The one dress that flatters everybody

how to wear a midi dress
Karen Dacre,-Fashion Editor at Large

Why a midi dress will be your seasonless saviour

In fashion, as in life, there’s often a moment when that which was once awkward becomes the most normal thing in the world. Think mum jeans, shoulder pads and ‘ugly’ sandals. It’s from this philosophical mindset that we come to this season’s most useful wardrobe item: the midi dress. It’s a hem length that we, the Great British dress-adoring public, once approached with a combination of fear, loathing and deep reluctance. 

Anything that fell to that dangerous region below the knee but above the ankle was frumpy, tricky to pull off and best saved for evening occasions. Or so we thought. Then the world moved on and our horizons expanded to allow fashion’s midi dress to earn its place among the most functional pieces we own.

Long-sleeved, sometimes tiered and cut (yep, you guessed it) to stop mid-calf, there are a whole lot of midi dresses around this season, whether you’re into wild snakeskin prints or looking for a winter floral to inject some light into your life. 

Still hesitating? Don’t – the joy of the midi dress is undoubtedly its versatility. It’s this that makes it such a no-brainer this winter: whatever lies ahead, there’s a great dress to approach it in.

There are endless ways to wear a midi dress. If you need to defy the elements for a beer-garden lunch, say, the midi dress can be bulked up with a plethora of knitwear (try a supersized jumper and a beanie) and a pair of stompy hiking boots. Or when there’s a formal destination on the cards, thigh-high boots and a great Crombie coat will lend your midi a polished edge. There’s longevity in this piece, which means it’s a dress you’ll return to for seasons to come. 

A sharp-shouldered blazer and streamlined heels make it a great option for those who shy away from barely there party dresses, while a decent pair of trainers – experiment with sporty runners as well as the tried and tested white tennis shoe – mean the midi dress becomes the ultimate in commuter cool. 

Is there any awkwardness worth considering? Tights can be tricky so avoid heavy deniers and opt for sheer where possible. You may also wish to pay careful attention to your outerwear.

As a general rule, a midi-length dress works best with a coat of the same hem length or longer, or with a short jacket – bikers are great – that emphasises the waist line. How will you wear yours?

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