The One Fashion Trend Short Gals Just Can't Get Behind

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I always thought that jeans were going to be my mortal enemy forever. At 5’0”, most pairs I tried on were often too long and pooled awkwardly at the bottom. Once I overcame that hurdle by investing in jeans that were more suitable for my petite stature, I had another fashion dilemma to face: maxi denim skirts.

Recently spotted at New York Fashion Week earlier this year, maxi denim skirts have become a heated issue among my fellow petite editors at PureWow. The current verdict on whether it’s a trend worth trying? Most of us are leaning towards no, but we’re always open to changing our minds, so we asked a fashion expert to help us find ways to rock a denim maxi skirt, because apparently, it’s possible. 

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denim maxi skirt trend a collage of women with denim maxi skirts
Jeremy Moeller/Edward Berthelot/Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

Why Are Denim Maxi Dresses So Popular Right Now?

This past February, many trendsetting attendees at New York Fashion Week were spotted in midi and maxi denim skirts. Since then, it’s become even more popular and even deemed a ‘90s and Y2K staple to have in your closet this season. Whether you’re rocking one with white sneakers or some knee-high boots, proponents of the denim maxi say it’s a super versatile piece because you can dress it up or down for any occasion.  

But Does It Work On Everyone?

According to several of my petite colleagues, nope. In fact, many of them hope the trend will go away soon. “I wouldn't be caught dead in a denim maxi skirt. I feel like it would make me look shorter and weigh me down,” says Destinee Scott, our 4’10” assistant editor of Sales and Deals at PureWow. “Even if it was proportioned for shorties and worn with heels, I still think it would look awkward on me because of the stiffness and weight of the denim. I’ll be skipping this trend.”  

Just like the struggles we had finding jeans that hit right at the ankles, finding a denim maxi that doesn’t drown our smaller frames seems challenging. As another editor points out, some of us have had enough with getting every piece of clothing altered. “I like the look, but realistically won’t wear it because maxis are typically just a pain for me unless I alter them and that usually works better on flared pieces than fitted ones. I don’t really see myself altering a denim maxi skirt or loving one so much I go out of my way to do it,” says Nicole Briese, 5'2" commerce director at PureWow.

denim maxi skirt trend two women walking down the street
Getty Images/Dasha Burobina

How to Style a Denim Maxi Skirt for Petite Women

Despite the hesitation, some of us are still willing to give the denim maxi trend a try if we have some help with styling it so we don’t look frumpy or like we've been playing in our mother’s closet. Enter Sahara Yar, a petite beauty and fashion creator, who gave us a few tips to rock a denim maxi skirt. 

denim maxi skirt trend a woman wearing a denim maxi skirt with a slit
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

1. Try a Slit Style

When we asked editors if they would try a denim maxi skirt, a few mentioned that they would consider one with a slit and our expert agrees. “I recommend a denim maxi skirt that has a slit in the front as opposed to the back, so it doesn’t make your legs totally disappear,” explains Yar. “Your legs can still peek through and [the skirt] will not fully take away your height.” 

denim maxi skirt trend a woman with a flared denim skirt
Valentina Frugiuele/Getty Images

2. Play with the Skirt's Shape

Most denim maxis come in straighter silhouettes. However, finding ones that have a bit of flair to them can make all the difference for petites. “I prefer one that’s a little less fitted. It’s more flattering and it gives a casual-yet-I-made-some-effort vibe,” says Dana Dickey, our 5’4” senior editor at PureWow. Look for skirts with multiple pleats, a unique cut and/or rough hems to give the piece body and shape.

denim maxi skirt trend midi skirt
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

3. Go for a Midi Skirt

Let’s be honest: If you’re below 5’3”, a midi skirt probably works as a maxi anyway. Plus, this will ensure that the skirt doesn’t wear you—especially when paired with a bodysuit or cropped top. As Yar adds, “Anything longer or anything that sits below the hips is going to cut off your frame. Stick to a silhouette that highlights the length of the legs and pop on a shorter top, too.” 

denim maxi skirt trend a woman wearing a denim maxi skirt with knee high boots
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

4. Opt for Knee-High Heels

There’s nothing wrong with adding some height to your outfit. Yar notes, a pair of knee-high boots can elevate your look and prevent fabric from dragging on the floor. “It won’t cut off your legs at the ankles like other shoes, but rather, it’ll elongate your legs and follow the natural line of your lower body,” she says. “I recommend shoes with a platform or heel to bump up your own height, so you’ll look a bit taller, too.” 

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...