How to Shorten a Maxi Dress to a Perfect Length for You With a….Wait for it…Binder Clip

I love a maxi dress. It is my go-to daily wear in the Spring and Summer. Comfortable as pajamas but far more presentable and easily dressed up with some wedges and accessories.

However at 5’9″ even I’ve found myself swimming in a maxi, wedges and all, leaving me to wonder, who hasn’t pulled a gorgeous maxi off the rack and left the sadly too long frock to hang beautifully in the closet? My textile savvy ladies would, I’m sure, say hem it and be done, but for those like myself, who hack up and destroy all cloth we take on with a needle and thread, what is to be done?

I brainstormed a few ideas:

Safety Pins: Too much possibility of damage.

Body and Dressing Tape: Maxis are heavy. That’s a lot of tape and a strong possibility of a wardrobe malfunction.

A Brooch: See safety pins.

Then it hit me. A clip. What about a clip? Enter the small binder clip.




And after.



I took about an inch off of the dress, making it just skirt the ground instead of laying on it. It took me all of maybe 3 minutes, isn’t permanent, and is entirely adjustable.

The trick is a very simple one. With the dress on, reach down the front of your dress an inch of two below your bust. Keep that as your “pinning” point. From there, depending on how much you want to shorten your dress, reach down that length, (so an inch, two inches, etc) pinch and pull straight up to your pinning point. Clip and done.

The Binder Trick .jpg

With a Chevron pattern like this one you’ll make a flat panel in the front if you stay at the center seam of the dress.

The front panel

The front panel

For a patterned maxi, apply the same binder clip trick but add a twist at the pinning point, creating a gathered look to accent the pattern.

Instead of a panel you have a small twist for patterned maxis.

Instead of a panel you have a small twist for patterned maxis.

The rounded top of the binder clip makes it comfortable for all day wear (I tried it, toddler play time and all). For lighter colored dresses opt for a silver or gold clip.

And for a glamorous look, add a toddler wearing a bucket.

My modeling partner .jpg


Happy maxi dress tailoring!



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