The midi dress, a return to the hemlines of the 1940’s, started to make its way into the fashion mainstream a few seasons ago, but recently it seems that the High Street has become almost saturated with them. I will be the first to admit that, when I first saw the hemline inching its way below the knee, I was sceptical about whether the trend would really take off.
The midi length skirt was first popular in the 1940’s and was seen as elegant and ladylike. It became the wiggle skirt in the 1950’s (think Marty in Grease) and kept its below-the-knee length, alongside the shorter, knee-length full circle skirts. Then, of course, it became the miniskirt in the 60’s and the maxi in the 70’s, after which we didn’t see the midi length again until now, and I can fully understand why. The midi length skirt has all of the potential to be the most unflattering hemline – cutting your legs off, making them look shorter and in turn pulling the eye’s attention downwards, taking your hips with it and making you look completely out of proportion. However, this is where the bodycon midi comes in and attempts to shatter those illusions that made many of us wary of buying into the trend.
The bodycon midi has been seen on many celebrities including Corrie star Michelle Keegan, Little Mixer Jessy Nelson and singer Alicia Keys, not one of which looked anything less than gorgeous. We’ve seen cami tops, cap sleeves, three-quarter sleeves, racer backs, cut out backs, backless styles and an endless array of prints and colours, and each time I’ve seen someone wearing a different style of midi dress and pulling it off, I’ve thought to myself “I wonder if there is one out there for me?”. I was of course concerned about the bodycon nature and its tendency to cling and show up all of my lumps and bumps in a most unflattering way, however, I was not going to let this curb my curiosity towards the strangely inviting hemline and I made my way into town with every intention of trying at least one on.
Cue another bout of indecisiveness – which sleeve, which back, which colour, which print? I eventually decided on a dress that ticked a couple of trends – a pastel pink with grey Aztec-style print – in a sleeveless style and approached the fitting room with apprehension. I slipped the simple dress on and smoothed it out with my eyes shut and when I opened them, I must admit that I was most pleasantly surprised – it actually looked reasonably good on my post-baby figure, although I knew that I’d feel a bit better after a little help from some light tummy smoothing underwear, so I bought it and when I actually wore it out, the only issue I had was deciding which shoes to wear with it as it could be teamed equally as stylishly with ballet flats, platform wedges, heels, or even high-top trainers! I still cannot believe that I have been enslaved so successfully by a fashion trend that theoretically should never work, which just goes to show that perhaps we should try everything once before we dismiss it completely.
By Louise Hayward