A Woman’s Guide To Pick The Right Mini, Midi, and Maxi Dresses
Designer Yves Saint Laurent once said, “What is important in a dress is the woman who’s wearing it”. And nothing can be further from the truth. There are so many types of dresses, and all are equally beautiful. However, different lengths are recommended for specific places, occasions, and silhouettes.
Womens dresses (and skirts, too) usually come in three basic lengths: the mini, midi, and maxi. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right dress length for every event.
Short and Sweet Mini Dress
The mini dress is the shortest of all the three basic dress lengths, where the hemline falls above the knee or mid-thigh. It is the perfect dress length that you can easily accessorize with stockings, sandals, or boots to flaunt your legs.
Most mini dresses are best for social and casual events, while you may tweak a few designs for smart-casual attires or cocktail dress requirements. They can either be form-fitting, typically used in semi-formal events, or loose-fitting for a more casual look.
The mini dress is often paired with the following:
- Stockings or tights
- Ankle-length to knee-length boots
- High-heeled shoes
- Denim or other structured jackets
Some common styles for the mini include Wrap, Shift, Sheath, Babydoll, Slip, and Bodycon. The Shift style is the most popular mini because its loose silhouette accentuates the legs and balances the display of the skin. For a sexier look, the Sheath mini dress offers a tighter fit to flaunt your curves.
Meet-in-the-Middle Midi Dress
The midi dress, also known as a mid-dress or a knee-length skirt, has its hemline stop anywhere from right at the knee, to just below the knee, to mid-calf. This mid-length dress style is the most versatile. You only need variations in form, colour, or accessories, but you can wear this length on most occasions.
Some call the midi a “tea-length dress,” which gives it a lady-like impression. After all, its daintiness brings a feminine characteristic to a woman who wears it. It’s also a popular length for those going for vintage and retro looks.
However, women with short legs best avoid hemlines ending at mid-calf. They may pair a midi with strappy heels instead to give an illusion of longer legs.
The midi dress is best accessorized with:
- Flats or sneakers
- Strappy heels
- High-heeled pumps
- Blazers or semi-structured pieces
Midi silhouettes are the Handkerchief hemline, Bodycon, Cocktail, and A-line, which are most popular because they flatter most body types. Women’s dresses of this length are ideal for professional events, casual attire, formal and semi-formal events, and most social occasions.
Long and Flowy Maxi Dress
The maxi dress is the longest of the three and finishes at the ankles. Some longer styles sweep the ground, but most do not touch the floor. This full-length dress is often soft, light, and flowy and best to wear on relaxed family events, vacations, and casual get-togethers.
Maxis are most associated with floral and summer wear, but they can work for semi-formal or formal occasions when embellished with sophisticated jewellery. Furthermore, it is best to wear high heels with the maxi to protect the bottom of the dress and the wearer from tripping over the dress.
The maxi dress looks best with the following:
- High-heeled shoes
- Subtle jewellery
The forms suited for this length include the Mermaid/Trumpet, Harem hem, Bouffant, Ball Gowns, and Summer dresses. They mostly have a single pattern or colour throughout to create a long and sweeping effect. Empire-cut maxi dresses are most popular since the cut visually lengthens the torso and balances the whole outfit.