The maxi dress is so beloved because of its ease and versatility. The long, flowing dresses can be worn casually during the daytime or with more glamorous accessories for an evening look. Maxi dresses are often manufactured at a length that is considered average. So, if you're on the petite side, the dress will likely be too long. If that is the case, there are a few things you can do to make it shorter without the use of scissors. That way, you can still enjoy the ease of maxi dresses without altering the garment itself.
Check the tag on your dress to see if it can be machine washed. Cotton materials will naturally shrink as a result of washing them in hot water and then drying them on a high heat cycle. Do this and you'll see your maxi dress shorten almost instantly. If it's still not short enough, you can use other methods in combination with this one until you're happy with the results.
Pair your maxi dress with platform shoes or wedges. These types of shoes can add inches to your height and keep the long dress from sweeping the floor when you walk. The dress itself won't get any shorter, but at least you'll be able to walk without tripping over the hem.
Shorten the length of a maxi dress by wearing a belt around your waist. Cinch the belt in tight enough so that some of the fabric is caught by it. Pull the dress fabric slightly upward and let it drape casually over the belt until the hem is at a place you're comfortable with.
Use iron-on hem tape to take a few inches off the length of the dress. This works especially well if you're pressed for time and would like to avoid the method of cutting and sewing a new hem. To use the tape, flip the dress inside out, fold the hem up as many inches as are necessary, apply the tape, and then iron over it so that it adheres to the dress. Of course, if the label on your maxi dress forbids ironing, this method should not be used.
If you're on the petite side, try shopping for your maxi dresses in the petite section of the store.
Hem tape will come off easily but the adhesive glue will stick, so don't resort to this measure unless you're sure you want a shorter dress.
Since 2006, Pilar Ethridge has had the pleasure of honing her writing skills as the assistant editor of the newsletter from a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization. Her interests include children's media, film, American pop culture, crafts, and performing arts in general. Based in Southern California, Ethridge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of California.