As a 5’4 woman with relatively big hips, I don’t feel comfortable in maxi dresses. I prefer to have my legs out, as I find maxi dresses often make me look chunkier than I actually am (plus they’re normally way too long even though I’m not THAT short). Often, when I find a maxi dress that does fit me well and looks good, I don’t have the courage to buy it or I buy it and cut the bottom off. The latter was the case with 2 dresses I recently bought from Lipsy.
The first dress I bought was from the Next outlet near my old college; I was in desperate need of a going out dress for a friend’s birthday and knew I could get away with cutting off the lace bottom. I bought it for £15 in the sale and cut it as soon as I got back to college so unfortunately I don’t have a “before” picture of the dress as I cut it before I tried it on. This was my first ever attempt at adjusting a clothing item (I’ve always been too scared) but due to the way the lace was attached to the dress it was very easy to remove.
Before (picture from asos):
As the lace bottom was sewn to the blue bandage dress by being overlaid onto it, I cut the lace fabric as close to where it meets the blue dress as possible. This left a very thin layer of lace at the bottom of the dress, which I kept as I didn’t want to cut the bandage fabric in case it would fray. The lace detail at the top of the dress is also complimented by this small lace strip around the bottom. I then sewed around the hem-over the lace strip-to ensure the lace was attached to the dress (I was concerned I may have cut a few of the stitches when removing the lace bottom because I didn’t pay much attention).
I bought the dress in a size 10 (although I was a 12 at the time) and it fits my body perfectly as the bandage fabric is very stretchy. The lace detailing around the chest adds a touch of elegance to a very form-fitting bodycon and as the lace stops at the waist, the dress enhances my curves. The lace helps to slim the waist while the bright blue makes my hips stand out more. This dress is perfect for not looking overdressed on a night out but still looking relatively classy (well, as classy as you can look whilst doing shots-which isn’t very) and the bright blue is complimented well by the lace detailing.
I’m very happy with the end result and I wear this dress out all the time. I would definitely recommend buying a maxi of a similar style and cutting the bottom off as this dress only cost me £16 (including the price of the thread)!
The second dress was bought for me by my dad for £75, and I was saving it for a special occasion (I don’t really attend many events where a maxi is required). My brother’s graduation is on Friday (15th July) and it was only when I tried on the dress I planned to wear I realised I had lost too much weight around my waist and arms. The only dress I had that fit me well and was appropriate to wear (I did consider rocking up in bambi costume) was the afore mentioned maxi dress. I decided that as I’d succeeded in cutting the bottom off the blue maxi, I could attempt it with this dress too.
Here is a before and after: (I’m sorry for the state of my mirror but I am not sorry for the state of my room as that is how it always looks):
This dress is definitely one of my favourite dresses. The black is so slimming and the white lace detailing makes my waist look tiny! I decided to cut the dress where the leg slit was in the maxi as this would allow it to sit just above my knee and there wouldn’t be a weird mini slit at the bottom. Unfortunately my sewing machine is broken so I spent around three hours hand stitching the hem (I watched all of Avatar and Wanted), but it worked! You can’t notice the stitching and the dress is even all the way around-I’m very proud of myself for this. I found this blog very helpful for planning how I was going to adjust this dress.
I adore this dress so much. I bought it in a 12 but luckily it isn’t too big on my 10/12 body. I love the black and white contrast, and that the fabric across the waist (between the two white lace sections) is loose creating a gathered effect-this really helps to hide any lumps or a bloated tum which makes it perfect for a wedding or other event where lots of food will be consumed. The white detailing also helps make the shoulders appear more sloped (this is apparently considered feminine), which I believe helps to narrow my shoulders adding to the slimming effect.
I would definitely recommend cutting and hemming a long maxi dress you’ve never worn or will never wear again as I have put these two dresses to so much more use since they’ve been shorter-but maybe that’s because I feel uncomfortable wearing longer dresses (I even wore a short dress to prom).