The Best Fall Dresses: Floral & Floor Length (And Not Strictly Formal)

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Until recently, I perceived dresses that graze the floor to be best suited for fancy affairs.  Which is unfortunate given that they have qualities I would love to employ to my advantage for all kinds of affairs- they add height, cover up pasty or poorly shaven (read: unshaven) legs, allow you to get away with more comfortable shoe options like a lower heel, wedge or (insert gasp here), ballet flat.

Enter a Fall/Winter dress trend that gives us the best of all worlds- a bevy of floor-length dresses that are totally wearable beyond black-tie.

While I had admired photos of many a style blogger donning floor length dresses in an effortless “oh ya know, just going out to dinner with some friends and threw this on” way, it never seemed like something I could get away with.  But, as they say, you never know until you try- so, I tried. Specifically, I tried this dress from Alice + Olivia. And in an instant, saw how wrong I was.

The dark floral print feels season-less, and the cascading tiers of crinkled chiffon make it so wearable, because I don’t have to stress about wrinkles (I rolled it up in an overstuffed suitcase this past weekend and it arrived unscathed- even though said suitcase was so embarrassingly overstuffed.)

Other key factors when looking to acquire a floor-length dress that you will wear over and over (and over) again:

-A defined waist that gives structure so the dress doesn’t swallow petite frames whole.

-Edgy details to make it clear that this is not a precious frock only to be work at formal events- in the case of my dress, it is all about the exposed zipper down the back.

-Mock neck is very on-trend right now, yes- but it also serves a second purpose- to encourage you to throw your hair up in an ponytail/bun/top knot/braids because that enhances the impact. (And, yes, gives you a free pass to not blowout/curl/fuss with your hair- SCORE!)

Below, six fantastic floor length florals that will be your best friend on chilly fall/winter nights when you are going out and want to look all fashion-y but don't want to shave/spray tan your legs/deal with your hair/wobble around in stilettos. (Click on any of the images to get more info/purchase- I'm getting all fancy here, interactive images WHA?!!)