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How to Wear a Maxi Dress


How to wear a maxi dress
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CF has written a lot of articles about maxi dresses in the past, and – although it took a while for me to get on board – I think I’m slowly falling for this trend, too. This week, I decided to dig inside my closet and find the only maxi dress I have – which I have probably worn twice in the year since I bought it – to play dress-up and experiment a bit.

The reason this piece of clothing is so scary for me is that I find it overwhelming in terms of length and color. Also, I used to think it was more appropriate for the beach than campus. However, by the time I was done with this post, I had already changed my mind! Read on to see how I styled a maxi dress for spring:

1. Find the right balance

Now, this dress might not be for everyone, but I am of average height and think I managed to pull it off easily. The key here is to combine and experiment, but always keep in mind that there’s a specific silhouette out there that works for you and will always make your body look absolutely amazing. You may have to experiment to find it, but it’s worth the time invested!

How to wear a maxi dress - vest, belt

I wasn’t very comfortable with how tight my dress was in the back, so I wanted to wear something that would mask that area. I added a crochet vest on top, but since I also wanted to look put-together, I used a belt to emphasize my waist. The vest also has a second function: because the dress is such a strong electric blue, the neutral white makes it easier on the eye and less overwhelming.

2. Slightly formal

I wanted to see if I could take a beachy maxi dress and style it into a look that would be appropriate for an office or classroom setting. I think I succeeded, although for a conservative workplace I would replace the chunky sandals with a different pair of high-heeled shoes.

Overall, this is probably the easiest way to completely transform a piece of clothing: just add a navy blazer, roll up the sleeves, and put on some fancy shoes.

dressed up maxi dress

Also, I don’t know if you noticed but I wore a top underneath the dress – again, double purpose: not only does it hide excess cleavage, but the pink color of the top warms up the cool-toned blue of the dress.

3. Use your resources creatively

This next look transforms a maxi dress into a skirt by layering a blouse on top. If you do this, remember to pay attention to the shirt you choose. I tried several alternatives but what worked best for me was anything that still showed a bit of the dress, such as this off-the-shoulder t-shirt.


I found it necessary to do something to keep the whole ensemble from becoming too sloppy and baggy, hence the knotted t-shirt. Although I liked all the outfits, I think this was my favorite – it’s casual, sporty, and it looks effortlessly chic. It’s also appropriate for campus, especially with the warm weather we’ve been having these days!

4. Forget the rules

Usually, maxi skirts or dresses are supposed to be worn with something tight on top, to maintain a balanced shape. As you can see, I took a different approach, based mostly on what I like to wear and not wanting to obey the rules.


For my fourth outfit, I went for a white shirt which is rather loose and long and I went all in with the accessories, choosing a bold red coral necklace. The red was a dare for me, since the dress was also a strong (but complementary) color, however I think it turned out nicely. I couldn’t decide whether I should wear the shirt unbuttoned or tie it at the waist, so I included both photos, just to see what you think about it!

5. Just one more thing…challenge yourself.


I included one last outfit just because it is one that shows how much I’ve grown since the beginning of the year. Some time ago, wearing something like this used to scare me, but if you remember my New Year’s resolutions, I promised myself to take more risks when it comes to fashion. One of them included wearing more colors, so here I am, wearing three different colors and feeling proud of it.

Your turn, beautiful!

Do you own a maxi dress? Would you wear any of my outfits? How would you style a maxi dress? What other pieces would you like to see me style? I hope I inspired you to give maxi dresses a try and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it!

Posted on on May 16, 2013 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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15 Responses to “How to Wear a Maxi Dress”

  1. 1
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    It took me a while to get into the trend too. I think part of the secret it finding the perfect dress. It’s got to fit just right and be the perfect color. Then you can wear it without too many embellishments and it feels just right.

  2. 2
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I love them all, but I guess the first one is the best – I think that the key to a good outfit is finding the colours that match together. The first combination – blue, beige and brown look amazing. Beige tops look very good on brunettes because it’s contrastive to their hair.

  3. 3
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Julie – you are completely right! That’s how I started wearing this trend too, by finding that perfect dress that I love.

  4. 4
    May 16th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    In “Use your resources creatively”, you remind of Megara from Hercule! :) (sorry if my english is not that good ;) )

  5. 5
    May 16th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I love that crochet vest!

  6. 6
    May 16th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Great outfits! The last one was my favourite. I really love your weekly column, it’s my favourite on CF!

  7. 7
    May 16th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    You’re so pretty <3

  8. 8
    May 17th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I love the layering

  9. 9
    May 19th, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I wish you had used a different maxi dress, or different types of maxi dresses. I want to get one as well, so different dresses would have helped me more.

  10. 10
    May 19th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    A: you are right, that would have been a very good idea. However, the only advice I can give you now is to try it yourself. Go out one day and make it a point to put on every type of maxi dress you see and note what works with your body and what doesn’t. Eventually, you’ll know when you find the right one.

  11. 11
    May 21st, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I like your 3 n 4 look

  12. 12
    September 21st, 2013 at 1:15 am

    hi i just saw ur blog n i love it ,i would rock all the style but can u try styling it with a blazer with more belts

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