A midi dress is defined by its hemline, which hits halfway between the knee and the ankle, at the mid-calf. It’s similar to a tea-length dress, and is the happy medium of the above knee hemline of the mini dress, and the floor length hemline of the maxi dress.
Up until the 1920s, women were expected to dress modestly in ankle and floor length dresses. But Flappers, as the rebellious young women of the decade were called, went against social norms with unconventional hairstyles, music and dress. This included raising hemlines that shockingly exposed a little leg. And so, the midi-length dress was born. Its popularity waxed and waned over the next several decades, making way for mini dresses, and other variations in dress and skirt length.
There are many different midi dress styles, including body-con midi dresses, peplum midi dresses, and sheath or shift midi dresses. So finding a style you like is easy, but fit is a bit trickier. It’s important to remember, when selecting a midi dress, that the hemline should hit about halfway between the knee and ankle. So it may mean trying out a few different designers and styles to find the correct length.
A midi dress is a nice length for many occasions. There are casual midi dresses that are perfectly suited to the beach or a stroll through the farmer’s market. While other midi dresses are quite elegant and a good choice for semi-formal occasions. A classic black midi can pull double duty as an office dress and cocktail dress.
Shoes are a critical accessory to any midi dress, as they are responsible for determining how the lower leg looks with the hemline. Look for heels, pumps, or wedges that elongate the legs. To complete your midi dress outfit, try to keep jewelry and handbags somewhat neutral—the length of your dress means extra material, and you don’t want to overdo it with heavy accessories.