How Long Is A Tea Length Dress Supposed To Be?

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In November 2013, Kristen Anne Bell joined Demi Lovato for the premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new animated film Frozen in Hollywood. In the movie, Kristen voices the part of Anna.

Kristen Bell's sleeveless Sachin + Babi halter dressKristen Bell’s sleeveless Sachin + Babi halter dress

Of no relation to Lake Bell, the then 33-year-old actress styled a sleeveless Sachin + Babi halter dress featuring a dark-grey swing skirt and a floral appliqué bodice with a clutch and shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Actress Kristen Bell in a tea-length dress at the Premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Frozen"Actress Kristen Bell in a tea-length dress at the Premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” at the El Capitan Theatre on November 19, 2013, in Hollywood, California

Being just 5′ 1″ (1.55 m) tall, online fashion critics were quick to comment that tea-length dresses don’t look flattering on petite women, especially when paired with ankle strap sandals.

Kristen Bell's sexy feet in Christian Louboutin high heelsKristen Bell’s sexy feet in Christian Louboutin high heels

A bit longer than calf-length dresses, tea-length dresses usually stop right above the ankle. A type of skirt women wore to high tea in the 1920s, some tea-length skirts stop up to 2 or 3 inches above the ankle.

Kristen Bell's white satin Louboutin clutchKristen Bell’s white satin Louboutin clutch

Just so that we have the definitions in order, the average American woman is 5 ft 4 in (163cm) and anyone under 5 ft 1 in (155cm) is generally considered petite. Do you agree that tea-length dresses don’t look flattering on petite women?

Short actress Jenna Coleman, who measures 5ft 2 (157.5 cm), wore a Louis Vuitton floral print dress to the V&A Summer PartyShort actress Jenna Coleman, who measures 5ft 2 (157.5 cm), wore a Louis Vuitton floral print dress to the V&A Summer Party at Victoria and Albert Museum on June 22, 2016, in London, England

Kate Bosworth, who’s of average height, measuring 5ft 5 (165.1 cm), wore an Erdem floral tea-length dress with Tabitha Simmons heels to the SS-GB world premiere in London.

Kate Bosworth rocked a floral tea-length dress at the world premiere of BBC One's SS-GBKate Bosworth rocked a floral tea-length dress at the world premiere of BBC One’s SS-GB at the May Fair Hotel on January 30, 2017, in London, England

If you’re looking for a tea-length dress to call your own, here are some alternatives from Nordstrom and Shopbop:

Free People Ancient Mystery Dress, $168

Zigzag patterns effect the look of embroidery on a filmy chiffon Free People dressZigzag patterns effect the look of embroidery on a filmy chiffon Free People dress

Twobirds Tea Length Convertible Dress, $298

One dress with extra-long straps wrap to create a truly unique lookOne dress with extra-long straps wrap to create a truly unique look

Twobirds Tea Length Convertible Dress Dove, $298

A dove-colored tea-length dress that can be worn over 15 different waysA dove-colored tea-length dress that can be worn over 15 different ways

Credit: Nikki Nelson / WENN / Dave Bedrosian / Future Image / Apega / Lexi Jones

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