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Summer Fashion Trend: Long Dresses


Patchwork Maxi Dress by Marc Jacobs

Summer is almost here, and with it comes the return of the dress. Last year was nicknamed “the summer of the dress” by the fashion industry, but this year is shaping up to earn the same title.

This year’s version of the dress trend has taken on a fun new twist with the return of the long dress – it’s a comfortable, fun, throwback to 60’s bohemian fashion.

In the fashion industry, the long dress is known as the “maxi dress”, but I’m not a fan of that term. It’s a little too reminiscent of a feminine hygiene product, if you know what I’m saying. Anyway, maxi dress means long dress, so it doesn’t really matter what term you use.

I know most college girls these days are all about the mini-dresses, and showing as much leg as possible, but sometimes less really is more. It can be so much sexier to make your outfit focus on one body part at a time, and long dresses are a great way to show off your upper body.

These dresses are hot for summer and I know you’re going to love them as much as I do!

Runway Inspiration

Long dresses were all over the Spring 2008 Ready-To-Wear runways, and everyone from Marc Jacobs to Alexander McQueen created their own version of this hot trend. There were many different incarnations of long dresses, and here are a few of the most popular styles. (Photos courtesy of

Floral Prints & Sheer Long Dresses:

Long floral dresses by Marc Jacobs, D&G, and Stella McCartney on the Spring 2008 Ready To Wear Runways
From Left: Marc Jacobs, D&G, Stella McCartney

Solid & Color Block Long Dresses:

Solid Long Dresses and Colorblocked Maxi Dresses by Versace, Emilio Pucci, and Valentino on the Spring 2008 Ready To Wear Runways
From Left: Versace, Emilio Pucci, Valentino

Long Dresses With Large Floral Prints:

Long dresses with large floral prints by Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenburg, and Gucci on the Spring 2008 Ready To Wear runways
From Left: Michael Kors, DVF, Gucci

Long Dresses With Geometric Prints:

Geometric print long dresses by Derercuny, Missoni, and Oscar De La Renta on the Spring 2008 Ready To Wear runways
From Left: Derercuny, Missoni, Oscar De La Renta

How To Wear A Long Dress

While these dresses are easy to wear, they are also easy to wear the wrong way! Here are some guidelines to rocking the trend right this summer.

  • Accessorize, but not too much. If you’re wearing a long dress, accept that it’s going to be the focus of your entire outfit. You want to accessorize to make things more interesting, but also want to keep it simple so that your look doesn’t become over-the-top. A few bangles or a long necklace should do the trick. Also, if a dress is too voluminous, you could add a cute belt at your waist.
  • Consider your shoes. I like these dresses best when worn with flat sandals: flip flops or gladiators, because long dresses are so easy and comfortable to wear. What goes better with a comfortable dress than a comfortable shoe? If you want a little extra height, though, wedges or gladiator heels also work well under a long dress.
  • If you’re short, make sure the dress is in proportion with your body – don’t think about getting one that’s way too long, unless you plan to get it hemmed or can alter it yourself! A too-long dress will make you look even shorter, and may add some extra pounds as well. Also, remember to look for a dress that’s fitted up top and doesn’t have an extremely voluminous skirt. Less fabric is a better choice for you.
  • If you’re tall, this look was made for you! Maxi dresses look amazing on tall girls, and this is one trend you should definitely try out if you get a chance. Kate Moss was recently spotted rocking a long dress identical to one at ASOS, and it looked amazing on her. Like Kate, you can pretty much get away with any style of maxi dress, so long as it isn’t too short!

Long Dresses Under $100

Just because long dresses have a lot of extra fabric doesn’t mean that they’re any more expensive than a regular mid-length dress. In fact, there are tons of long dresses out there for under one hundred dollars! Here are some of my picks from around the web:

Maxi Dresses Under 100 Dollars

From Left: O’Neill Saffron Dress – $50, Gabriella Dress – $49.50, VOLCOM Senorita Dress – $44, Silence & Noise Printed Maxi Dress – $68

Maxi Dresses Under 100 Dollars

From Left: Color Block Halter Maxi Dress – $68, Emily Maxi Dress – $29.99, O’Neill Dove Dress – $50, Kimchi & Blue Maxi Dress – $68

Your Thoughts?

What do you think of long dresses? Are you going to be wearing them this summer, or are you sticking to the minis? Let me know what you think by taking the poll below or leaving a comment!
[poll id=”18″]

Posted on on June 16, 2008 / Filed Under: Trends / Tags: , ,

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27 Responses to “Summer Fashion Trend: Long Dresses”

  1. 1
    June 16th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I think these dresses look great – but only on certain body types, like the long n lean amazon-y kind of woman.

    As a shortie, I could just see it completely drowning me. I think I’ll probably stick the shorter dress styles for now.

  2. 2
    June 18th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Wow! All of these maxi-dresses are super cute!

  3. 3
    June 19th, 2008 at 3:17 am

    love the maxi dress look, but it just doesn’t sit well on me [I think it’s for people who don’t have boobs]

  4. 4
    June 22nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    i hav few bcoz it is part of trend but i still prefer mini-dress tho.. i feel like everytime i wear maxi dress.. people notice me more lol… dunno why.. especially in college! one time i been asked ‘ r u goin to prom??’ wtf!!! LOL

  5. 5
    June 22nd, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I am probably going to stick with shorter dresses as well because I am short and will probably be engulfed in one of these. :( It’s a shame because I LOVE the Emily Maxi Dress from Delias.

  6. 6
    June 23rd, 2008 at 6:24 am

    i love the maxi but it doesn’t sit well on me too. [no boobs plus short and stubby]. but i still like it. :)

    and i especially like the one in the first picture.

  7. 7
    June 23rd, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Emma – I know what you mean. Too much fabric is not a short girl’s friend! However, google some pictures of Eva Longoria in a long dress – she is something like 5’1 and looks great in longer dresses! It’s really the cut of the dress thats important, rather than the fact that it’s long.

    Modelizer – Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that.. Although everything seems to look good on stick-thin models, doesn’t it?

    Xandi – Haha, really? Yeah, some people just aren’t ready for anyone who dresses differently. I know a lot of people from my college who don’t understand fashion, and don’t get why I would wear anything except a hoodie, jeans, and flip flops every day.

    Megan – I know! Isn’t it adorable? That’s one of my faves too.

  8. 8
    June 26th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    i don’t really like the long dresses, well duh, i prefer the ones that can show my legs and make me look a little shorter not way taller, they do nothing for your body and it’s going to be too hot soon.

  9. 9
    June 27th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I grew up in the seventies and maxi dresses were the thing back then. Perfect for a hot summer day and could go from day to night with a few acessories. More is less! And its just a sexy girly look.

  10. 10
    June 27th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I LOVE these dresses. I think they are gorgeous for the summer time, so breezy and comfortable. It is true, they are definitely more for the long and lean types. THey have these and other really pretty summer dresses at definitely check it out.

  11. 11
    July 2nd, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Soo I just bought a dress very similar to these off that website which is posted in the above post.. lol!!! Soo ironic… I love the long dress style and hope it stays trendy for a long time to come ;)

  12. 12
    July 14th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I have always loved long dresses, they remind me of romance, the beach and times when alot of fabric meant leaving more to the imagination. I mean, they are equally sexy to the cute short ones! Mystery is the key to the hearts of real men, at least that is what I think anyway!! But I have always considered myself somewhat of a hip chic and love dresses especially long ones!! I hope they stick around because I will be wearing them anyway even if they don’t!

  13. 13
    December 29th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    hello, I like to know how much that maxi dress the very first top picture you have on this page and also can I buy the Gabriella size 10 (49.50) is it possible? Thank you. truly, Elizabeth

  14. 14
    April 15th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I love the way you put it out there! I’m deff. gonna wear a long dress now!

  15. 15
    April 17th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I agree, I want to wear the long dress since I have long legs and sometimes I don’t want to show them off very much. But WHERE is a good place to wear these? Besides college (i’m in high school going to college)

  16. 16
    May 14th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    if you are petite, the most important thing to ensure is that there isn’t too much billowing fabric. The quality of the fabric also matters, and silk can be extremely flattering for any height. I also have a predilection for maxi dresses that taper in slightly at the botton, rather than a bell-shape…

    SO: I have just purchased a silk ,dark -ish patterned dress, quite 20s / boho and slimline, with a burnished gold belt at the waist. Clearly, the dress stands out majorly and I am having trouble thinking of what to wear as a cover-up! Any suggestions?? A shrug would make it look too important… a black slimline jacket looks OK, but I am not over the moon about it. I could go for knitwear, but have no idea what knit / fabric to go for. I’ve run out of options!!!!

    Any ideas?

  17. 17
    June 8th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I think it’s the crappiest trend of 2009 EVER! Yes, they’re super-comfortable but they look like nightgowns to me. As far as I’m concerned, the long dress is a sexy moo-moo.

    Can’t understand why some girls think it’s appropriate to wear them to work, or an outing in New York City or even tailgating at a football game? C’MON!!! When can you wear these dresses??? Have a Hamptons party to go to? Fine. Going on for a weekend getaway/vacation and lounging at a hotel somewhere? Fine. Going to the beach? Maybe.

  18. 18
    October 3rd, 2009 at 1:48 am

    i’m really short, like 5’2′, and i never dared to try on a maxi dress but once i saw this amazing maxi dress, tried it on, and suprisingly, it looked amazing on me despite my height!

  19. 19
    December 11th, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Long dresses will definitely be back on trend next summer, so why not get ready early and head down to your local Goodwill. They have a great selection of second hand clothes and you may be able to find a bargain!

  20. 20
    February 3rd, 2010 at 7:28 am

    i love dresses adn am at saudi arabia i dnt know how to get them…i will like if any one can help me with that.thanx

  21. 21
    November 29th, 2011 at 4:22 am

    The dresses are nice but won’t be suitable for plum people since they will stress on the belly!

  22. 22
    February 20th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I love the dresses, thank you also for advising us on how to wear them.

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