Do This Don’t: Rock a Maxi Dress Even if You’re Short

I’ve spent my whole life thinking I’m too short to wear long skirts and dresses, but lately I’ve decided I don’t really care!
Publish date:
July 16, 2014
shoppables, do this don't, maxi dress, summer fashion, short people

For so long, I’ve had the most beautiful maxi dress hanging in the back of my closet. Handmade in Hawaii in the ’50s, it belonged to my grandmother, and when she started to get sick she passed it down to me. With a gorgeous pink and purple pattern that looks almost like scales and a ruffled bottom, it’s exactly the kind of piece I would see in a vintage shop and swoon over. The problem is, I’ve never worn it.

I have the sort of insecurity about being short that I think can only be born from a life-long friendship with someone super tall and willowy and beautiful (aka my best friend Sarah.) Though I’m actually closer to average height (I’m 5’4”), I’ve always wanted to be just a little bit taller, and whenever I go out with my tall friends (aka Sarah), I feel sort of smushed and tiny.

I know it’s just a silly made-up insecurity to have, but it still surfaces from time to time, and as a result I always gravitate towards high heels and short skirts, and never ever wear anything maxi length. My fear of floor-length anything runs deep and strong. I wore a short cocktail dress to prom when almost everyone else was in floor-grazing gowns, and always swore I’d fight to the death against a long wedding dress. Recently though, I find myself craving something long and flowy; I mean, why should tall folks have all the fun? I want to feel like a magical island maiden once and awhile too!

Silly as it sounds, after all these years, I’ve finally built up the courage to wear my vintage maxi. Here’s how you short people can style your maxi to make it feel a bit less overwhelming.

Shorter Jackets

A jacket can help break up your maxi look, and make your outfit seem like, well, more of an outfit! I especially love the look of denim or leather with flowy materials for added contrast.

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Wedge Heels

You don't have to wear heels with a long dress, but I think a little wedge is a great comfortable way to add just a bit more height. Opt for something beachy and casual if you're spending a day outdoors, or grab a classy black leather option for nighttime wear.

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Great Accessories

Accessories are always important, but they're especially crucial when you're wearing a super long garment that's the same head to toe. Layer on statement jewels, a nice handbag, sunglasses, and cute hats or headbands to really pull things together!

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If I've learned anything from all my years deprived of long skirts, it's that confidence is the best accessory. Seriously, if you decide you look cute and pretty in a maxi skirt or dress, you 100% will, so go for it!

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Are you into maxi dresses, or have you always been too scared like me?