Blonde standing at the beach in white sundress with arms out
Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/GettyImages

How long should floor-length dresses be?

While dresses are needed for different special occasions, events and activities, many include bridesmaids dresses, maxi dresses, prom dresses, tea length dresses, wedding dresses, formal dresses, evening gowns, black tie event dresses, semi-formal dresses, midi dresses, cocktail dresses, ball gowns, knee-length dresses, long dresses, mini dresses, short dresses, floor-length gowns, mid-thigh dresses, ankle length dresses, flowy dresses, mid-calf dresses, mini length dresses, mid-length dresses, miniskirt dresses, and countless others in different lengths and styles. However, looking to floor-length dresses when dress shopping, there are a different options to consider in terms of hemline length, body type, necklines, long sleeve or sleeveless options, high heels, dress styles, chiffon options, and the best length needed for you and your formal event’s dress code.

Touch the Floor

Floor-length dresses are aptly named, as the traditional definition for the style states that the dress should just graze the floor. This implies that your shoes should not be visible when you are standing still. The length should be the same all the way around the dress.

Just Above the Floor

A more modern, practical take on the floor-length dress leaves the hem just above the floor. Some designers interpret this with as much as a couple of inches between the dress and the floor. At this length, the shoes will be barely visible, meaning the dress should be hemmed to a similar point on the shoes for bridal parties.

Bottom Line

Consider where you'll be wearing the dress when deciding how close the dress's hem should be to the floor. If you'll be outdoors or walking up stairs, you may want the dress to be just above the floor. But if you'll be indoors, a full floor-length dress is the ultimate elegant statement.