How Do I… Wear a Maxi Dress?

The Fabulous Maxi Dress

It’s summertime, and the living is easy. Maxi dresses epitomize the ease and relaxation of a summer vacation, yet they can also be dressed up for work or even for a dressy evening occasion. And contrary to popular belief, women of every age and body type can look wonderful in a maxi dress if they follow some simple guidelines:

  • Find the right print for your body. If you’re fuller-figured, opt for a larger print or solid color. If you’re petite with a boyish figure, you can try horizontal stripes or a small-scale print. If you’re short or fuller-figured, choose a vertical stripe to slim and elongate your shape.
  • Find the right strap for your body. If you have a larger chest, choose a wide strap to cover bra straps. If you have a smaller chest, a halter is a good choice. If you have broad shoulders, however, a halter can emphasize that broadness.
  • Find the right shape for your body. The danger with maxi dresses, especially for women under 5’4”, is looking like you’re wearing a tent. Petite women should make sure to choose a dress that fits snugly, especially in the line below the chest. Curvy women can accentuate those curves with an empire waistline or any shape that emphasizes the waist.

Here are three looks for maxi dresses this summer:

Look One: Beach Casual

Vacations at the beach present a perfect time for a casual maxi dress. Pair one with simple flat sandals, a woven bag, and a lightweight hat to keep off the sun. Don’t forget sunblock for your shoulders and chest!

Look Two: Office Chic

Work wear doesn’t need to be stodgy. Try pairing your maxi dress with heels, a belt, and a casual blazer or pretty cardigan; you’ll need the extra layer for the office air conditioning!

Look Three: Evening Out

The right maxi dress can transition to evening wear with the right accessories. Stay away from bright and beachy prints, and choose more sophisticated solids or grown-up prints. Pair the dress with dressy heels (try silver!), an evening bag, and glamorous hair and makeup. You’re ready for a night on the town!