As a 5′ 2″ individual, a maxi dress is a difficult fashion choice. Prom dress shopping was challenging. After trying on approximately one long gown, seeing half of the dress’s fabric lying on the floor, I opted for a shorter silhouette.

Fast forward into adulthood, two maxi dresses found their way into my closet. I didn’t grow — although, according to my doctor’s file, I grew an inch and a half post-college because the nurse allowed me to wear my UGG® boots while getting my measurements taken at my annual physical. I did, however, discover the advantages of alterations.

There are certain setbacks you have to be aware of with maxi dresses (#amIright, ladies?).

  1. They sweep up everything in your path – solid OR liquid. Walking down the streets of DC, I can’t help but be super conscious about how nothing I wear should be touching those sidewalks. Before you know it, you’re collecting discarded receipts, cigarette butts, and half-eaten french fries. And the liquid element, I don’t want to talk about it.
  2.  The possibility of falling up or down steps increases tenfold. Sure you can lift the bottom of your dress while walking up stairs, but it does not eliminate the fear of stepping on even an inch of the fabric causing your whole body to jerk forward or be thrown downward. Call me paranoid, or call me prepared.
  3. There’s a smaller but equally troubling chance of someone else stepping on your maxi dress. People have (far too frequently) stepped on the back of my flip flops, which surface-area-wise is significantly harder to do than a billow of fabric – so I’m not ruling it out.
  4. Moving steps, also known as escalators, are dangerous to navigate. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, thinking I’m at the end of my list and grasping at straws here, but let me tell you – a few summers ago I was walking down the escalator and saw a “bottleneck” as my dad would say. What was it? A woman who had gotten the bottom of her maxi dress caught in the side of the escalator. It was causing a jam, and she was holding onto the fabric as it was being pulled from her body. I stopped because I’m a good person (and I like involving myself in things), and I looked at her and asked “how much do you care about this dress staying intact?” She looked at me wide-eyed and replied, “not enough.” Along with another who had stopped to help, we ripped the caught corner of the dress from the rest of the fabric, and we watched as the non-liberated piece shred. In that moment, a new fear materialized (mild pun intended).

Due to an unforeseen set of circumstances, I am now down to only one maxi dress.

Following an after-work happy hour, I made the trek home on the Metro. As I was taking the escalator up, I became hyper-aware as to not get too close to the edges with the dress — plant your feet and stay still on the ride. I made it to the top (#winning), but the first step I took was right on the front of my maxi dress.

I not only tripped, but fell so deeply that both of my feet became trapped inside of my dress. I tried to stand up, but ended up just kicking the inside of my dress. Full disclosure, I was a little inebriated (but don’t judge me, #work and #happyhourdeals).

I’m fumbling in my dress cocoon-style at this point. In a public space. Let me use this sentence as a pause for you to take a moment to truly picture that.

It didn’t take long for survival instincts to kick in. I didn’t think about the consequences of what I was about to do, I just reached down and ripped open the entire side of my dress – thigh to ankle. But my legs were free, and that’s what mattered.

Let’s just say, the rest of my journey was a breezy one. And now I only have one maxi dress.


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