The Short Girl’s Guide to Maxi Dresses
How many times have you stopped yourself from buying skirts and dresses because your legs aren’t long enough? As someone who is on the shorter side, I know all too well how careful I must be when it comes to floor- and ankle-length items.
Women standing 5’3” and under are well aware of their “shortcomings,” often avoiding items that cut off those extra inches, such as bell bottoms drop-waist silhouettes. They also might have been told to stay away from maxi dresses and skirts. But what if I told you that it is possible for you to pull off a maxi, without chipping away your stature?
It’s true—it’s not just the long-legged ladies that have the height to match the length of a maxi. With the right style choices, a petite girl can do justice to a full skirt.
Because of your height, you do have to be pickier about the design of your maxi dress. And if you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips to consider:
Get it tailored
It seems like most international fashion brands tailor their maxis to model heights, but there is an easy fix to this. With a good tailor, you can simply shorten the hem and readjust the waist of the skirt. And if you’re not sure where the hem should measure to, ankle-length is a safe bet. Items like our Floral Sleeveless Maxi Dress give you the option to finish the outfit off with flats.
Welcome the weekend with this comfy, feminine frock!
Avoid big, bold prints
Short girls look better in solid colors rather than prints, but if you want to go for patterns, choose subtle ones. Think small floral prints and vertical pinstripes, not huge polka dots and animal patterns.
Go for a cinched waist
The cinched waist is something that most of us rely on to carve out that figure, but it becomes especially important in cases like this. The wrong shapes can definitely make short girls look stumpy, losing their true frame all together. To prevent your body from being swallowed by all that fabric, choose frocks that are narrower at the waist or with form-fitting bodices. You can opt for a flowy skirt or a mermaid silhouette, such as the Sleeveless O-Neck Maxi Dress, depending on your personal taste. Just be mindful of the volume in your bottom half, avoiding balloon skirts and poofy ballgowns.
Trade in your formal black dress for this white number!
Experiment with plunging necklines
Your legs aren’t the only parts of your body you can lengthen. A deep v-neck and a sweetheart neckline are perfect for showing off your clavicle, thereby elongating that torso. They also balance out the amount of fabric used to form the skirt.
Choose a dress with a slit
Still feel like the maxi dress is too overwhelming for your frame? A slit should do the trick! A sneak peek of the legs is exactly what you need to combat any fears you have about the full skirt, as well as elongate those stems. In terms of the placement of the slit, it doesn’t really matter. A little side leg exposure will add a sexy vibe to the outfit, while the Bohemian Long Sleeve Maxi Dress enhances the drama of your ensemble.
Embrace your inner hippie with this showstopper!
No long sleeves!
You’re already covering up so much of your legs, so why would you want to cover your arms as well? Showing some skin is absolutely key for petite girls to stand tall in a maxi. Thus, nothing longer than three-quarters, or at least balance the coverage of the sleeves with a plunging neckline.
Find a dress with sheer details
An alternative to the slit is the use of sheer fabric in the skirt. Lace details and sheer materials exude a lighter feeling, while single-hued opaque textiles can seem heavy and weigh everything down. You can tell by comparing our Slim V-Neck Maxi Dress with a standard cotton/polyester blend piece, as the former appears breezier than the latter.
Dare to be bold with this lingerie-like item!
Lastly, wear some heels
Although it’s not completely mandatory to wear heels with a maxi dress, it never hurts to add a couple inches to your height. However, don’t feel compelled to slip into outrageously high stilettos. Never underestimate the power of a low wedge or a kitten heel.