The Right Length for a Formal Dress

There are many styles of formal dresses with different lengths, colors, and materials. Choosing the right one for you can be hard. Different lengths are suitable for different events, so if you’re looking for the right formal dress for your next event, follow some of these tips to ensure you wear an appropriate length


If you have long, toned, or muscular legs, don’t be afraid to show them off. Just keep in mind the type of event you’re attending and whether a mini dress is appropriate. If the hemline extends past your fingertips even the slightest bit, it’s probably safe.

However, if you’re meeting your boyfriend’s family for the first time, it’s probably best to dress more modestly. Short dresses are best for evening and nighttime activities like partying with your girlfriends, cocktail parties, or bachelorette parties.


Medium hemlines encompass a range of lengths that are perfect for all sorts of events. Tea length dresses fall just below the knee, are fun and flattering, and look great at outdoor weddings, brunch, or afternoon tea.

Something that hovers just above the knee is versatile. You can wear it with heels or flats, it’s bouncy and fun, and you can wear it almost anywhere. A dress that falls right at your knee is very conservative and looks no-nonsense, so it’s great for a business meeting or seminar.


Floor length gowns work best for black tie events, a wedding, or on the red carpet. These types of formal dresses are classic and timeless, and they work best on occasions that are the same. If you’re hoping to keep it modern, choose something a little shorter.

For your next formal affair, use these tips to select the appropriate length for your comfort and the situation.

Photo Credit: Kate Saler Photography

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