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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