Blue Florals + 2 quick ways to shorten a dress without alterations

floral ruffle maxi dress petite fashion blog

One Clothing dress xs, nippies (worn in lieu of a bra), Cara bagTalbots sunglasses c/o,
Ann Taylor earrings, Kelly & Katie heels sz 5.5 c/o (similar in sz 4.5+)

If you’re looking for wedding guest attire (or just a pretty spring-summer dress) on a budget, this floral number won’t break the bank, and is nice quality to boot! The periwinkle blue material has a slight texture to it, and the skirt has a partial lining that ends above the knees. I would say the length falls in between what’s typical for petite and regular-length maxi dresses. It’s a little long (I’m ~ 5′ tall) but works with my tall platform wedges, which by the way just became available again for pre-order in small sizes! These wedges are oh SO leg-lengthening and comfy given the height, I can’t recommend them enough (see them on me in “blush” sz 5).

quick way to shorten dress straps with safety pin

I also wanted to be able to wear this dress with lower shoes, without having to hem off any length. I’ve shown these a while back, but here are two quick little fixes that I use to temporarily shorten dresses:

1. For strappy dresses (that don’t have adjustable straps), securing the straps together at the upper back will raise the overall dress up. I like this because it doesn’t just shift the hemline up, but also the armholes, bust, and waistline. Sometimes I use a tiny safety pin as shown above and cover it with my hair, or a pretty ribbon tied in a bow (this option is also good for adjusting how closely you bring the two straps together).

Since the straps on this particular dress were already close together design-wise, my safety pin only raised everything about 1 inch. On dresses where the straps are wider-set like regular camisole straps, this trick can raise everything up a little more.

how to shorten a long dress with a belt without alterations

2. For dresses with a soft flowy material, use a thin waist belt as an anchor, and fold some fabric over it to raise the hemline. This worked especially well on this dress because it already has an elasticized, blouson-style waistline that I could easily fold over, but I’ve also used this trick on dresses that have no defined waist. If you try to fold over too much material, the waist area can get too blousy, so I wouldn’t try to shorten more than 2-3 inches using this trick.

short summer maxi dress hawaii vacation petite style

This dress is shown on the model as a “cold-shoulder” style, but you can also tuck the shoulder ruffles under your arms, as shown below. I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing my adhesive “nippies” pads in the light shade (these can be re-worn dozens of times without losing sticking power) instead of a strapless bra – no more fidgeting throughout the day, plus it feels so lightweight and liberating! Unfortunately I know this isn’t a solution for everyone, since nippies don’t provide any support.

blue floral maxi dress what to wear to a spring wedding

Dress measurements in sz XS: 56″ length from the very top of shoulder straps to hem, 12″ across the elasticized waist (stretches a few inches), 16″ across the underarms. 

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  1. Sadi wrote:

    I dont wear heels but have the same problem with length of garments,hence only buy from a selected retailers.giwever having said that I ordered a few for a holiday didnt reliase the length would be am issue would do I do ?

    Posted 2.25.21 Reply
  2. dris209 wrote:

    Hey Jean – how are the shoes – have you found them to be comfortable?

    Posted 5.29.17 Reply
  3. J wrote:

    Loved this so much that I got it for a wedding in June. You have the best finds and awesomely helpful tips. Thank you!!

    Posted 5.24.17 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Hi Rio! They are not very curved like bra cups are, so I think they should fit a range of bra sizes just fine since the adhesive pads are just applied around the nipple area.

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    I'm so curious as well! Trying to envision how to do that without a belt : )

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  6. rio wrote:

    Hi! Regarding the nippies pad that links to shopbop, I saw that it's only available in "one size". Isn't it too big? I think I would be the same size as you are. Thanks in advance! 🙂
    Your blog is very helpful!

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  7. What a cute bag! You always share the best tips!
    xx, Jae |

    Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  8. Caitlin wrote:

    Nice tip!! I've seen my fiances mother do the exact same waist trick without a belt, though have yet to learn the magic of her ways. That dress is lovely on you though, and one I would have never thought of for us petites! So glad I found your blog, it's definitely been helping me guide through my fashion!

    Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  9. Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

    Thank you (and Anon. above) for letting me know! It should be fixed now!

    Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  12. Jean wrote:

    I hope you like it! Belt is Ann Taylor but old : /

    Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  13. dris209 wrote:

    haven't been able to get to instashop through any of your links!

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    Love your blog but none of your links for outfit pieces are working. They all direct to google.

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  15. This is a great tip! Especially when you're a petit girl like us!
    You look lovely, hun! <3

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  16. Jessi wrote:

    This is the prettiest dress! I love this color palette and the floral print. Great tips for us petite girls too! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  17. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    Thank you for sharing:P

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  18. Love this dress! It's perfect on you!

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  19. That's such a beautiful dress! Love it. X

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  20. A belt has saved me multiple times.

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  21. Ellie O wrote:

    This dress looks gorgeous on you. I've a feeling it wouldn't quite suit my rather larger frame but at that price I'm tempted to give it a go anyway!

    Ellie x

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  22. TV wrote:

    Love those kind of dresses. Light, full of colors, perfect for summer days. You look fabulous in this outfit.

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  23. mybeautrip wrote:

    This is a lovely floral dress!

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  24. Ophelia T wrote:

    What a cute dress! So pretttyyyy and nifty tips! Love it!

    XOXO // Check out my latest post if you like 😉

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  25. Mizeats wrote:

    You look so beautiful in this dress! I love everything about it – cut, color, and print. Plus great tips on how to shorten a dress!!

    Posted 5.2.17 Reply
  26. This is such a useful guide for a petite girl like me! I'm always getting my dresses altered so this is very convenient.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 5.1.17 Reply
  27. Lovely dress! You look like you're so ready for a vacation <3

    Posted 5.1.17 Reply
  28. Kirsten wrote:

    <3 it! looks comfortable.

    -Kirsten ///

    Posted 5.1.17 Reply
  29. Gal wrote:

    Yesss totally buying this for a summer wedding. Belt details??? Thanks!

    Posted 5.1.17 Reply
  30. La Bijoux Bella | by mia wrote:
    Posted 5.1.17 Reply

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