Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three Ways to Work a Too Short Maxi

When you are tall, things are often too short for you.  Sometimes those things are things you really, really like.  It's certainly better now than it was when I was growing up, but there's still a good chance that something you like isn't available in Tall.

So, what's a tall girl to do when she finds, oh, let's say a maxi dress, that she really, really likes but isn't available in Tall.  Well, what I do is buy that bad boy anyway, especially when it's a great price at Nordstrom Rack!  And then I figure out how to work it, too short or not.

Don't Sweat It
The easiest way to rock a too-short maxi is to not worry about it being too short.  Just throw on a big necklace and some flat sandals and no one will even notice your maxi isn't actually maxi length:

Do I look worried that my maxi is too short?  No, I look thrilled that my necklace is made of fringe.  And win.  It's fringed win.

Make Time for Tea
If my first suggestion made you think "But, Gracey, I'll notice it's not proper maxi length and I couldn't possibly go out of doors in a maxi dress that's not proper maxi length" then this next tip is for you.

Instead of flat sandals, go high.  Higher heels add more space between your hem and the ground, effectively making the dress appear to be tea length:

Tea?  Don't mind if I do.  I'll take it with some almond-coconut milk and honey if you please.

Make it a Midi
If you love the print on your too-short maxi but don't like either of the above suggestions, perhaps making the dress into a midi will work.  What's that?  You don't sew?  Me neither.  Which is why I came up with a no sew way to make it a midi.  By knotting both sides of my maxi, I can take the length up to midi territory:

This trick works best on thin fabric (my dress is rayon) and is maybe not the best if you need to escape from zombies or anything.  The tied sides definitely limit your ability to run.

Still prefer your maxi to be actual maxi length?  That's cool; I respect that and I'd therefore recommend Long Tall Sally (I like this one and this one) and Alloy (I like this one); both carry truly long maxi dresses.

Happy Monday Thursday, All!


Get the Look
Similar too-short maxi (save or splurge)
Similar fringe necklace


  1. Such a stunning maxi and it looks great all three ways! With so many different lengths being available now, I don't think it really matters too much where your skirt hits! And I want that necklace!
    Dawn Lucy

  2. I admire your ingenuity and positive attitude. And, as you know, I share your dilemma. Every ordinary-length skirt looks scandalous on me but I've learned to just grin and bear it. (My legs, that is!)

  3. this is awesome! my maxis are ALWAYS too short
    ladies in navy

  4. Maybe just offer the zombies some tea and they won't chase you! You are so crafty and clever with your beautiful dress!

  5. Fantastic! I usually just chop them off to tunic-length, but the high heels idea is awesome!

  6. Happens to me too (though I am only 5'8", plus a bit more with heels). Especially with vintage maxis which someone else has shortened. I don't mind wearing them at not-quite-maxi length, and agree that adding heels (boots on winter) is a good idea. Love the colour and print, you look fabulous! xxx

  7. At at 5'1" I'm more likely to have to shorten than lengthen but I do have a couple of other suggestions to add. Fusable web can be used for no-sew hemming. But I do also like your tie solution. Similarly, you can pin it up in several places to create drapes. And lastly, you can add on to the bottom (if you sew), extra fabric, ribbon, or lace edging can all give you a couple of extra inches or more.

    But seriously, with that necklace, who in their right mind is looking at your hem?

  8. What a great summery, flowy dress. You look fantastic in all these lengths. And great tips! I also like to use suspender clips to adjust height, one clip on each side creates a cool bell shape.

  9. I am drooling all over my keyboard over that maxi! I LOVE it and it is exactly the sort I have been looking for. I love the colour and pattern with a love that rivals my love for ice cream and I love that it is not a halter or spaghetti strap style. Also I love that it is not polyester! See, that's why I am drooling!

    You are so clever! I am a bit shorter but most maxis aren't quite long enough on me either. I have a few maxi skirts that I turn into something more midi length by rolling the waistband a bit. I actually prefer that length as it's easier for me to walk in without tripping. I have to go up two flights of stairs to get to my apartment and I am prone to tripping on my skirt when on the stairs.

  10. Beautiful dress and I want that necklace! But Happy Monday? I must have slept over a few days.

    1. Hahaha. I obviously have no idea what day it is!

  11. So I once avoided knotting and doing the half-tuck to my tops for fear of doing it wrong but I got over it. I guess I better try getting over tying skirts coz yours is super cute that way!

  12. you look great! :) and I followed you btw, feel free to follow me back anytime :)


  13. Such spectacular ideas! Love the midi idea especially :)

  14. This dress is awesome on you no matter how you wear it :) Love you necklace too!! happy weekend

  15. I love your approach that one can play with the length of clothes. This is not applicable for me as only 5 foot 4, but the general principle is great. I just bought some cropped trousers for summer, and thought I would like them for winter in black but not cropped. So I bought them in long and hey presto! Not rocket science I know but v pleasing...

  16. Gracey! Not that you need the traffic but you certainly deserve the sentiment: I nominated you for a Liebster, girl! I just want to know what your witty mind will come up with in response to my questions. Hope I've intrigued you!

  17. Great post! I tend to go with the first option, playing it cool with a "what, this is TOTALLY a maxidress" outlook. ;)

    Jen @ Librarian for Life & Style

  18. What a pretty dress! I like the idea of tying it at the bottom!

    Kate @ A Journey in Style

  19. Fantastic dress - you found some nice ways to wear it. I have the opposite problem ... sometimes I see a great maxi dress, but I'd need to take at least 6 inches off the bottom to make it fit! It's even more problematic when the dress is tiered or has a beautiful border.


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