The Petite Girl's Guide To Nailing Floor-Length Hems

Like many a petite girl, I tend to steer clear of floor-length anything. And, it's not because I don't love these styles (on other ladies) — they just never seem to fall quite right on my short frame. Usually, I end up with a pile of fabric around my feet that nothing, save for an expert tailor (and super-high heels), can remedy. So, as a member of the 5-foot-3-and-under club, I generally defer to my wardrobe's bread and butter — flared minis, pencil skirts, and cropped pants — for figure-flattering looks that never read stumpy. Yes, with nary a Karlie Kloss gam in sight, I've all but resigned myself to a maxi-less closet.
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But, what if that didn't have to be the case? What if there were a few clever shopping tricks petite gals could follow when in pursuit of these ankle-grazing numbers? Well, actually, there are: We're sharing five easy-to-follow tips — covering things like the perfect length, asymmetrical shapes, and eye-catching necklines — that'll help you nail the maxi. While we can't guarantee an end to alterations altogether, these 15 styles are definitely a step in the right direction — and you won't find yourself tripping on a too-long hem when you take it.
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Find Your Perfect Hem Length
You won't be well served by a skirt that extends all the way to the floor. Find (or alter hems) to fall somewhere between your ankle and the top of your foot. Any longer, and you'll overwhelm your frame; shorter, and you'll get a somewhat-off, boxy effect.
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Wells Grace Audrey Striped Maxi Dress, $98, available at Piperlime.
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Add Heels
Heels are a no-brainer for working full-length styles without feeling stumpy. Basically, the added height helps you nail those more billowy shapes that you wouldn't necessarily be able to pull off otherwise. A chunkier heel is not only great for comfort but also balances well with all the fabric.
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Choose Asymmetrical Shapes
For maxi-wary ladies, ease into this silhouette with an asymmetrical hem that'll give your gams a little game time.
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Mason by Michelle Mason Asymmetrical Maxi Dress, $418, available at Shopbop.
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OAK Oversized Asymmetrical Tiered Maxi Dress, $168, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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Create A Column
A narrow-cut maxi-skirt will create a long, streamlined look on petite frames. Focus on solid colors to lengthen your body even more.
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Pay Attention To Necklines
Don't forget about your upper half! Opt for interesting necklines that will draw the eyes up. An open number that reveals more skin will feel less overwhelming on your small frame.
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