How to Style Knee-Length Dresses

Posted on January 16th, 2023 09:05 AM
How to Style Knee-Length Dresses

It’s not too long. It’s not too short; it’s the hemline that sits between the maxi and mini; it’s the knee length or mid hemline. Knee-length dresses are universally flattering as they create a balanced silhouette. They suit any age group and carry you through all the seasons and events. They are ideal for flashing your favourite pair of heels or sandals while not showing too much leg. It has been worn as the practical working woman hem length throughout history and now is perfect for a busy woman needing fashionable clothing to take her from day to night in effortless style. 

Cotton Dayz has a wide range available of women’s clothing online, including knee-length dresses that come in a variety of cuts, patterns, styles, and colours to suit every occasion and season. Keep reading to find out how versatile mid-length dresses are and how to style them throughout the seasons.  

What Are Knee-Length Dresses? 

They are not as long as a maxi dress and not as short as a mini dress. Knee-length dresses, or mid dresses, hemlines stop in the middle of the maxi and mini length and come to somewhere in between the knee and mid-calf. They can come in various styles, cuts, patterns, and colours. 

Before the start of the 20th Century, the hem lengths of dresses in western culture hadn’t really changed much from the ankle to floor length. As we entered the 20th Century, things began to change around the world with the onset of World War I, and the restrictive and almost prudish Victorian era began to unravel. 

In 1910 as women began to work in factories due to the war, they opted for a more practical skirt length that was from the knee to mid-calf. By the 1920s, with the prosperity and decadence of the economy, more hemlines began to rise. Some flapper dresses rose just above the knee, but most women opted for a more modest look below the knee. This was still a risqué length for the time, but it matched the social progression and freedom during the era. 

The 1930s saw hemlines begin to drop to tea length, and then by the 1940s, hemlines had come crashing down along with the economy. There was a mixture of hem lengths, ranging from mid-calf or longer, as women needed to reuse a lot of clothing from previous decades. Although most hem lengths got longer, women that were in branches of the military still wore the more practical knee-length hemline. 

By the 1950s knee length hemlines had become more popular as the norm; however, most women still opted for ankle-length dresses for formal events. The sixties saw the introduction of the mini skirt as all hem lengths began to rise. Although this was countered in the 1970s as maxi skirts and long flare pants became more popular among women. 

In the 1980s and 90s, the fight against sexism continued to rise with the underground feminist movement, Riot Girl, combined with the breakaway from fashion dictating only one hem length to wear.  Now in women’s clothing online, there is a range of different hem lengths available; however, knee-length dresses still remain largely popular.

There are plenty of benefits and reasons why knee-length dresses are increasingly popular. The in-between length is very practical, it can be safe for work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be elegant or even sexy. A knee-length dress can be slimming and lengthening while helping to balance your silhouette. A knee-length dress can be a perfect choice for those with curves to flaunt. They allow you to show off your shoulders and bust, letting those features shine without the competition of the hemline. Also, they are excellent for showing off your favourite pair of heels, sandals, or boots, unlike, for example, a maxi dress that may hide your footwear. 

How to Style Knee-Length Dresses 

Knee-length dresses, found in women’s clothing online, come in various patterns, cuts, styles, and shapes. They can take you from day to night or from work to a party. They are the perfect length for any season and can be dressed up or down from a wedding to a day at the beach. Here are some style suggestions for the different seasons


For a casual summer’s day look, sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses are great and probably an obvious choice. They can easily be paired with a pair of sandals or even sneakers. Pair a tunic or a smock knee-length dress with a wide-brimmed summer hat and bag for a casual beach chic look. These dresses keep you cool and comfortable all summer long with their unrestrictive style.

For something a little more elegant for the evening, sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses would be ideal. Pair these with your favourite pair of stunning heels and matching accessories to dazzle the outfit. Depending on the dress style, sometimes a belt can help create an hourglass shape by cinching your waist, allowing the material to flow out to just below your knee. If the outfit feels a little boxy, try a slimmer or strappy pair of heels to elongate your legs and silhouette.

The warmer summer months are also excellent for showing off flutter or bell sleeves that can ultimately flatter the arms and silhouette without being hidden under a jacket. Choose dresses with interesting necklines or sleeves to make a statement with your summer outfit. The flow of the dress and the breezy material of cotton will keep you cool even with ¾ length sleeves.


Sleeveless, yes, sleeveless dresses in winter. They are excellent for layering. Wear your favourite turtleneck or long-sleeved top underneath to lock in the warmth. This also allows you to play around with colours and patterns in your outfit. If the dress has an intricate pattern, it is recommended to pair it with a solid colour. Put on boots and stockings, and your outfit is ready to go.

A knit knee-length dress is brilliant for a cool winter’s day. Pair it with some ankle boots, a scarf, and a belt, and you’ll be rugged up and warm while still so effortlessly stylish. A scarf or long necklace helps to draw the eye down your silhouette when wearing solid colours. 

Jackets pair wonderfully with a knee-length hemline. They can assist in creating more of an hourglass shape and add some layers to keep you warm. ¾ sleeve dresses are great to wear with jackets as you won’t have your sleeves poking out of your jacket cuffs.   


The knee-length dress is almost perfect for these in-between seasons with its in-between hem length. For spring, beautiful colourful patterns stand out if worn on their own but will not look out of place with a denim or plain-coloured cotton jacket to keep you warm on the cooler evenings. Short-sleeved or ¾ length-sleeve dresses are ideal for this season and are comfortable to wear with an extra layer on top.

In autumn, a knee-length dress and stockings are bound to keep you at the perfect temperature. If stockings aren’t your thing, a knee-length dress pairs wonderfully with a jacket or blazer for something a little more professional.  

Where to Buy Knee Length Dresses in Australia

Cotton Dayz is passionate about keeping you comfortable while still looking ultimately stylish. A knee-length dress is the perfect in-between length that lets you show off your favourite pair of heels, boots, sandals or even sneakers while keeping balance in your silhouette. It’s an excellent-length dress that is suitable for work but can definitely still be elegant on a date night out.

If you need to stock up your wardrobe with something that can carry you across the seasons, check out our range of knee-length dresses. We also have a wide range of sleeveless dresses and short-sleeved dresses, or snatch up a bargain in our sale.