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tea length

Richie4 | Posted in General Discussion on

What is considered tea length,  how many inches from the floor?


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Tea lenght gowns are midcalf, which varies from person to person. 

    1. Richie4 | | #4

      Thank you.  Deciding where is most flattering will be the challenge.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #8

        If you think about your size; tall, petite, med, and your shape; hourglass, apple, triangle, etc.  then consider how long your torso is, the length of your legs.  Even the so called rules are only guidelines. 

        For example, in my youth I could wear almost anything and any length.  I was 5'2", very slim, with long legs, and long waisted, small hips, tiny waist, med. bust.  Hip hugger's (low cut jeans come up to my waist) so truly low cut jeans did not look good because they enhanced the long waist, short below waist area.  I wore 4" heels all the time so everyone assumed I was actually taller than I was. 

        Today, mid-fifties, I am under 5', fuller figure, large bust, and cannot wear high heels.  I usually wear skirts and pants that are ankle length or above the knee.  Almost anything in between makes me look shorter, rounder, less well proportioned.  Solid colors from top to bottom with a lower calf length vest, coat, or jacket that is more colorful and embellished or printed works as long as I have the long skirt or pants and top underneath that creates the long line.  It's all about creating the illusion, part of what makes women "mysterious". 

        Tall women with a short torso will look too leggy in short skirts and shorts, and look as if they have thier waistband up under thier chest.  Yet, almost any length below the knee looks good, except full length.  If there is no visible waist in a garment, this is less significant. 

        I hope this makes sense and is helpful.  Mary



        1. Richie4 | | #10

          Yes it does.  Thanks.

  2. starzoe | | #2

    The most attractive length for tea-length skirts is just on the curve of the calf, not on the widest part but where the curve begins above the ankle. Try a few spots for the hem, look at it from the side in a full length mirror and you will find the perfect one for yourself.

    1. Richie4 | | #5

      Thank you.  I have begun the process.  That will be the difficult part.


      1. NansiSews | | #7

        Just one more note of caution:  even though it is commonly thought to be mid-calf, avoid this if it falls at the fullest part of the calf muscle-not flattering on anybody.  Look in the mirror and go a little longer in most cases.

        1. Richie4 | | #9

          Thanks.  A good point

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    Most definitions of tea length say "mid-calf" or "midway between the knee and the ankle." It probably began as a guideline for dressing for a tea rather than a formal, but now it usually means "anything below the knee but not full-length.

    I agree with other posters that a few inches either direction can make a huge difference in how flattering a dress or skirt will be. I have very long, slim legs, but a skirt that hits mid-calf makes me look broad and squatty. Knee-length and lower-calf lengths look much, much better.

    1. Richie4 | | #6

      Thank you.

  4. joanfitzu | | #11

    I have always hemmed a tea length at 7" off the floor, including the height of the shoe. Tea length is longer than you think it would be.
    I can't find my chart for all the different lengths, I don't know if it was in Threads years ago or in Vogue Pattern Magazine, I have it in the sewing room someplace but I can't put my hand on it quickly.

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