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Accessories 101: 3 Ways to Style a Basic Maxi Dress


When the summer weather hits and I want to feel like a chic fashionista, I grab my favorite maxi dress. Strapless, floral, halter, or striped, this summer staple is an easy-to-throw-on outfit that makes an awesome statement. I don’t know about you, but when I walk down the street in my trendy maxi dress, I feel like a celebrity.

But here’s my biggest issue with the maxi dress – it’s so easy to fall into the necklace-and-sandals styling routine. Lucky for us, this wardrobe basic is easy to style a million ways. Keep reading to learn how you can vamp up your maxi dress look by accessorizing like a pro!

Look #1: Casual Chic

How to wear a black maxi dress with a jean jacket, sunglasses, simple flat sandals and a white tote
Product Information: Dress, Necklace, Jacket, Sunglasses, Tote, Sandals, Ring

Not all summer days are hot and muggy – sometimes a girl needs to layer up. Stay comfortable and stylish in a light denim jacket that’s cropped at the waist – this will keep you from looking boxy and overwhelmed by fabric! Run your errands in comfortable sandals and grab a practical tote for those groceries, books, and summer supplies. Add pops of color with your favorite pendant necklace and statement ring. Finally, top the whole thing off with classic wayfarers and a topknot hairstyle.

Look #2: Effortlessly Cool

How to wear a black maxi dress with a woven beach bag, wedge sandals, statement jewelry and aviator sunglasses
Product Information: Sunglasses, Bag, Necklace, Bangles, Wedges

Going to a bar? An outdoor patio? Out on a boat cruise? Look glam while you transition your favorite day dress to night by adding just a few key accessories. Aviators shield your eyes as the sun goes down, while gold, brown, and black jewelry looks fierce against the basic dress. Slip on a sexy pair of summer wedges and tie the whole look together with a simple straw bag.

Look #3: Artsy and Fun

How to wear a black maxi dress with a green and white printed scarf, fedora hat, sunglasses, brown tote bag and sandals
Product Information: Scarf, Fedora, Bag, Sunglasses, Wrap Bracelet, Nail Polish, Sandals

This look is perfect for those funky art fairs and casual outdoor concerts that you’ll surely be attending this summer. Make your dress look boho-chic by adding a floral scarf, and highlight the scarf’s colors by painting your nails a fun shade. Instead of wearing a chunky necklace that could compete with your scarf, try a simple bracelet, such as this silk wrap cuff. A carryall bag (this one can transition from crossbody to tote), sandals, and trendy sunglasses complete the look. For extra oomph, top everything off with a fun fedora.

Your turn!

Now, as always, it’s time to hear what you have to say! What do you think of the outfits above? Where would you wear them? Do you have any other suggestions for accessorizing your favorite maxi dress? What are your staples? Make sure to leave your thoughts in a comment!

Posted on on May 30, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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21 Responses to “Accessories 101: 3 Ways to Style a Basic Maxi Dress”

  1. 1
    May 30th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Love the 2nd outfit!!!

  2. 2
    May 30th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I love all your selections!

  3. 3
    May 30th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    It’s true, the reason why I don’t always like buying statement pieces like maxi dresses is because it’s soo hard to style it in different ways! It’s like your forced to wear it only one way and that’s frustrating because then you’re compelled to buy more clothes (at least for me).

    I’m one of those people who don’t like wearing/being seen in the absolute same outfit and so this is definitely something that pushes me to rethink how I style my clothes. One way I would wear a loose maxi dress is with a cropped blazer to give some structure and play with the empire waist!

  4. 4
    May 30th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I love #3!! but in number 2 I love how you paired the black dress w/ brown accessories(: love that color combo!!

  5. 5
    May 30th, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I like #1 and #3. I like the Casual and Artsy & Fun look! Very inspirational! :-) Thumbs up! :))

  6. 6
    May 30th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Wow, you did a great job here! I’ve been avoiding maxi dresses since forever, but after the cute ways you styled it, I even feel like giving it a try :)

  7. 7
    May 30th, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Love these all! :D

  8. 8
    May 31st, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Pretty black maxi, its a good that thing this piece comes with a neutral color it goes anywhere. I love all the combos! its always fun to play around with clothes to make a cute package.

  9. 9
    May 31st, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I love maxi dresses in theory, but I have so much trouble finding some that I feel are really a great look. Nevertheless, these are cute ideas!

  10. 10
    May 31st, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Such great outfits! I love maxi dresses, but haven’t found one that doesn’t drown me at only 5ft tall…

  11. 11
    May 31st, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Love this!! I just bought a black basic maxi dress so this post has perfect timing! My favorite outfit is the third one, totally matches my artsy/boho/hipsterina aesthetic

  12. 12
    May 31st, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I think all 3 were done verly lovely thanks for the inspiration :-)

  13. 13
    May 31st, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I love this post! I’ve never actually thought about purchasing a maxi dress before, but I love this one, and all of the accessories. Great post!

  14. 14
    May 31st, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    #1 is definitely one of my favorite ways to wear my maxi dresses, but I really like all of the looks you created! Great job :)

  15. 15
    June 6th, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Maxi dresses are so cool! These clothes and accessories can really make a college girl look so hot and gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your insights Sarah. I just want to suggest a site about rubber bracelets, maybe it can help you girls to look so cool. :)

  16. 16
    June 14th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    maxi dresses are so fun and playful; great for any event. these are great tips!

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