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Dress hire? I have done this for balls, and if you are anywhere with a good hire company (I was in Notting Hill at the time) you should find something way nicer than anythiing you could buy for the same money.
What sort of ball is it? Safer to err on the side of caution if you aren't sure how formal it is and go long. If you have fab legs try and find a dress with a split up the side for a flash of thigh - it will detract attention from your tummy and stop you looking swamped in a long dress. If the ball is less formal then a cocktail dress may be ok.
KateSpade - why do you say the bit about needing heels? I'm a similar height but can't see anything on the website about the length (but maybe I'm being blind!). I really like the dress - might be a good Christmas party option, but your comment about the length worries me!
slev I suppose I really mean for all of them - I’m same height as OP and I don’t think I could buy a maxi off the rack and wear it with flats without having it shortened. I have a few maxi dresses and have to wear them all with wedges or heels.