February 20, 2012

Shop Your Closet: Temporarily Shorten That Summer Maxi For Winter Snow Stomping

Reader Amber was one of our readers who tested out a pair of Hanes run-resistant stockings.  They tore as she pulled them on.  Needless to say, she wasn't impressed.  


I was impressed, however, with her outfit that accompanied her Hanes write-up.  In the pic above she's showing us the hole in her stockings, but what's actually going on here is the fact that she shortened one of her long summer maxi dresses – temporarily – for winter use.  Here's another pic:


 (wearing: Gap dress shortened for the day, H&M sweater, Hanes tights, Target boots, Kenneth Cole coat, and vintage belt)

Genius, right?  Who wants a long maxi dragging through the snow and ice? 

Amber explains: 

The Gap dress is actually floor length, but in order to make it work for winter, I bustled it in the back. And, by bustled, I mean safety pinned.  ;)

I too have done this.  But my technique (lift and pin) looked strangely bridal-inspired (it was) and it put a huge hole in the dress.  Amber's technique works much better: 

I grabbed the fabric from my waistline and folded it all the way around, pulled the excess together in the back and pinned it together at the elastic waist band. I guess you could call it a waistband? It's not empire but not at the waist, either. Anyway, the keyword is AT, not TO. I think if I pinned it to the bodice, it might have been heavy enough to rip.

Aaaand that's where I went wrong.  I pinned the lifted material TO the rest of the dress.  And yes – it is heavy enough to rip.  Oops.

So.  We lift the fabric at the waist, fold it, then loosely pin together….not pinning it to the rest of the dress.  Then we throw on a cute little sweater and belt.

Amber concludes:

It sounds rather patchy but it actually stayed up all day & I spend a good amount of my time crawling around in the floor with my 10 month old.


Perfect.  Also love the slightly asymmetrical hem, which is totally on trend.

Thanks, Amber!!  Fantastic idea!




  • ChecklistMommy
    February 20, 2012

    GENIUS. Makes me wanna go try that … RIGHT NOW.

  • ChecklistMommy
    February 20, 2012

    And I did try it! But I ended up having to use a rubberband because I couldn’t figure out how to pin the dress. LOVED the outfit, though. Thanks!

  • Amber
    February 21, 2012

    This dress does have a lot of flow. I think keeping it folded neatly instead of bunching it up probably helps. Starting in the front, I folded it in a straight line across my mid section and pinned it tightly in the back where it came together and let the rest hang loose. I’m glad you liked it!

  • Amy (BiblioMOMia)
    February 22, 2012

    HOLY ADORABLE! I live in my maxis all year, and this is always a problem. It would work for a rain storm, too! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sport Tek Dri Mesh
    November 23, 2012

    this page is exactly what i have been looking for! found your article bookmarked from a friend. I will also bookmark it. Thanks again!

  • Mzmicki
    January 7, 2016

    Did u ever try belting the maxi dress to the length desired instead of pinning it & possibly causing holes in the fabric or don’t you think that would work.

  • facesofonypr
    April 27, 2016

    LOVE this look! That maxi dress is gorgeous on you, and looks great with the Kenneth Cole coat, and vintage belt 🙂

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