Understanding Hemlines & Dress Lengths

What are Different Dress Lengths? Understanding Hemlines

When choosing a dress, one of the most important tasks is choosing the ideal hemline. You want to choose a dress that maintains an appropriate length for the occasion, while still flattering your body. Understanding the correct terms for dress lengths makes dress shopping online a much easier task. Most women's dresses today are split up into three broad categories: mini, midi and maxi.

Mini Dresses

What is a mini dress? Mini dresses show off the most leg since they sit above the knee. Like mini skirts, mini dresses usually stop at mid-thigh, but some may go even shorter. Mini dresses come in a variety of silhouettes. Shift dresses, which fall straight from the shoulders, are especially popular in the mini length.

Midi Dresses

What is the length of a midi dress? Midi dresses sit over the knee and above the ankle. These dresses are ideal for taller women, so shorter women may choose to pair a midi dress with heels. Midi dresses come in many different silhouettes and can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Calf Length Dresses

What is a calf length dress? Calf length dresses are a type of midi dress that sit right at the calf. These dresses are usually more casual and can often be found in a flare or a wrap fit. To elongate your legs while wearing a calf length dress, try matching it with a pair of nude heels.

Tea Length Dresses

How long are tea length dresses? Tea length dresses are a bit longer than calf length dresses. Tea length dresses usually stop right above the ankle, but some stop up to 2 or 3 inches above the ankle. Tea length dresses are a more playful, modern alternative to formal evening gowns. They're a staple at summer weddings, graduations, and of course, formal lunches or tea parties.

Maxi Dresses

How long is a maxi dress? Maxi dresses provide the most coverage of all the dress types, going all the way to the floor. Maxi dresses can be formal enough for a wedding or casual enough for the beach.

Ankle Length Dresses

What is an ankle length dress? Ankle length dresses stop right at your ankles. Most maxi dresses fall under this category since it's a flattering fit for any height. This dress length goes well with heels, sandals or even sneakers.

Floor Length Dresses

Floor length dresses, also known as evening gowns, are more formal than ankle length dresses. These dresses should be reserved for special events. Floor length dresses should be paired with heels in order to elongate your figure and maintain a formal look.


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