I want to love the maxi so much more than I do, you guys, but I’m mini, and maxis, by definition, are maxi. They have caused me so much angst. That’s why it took me so long to even attempt to wear one. That, and flashbacks to the light green polyester maxi dress with puff sleeves and a picture of Cinderella’s castle on the front that I adored when I was 8. I’m sure there’s a picture of it somewhere, but I have a reputation to protect.
Fortunately, there are ways that women of all height and sizes can pull off a maxi dress. If you choose wisely, they really are universally flattering, not to mention comfortable. So here, some styling tips on finding the right maxi for your body type.
Choose a maxi that hits just above or below the ankle, to lengthen your legs, and not directly at the ankle. Petite women can go for an even shorter length, just a couple of inches above ankle, or a high-low style, while taller women will always want to make sure it hits below the ankle so it doesn’t seem to short.
Strappy sandals, wedges and heels are all great choices for maxi dresses, but stylish sneakers will also work. A sneaky substitute for a heel is a sleek, pointy toe flat, which elongates the leg, but skip the classic ballet flat with this style. If you don’t like a pointy flat, a flat sandal is your best bet.
No matter what your body type, you’ll want to define your waist to avoid looking overwhelmed by a maxi. A Style Dial 2 should look for an empire style, and define the waist higher, while a Style Dial 3 can do the same or also choose a dropped waist style (as long as tummy bulge isn’t an issue). A Style Dial 1 should look for definition in the middle part of the waist, where their body is naturally defined.
Style Dial 1 Maxi Dress
A flattering vertical neckline and a mid-waist belt make this a great choice for a proportional Style Dial 1.
Style Dial 2 Maxi Dress
This empire style dress features lots of detail at the top and a soft flowy skirt, making it perfect for a Style Dial 2.
Style Dial 3 Maxi Dress
The pattern on this dress and the high-waisted style add shape to the straighter body of a Style Dial 3.
Now that we’ve covered some ground rules, check out these inspiring maxi looks!
Now that you’re inspired to pull out your maxidress in January (because it’s so not just for summer anymore), check out these finds for a style that suits your budget.
3 Maxi Skirts for Every Budget
I hope these maxi skirt outfits have inspired you to wear yours in fresh new ways! Happy outfitting!