Tips For Wearing Long Skirts As A Short Girl

by Rosie Narasaki

Maxi skirts are in, and they've been in for awhile. As summer fast approaches, it's time to start the search for the perfect breezy skirt for the season, but what if you happen to be petite? Well, you've come to the right place for tips for wearing long skirts as a short girl.

There's a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to petite women re: maxi skirts — some claim that they're shortening, while others claim they're lengthening — but regardless of such claims, the real question is this: How do you find one that fits? And if you can't find one that fits, how can you take one that doesn't fit and find a way to wear it anyway? Seriously, sometimes you just find the perfect skirt — only its length is standing between you and the corresponding perfect fit. So, what's a person to do?

Well, luckily, there are a lot of solutions out there that run the gamut from the expected (heels) to surprising (shrinking things in the dryer on purpose). So, if you're a petite woman trying to work out all the mysteries that maxi skirts (and dresses) bring to the table, keep on scrolling down.

1. Get It Tailored

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This may sound somewhat self-explanatory, but it's a step most of us tend to skip. In some cases, the cost can be prohibitive — when you're buying a less expensive skirt at a fast fashion brand, it hardly seems worth it to get the thing altered for double its original price. That said, it's important to remember that some stores (such as Nordstrom) tend to offer free alterations.

2. Tailor It Yourself

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Remember what I said about alterations being a bit pricey? Well, you can always go the DIY route, if you want to save some cash. Hemming a skirt isn't actually too hard — all you really need is an iron and a needle and thread (and, of course, a sewing machine if you don't want to sew by hand).

3. "Tailor" It Yourself

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Now, if you're not feeling up to some light sewing, there are a few shortcuts you can take. If you've watched Project Runway, you probably know that there are some unconventional uses of staples that can come in handy here. Strong double-sided fashion tape is another option, and there are iron-on hemming aids as well. Unfortunately, the jeans/bobby pin trick won't work here, but it can still be pretty simple.

4. Throw It In The Dryer

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Depending on your garment's fabric, it may be possible to shrink it slightly in the dryer for a better fit. You have to exercise some caution (you don't want it to shrink to doll proportions!), but it can be an easy way to alter size.

5. Add Heels

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Adding heels is probably most of our go-to solution when it comes to dealing with over-long hems. After all, it involves no extra work or money, and it's usually a cute style choice as well. Chunky heels and platforms are always fun, and they mean you won't have to trade (as much) comfort for style.

6. Get Creative With The Styling

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You can always make your maxi skirt into an impromptu high-waisted maxi skirt, simply by adding a belt. It's not something that works for all skirts (particularly the ones that already happen to be high-waisted), but it can be a fun, unexpected styling choice.

7. Shop In The Petite Section

ASOS PETITE Chevron Maxi Skirt, $71.16,

Luckily for us, most stores across the spectrum from luxury to fast fashion tend to offer a petite section. It can get frustrating, since the petites section is often limited, but it's always worth taking a look. Also, many stores offer their petites online, so it's worth checking with one of the sales reps if something you like is available in petite sizing before you buy it in standard size.

8. Shop In The Kids Section

Side-Slit Maxi Skirt for Girls, $15,

Hey, it's cheaper! And have you seen the jewelry section at Crew Cuts? They're not playing around.

9. Choose The Right Skirt

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This lesson's a hard one to learn, but it'll probably save you lots of money in the end: If it doesn't fit right (and you're not going to alter it), don't buy it. I'm the type that's always buying too-long skirts intending to alter them myself, or intending to buy some five-inch heels to go with it — but I never do. So, if you know yourself, and you're prone to shopping with your blinders on like I am, try taking them off.

Wearing a maxi skirt as a petite person is always a possibility — no matter what those silly fashion dos and don'ts rules say (spoiler: they don't mean anything at all). Just remember that altering, styling, and shrinking are always a possibility and keep on searching for your perfect skirt.