What counts as short in fashion? Five foot? Five foot six? Or do you need to be under five feet tall to qualify as petite? The answer, according to the UK fashion industry, is that anything under 5ft 4ins currently counts as petite, which is particularly interesting when you consider the average height of a woman.
According to a recent article in The Times, whereas the average height of a UK woman was just 5ft at the turn of the 20th century, this has now grown to 5ft 4ins. Yet the fashion industry still persists in labelling the average woman as ‘petite’, making this a huge problem for ladies throughout the UK.
Every woman under 5ft 4ins is only too well aware of the problems caused by ill-fitting clothes, with many opting to learn dressmaking techniques, so that they can take up hems themselves. After all, trailing hemlines are never going to look stylish – even Victoria Beckham has struggled to pull off that look!
And when it comes to midi dresses, the problems are particularly difficult. That’s because the hemline of a midi dress falls somewhere between the ankle and the knee, and getting it wrong can make it look as though your legs are much wider than they actually are – and no girl wants that!
In fact, midi dresses can quickly turn into maxi dresses on the shorter woman, although that’s not necessarily such a bad thing, as a quick glance through the options for stylish AX Paris maxi dresses will quickly prove. But there are a few tips and tricks that allow even the shortest of ladies to wear a midi dress with real style.
Styling your midi dress
If you’re on the short side, look for floaty fabrics that move with you, defining your silhouette. This avoids the ‘swamped’ effect that can arise from too much stiff fabric. Ideally, the hemline should fall just above, or just below, the widest part of your calves, but a toning belt can help to lift a longer hemline to exactly the right height.
The best tip is to choose elegant high heels that lengthen your legs and increase your height. Try to avoid flats, unless you’re wearing your midi on the beach, and avoid wedges, which can make your lower half seem too bulky.