From mini to maxi: choosing the right dress length for you

*collaborative post

Summertime has finally arrived here in Ireland, and that means it’s time to get those legs out and enjoy wearing some light and breezy dresses. If you’re like me, however, you’re probably looking in your wardrobe wondering what on earth you’re going to wear for the next few months. This happens to me often, but don’t panic, the shops are always open and right now summer dresses are everywhere.

I’ve created a little ‘how-to guide’ when it comes to choosing the right summer dress, so you know exactly what style and length to go for. Not every dress flatters every shape, so have a look at these most popular styles to decide which one’s for you.


Mini dresses are everywhere this season and if you’ve got holiday plans or just want to show off some extra leg, then this is for you. This style is ideal for petite ladies too, as it will help elongate your legs and make you look taller. For those who are fortunate enough to have long, thin legs the mini will equally look great – the only question is how high you’re prepared to go.


Midis come from the throwback era of the 1950’s when poodle skirts reigned supreme. This can be a difficult look to pull off as the hem will hit you at the widest part of your leg – the middle of your calf – so as a rule, it’s best to choose a midi dress that stops somewhere narrower, like just above your ankle. The midi style will shorten your legs so you may choose to wear heels with this outfit – think Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn and you can’t go wrong.

dress photo

Do you want a dress that can function as formal or casual? If so, a midi dress may help you accomplish your goals. The flexibility of a midi dress comes from its length. That length leaves your ankles and sometimes part of your lower legs on display. However, despite variances in length between midi dresses, anyone you choose will extend at least beyond your knees. The ability to customize your look by choosing the midi length option best for your body type can help you make the perfect fashion statement under any circumstances. Casual looks can be accomplished with a fun jacket or other accessories, while all it might take is a pair of heels to make the dress look more formal. When choosing a midi dress you just need to be conscious of how much leg you want to show off.

At the knee

For an all-around flattering dress, it has got to be cut at the knee. The knee is one of the smallest parts of your leg, so dresses that stop here are automatically slimming. Just about anyone can wear this type of dress no matter their height or body shape, particularly as it gives you the perfect proportion of skirt to leg. I’ve got a lot of these in my closet already, but there’s always room for one more.


Maxi dresses are the ultimate summer holiday go-to-outfit, working just as well for petite ladies as for those with long legs. Wear flats with Maxis that end on the ankle bone, and heels with those that are floor length. The Tu at Sainsbury’s summer dress shop sells both styles with a range of styles and colours – plus the added bonus with a maxi is that it’s okay if you forget to shave!


An asymmetrical dress means one side of the skirt is longer than the other – a look that’s very on trend right now and can be found all over the high street. If you’re looking to flaunt your curves or add a bit more shape to your body, an asymmetrical dress is for you. This year’s Cannes Film Festival saw several mismatched length dresses, so take a look to get some inspiration for your own summer wardrobe.

The main thing you need to rock any of these looks is confidence, so find a style that suits you and your personality. After all, all that really matters is that your summer dress of choice makes you feel great.

What’s your favorite summer dress style?

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