How to Tie a Maxi Dress That is Too Long (4 Key Tips)

Maxi dresses are roomy, comfortable, and versatile, and that’s why they’re popular during summer months. If you’re not comfortable with showing your legs but you want to stay cool in the sunshine, a loose and lightweight maxi dress is a stylish outfit to wear on such a day. It cannot go unnoticed that the many possible designs of long gowns make them popular with bridesmaids around the world.

You can make the same maxi dress more fashionable and versatile by tying the dress anywhere along the hemline, the side splits, tying a belt or straps, or even using safety pins or fashion tape to alter the styling. Besides, whatever the occasion, your gown might be so long that it sweeps the floor thus restricting your movement on a day that you have to walk a lot.

Let’s take a look.

1. How to tie a maxi dress with no side slit

Many long dresses, especially formal ones are in one long length but you don’t have to limit yourself to letting free the whole hemline.

i.) Tying a single hem at the base of the gown

Gather the dress’ fabric at the front part of the hem and twist it into a tube-shaped bundle. The length of the tube can be around 1 foot long, but its length will depend on how high you want the gown to go up your legs and how tight you want the dress to be. Tie this tube into a knot to shorten the skirt and expose a bit of skin on your lower legs.

ii.) Creating a cascading fabric

You can make your long gown to have a sexier flowy style by tying the knot higher up the skirt rather than at the hem. Pick up the dress’ fabric at the knee or lower-thigh level and tie a pretty knot there. You can have the knot at the center of your legs or to one side to cascade the dress at the front or to one side respectively. You can also tie the knot at the back of the skirt for a unique high-low styling.

iii.) How to tie a side knot on a dress- creating a side slit

If your maxi gown doesn’t have a side slit, you can create a little slit by tying a knot at the base of one side of either leg. However, this may work well with maxi dresses that have a soft fabric, loose, and one-piece skirt designs. And there is no problem with tying two side knots, one on either side of the dress, more so when you have a long A-line maxi dress.

A woman with a side knot on a maxi dress. Here is how to tie a maxi dress that is too long, how to tie a side knot on a maxi gown with no side slit

I don’t expect you to tie a knot on a tiered maxi gown such as this off-shoulder ruffled beach maxi dress.

ETCYY Women's off-the-Shoulder Ruffled Summer Loose Casual Chiffon Long Party Beach Maxi Dress. A type of maxi dress that you can't shorten by tying knots

2. How to tie a maxi dress with a single side slit

You can create asymmetrical drapes by tying a knot at the upper side of the slit of this dress. There are at least two ways of doing this:

i.) Pinch pieces of fabric on either side of the slit, twist them, and tie them together twice.

ii.) Pinch a piece of fabric anywhere on one side of the slit, twist it into a bundle and tie it into a knot.

This will not only make the dress drapery on the lower side, but it’ll also lift the hem at the opposite side of the dress. You can use a safety pin to hold the knot in place if you feel like it won’t hold up for long.

3. How to tie a maxi dress with 2 side slits

If your gown has two side slits resulting in front and back panels, you can alter its styling by bunching up the fabric in the front panel and tying a knot at or below the knees. This will create a waterfall in the front panel and expose more skin below your knees.

A woman showing how to tie maxi dress with two side slits

4. Creating a midi or mini dress

You can shorten your dress by creating small folds at the waistline and then wrapping them with a matching fabric belt or wrap closure (some dresses come with such a belt or wrap closure). You can also first wrap the fabric belt, then pull 3 or 4 inches of the skirt under the belt and fold the material over the belt. This would not only shorten the dress, but it would also do well to hide a belly bulge.

If a belt won’t work for you, you can hold the folds together from the underside using safety pins or fashion tape.

If your dress is loose around the waist, you can also give it a little lift and drapery style by tying a knot at one side of the waistline. And if it’s silky and shoulderless, there is a unique style of converting it into a mini dress: grab the front and back corners at the side of each leg, lift them, and tie them over your shoulders to create a flirty style that resembles a bubble skirt.


Your maxi dress might be too long and loose for a specific day’s events, but you know you like it the way it is on any other day. So no cutting and sewing or shortening it with permanent hem tape. Tying a knot or folding at various parts of the dress will shorten the dress and create different styles out of a single garment. Who wouldn’t like to have a dress that can appear different every now and then?

You’re now not short of ideas on how to tie a maxi dress that it is too long.

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