With the first long weekend of summer under our belts, the time for tights and pants is over. However, summer dresses don’t necessitate the abolishment of length, so instead of sticking to short-shorts and mini skirts, here’s our guide to long summer dresses and how you can carry them off.
1. DO: Attempt the maxi
Hear long summer dresses and think maxi “ especially in summer 2012. Collections like Just Cavalli and D&G featured bright, vibrant maxi dresses in bold, exciting prints, so you can combine seasonal trends easily. However, keep in mind that maxi dresses are limited to ankle-length skirts and strapless styles, so this year, splurge on flowy sleeves and higher necklines to keep your look current and cool (literally).
2. DON’T: Wear a hemline shorter than ankle length
While Betsey Johnson and Emilio Pucci broke from the traditional tube-like maxi dress through varying hemlines, it’s best to keep at least part of your skirt at or below ankle length to create a bohemian-inspired look. If your long summer dress is all one length, you’ll want a skirt that falls below the ankle for a relaxed, beachy vibe, but if you’re worried about tripping on the generous hemline, opt for a dress with a shorter front and longer back (ex. the mullet skirt) to maintain the best of both worlds.
3. DO: Keep your look balanced
Long summer dresses are at no loss for fabric, so the last thing you want is to smother yourself in excess. If your skirt is ruffled or sweeping, keep the top half of your dress fitted: a strapless bodice will help balance your look, while a deep V-neck and short sleeves will create a girly ˜70s vibe that works perfectly alongside a headband or embellished clip.
4. DON’T: Hide behind fabric
Creating a defined silhouette is crucial “ especially when it comes to long, summer dresses. Since these types of styles capitalize on long skirts and an abundance of material, you’ll lose your shape unless you define your waist. Therefore, if your long summer dress doesn’t boast a definitive shape on its own, add a belt to cinch your waist and to create an hourglass figure.