Once we get to about April each year, the shops fill up with all kinds of holiday attire, and one such piece that returns unequivocally each year is the maxi dress.
Now I have to admit that I'm not totally gone with the idea of this style of dress. Anytime I have worn one, I feel like I've stepped into a tent. I never seem to be able to get one that is the perfect shape and fit. But I do love the idea of long, flowing fabric swishing it's way along the beach in the warm summer evening breeze. It's romantic. It's incredibly bohemian in terms of style as well, and we have to thank Chloe whose Spring Summer collection was full of a relaxed aesthetic from which we have taken inspiration for our holiday suitcases.
So what are my favourite maxi styles and how can we style them up to suit our personalities?
There are a couple of things to remember when you are shopping for a maxi. So - you know it's coming - here are my super star guidelines!
- Make your shoe choice first
Length is the big thing here. We don't want the fabric to trail the ground, but the idea of the maxi dress is all about being long. So if you want to get the right length for your look, then you need to make your shoe choice in advance. If it's flat sandals then bring along a pair to try one in the fitting room, and the same goes for a wedge or a heel. Those few inches can change the look completely.
- Definition is your BFF
We need to keep our body in proportion so the dress flatters us. Watch out for styles that have a seem along the waist to cinch them in and crate curve. Beware the empire line on maxis; in theory the cut can be super gorgeous and flatter the chest, but it can also lead to excess fabric in the rest of the dress. You can also add in a belt to shift style dress to give it some shape
Strapless, floaty maxis are the perfect option for the beach over your bikini for comfort, but if you are investing in one to wear casually or in the evening, then add in some straps to flatter your shoulders. I do love an off the shoulder style which is a good compromise. You can still accessorise, don't worry. The straps just add a feature that makes the dress, well, a little bit more dressy.
- Print it!
Maxi dresses that are printed are very summery. And you can accessorise based on the colours in the print. If you just want something more plain, then it's important to look for a dress that has some character so it doesn't look like your wrapped yourself in jersey cotton.
Check out the fabric. Cotton is cool and glides along your body. Chiffon is equally as lovely, but it can be a bit clingy so make sure the dress has a lining to prevent having your dress glued to your legs. Silk is one of the most luxurious, but it's more expensive, and an absolute pain to maintain. It's normally dry clean only as hot water can make it shrink.
So what's the verdict on the maxi dress? Have you got one that you love? Please tell me so I can copy you and get one for myself!