It doesn’t matter if you’re short or tall, petite or plus-sized, you’ve seen these ankle-length breezy dresses on celebrities for the last few summers, and it’s finally time to admit that this trend is cementing itself into a must-have for summer. This full-length favourite is versatile and feminine, but we must insist that before you become a full-fledged babe in a maxi this summer, that you read the rules:
DO – consider your height
You want to be sure the dress isn’t overwhelming you in length. Too-long hemlines will make you look shorter. On the other hand, if the length isn’t long enough, you may wind up looking more Little House on the Prairie than L.A chic. A great alternative for shorter women? Buy a long skirt with an elasticized waistband and wear it like a strapless dress. Voila! No hemming needed. Tie a skinny belt around your natural waist if you want to create more shape.
DO – avoid the cling
The fabric you choose should sweep over your skin. Clingy fabrics accentuate a big bust, and can show the parts we’d all rather not let the world see.
DON’T – layer
Wearing a maxi means you’re dealing with a lot of fabric. If you have to cover up your shoulders for a cooler evening, or to beat the chill of extreme air conditioning, keep it simple with a cropped denim jacket or cardigan. Longer blazers and draped sweaters will bulk you up – there is a reason football players don’t wear maxi dresses.
DO – choose empire
An empire waist flatters a fuller figure, and cinches right under the bust line to flatter the narrowest part of you.
DON’T – wait for a special occasion
Keep your maxi casual. It’s an everyDAY piece – from walking the dog to grabbing your morning latte, long dresses aren’t reserved for nighttime any longer (no pun intended).
DO – wear wedges
The summer’s best dress with the summer’s best shoe? We think so! Stick to espadrille or corked wedge styles. Bright colours will add a bit of pop when your toes peek out. If you don’t want to tower in a wedge, consider a pretty embellished flat sandal the ideal alternative to a boring flip-flop.
DON’T – over accessorize
Your dress is your statement! A chunky beaded necklace or a bold cuff are great choices to give your dress the right kind of attention.
DO – go boho
The perfect summer hair DO for the maxi is all bohemian. Soft waves, an effortless top knot, or a tiny side braid on your crown will have you fighting Nicole Richie for space on the best-dressed list.