Speaking of too short dresses...

In the icy fluorescent light of Winner's the other day I tried on some dresses, only to confirm the truth of AviaMariah's recent comments about the dearth of dresses of a reasonable length. I am 5'4" on a tall day, and this, this my friends, is what is out there right now! These wouldn't even be tunics on a tall woman! 

The white one was a reasonable length but looked too much like a hospital gown I thought? 

Unflattering photos ahead, you are warned. Oh, and I sized up in all of these...imagine their length otherwise. 

You do get some sense of the colour of my hair here, though... sort of. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • MsGreer replied 4 years ago

    love the blue and red, you look great in all :-)

  • Ginger replied 4 years ago

    Oh, my! They're darling (well, I'm not sure about the smock) and very mod but that's a hemline!  They would be utterly pointless on me at 5'9".  Leggings under a summer dress? Ha!

  • DonnaF replied 4 years ago

    I know, right?  You could get away with the black and red ones and probably so could I at 5'1" -- but only if we wore flat and wore these casually.  Are they marketing to our girls?  Or have they not figured out that most grown women do not wear mini-skirt lengths?  I'm so glad I'm only 5'1" when I'm searching for dresses and skirts so that I have more than indecent options.  I'm also glad that DD22 is 5'2" so that the short skirts she and her fellow Millenials adore are more or less decent.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 4 years ago

    THE HAIR!!! THE HAIR!!! Omigosh Suz - it's GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!

    Ok...now that I've calmed down and can breath again...yeah, the dresses. What is up with the length of the blue and red one? Those are crazy short. I mean you have great legs and all, but you couldn't move in these without fear of a wardrobe malfunction.

    As for the white dress, I actually quite like it. The fit is lovely and I like that collar on you. Looks like it has pockets? That's always a bonus. They show a bit but that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

  • Ledonna N. replied 4 years ago

    I love the blue and the red. I like the length in white and that color looks great on you. I'm uncomfortable with the length. Hmm. I wonder if I would buy them long then have them hemmed. I really don't like showing my legs. It is my growing edges. I think because I have to shave them after a Chicago winter.

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Your hair looks so cute!

  • AviaMariah replied 4 years ago

    You could actually wear all of those but I understand why you wouldn't be comfortable with the blue and red one.  The EF one I posted about was the same length; mid thigh.  I actually really like the white one and don't see it looking like a hospital gown.  But thanks for making me feel less alone.  And they all look fab with your new hair.

  • replied 4 years ago

    Blue and red are cute and you can definitely get away with that length - but for what occasion indeed? Can you sit or bend over? They don't look too big at all though size-wise.  Not really a fan of the white - it's not the dress, but rather the colour, or lack thereof in this case.

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    You look great in all these but I agree they are short. I almost love the White- I feel it needs a small detail to lift it but I can't think what it is.

    The hair legs and smile on the other hand look wonderful!!

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    I much prefer the white but with light shoes. Great length and look.

    Don't get me started on too short dresses. TRULY, I don't get why retail continues to do this. And giving us casual maxi dresses is not a solution.

  • always trying replied 4 years ago

    Yeh, dresses sure are short these days.  you are younger than me an have great legs, so all these look great on you.  I tried on a few dresses at TJMaxx (which is the equivalent of Winners here in the US. I am 5'3" and they were all to short for me.  I did find a cotton dress for hot weather at Zappos, on line...Yes Zappos is not just for shoes!!!The dress was a few inches above knees on the model, and luckily it turned out to hit me just below knee, so is perfect.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    I'm loving that shade of red with the new hair, Suz. A little red on the lips will work too.

  • gradfashionista replied 4 years ago

    I am late to the new hair cut, but I love how it opens up your face. Simply fab. And the shade of red is quite complimentary.

    Agree about dresses! Shoshana has some that are mid-length, but most of the summer casual ones are too short, while the evening/cocktail ones reveal too much skin in the torso (aka cut-out patterns).

  • Chris987 replied 4 years ago

    They all look great on you! You could definitely wear the shorter ones, but only if you felt comfortable and you've already said you don't.

    Like Angie said don't get me started....I just cannot figure out why the retailers continue to ignore the women's age group that is the most likely to have some real disposable income to spend. I think there has been at least one forum posting fairly recently on this so I wont' go on....

  • Elle replied 4 years ago

    It's maddening how many short short dresses there are out there (although I confess that as a teenager, I would have thought your dresses were long).  How frustrating that you can't find some in a length that you like.  Good look with your search.

    You do look wonderful in that shade of red.

  • replied 4 years ago

    I agree that the 1st dress seems like a hospital gown. I REALLY love the blue dress! The red one was okay...

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    I have nothing but sympathy. Add 3" to your height, and you see my plight! ;-)

    These look cute, but I'm not gaga over any of them, to be honest. I like the white one the best, but I kind of wish it were a different color. The combination of stark white and the style almost reads a bit hospital gown. Maybe accessorizing would make the difference.

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    The dress in #3 is actually navy isn't it? I think navy looks great with your hair, and the red too - but the dresses are too short. I thought I just saw a great navy linen short sleeve shirt dress online the other day but honestly I shopped at so many places now I can't remember which one! 

    I actually think white would be great too, and the length is better, but it's hard to tell in that lighting and with the black shoes and no accessories.

  • carter replied 4 years ago

    You look great in all of these, but the last two really are short, aren't they? What are they thinking? I do like the length and the cut of the white one, but I agree it might be better in a different color.

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    Oh, I found the dress again - purecollection is the company and it is the French Navy Linen Shirt Dress - with pockets! I ordered one to try myself (and you know I'm not a dress girl).

  • Diana replied 4 years ago

    Hehe I bought a Tall dress a couple of weeks ago, so I don't even know what the actual tall people are doing these days!

    The dresses are cute though, but I think you need to hold out for something you can bend over in!

  • replied 4 years ago

    I am so tired of all the short dresses too. I'm 5'9" and the too short looks ridiculous for an everyday casual dress. It throws the proportion to the absurd.

    I was walking behind a woman this week and she had on a dress so short I think I saw her underwear. Umm - trying not to relive that visual. Can't you feel the breeze with that?

  • rabbit replied 4 years ago

    Huh, interesting.   Proportionally none of the dresses look too short too me at first glance, I'm kind of thinking these particular dresses might not work as well knee length if all else was the same since the red and blue ones are a little mod (LOVE the red one on you).  It's different if they are awkward to sit and crouch in of course, and they might be, I find that with short dresses more than separate skirts of that length.  It might be just that I'm used to seeing people walking around in dresses this length and haven't really thought about the logistics though....

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    You look fantastic in these - altho yes, you have to own your knees and several inches above, lol. But you look great.

    I really like the first. Agree with Angie about the shoes. Black sandals give it a nun vibe (not hospital ;) ).

  • Sheila replied 4 years ago

    Who's that woman in those dresses? Jamie Lee Curtis. Oh no it's Suz!!!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Texstyle, thank you! You are right that it is navy and it's also silk! And was a crazy good price -- but I like the sounds of the linen and will look it up. 

    Carter, thanks -- and yes, I think another colour would be better but this was what they had. 

    I left all of these in the store, by the way. Just wanted to see what was out there and see how the colours worked (or didn't) with the new hair. 

    Janet, I thought "hospital gown" too! :) Too bad it wasn't a different colour...

    Sochi, I loved the idea of the blue one...

    Elle, thank you. I love red but usually look better in a blue-red. This is a true red -- and I was happy to see it works! It used to, when I was younger, and then didn't for a few years. Now with the grey hair I think it is good again! Fun discovery. 

    Chris, I know, eh? What are the retailers thinking? They could have sold at least 2 of these to me in a better length. 

    Gradfashionista, thank you! 

    Angie, thank you! I was really tickled about the red. See above. And do you truly like the white? It's linen/ viscose and quite nice for summer but it felt a bit draining to me in the white. Of course the lights were not helping at all. And the right shoes and accessories would make a big difference. This was just what I had on. 

    Always trying, it is some comfort to know I am not alone in this search. It's so silly. As Chris said, it is women of a certain age who have the $$ to spend...but nothing to spend it on! No wonder cropped pants are so popular. 

    Ah, Sally, thank you. Interesting that you like the white. I guess I liked it enough to take the picture. I'll tell you what I liked -- it felt nice (the fabric and fit) and it had pockets. 

    Lisa - I could not sit, bend, or buckle my shoe in the red or blue dress. No wonder they are still on the racks. They are SILK! Argh. Could have been perfect!! 

    Thank you, JAileen

    AvaMariah -- isn't it nuts? I mean, honestly!!! It's not like we are tall! 

    Ledonna, you and me both. I also have to shave after the Ontario winter! And do not like to expose the thighs in a skirt that might blow up over my bum at any moment! :) 

    Aww, Shannon, you are a sweetie. I'm getting used to the hair a bit...

    Donna, I think they are marketing to some sort of imaginary person....

    Ginger, I had a good giggle thinking of them on 5'9" you. Maybe they are really shirts. 

    Thanks, MsGreer!! 

  • Vix replied 4 years ago

    Well I finally watched the remaining episodes of Mad Men so all these look a little long to me, ha!

    Now you know how I find a lot of my tunics -- by searching on "dresses."

    Love the blue one on you but unless you're ok with bike short-y things showing with a strong breeze then yeah, no go as-is.

    I know you're having so trouble finding summer tops -- would you ever pair this with slim lightweight pants/shorts or a pencil skirt or is that just too far off your style? That's been my go-to look this past year and I swear it's solved a lot of issues.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Vix, that's not a bad idea...tunics tend to look weird with my proportions somehow but I wouldn't rule it completely out if I had the right bottoms. I was actually considering it. Particularly for the blue one, which buttons to the bottom. 

    Sheila, thanks for making me smile. 

    Rachy, thank you! 

    Rabbit, that is one of the issues for me. I was actually enjoying the mod look of these -- to me, that's another "architectural" look and one that is more comfortable and natural to me than some of the other visuals people were presenting. And I agree that the proportions would be off if they were too much longer. But that was sort of discouraging to realize, because yeah, they were too short to feel comfortable for regular wear. Maybe to the beach or something. But who wears a silk dress to the beach? 

    Delurked, I can't unsee that image...oy!! 

    Diana -- wow, you bought a tall?! Those poor tall women. What do they do, I wonder. 

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    I really like the white, Suz. Wear stronger make-up, grey or silver shoes and statement earrings. A straw hat could be fab, as would a tonal gauzy Summer scarf. 

  • Staysfit replied 4 years ago

    Yes, these look like they would be blouse length on me. Tunic length would be pushin it....

    I don't mind the length of the white one but would wonder what happens when you sit?!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Staysfit, the white was fine for sitting -- but not the others! 

    Angie, you think? I'll bring it home (it's super inexpensive so no biggie to try) and style it up. I have the footwear, etc. and a scarf. Am looking for a hat. 

    What I really loved about it was the feel of the fabric and the sleeves, weirdly. 

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Exciting. Go for it. 

  • Eliza replied 4 years ago

    I feel your pain, Suz. I look forward to hearing how the white one styled up for you. I think there is potential. Once again, I must compliment your hair. You look amazing. 

    I am almost 5'8" and my legs are the same length as my 6'1" DH, so this is a real hot button for me, too. No baby doll looks happening here. 

  • replied 4 years ago

    Haha, those are pretty short, even by my standards (which are skimpy ;)).
    But I am seeing what Angie is seeing: The tomato red looks fabulous with your new hair colour!

  • AviaMariah replied 4 years ago

    Suz - I love Angie's ideas for this dress!  Can't wait to see.  (Maybe you should buy one and send it to me.  Kidding.)

  • Aida replied 4 years ago

    I looove that white dress on you and am excited that you're going back for it. Worth playing around with for sure. White looks brilliant with your hair! Also loving that red shade on you, explore that too :) More empathy from me re very short dress lengths at retail; if we shorties can't wear them who can!?

  • Vix replied 4 years ago

    Suz, our proportions are so similar that if you end up liking the look I'm sure it will look great on you. Tunics where most wear them -- crotch or upper thigh -- look not-great on me but mid-thigh or longer works.

    I say play a little with the ones you found!

    Somehow a skimpy dress over shorts or a knit skirt reads as casual to people in ways that a knee-length jersey dress doesn't, sigh.

    Below are some of my tunics with jeans and a few I found when wearing them over slim pants and skirts too.

    The blue/white and the Art Nouveau print either scoop up or have slits at the side so rather a lot of flesh can show when in motion or seated, hence my pref for an underlayer.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 4 years ago

    Glad you're going back to try the white dress. As I mentioned, I thought it good. Style it up and let the voting begin!

  • Marilyn replied 4 years ago

    I really like the blue and red dresses on you, Suz.  It's too bad they're not a better length for you.

    I get excited when I find dresses that are too short for regular size people.  On little 5' me they work! :)

  • Pat_P replied 4 years ago

    I was at a little shop in the New England town I work in. I found a really pretty tunic tee to try - the young woman helping me said, "Oh good, you're trying on that pretty blue dress." My 15 year old dd was shocked at the thought of it as a dress for her, let alone for her 52 year old mother! Although it is lovely as a top. So yes - everything seems *very* short this year.

  • replied 4 years ago

    I liked the white dress best too.

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    Well, Suz, you know where I was last weekend and what I did! Pants under is working for me, and flats. I needed some enabling re: the shorter length (I'm 5ft 7in) but thought top-of-the-knee was acceptable. Also short is okay for hot days running around on the weekend or hanging out at home. Casualized with slip on sneaks.

    I hope it has sunk in how beautiful your natural hair colour is. Online pics aren't the best, but I get the impression the cooler tones of your silver/grey makes your skin look more peaches and cream rosy. Does that make sense? I'm liking the super short do, but understand your desire for a little more length around the bang, etc. You should have fun playing with your hair style this summer, in order to figure what style feels most you.

    About the dresses. I'm glad you will be auditioning the white one. I was going to suggest you investigate a white-out outfit. Amazing look on you!

  • Deborah replied 4 years ago

    Suz, I LOVE the white one.  I may be biased because I do have almost the same dress but a sleeveless version ;)  It's so pretty on you.  Lighter shoes would be prefect but I keep seeing it with ankle boots :)  The other two are so cute and they styles look excellent but the length is crazy!!  Would you consider that length with a crop pant?  

  • BrieN replied 4 years ago

    Well. DD19 wears dresses, skirts, rompers all quite short. From a mothers point of view it has a bit of take back the night defiance to it. And yeah, it's cute...on her. Ah, youth.

  • Meredith replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, Suz! This really makes me feel better. It's not my height, it's the dresses! But back to you, I actually love you in s column of white, even if this particular dress is not right for you.

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    I've totally given up on dresses this year.  Between the length and my gooshy middle, I'm finding more luck with skirts and blouses and pants.

    I love Angie's ideas for the white dress --- I hope you give it a whirl.  I also think Vix has some great suggestions for you.

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    The white dress is the perfect length, although I love the red one and of course the blue. I understand you - your legs are strong and beautiful, that is not the point. Shorter is not better when it comes to dresses in my opinion - who are these dresses for? I call them tunics and say wear them with slim bottoms a la Vix. In the summer I wear them with knee length leggings. Did not read the other comments yet, but will.
    But your hair - it just looks amazing!

  • Debbie replied 4 years ago

    Love the hair and can't wait to see the white dress styled.
    What is with the length of dresses though. I am 5'3" and I just sent one back because it was too short. I wanted a dress not a tunic.

  • Maneera replied 4 years ago

    I love the red & blue dress. Such great colors! And that's exactly the kind of length I was looking for.....that length is great with slip on sneakers (or even laced sneakers).

    They do 'feel' short while wearing, but I wear cycling shorts underneath so that if the wind blows my dress or I trip and fall, all anyone can see is shorts! It puts my mind at ease, and is also a solution against thighs rubbing together (in my case).

    Btw you had great legs. You can totally wear these for your at-home casual capsule.

  • tulle replied 4 years ago

    Suz, I love the white dress (so ethereal with your silvery pixie) and Angie's idea of adding a filmy scarf.  As for the other two, they don't seem so horribly short to me.  I think petites can afford to cheat a bit on length, thanks to our proportions.  The dark blue dress did strike me as somewhat severely sporty while your hair is still super short, but I love the vivid scarlet one on you.  If you're really not comfortable baring your knees, would you consider wearing it over slim cropped pants, as Deborah suggests?

  • viva replied 4 years ago

    Like Carla, I am doing a lot of pants under dresses right now, especially close fitting cropped jeans which would work so well under the red and blue dresses/tunics here and even under the white. It's a more boho look but I love it at this time of year because it is so playful while also age appropriate.

    Just love seeing the silvery hair, Suz. It looks gorgeous here, especially in the picture with the white dress.

  • replied 4 years ago

    Too bad they don't have the white in red because the shape is very flattering and with your hair and your complexion that shade of red is fantastic.

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    I wear these lengths in winter with tights. But summer, no. I have one summer dress that short but it's a black sack party dress. The first one looks good - dye job? Love the hair.

  • Gail replied 4 years ago

    I don't just like the white one I love it and I WANT one !  I am SO tired of dresses being too short, I'm 5'5" so its not like I'm tall. I really struggle to find a casual dress that isn't indecent when I sit down or drive.
    What brand is it ?

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for all your insights here and your compliments and your help. Gail, I'll check the brand when I get it again but I suspect it is a cheapo thing since it came from Winners (like TJ Maxx). It's only $40 CAD or something --- not expensive! 

    Will report on the weekend. 

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