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Dresses with grown-up hemlines, winter edition

& other stories dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

Of all the recurring posts I do, there is no greater pain in the ass than dresses with grown-up hemlines. This is because I like to show you dresses with actual sleeves as well, and this additional requirement always manages to whittle the choices down with alarming efficiency. I did find a handful I liked quite a lot, however, starting with this flatteringly-cut dot print from & Other Stories.

Badgley-Mishka dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

A very ladylike—but not at all prissy—silhouette.

Tucker dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

I just love this fun print, and the dress itself looks so easy and even a little sexy.

Tibi dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

I like that this manages to be shoulder-baring and long-sleeved at the same time.

Zero + Maria Cornejo dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

A graceful, asymmetrical choice from Zero+ Maria Cornejo.


Totokaelo dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

I am a big fan of a simple shirtwaist dress—and like the way this one looks in comes in navy, too.

Warm dress—dresses with grown-up hemlines

And finally, to round out the group: a really quite pretty silk floral.

Posted on January 17th, 2017 24 Comments

24 Responses

  1. All very pretty choices, and glad you too recognize the need for sleeves. There’s only one option that is midi, I feel with my figure that just below knee needs heels, but midi allows me to wear flats.
    My favourites are the Zero + Maria and the final silk floral. You introduced me to the Zero label and I am always impressed by their range.
    Thank you!

  2. Hope says:

    Need sizing advice if you don’t mind. I’m considering ordering the Zero dress, but it will be my first and hoping you can give me some sizing advice. If I’m between sizes (12-14) is it better to size up or down? Do her dresses usually fit generously? I am busty so if I size up sometimes dresses often make me look bigger than I am. Thanks in advance!

    • Kate says:

      I have on a Zero top right now, and it is cut generously. I don’t want to suggest that everything is, but at least my shirt is, and I’m on the boobtacular side!

      • sara dickerman says:

        Hi I have the pictured dress in red and it’s great. I am busty too, and the v is just right for breaking up the chest area without being cleavage-y. I am most often a 10 and I have an 8 in this dress, so I might recommend sizing down one size. The only trick would be that it’s a pretty straight cut: if you are also curvy on the bottom, you might want to stick to your own size. I just love the flow of the dress when you are in motion.

        • Emily says:

          How long is the dress? I’m 5’3″ and love the look, but wonder if the length will be dowdy on me. I usually go right at the kneecap, below is too long.

    • hope says:

      Thanks for the advice! I like the word “boobtacular”! Will have to remember that!
      I ordered the sleeveless version of the dress above in a 12. Can’t wait to get it! My first Maria Cornejo item!

    • TucsonDiva says:

      I am wearing the Zero+Maria dress today (size large). I am somewhat busty (hourglass figure, actually, a large hourglass), and this dress is cut very narrowly across the chest. If you can make it past the chest part, the dress falls PERFECTLY. It does not look like a sack — it accentuates my curves and covers up the yucky pieces. You will want to order it in a size that fits across your bust a little tightly otherwise it does run the risk of sackiness.

  3. Kate says:

    I’ve got a couple of other places you might look for dresses — Boden and Shabby Apple. Shabby Apple is known as a “modest” clothing line, like for women who follow religious traditions that require modesty, but they’re really fun dresses, not dowdy, and I’ve found that they’re great for work.

    • Christiana says:

      I second the Boden recommendation; I can usually find at least 1 dress per season that wears well.

    • Caroline says:

      Shabby apple is definitely more fun than what I stumbled across a while back while hunting for a knee length black skirt for my daughters band concert. Yes that’s right… kosher casual..
      Kinda love the name though🙂

    • Hello Ladies – I am an Australian living in Kuwait and in my mid 40s – starting my own dress line that suits warm climates, covers all my chubby bits and is respectful enough to go to traditional friday lunch at my Kuwait friends grandmothers…but I don’t look like I am in ‘fancy dress’ ie in one of the local Kaftans which looks amazing on the local girls, but I always feel not quite right.
      I am just starting out, but interested to hear your thought.
      thank you

    • Heather says:

      Another Boden lover! It’s not for everyone, but their vintage-y style suits me. I also buy about one dress per season from them. There’s something a bit… off about Shabby Apple to me. So much focus on modesty and weddings. Anyone know their story?

      • Hope says:

        Thought I’d report back on the dress. Fits me beautifully, love, love, love it! And Sara, you’re right, it swings in such a lovely way when I walk!

        I’m in trouble now! A new Cornejo fan! I better start saving for my next one. These are serious investment pieces for me!

  4. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Does Maria Cornejo have to do everything SO damned perfectly???
    I’m “caviar taste on a beer budget” as my mom always said. 😉
    (That could make for a great post, Kim!)

  5. y.k. says:

    i especially like how the dot print is shown with a turtleneck -i would not have thought that. whenever i think dress i think spanx -maybe a post on that?

  6. Nancy says:

    Hi all,
    Love this blog Kim and all of the wonderful women on it. I wonder if you know of west coast designer, Catherine Jane. She used to have boutiques but now does limited edition collections. She focuses on the over 40 crowd but in a very fashion forward way. You should check her out. (I am in no way affiliated, just feel her aesthetic would please many of you looking for grown up dresses!)

  7. Suz says:

    I always look forward to these posts! Its so strange, the domination of the one (unflattering) hemline. And sleeves! Yay

    Anyhow, thank you.

  8. Caitlin says:

    Also check out a tiny store called Archerie on Thompson in SoHo. It is mostly dresses and very flattering shapes for many bodies. They excel in Spring and Summer especially with such pretty fabrics.

  9. Hick from Styx says:

    Thank you for grown-up hamlines. These have been very hard to find in recent years. Regardless of trends, above-knee or mid-knee hemlines do not work for me. Just below the knee at the narrowest part of my leg is best. It’s easy to take up a hem, but you can’t let one down when you’re missing many inches of fabric.

    I recall an awful search for a dress for my son’s high school graduation that ended in my closet with an older dress. It seemed like only the very young existed. No, I am not 17, and high hemlines don’t work for me. Again, why can’t we have choices, so that every age and body shape can wear what’s best for them? Sometimes it feels like the 1950s when designers used to dictate to us. That doesn’t work in modern times. “You’ve come a long way, baby” is my motto for today. KWIM?

  10. Hick from Styx says:

    And sleeves! There is no greater annoyance than the armhole challenge. FGS, why do so many sleeveless dresses and tops for women have huge, just huge armholes? Really, no one wants to see half-way to my waist, least of all me. I rue the day that domestic clothing manufacturers closed shop. They understood the proportions of North American bodies.

    And now it seems that they think we drag our knuckles on the ground, as items with sleeves are easily two inches too long. I have long arms, but this is ridiculous. It’s enough to make me start sewing my own again, since everything needs an alteration. Might as well start from scratch.

  11. TucsonDiva says:

    I bought two of the dresses — they are so perfect! The Zero+Maria Cornejo and the Badgley Mischka. And I went ahead and got the Clare V purse in a lovely shade of grey, which is saving my shoulder from the weight of my other purse. THANK YOU in particular for directing us toward women designers (except for the BM dress which was just so perfect I could not resist). You rock!!!!