anything else, my ‘”awesome tall girls” are all tall, achieving women who have turned their height into their advantage. My personal role models vary and often are multiple women at the same time who are not necessarily tall. For instance, I admire singer Adele for her incredible talent (her lyrics always get to me) and her ability to stay so true to herself. I find Maria Sharapova’s physique and physical strength to be amazing. And I’m always in awe of the outfits Clare Underwood wears in the TV series “House of Cards”. Her wardrobe is just so feminine and classy with powerful pieces. So I guess I find inspiration in bits and pieces from various women: Sharapova’s physique, Adele’s creativity and Clare Underwood’s style.
MARGE: Since you’re Dutch, you acknowledge that you’ve grown up around tall people. How has that shaped your perspective on being a 6’2” woman?
KAREN: Being surrounded by tall people, and not being the only tall girl in my family, has made it something natural for me. My grandmother was 6’2 and she was born in 1920. My father is tall, my brother is, and so are my uncles as well as my male and female cousins. I had taller girls in my class at school too, whom I only outgrew in my mid-teenage years. I guess I didn’t really pay much attention to it when growing up. Because nobody made a big deal out of it, I’ve always regarded it as normal. I can’t imagine walking into a room trying to hide my height; I have never done that, and never will. And I will not avoid wearing heels either.
MARGE: You mentioned you’re focused on your health right now. How do you take care of yourself – any tips to share?
KAREN: I’m trying to make healthier choices generally, and to be moderate. I think depriving yourself of anything will only make you want it more. So during the week, I make sensible choices: fruit and vegetables, less refined sugar, carbs and gluten. That way I can allow myself a few treats on the weekend. I love a good glass of wine and orange-flavored dark chocolate. I wouldn’t want to cut that out completely. Life is for living after all. I also try to fit in three gym or swim sessions during the week and a run during the weekend. I have a desk job, so I need to get moving when I get home.
MARGE: You’ve worn our clothing. How has MARGE elevated your expectations as it relates to curating your wardrobe?
KAREN: I adore my MARGE pieces. Both items are timeless and elegant pieces. The NAJA skirt is very feminine and I get so many compliments every time I wear it. The NINA top is comfortable and pairs perfectly with jeans for a more casual chic look. These are quality pieces that will last, and they have made me realize that I no longer need (or want!) to settle for pieces that are ‘just OK’ or which don’t fit perfectly. It’s fair to say that MARGE has raised the bar for future investment pieces.
MARGE: What does the concept of Life Up Here say or mean to you?
KAREN: Life Up Here to me means embracing your height, owning it and turning it into an advantage, to let this unique feature contribute to your life. Being tall is a statement in and of itself; people perceive you as confident, people will look up to you, whether they are comfortable with your height or not. Life Up Here says use your length positively. It says that nothing is out of reach. Literally.
To learn more about Karen and her blog, Tall Wife, visit: http://www.tallwife.com/
To Karen - A special thank you for sharing your elevated perspective with the MARGE Community.