Fashion Crime? Jayma Mays breaks “fingertip rule” for hemlines

A long, long time ago, we asked the question “How Short is Too Short?” in relation to hemlines, and some of our readers brought up The Fingertip Rule:

The Fingertip Rule: If your skirt fails to reach your fingertips when your arms are by your side, your skirt is too short.

If you choose to abide by this rule – and we’re not necessarily saying you should, mind – then Jayma Mays is dangerously close to breaking it in the image above, in which her fingertips look like they probably extend a good inch lower than the dress.

Too short? Just right? Is this “rule” one of those old-fashioned ones that no longer apply, do you think, or is it still relevant? How do you decide whether a hemline is too short?

And while we have your attention, what do you think of coral lipstick?

(We know, that was a lot of questions. We’ll go and make some coffee while you answer them…)

[Images: Girlie/Fame Pictures]


  • July 27, 2011


    I do tend to follow the fingertip rule, but then again, I’m so active and have enough of a rear that anything shorter comes within dangerous territory of showing my butt or underwear if I so much as think about moving normally. Then again, I also follow a rule that says if the skirt is shorter than the waist is wide, it’s too short. On Jayma, it looks good. On me, it looks good until I forget I’m wearing that short a skirt.

  • July 27, 2011


    For me it’s simple – if I can’t sit in it without feeling awkward, it’s too short. I tend to go with shorter skirts with leggings, though.

    • July 27, 2011


      yes – I wear leggings with shorter skirts than I would ever dare wear with tights or bare legs…

      I think that Jayma looks fab though – what a colour!

  • July 27, 2011


    Not loving the lipstick I’m afraid. Or the hair. Embrace your redness Jayma!

    • July 28, 2011


      agreed, her usual red shade would have looked so good with this dress!!

  • July 27, 2011


    I always follow the fingertip rule just because I’m on the curvy side, so I think the dress is maybe a bit short. Love the coral lipstick, but I wish she’d go a shade darker on the hair color!

  • July 27, 2011


    I don’t follow the fingertip rule, but I think she looks great in this dress. I guess whatever you feel comfortable in.

  • July 27, 2011


    I don’t think the length is the issue here. While in Real Life I abide by the fingertip rule, Celebrity Life has different rules.

    The issue here is the dress itself. Have you ever been a bridesmaid and the bride gives you this horrid shiny dress and says “with just a little tailoring you can wear it again!” But you never do get it tailored because you know that if you did it would just look like you had arrived in a club wearing a bridesmaid dress you had someone shorten?

    That is what this dress looks like to me.

  • July 27, 2011


    When I saw the photo I didn’t notice anything wrong with her dress, it looks great on her but that lipstick *shakes head*

  • July 27, 2011


    I’m breaking the rule right now. I’ve disagreed with the fashion police about skirt length in the past but this is still a little short for me, and I tend not to like bodycon anyway. As far as fuller skirts go, if you can hold it flat against your back without the hem going within about an inch your buttocks you’re golden.

  • July 28, 2011

    Nikki G

    I only follow the fingertip rule at work. Many of my summer dresses are shorter than my fingertips, but I have freakishly long arms. :)

  • July 28, 2011


    I think she looks great, not too short since she has the body for it. The lipstick I don’t like so much..

  • July 28, 2011


    The dress looks radioactive. My eyes. The lippie is 90s-tastic. Or maybe this photo is from the 90s, in which case, the whole thing is fine.

  • July 28, 2011


    Never too short unless I can see your bum.

  • July 28, 2011


    I am not a fan of the super short skirts. That said, I think that teenagers and women in their very early 20’s can sometimes get away with them, but when I see a micro-mini on anyone older than university-age, it starts looking like they are trying too hard- you can look sexy without showing so much skin! There is something to be said for dressing for your age.

  • July 30, 2011


    the dress can be too short if she has to sit down ( yeah big problem with tiny skirts), if not it’s ok. I like the color of the dress, the lipstick is not great but it’s fine

  • August 1, 2011


    I’m not a follower of the fingertipe rule – if I was, I would possibly be arrested for public indencecy. My fingertips extended straight down my side do not even reach a third of the length down my thighs. In general, I think something is too short if you can’t sit in it and maintain your dignity at the same time, or if it shows off anything other than your legs.

    • August 2, 2011

      Rock Hyrax

      I was wondering about varying arm lengths. I’ve always been on the curvy side so have never worn skirts anything like that short, but given my gibbon-like arms I’ve probably broken the rule several times.

      • September 12, 2011


        Yes, arm length varies greatly, the longer your waist, the higher your fingertips hang, as shortish legs are mostly paired with short arms, too, and long arms with long legs. I have seen women who could scratch their knees almost without bending, and some whose wrists are at the height of their lower hip bones.

  • August 12, 2011


    I don’t think this dress is too short at all i think it’s just right. But the dress itself is disgusting! Too short is when you feel uncomfortable and therefore look uncomfortable. I think if you feel confident in a really short dress(and you are not showing any cleavage) it can lool good!