Does it piss you off when you order a fabulous maxi skirt online only to find it’s a midi skirt upon arrival? Shopping at a physical store where you can try on an outfit before buying is not always an option nowadays. In fact, Review42 shows that 72% of women and 68% of men buy their clothes online.
So how do you ensure the maxi skirt you saw and loved in stores like TBDress and Gymdolphin is the correct length for you, not to mention other aspects? You must learn how to measure the length of a skirt.
The key measurements when buying any skirt include waist, hips, length and hemline. In this post however, we will only learn how to measure the length of a maxi skirt and some tips to make the work easier.
What’s the Length of a Maxi Skirt?
A maxi skirt is a skirt that stops at the ankle, on top of your foot or at ground level. Ideally, the skirt should not drag on the floor when you wear sandals or flat shoes. But if you want a gown-like maxi skirt to always wear with heels, ground-level length is the best option.
We usually measure the length from the top of the waistband to the hemline. Keep in mind however where the waist will sit on your body once you wear it. For example, if a skirt is high waist, it will be shorter than one that sits below the natural waist, so you should consider that in the length.
Some brands also do not include the length of the waistband in the measurements given. In this case, if the skirt is written 40″, add an inch and a half for the waistband, or two and a half inches if the skirt is a high waist.
2 Ways to Measure for Maxi Skirt Length
When you want to get the correct length for a maxi skirt, there are two simple ways to go about it.
1. Measure a Skirt
If you want a specific design of a maxi skirt that you already own, you can use this method to measure length. The skirt you are using has to be the exact model (pleated, pencil, asymmetrical) as the one you want to buy, and it has to fit you perfectly. This is because different styles of maxi skirts fit differently and therefore differ in length.
To measure this skirt;
- Lay out the skirt on a flat surface like a table and straighten it so it has no creases or wrinkles.
- Place the measuring tape at the front center of the waistband circumference and stretch it from the edge of the waistband to the hemline. Take note of the waistband and where it should sit on your body.
- If the skirt is asymmetrical, you must measure the length of the different parts.
2. Measure Yourself
This method is less clear-cut and a bit risky because different maxi skirts fit the body differently. A body con maxi skirt, for example, is lifted by your hips so you may need to get it a little longer than loose-fitting skirts.
That aside, here is how you measure for maxi skirt length on your body;
- Stand straight in a relaxed position with your hands down. You can have someone assist you or stand in front of a mirror.
- Hold the tape measure at your natural waist and let it fall straight on your side or in front of you.
- Determine where you want the maxi skirt to end on your legs (ankle, top of your foot or ground level).
- Get someone to mark the tape measure at that point and write the length down.
NB: Consider how tight the skirt is when using this method to measure for maxi skirt length.
How to Measure Maxi Skirt Length without a Tape Measure
Granted, the most accurate way to measure for maxi skirt length is using a flexible tape measure. But what if you don’t have one handy and are in a hurry?
Use a flexible substitute like a ribbon, string or twine as long as it’s long enough. You would be tempted to use a ruler, especially the long wooden one, but that will only give you inaccurate results.
Instead, once you measure the length using a soft, flexible twine and cut it at the right length, line it up against the ruler to find the length in inches or centimeters.
Tips for Taking Maxi Skirt Measurements
- Use a flexible measuring tape found in a sewing kit. DO NOT use a ruler to take measurements, as it will give you inaccurate results.
- When measuring an old skirt to get the correct length for a maxi skirt, lay it out flat. Measuring when the skirt is hanging can skew the measurement because of stretching.
- Always take the measurement twice just to be sure. If both times you get inconsistent reading, measure again.
How to Measure Maxi Skirt Length for a Straight Skirt
Straight, pencil, and bodycon skirts are different in that they skim over the body and are therefore subject to being lifted by the hips. Also, if you buy a maxi skirt that does not have the same curves or hip width as you, it will end up with draglines, wrinkles or be loose.
To avoid that;
- Start by measuring your hips. Take the tape and wrap it around snugly around the widest part of your hips.
- You should also measure around your upper hip (three inches below the waist) and the lower hips (8-9 inches below your waistline).
- After that, measure the length you desire for a maxi skirt.
- When buying the skirt, ensure the hip measurements are the same as yours, even before you look at the length.
You lay the measuring tape from the top of the waistband to the hemline, or from your natural waistline to the top of your foot. If the skirt sits on your natural waist, add an inch because it will be shorter than if it sits on the lower waist.
Maxi skirt lengths range from 39″ to 41.5″, depending on the height of a woman. This length also changes from one skirt to the other because of style and purpose. For example, a summer maxi skirt is usually ankle-length and cannot be as long as a dinner maxi skirt that touches the ground, even with heels.