I wanted this dress to work. Oh my, did I ever. I got it on final sale from Ideeli in three colors for SUPER cheap and it looked completely perfect online. Long sleeves, high waist, full skirt – three kinds of yes. And it is so close to working … but not quite right.
This is the kind of dress that HM tells me is “too short.” And back in the day, I would get pissy about it. Because I love, love, love my legs and I love, love, love showing them off and I didn’t want anyone saying that I shouldn’t. But eventually I found out that it wasn’t scandalous shortness that he was reacting to, it was garment proportion.
Mini skirts generally hit high on my thigh. Maybe a hand’s width below the crotchpoint. Middle-length skirts – the kind that are most widely available for sale and most often worn to workplaces – hit just above my kneecap, in the kneecap realm, or just below. Midis hit mid-calf, and maxis sweep the floor. What I’ve discovered – much to my dismay – is that there’s a no-man’s-land on my thigh that falls between mini and middle-length, and that skirts hitting in this area just look wrong on me. They aren’t short enough to be mini skirts and they aren’t long enough to be traditional middle-length skirts, so they look like they’ve been shrunk in the wash. They also make my legs look stockier than they are, and fail to divide me along golden ratio lines. It’s subtle, but they look wrong. Worn with tights or a floaty skirt layered underneath, they can sometimes pass. Worn alone, they look undeniably odd.
I’ve encountered this problem with the occasional client, too. It seems that many of us have this middle-thigh no-man’s-land where skirts just fail to work. Any hemline that hits in there divides us strangely and fails to flatter. Have you found that there’s a skirt zone on your own figure that causes proportion-related havoc? Got any work-arounds to suggest? Or do you just avoid/donate skirts that fall in this zone? (I love this dress so much I’m considering taking it to the tailor to see if a band of fabric in a similar color/weight could be stitched onto the hem … but I’m pretty sure that would end disastrously.)