In college, my roommates and I swapped clothes on the regular, our communal closet being one of the perks to sharing what was effectively a studio apartment between the three of us. But at 5'2", 5'4", and 5'8", it quickly became clear that one girl's minidress is another girl's maxi (or, in the reverse scenario, another girl's tunic-length top). While I would've been happy to lend them to her, my roommate wouldn't touch my longer pieces because, at six inches shorter than me, she knew she'd be swimming in them.
Just because sharing the exact same dress can have mixed results, however, doesn't mean the same dress style can't work for women of wildly different heights. Take the tea-length midi that's currently on track to be the It dress of the summer among Hollywood's style set—on petite stars like Nicole Richie, it hits high enough on the calf to keep from swallowing them whole, while on leggy models like Candice Swanepoel and Ashley Graham, it cuts a sophisticated silhouette that's more covered-up than the minis favored by many of their peers.
The elongated fit-and-flare style has been a favorite on the runway for the past few seasons, most notably those of J.W.Anderson at Loewe and his namesake brand—and fortunately for us, it's a trend that we can (and should!) try at home, with flattering nipped waists and calf-skimming skirts.
If you need any further proof that height need not dictate whether you should embrace the silhouette, look no further than two stars who have actually probably shared closets from time to time: Dakota and Elle Fanning, who were both spotted in the hemline du jour last week.
Below, see how 11 celebs styled tea-length dresses, and shop some of our favorite styles from Tibi, Reformation, and more.
On Nicole Richie: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Sneakers ($50).
On Dakota Fanning: Elizabeth and James dress; Gabriela Hearst Nina bag; Super by Retrosuperfuture Panama 50M Sunglasses ($267).
On Miley Cyrus: Public Desire Misty Platform Backless Mules ($45).
On Naomi Watts: Erdem dress; Chloé Drew Mini Lambskin Shoulder Bag ($1650).
On Zoe Saldana: Roksanda Alten Contrast-Sleeve Crepe Pencil Dress ($1149).
On Ashley Graham: Nili Lotan Cami Gown ($595).
On Elle Fanning: Temperley London dress; Laurence Dacade Bow-Embellished Cage Sandals ($880).
Flattering and feminine, in the softest shade of pink.
Electric yellow has never looked so appealing.
This printed dress is perfect for any summer soiree.
Go ahead, and copy Ref's styling. We won't tell.
Go from day to evening in this tangerine slip.
The sporty stripes and lace-up back work equally well with sneakers and high-heel sandals.
This easy floral print is perfect for summer.
Get in on the polka-dot trend with a dress you'll never want to take off.
Your new date-night dress awaits.
We especially like the waist-cinching asymmetrical ruching.
More of a denim person? See the forgotten skinny-jean trend Emily Ratajkowski is bringing back.