How to Style a Maxi Dress
Ever since the maxi dress came into fashion, it has evolved to become the outfit that every woman is yearning to wear. For each style of mini or midi skirt available, fashion stores make available a similar one in maxi lengths. Though maxi dresses have become more readily available, they are not automatically easy to style. A long dress worn the wrong way can look like a night gown. However, if you wear it the correct way, it can be flattering and fabulous looking.
Some people wrongly think that long dresses can only fit formal occasions. But maxi dresses can be fashioned to become stylish, attractive and feminine. To achieve this, you need to choose a style that best suits your shape, height and weight. You can also configure a diversity of looks with one dress by using different accessories.
A long dress can spice up your looks if you are slim and tall. To bring out the best outcome, opt for halter-neck or thin straps. Spaghetti straps are particularly nice in toned colors. To complete the outfit, Wear a slim belt in accentuating colors . You can also use horizontal stripes if you are very slender.
Plus size ladies will find that a long dress is particularly good at hiding the bulges. If you have big hips, choose a dress with an ornamented bodice, or add accessories like a necklace to bring attention to the top. If you like flashing your arms, avoid thin straps and opt for wide straps, cap sleeves, halter-neck or a sleeveless gown. You may still wear spaghetti straps if you like but they are best if in toned colors.
For petites and the pear shaped, grab a full-length gown with a V-neck and pair with heels. Dark, neutral and nude colors are best for creating the illusion of height. If you want a printed outfit, opt for medium prints. Use shapewear or a slimming belt to conceal your tummy. An ordinary belt at the natural waist or just below the bust also looks good.
Petites and plus size women should go for dress and skirt designs that are form-fitting but not tight. Although solid colors are great, vertical stripes and prints create a taller look. If you want a pleated dress, find one with the pleats sewn in around the hip area. Pleats seem to exaggerate the hips. Sewn in pleats will work well as tummy control panel.
- During the summer, wear a gown that is flowy and in a soft and light fabric, like white. If the air is very hot, put on a cotton slip under the dress to absorb sweat. In such warm weather, light-colored clothes are more appropriate because they reflect heat rather than absorb. A light-weight shirt in a bright color is also fine.
- In winter, long dresses are very useful in hiding layers underneath. You can wear tights, leggings, shorts or skinny jeans to keep you warmer. While choosing a heavy coat or cardigan, also think or wearing a T-shirt inside.
What to Wear Over a Maxi Dress
You can wear almost all types of tops over a maxi dress. These include jackets, cardigans, sweaters and coats. You can button up or leave hanging. If you don’t like the look of the bodice, you may opt to zip-up or wear a tank top or T-shirt under the jacket. This is also a good way of transitioning your dress into a skirt, thereby creating two outfits with the same dress.
Many women love a black or dark maxi dress owing to its ease in combination. Being neutral, it will go well with many colors. You can spice it up by pairing with other neutrals in brighter colors like blue or even prints and stripes. For summer wear, opt for white or other lighter color tops to warm up the look.
Sweaters look good with long gowns if they are not form-fitting. They add a little warmth which may not be sufficient in the winter. They are ideal for spring and fall. During the summer, choose an aerated sweater. Many designs and colors of sweaters that offer cover-up but are dotted with ventilating holes are widely available.
In the winter, long coats and blazers are ideal for making you warm while providing room to hide layers underneath. Tunic tops and other long tops may also be good during such weather. In the warmer months, they can be worn in lighter fabrics to provide a casual and laid-back look.
Strappy or strapless dresses are ideal for summer outdoor events. However, some women may feel overly exposed while others may be sensitive to the scotching sun. In such cases, a denim jacket comes in handy. It covers you but will not make you unnecessarily hot.
A Denim Jacket is a perfect addition to a long dress or skirt. It adds glamour and spices up the outfit. A jeans jacket in black, white or faded blue will go with almost all color maxis. Denim tops are also a casual staple. Boyfriend or men’s blazers are also fine with long gowns.
Jeans Button up Shirts are good if the weather is not too cold. If you want to add extra warmth, you can layer a T-shirt under or over the dress. Other button down shirts are also okay if they look good. If you want to add color to your dress without clashing, choose a shirt or other top in the same hue as dress but in a different shade.
Some special occasion dresses usually come in styles such as strapless or halter-neck. While these are perfect in warm weather, they can be uncomfortable in the winter or evenings. Fur wraps and stoles are good for thin straps, strapless and sleeveless dresses. Some lighter wraps are made only for the purposes of style. They are made of light-weight materials like silk. Other materials like cotton may offer some warmth, depending on how heavy they are woven. Wraps are usually available in colors that will go well with most dresses.
What Shoes to Wear With a Maxi Dress
The best types of shoes to wear with a maxi dress are those that reveal your feet. Due to the dressy nature of long skirts, wearing closed shoes creates the impression of exaggerated coverage. Such footwear may also make people believe you have flawed feet. Perfect shoes include open-toe, strappy and pumps.
For tall women, wedges and flats are cute. Plus sizes, petites and curvy ladies will look better in heels as they add more balance to the overall appearance. Any color of shoes is fabulous if it does not conflict with the style and hue of the dress.
Though boots and booties do not look great with maxi dresses, they are ideal in winter. Layer them with tights, leggings or thick socks (or skinny jeans if you like) for more warmth. For a better look, wear boots that are tall enough to be covered by the hem.
See also Best Shoes to Wear with a Maxi Dress.
What to Wear Under a Maxi Dress
The best items of underwear for skirts and dresses are those with a full back coverage. G-strings and others like thongs tend to make the dress get stuck between your buttocks, an embarrassment that happens without the wearer’s knowledge.
Some ladies will choose to wear Bike Shorts underneath clothes for a variety of reasons. One issue is that billowy gowns in soft fabrics are bound to go with the wind. While maxis are nowadays mostly sewn out of these feminine materials, it is a good idea to add a skin-tight short inside if you are going to a windy area.
Legwear or hosiery are items that can go under clothes. Tights or leggings are vital in the winter. They add warmth and at the same time increase modesty. Ladies with thin legs can wear the thicker varieties to increase the thickness of their legs. Skinny jeans can also work. These items do not go well with sheer or see-through gowns. They create the illusion of no underwear.
If your dress is see-through, the first option you should consider is wearing a Slip or Half-Slip underneath. They are available in a variety of lengths, colors and fabrics. They prevent abrasion from rough materials like knit wool. Some also designed to double-up as Shapewear and work the same way as a slimming belt or tummy control panel.
Wearing a shorter dress under a maxi is also a good way of solving the issue of showing the silhouette of your legs. These include bodycon or tube dresses. Another alternative is to ask your local seamstress to fix a lining inside the waistband. Although this might not be as an in-built lining, it works the same way.
The choice of bra to wear with your maxi dress depends on the style of the outfit. A strapless dress goes with a strapless bra, while a low-back gown pairs with a bra in the same style. Backless or halter-neck dresses also go with specialized bras. Some of these clothes sometimes come with attached cups which do not offer sufficient support to busty women. While revealing your bra straps does not necessarily look good, some ladies will use the straps for styling some clothes. If this be the case, take the mirror test and see whether you look fine.
How to Accessorize a Maxi Dress
The point of adding ornaments to your dress is to harmonize, balance and bring the spotlight to specific areas. You can take the hue or theme of your maxi dress as the starting point and choose accessories in different shades of that color. For example if your dress is deep blue, it can be accessorized with jewelry and shoes in navy, light and sky blue.
Another issue to consider is the occasion you going to attend. For a wedding, accessorizing is best done with items that are wedding appropriate. For office or business gatherings, opt for business acceptable accessory pieces. Casual dresses can go with almost anything.
For black or neutral maxi dresses, you can jazz up the look with sparkling jewelry and shoes. The idea here is to add color and spice-up the plainness of the outfit. If the attire is too conspicuous, consider wearing simple jewels to achieve the right balance.
A belt is one item that is essential in styling a long dress or skirt. It clearly defines your waist while at the same time differentiates your dress from maternity wear or sleeping gowns. Broad belts are amazing with petite ladies and plus sizes, while thin ones look attractive when worn by slender ladies. You could as well utilize a draw-string tie, if fitted, or a belted jacket.
The style of your clothing and your body shape dictate the correct type of necklace for you. For a halter-neck style outfit, it’s better to wear no necklace. For dresses with wide open shoulders like strapless or spaghetti, a choker necklace is just right. Round necked and button down clothes require long necklaces.
Ladies with thick necks should avoid short necklaces as these tend to appear somewhat obscured. Multiple strand necklaces look good on such women. If you are curvy, avoid very small pieces. For petite ladies, opt for short ones as long necklaces will make you appear shorter. If you have a long slender neck, select a short or collar necklace.
Can You Wear a Maxi Dress to a Wedding?
Although you can wear a maxi dress or skirt to a wedding, it depends on the type of event and where it is held. The style and fabric of your gown is also a determining factor. Generally speaking, backless, strapless, see-through and high slits are not appropriate. Other styles like the sundress are made to be casual.
The best materials for a wedding guest maxi dress are satin, silk and chiffon. Casual looking materials are not acceptable especially if the outfit is too thin. An attached lining or slip worn underneath may solve the situation. If the dress still looks too informal, it can only be suitable for a casual beach or outdoor wedding. Long flowy dresses offer the required don’t-care look appropriate for such occasions.
The whole point of wearing a maxi dress to a wedding is to look stylish but not look like the bride or the bridesmaid. White may therefore not be fit as it may look like the wedding gown especially if it is strapless. If you prefer white or ivory clothing, accessorize with other colors. If you must wear black, add colors to your other clothing to avoid looking like a mourner.
If your maxi dress shows too much of your arms and shoulders, you may be confused with a bridesmaid. In such a case, you should consider throwing a shrug on top. Remember that some weddings have no bridesmaids and other guests might think you are the one.
If you shy away from wearing a maxi dress, may be it’s time you tried one. Do not think that it will not fit you. Try different styles and you’ll finally find what is nice for you. Using these tips will greatly help you in looking good in your long dress whatever style of maxi dress you choose. With a good grasp of how to wear a maxi dress, you will acknowledge the outfit as a fashion staple and not some type of formal uniform.
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