If you are searching for petite maxi skirts, I’m assuming you are under 5’4″. What are the best maxi skirt for short women? How can women with shorter legs wear them without looking swamped in the extra fabrics? You have come to the right place, and today we’ll have all these questions answered.

The common belief (or, perhaps I should say myth?) is a short woman only looks good in short skirts.  While most would agree that a short woman can’t go wrong with a short skirt, we do believe there are ways for a short woman to wear long skirts as well. 

Now, I am talking about maxi length skirts for short women, not just any long skirts.  We have to make that clear, because long and short are relative.  A mini skirt is of course short, but some might consider a midi skirt (which ends between your knees and your ankles) is long.  That is not our topic in this article.

Petite maxi skirts are not the easiest look to pull off, but we have seen petite celebs wearing them such as Nicole Richie (5’1”), Victoria Beckham (5’3”), and Vanessa Hudgens (5’1″). 

maxi skirts for short women
Nicole Richie (5’1″) Getty Images

If worn the right way, petite maxi skirts can very well elongate the petite figure of a short woman and be one of the most flattering pieces in your wardrobe.  Learned from petite bloggers and petite celebrities, here are the top 5 tips and tricks we want to share with you to help achieve the elongating effect of maxi skirts for short girls.

1 The length is important for petite maxi skirts

In order for a short woman to look good in petite maxi skirts, the length needs to be right.  Some say the best is ankle length, while others say it might be better for it to hit the floor.  Those who favor ankle length believe that is the easiest length of petite maxi skirts to wear for a short woman.  Those who like it to brush off the floor also have a good point because that will make a short woman’s legs look the maximum length. 

If you are wearing flats or sandals with no heels, you probably do not want the skirts to be dragging on the floor, which causes the danger of tripping on the fabrics and falling.  If you are wearing high heels, it is better to go longer. 

petite size maxi skirts
Style & Co Petite $34
maxi skirts for short women
Alex Evenings Petite $48
petite maxi skirt
Lauren Ralph Lauren Petite $87

Both could work, depending on the occasion you are dressing for, the style of the petite maxi skirts and the shoes you a wearing with it. 

The ideal length is for the hem of the skirts to be slightly above your heels without making it difficult for you to walk.  The length you do not want is anything above your ankles, because that will make your legs look cut off and lose the point of wearing petite maxi skirts.

2. The top can make it or break it

Okay, here is the thing most girls may not realize. What you wear on top is equally or even more important than the maxi skirts themselves. Why? The top changes the proportion of your entire outfit.

Proportion is probably the most important concept in petite styling tips. There is many ways to create a better proportion, but ultimately, it comes down to one thing.

That is, to make your body likes like 1/3 to 2/3 ratio (the “Rule of Thirds”).

What I mean by that is your top should look like 1/3 of your body while the legs should look like 2/3.

When you are wearing maxi skirts, your bottom is extended because of the length of the skirt, which makes it easy to create the 2/3. What you need to do is to make sure your top makes up no longer than 1/3 of your body. The best tops to achieve this? A crop top.

petite size maxi skirts
Vanessa Hudgens, 5’1″ (Getty Images)

This is 5’1″ Vanessa Hudgens. With a halter neck crop top and maxi skirt, she has illustrated a perfect example for you to see how important it is to create the perfect proportion by choosing the right top.

3. Solid colors or prints?

Another important factor to consider is what kind of color or prints will make a short woman look good in maxi length petite skirts.  In general, monochromatic dressing is the most flattering way of styling colors for a short woman, which applies here too.  

For those of you not familiar with the term, monochromatic dressing means what you wear from head to toe should be derived from a single based hue but extended using its shades, tints and hints.  Wearing monochromatic color will create the illusion of length for a short woman and make you look taller. 

It does not mean you can only wear one identical color for your top and bottom.  If you are wearing a baby blue top, then wearing a navy color petite maxi skirt will make you look good.  (Read more about Why Short Women Must Know Monochromatic Dressing).

If you like prints, a short woman should avoid prints that are too big or too loud.  Many people like floral prints, which is something you can rock as a short woman as long as the flowers are in proportion to your size.  Because petite maxi skirts cover such a big area of your body, you want to make sure you do not look swamped in too many colors.

4. The secret to make your legs look longer

The key reason that maxi length skirts could be a challenge for short women is that there is too much fabrics in the bottom half, thus it is easy to create the impression of bottom heavy. For petites, what you want is the opposite, i.e. you always want people to focus on your face and upper body instead.

One smart way to counter that is to wear petite maxi skirts with slit. The slit could be in the front or on the side. That is a personal preference. Either way, the slit will show some of your leg skin, especially while you are walking. What a simple slit will do for you is it will break the impression of too much fabrics in your bottom half, and create the illusion of longer legs for short women. This is 5’2″ petite blogger Eva in our maxi skirt with front slit. Doesn’t she illustrate how flattering the slit is on a short woman? It made her legs look mile long!

short girl style
Picture: courtesy of Eva, 5’2″, in maxi skirt from Petite Dressing (follow her Instagram@ava_lately)
Petite Maxi Skirt
Petite Maxi Skirt $89

5. Look for vertical details

Vertical details are the best friend of a short woman.  It comes in many different forms.  The easiest to identify is vertical stripes or prints that extend vertically. Or, you could look for any details that draw eyes up and down, such as a row of vertically aligned buttons. They effectively elongate your legs by creating the illusion of height. 

 Portia Stripe Maxi Skirt petite size
Boden Petite $130
Petite button front maxi skirt in pink floral print
$51
 Petite button front maxi skirt
$45

6. Wear it with the right shoes

As a short woman, you probably prefer to wear heels when you feel like to add a few extra inches.  It goes without saying that high heel sandals make a short woman look taller in petite maxi skirts.    We normally advise a short woman to be careful about wearing bulky heels such as wedges, but if you are wearing a petite maxi skirt, by all means wear wedges.  Because the skirts are so long, the benefit is people cannot really tell how bulky your heels are. 

wedges for short girls
Jcrew $119
wedges for short women
Aerosoles $100
wedges for summer weddings
Earth Yarrow $112

In addition, it is not easy to tell if the length comes from your legs or the heels.  Isn’t that great?  Wearing wedges also makes it easier for you to walk in maxi length petite skirts. 

However, don’t think you must wear heels with petite maxi skirts.  If you are wondering what you should pack for your Caribbean cruise wear , feel free to grab your favorite pair of flat sandals. Wear them on the beach or by the pool with your maxi skirts for a casual and chic Bohemian look, which is one of our recommended looks for resort wear for petite women.

7. Choose the right material

Most of us would be wearing maxi length petite skirts in the summer time, or when we are going on vacation where it is normally warm or tropical. That is why natural fabrics are normally the top choice. The breathable nature of those fabrics such as silk, linen or cotton makes them ideal when the weather is humid and when we tend to sweat.

Additionally, maxi skirts made with flowy jersey materials generally look good on a short woman, because it hugs your body curve naturally unlike stiff fabrics. 

Petite maxi skirts made with lace or see through materials can also be flattering, because they have less weight and seeing through the skin has the elongating effect to make a short woman look taller.

Lace-Inset Maxi Skirt
Chico’s Petite Lace Skirt $129
Linen Skirt
Chico’s Petite $129
Eyelet-Hem Maxi Skirt
Chico’s Petite $109