In college, my roommates and I swapped clothes on the regular, our communal closet being one of the perks to sharing what was effectively a studio apartment between the three of us. But at 5’2″, 5’4″, and 5’8″, it quickly became clear that one girl’s minidress is another girl’s maxi (or, in the reverse scenario, another girl’s tunic-length top). While I would’ve been happy to lend them to her, my roommate wouldn’t touch my longer pieces because, at six inches shorter than me, she knew she’d be swimming in them.
Just because sharing the exact same dress can have mixed results, however, doesn’t mean the same dress style can’t work for women of wildly different heights. Take tea-length summer dresses that are currently on track to be the It dress of the season among Hollywood’s style set—on petite stars like Nicole Richie, it hits high enough on the calf to keep from swallowing them whole, while on leggy models like Candice Swanepoel and Ashley Graham, it cuts a sophisticated silhouette that’s more covered-up than the minis favored by many of their peers.
The elongated fit-and-flare style has been a favorite on the runway for the past few seasons, most notably those of J.W.Anderson at Loewe and his namesake brand—and fortunately for us, it’s a trend that we can (and should!) try at home, with flattering nipped waists and calf-skimming skirts.
If you need any further proof that height need not dictate whether you should embrace the silhouette, look no further than two stars who have actually probably shared closets from time to time: Dakota and Elle Fanning, who were both spotted in the hemline du jour last week.
Below see how 11 celebs styled tea-length dresses, and shop some of our favorite styles from Tibi, Reformation, and more.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Gina Marinelli