The Many Ways to Style a Maxi-Dress

    Posted in Fashion, Style

Those Baby Phat designers really know how to flatter a woman's body.

I have to be honest, I used to be a little scared of maxi-dresses. Okay, not waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night scared, but just a little nervous. They were always one of those trends that I thought looked great on other people – usually tall, gorgeous people – but I’d always been too nervous to try. I also wasn’t really sure if they were my style. While I tend to keep things pretty girly, I also like to go a little edgy with lots of leather and blazers, and I’d always found it was girls with that effortless Nicole Richie boho thing going on that pulled the maxi-dress off best. Then, of course, there was the issue of length and height. I am average height, but I always consider myself a bit of a shortie and I was worried I’d be overwhelmed by this much material.

But then I decided to face my fears head on (and procrastinate studying for exams), so I got myself a maxi-dress and went to town in my closet mixing and matching pieces to make a ton of different looks. And much to my surprise, the dress was not only totally flattering on my body, but also a really versatile piece. You really can do so much with these dresses….the dresses that will now officially be my spring and summer staple (partly because it doesn’t require me to shave my legs).

So, for those of you who’ve also feared the maxi-dress, here are just a few different ways to style ‘em up for every style and occasion:

dress/jacket/heels/bag/sunglasses

This is totally how I plan to wear my hot, new dress. I love the edginess of the stripes – which are also figure friendly – so I wanted to embrace that with lots of leather and red heels. Adding a leather jacket and great buckled leather bag really rocks out an otherwise basic dress, and the red heels? Is there anything hotter? This would be great for drinks with the girls or dinner.

cardigan/wedges/belt

This outfit is one way of adding color to this dress- which is almost like a perfectly versatile LBD. Pinks, oranges and yellows are huge this season and this is a great way to reflect that without going too overboard. You could swap the pink belt for a black one and belt it over the cardigan if you like, or even add a denim jacket instead of the cardigan. It’s fun, it’s girly and it’s a great outfit for any day or night.

Now, maxi-dresses come in all sorts of styles/colors/patterns and after having so much fun with the stripey one, I thought I’d go ahead and dabble in some florals that are a bit girlier. The floral print is perfect for the beach, a day hanging out, or even a formal event. Because maxi-dresses are so, well, maxi and striking, all you need is a pair of great shoes and you’re ready to go!

dress/jacket/shoes/bangle/hat

This is a perfect boho-inspired maxi look. I love denim jackets as soon as it starts to get warmer- they always feel so fresh and light. I kept the rest of the accessories simple to show off the pattern of the dress. A great tip for wearing maxis is to keep the rest of the outfit neutral and simple; just the length of the dress makes a statement in itself so don’t add anything too extravagant or clashing.

cardigan/wedges/necklace

This second look is a little more sophisticated for the evening and plays on the black accents in the dress. You could even swap the cardigan for a blazer to make it a little more formal (a shrunken tuxedo jacket would be great here too), or swap the heels for flats (just make sure the dress doesn’t drag!) Another fun idea? Using the belt over the cardigan to maintain that hourglass shape.

dress/shoes/clutch/bracelet/hat/shawl

The subtle colors of this dress would make it perfect for a summer wedding or any more formal-ish event. Shades of orange are huge for this season, so I paired it with orange shoes and an orange shawl. I also added this adorable straw hat and cute nude clutch.

sandals/hat/sunglasses

And just to show how versatile this dress is, how about a simple beach outfit? Maxi dresses are so comfortable they are the perfect cover-up for over a bikini or swimsuit, and I added a huge floppy beach hat to protect you from the sun!

All of these dresses are under $75, and with so many different ways to wear them they are perfect for the summer.

Will you be wearing a maxi dress this summer? How will you be styling it?

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