How do I tell if a maxi dress will be long enough for me?
I get questions about this a lot, or questions about what retailers offer longer maxi dresses. If you’re shorter and the hem drags, no big deal! Just go to your tailor and have them fix you up. But, if you’re taller than 5’8”, it’s not so simple. (It’s hard to make a dress longer, although some tailors can let down a hem to give you an extra half inch or so.)
Here’s a calculation to help give you a ballpark idea of whether a maxi will be long enough for you:
- Multiple your height in feet by 12. (For example, 5’ X 12 = 60.) Add the additional inches to that number. (If you’re 5’8”, add 8 to 60 = 68.)
- Subtract 12 inches (the typical shoulder to top of head measurement) from that. (68 - 12 = 56.)
- The dress above is 56” from shoulder to hem. So, it would probably fit a 5’8” person well, but would be an inch or two too short on someone that is 5’9”.
- Most retailers include shoulder to hem measurements on maxi dress product details, so go forth and hunt!
P.S. I’ve had good luck with Old Navy maxis.