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How long should floor-length dresses be?

Updated April 17, 2017

Floor-length dresses are aptly named, as the traditional definition for the style states that the dress should just graze the floor. This implies that your shoes should not be visible when you are standing still. The length should be the same all the way around the dress.

Just Above the Floor

A more modern, practical take on the floor-length dress leaves the hem just above the floor. Some designers interpret this with as much as a couple of inches between the dress and the floor. At this length, the shoes will be barely visible, meaning the dress should be hemmed to a similar point on the shoes for bridal parties.

Bottom Line

Consider where you'll be wearing the dress when deciding how close the dress's hem should be to the floor. If you'll be outdoors or walking up stairs, you may want the dress to be just above the floor. But if you'll be indoors, a full floor-length dress is the ultimate elegant statement.

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About the Author

Susan Miskelly is a freelance writer and editor living in Rock Hill, S.C.; she specializes in a wide variety of topics, including travel, photography and technology. Miskelly is a published children's writer and has diverse experiences in corporate and nonprofit communications and publicity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood elementary education from Converse College.