Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Internal Hemline Debate

A couple of weeks ago I was with Nani and the girls at JCPenny's and, despite my firm resolve not to buy anything, I was tempted when I saw three cute, button up dresses. They had flouncy skirts and cute little collars and were half off. So I slipped into the dressing room with three of them and, while Maggie made faces in the mirror, tried them on.

A few years ago I would have probably gotten one of them. And I was pleased that I recognized what was happening as it was happening and managed to prevent the purchase of a dress that would have gone unworn in my closet. The entire scenario has happened before, although I hope it won't happen again. It goes something like this:

I see a dress. I hold it up while it's on the hanger. It looks like it goes well past my knees and it has a cute, conservative neckline. What a find! In spite of myself I'm hopeful. A modest dress with no need for modification! Could it be?

I try the dress on and at least four inches magically disappear (the disadvantage of having curves these days). The dress now falls about an inch above my knees. I tug at it. It touches the tops of my knees. I turn. At that length it's almost perfect (perfect would be if it were actually four inches longer... but these days, when all dresses seem to be either short or low cut, it can sometimes be discouraging). And it will stay at that length if I don't move my arms or shoulders at all.

The scenario continues to unfold: I buy the dress and wear it once. I find myself tugging at it the entire time because it feels too short. I go home and put it in the back of the closet. After six months I have blocked out the last wearing and give it another try. The above scenario repeats itself. I am uncomfortable and grouchy all day long.

By avoiding this scenario this past month I feel like I've at least learned a tiny bit from past experiences.

One of the dresses would have been long enough were it not for these bizarre gobs of thread that brought the hem up about to mini skirt level in the back and on the sides... sigh... sometimes I really don't know what designers are thinking...

At least I'm learning. If a dress doesn't at least cover my knees I'll be tugging and bothered all day long...

In unrelated news: thank you for all the prayers! I'll be going in to get the results of the x-rays tomorrow and will keep everybody updated!


  1. It's alright, Cam. I'm the same way. The skirts in my closet that fall above my knees are hardly ever touched. The ones below my knees? I wear them all the time! It's so much more comfortable to be wearing something just a tad bit longer! Hang in there! (That's the nice thing about making your own skirts/dresses-you control the length! :) )

    I'll keep praying for your results on the x-rays!

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  3. Can I hope that this means that short me will find dresses at JC Penney's that don't come down to my ankles??? If I went into the junior's section (not likely at my age) I'm sure I'd have problems like yours, but in the women's section the dresses are generally way too long and the petite's section (where I really belong) rarely has any dresses at all. I'm so sad that Fashion Bug went out in our area because it was about the only place that I routinely could find dressy clothes that fit properly.

  4. I can definitely relate to the mommy curves shortening dresses. :)

    Have you considered a longer slip underneath? There are slips that are made with darling lace, ruffled or just plane hemlines that are intended to be seen and length the skirt with an extra sweet layer. You can buy them at places like Vintage Hem (www.vintagehem.com) but I know you could sew your own!

  5. Okay Cam,

    Grab those skirts out of the back of your closet and take them to your sewing machine. Add a second hem with desired fabric like the hem of a petticoat showing. Don't add the fabric on top but from behind. Add a bit of trim for extra flare and your wardrobe will explode. :) I know you can make the unwearable wearable. You have the power and imagination to fix your problem clothes.

  6. I don't mind some dresses and skirts that hit me just at or right above the knees, but I have longer legs than most 5'6" women. The problem I have is finding shirts with comfortable modest necklines that don't restrict my neck. Because my torso is so short, and I'm uncomfortable (physically) with things laying at or on my neck, it is hard to find any v-neck shirts that don't come down to my bra line in the middle of my chest. And boat neck or scoop neck shirts just make me look wide. (Picture a running back for just about any NFL team, only with a much "curvier" chest). *sighs* Someday.

  7. http://thesassypepper.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-lengthen-skirt-or-dress.html


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