Maxi dresses: friend or foe? Sometimes I see women looking amazing in them. Other times maxis look like ill-fitting nightgowns. That might be why I only took the maxi dress plunge last year, and I only have two to my name. I thought they would be ideal for lazy Sunday Fundays and/or post-beach relaxing, and they are, but the key is to find maxis that equally fit and flatter. That is, what might be ideal for one may not be for the other. I’m loving the new interpretation of the maxi above that I spotted recently at J. Crew on the Harbor at Long Wharf ($148.00). Styled with a casual fedora, shades and a simple flat or flip flop, this no-frills linen chevron maxi could easily make your summer favorites list,
This Calvin Klein maxi I picked up last summer features a ruched side with medium-wide modern stripe and simple scoop neck.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so because I continue to see it everywhere. Everywhere. Downtown, nights on the town, church–even at an upscale event (note to self: wear sparingly this year). I also picked up one very similar to this Calvin Klein maxi.
I’m not sure there’s an exact formula to making the maxi work, but here’s some tips I’ve learned along the way:
All necklines are not created equal. V-necks tend to elongate and are a friend to all, especially the vertically challenged. If your shoulders are your favorite assent, embrace spaghetti straps; if not, look for scoop necklines, v-necks or halters.
“Voluminous” should only be used as a shampoo adjective. Too much fabric is easy to get lost in.
Shorty get low. Long lengths equal lean illusions. A maxi’s hem is supposed to hit right around the ankle, unless your maxi has a mullet hemline (short in the front, long in the back), a look I just don’t think works in most cases, except Teen Vogue fashion editorials.
Less is more. Pair with a great pair of flats or small wedges. Save your sky high heels for a skirt or skinny jean/capri.
Show a little skin. If you’re so bold, the newest maxis to debut this season feature cut-outs (mostly at the waist). As this is likely to accentuate your leanest point, work it.
Be bold. Bright colors, whimsical patterns and color blocks are (typically) your friend.
Work it. Before you take the plunge, try the maxi on before you buy. Each one fits differently, and ultimately it may not be a trend you choose to embrace.