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Would You Wear… a Long Sleeve Maxi Dress?


Long Sleeve Maxi Dress
Photos: A long-sleeve maxi dress street style look, American Apparel, and Free People.

I have always been a firm believer in the basic rules of fashion proportion: “Tight on top, flowy on bottom; tight on the bottom, flowy on the top.” Similarly, I follow the rule of “If you cover your legs, go sleeveless; if you’re wearing long sleeves, wear a shorter skirt.” So, of course, here comes the long-sleeve maxi dress, which is just an endless puzzle for me. It goes against all my long-held beliefs about proportions and silhouettes, yet it somehow still works.

A long-sleeve maxi dress is a fantastic way to transition floor-sweeping lengths into winter months. It’s comfortable, casual, and easy to layer over – a total wardrobe basic.

I think they key to rocking this look is to make sure your dress is form-fitted so your body doesn’t drown in fabric. The street style look above is unquestionably adorable, and the pieces from American Apparel and Free People are great staples. Not sure how to wear one? Here’s an idea:

Throw it on with a messy bun and utility vest…

How to wear a long sleeve maxi dress
Product Information: Dress – American Apparel, Vest – Old Navy, Shoes – Zara, Earrings – Nordstrom, Rings – Debenhams & Debenhams, Nail Polish – Amazon

I can’t decide whether to pass on these dresses or grab one immediately!  What do you think?

Leave a comment below and let’s chat about it! Are you in love with this trend or not feeling it? Do you think it would work with your personal style? How would you wear it?

Posted on on December 6, 2011 / Filed Under: Would You Wear? / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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22 Responses to “Would You Wear… a Long Sleeve Maxi Dress?”

  1. 1
    December 6th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Personally, I just don’t like maxi dresses in general because I’m a very petite person and I feel like they swallow me whole. I also agree with you on the whole proportion thing. All that being said, I wouldn’t pick this trend up.

  2. 2
    December 6th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I think I like them more then regulaar maximum dresses. I have one hanging in my closet and i think thr important part is the addons. Scarves, belts, and other accessories work great. More examples please!

  3. 3
    December 6th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I just think they’re very early 90s. I don’t like it, sorry!

  4. 4
    December 6th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I love it! I would if I didn’t have a big butt. But hey! That’s what spanxs are for, right ? :)

  5. 5
    December 6th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I think a lot of it is structure. If it’s well-tailored or well accessorized (belt, etc.) It’ll definitely work. I mean, women throughout history have made long sleeve, long dresses work – why can’t we? Great inspiration for this trend are Regency and Edwardian era gowns :)

  6. 6
    December 6th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t really like the maxi dress/skirt trend… I think the long-sleeved ones kind of look princess/renaissance-y in a nice way, though!

  7. 7
    December 6th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Maxi dresses are so hit and miss with me! Sometimes I think they can look fab, but other times I think they just look terrible! I am gonna pass on long sleeved ones!

  8. 8
    December 6th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    This outfit looks awesome, something I would definitely try!

  9. 9
    December 6th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I would so wear a maxi long sleeve dress:)

  10. 10
    December 6th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I would wear it with heels, but not flats. I like this look (and I agree with Claire, it DOES look a little renaissance-y)!

  11. 11
    December 6th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I like this way more than the regular maxi dresses actually. Yeah. I really like these for some reason.

  12. 12
    December 6th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    When I saw the header for this post, I immediately thought to myself “those dresses would look awesome with a vest!”…I’m glad you think so too! That outfit is definitely something I’d wear!

  13. 13
    December 6th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I like them, although I still don’t have one myself. I think they look great if you’re not too short.

  14. 14
    December 6th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I’m also petite and I used to think maxi dresses weren’t for me, but I ended up buying one this past summer and now I love them! I don’t think anyone should let their height limit what they wear, if you want to wear it then go for it!

    And yes, I would definitely wear long sleeve maxis :)

  15. 15
    December 7th, 2011 at 12:05 am

    The sage green dress’s design looks soooo flattering, even to those of us (like me) who have petite and/or hourglass figures that are hidden by most maxi dresses. As Paola said, women throughout history (particularly in the High Middle Ages and Renaissance, as some other readers have noted) have made these dresses work. I would add that part of the reason they work is that the middle ages/early everyday renaissance dresses are more or less patterned like my fave green dress up there – they do, in fact, follow the proportion rule by having both a very fitted bodice and a flowy, drapy skirt. So in the end, everyone wins…the rules, the trend, women throughout history, and us! Peace to all.

  16. 16
    December 7th, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I bought one recently, a brown maxi sweater dress with a thin waist belt. It was adorable! It looked really nice with flat boots, but would also work well with heels.

  17. 17
    December 7th, 2011 at 12:43 am

    I suppose if I found the right one, I’d wear it. However the likelihood of me finding one I’d actually wear? Probably slim to none.

    I do love the street style look at the beginning though! :)

  18. 18
    December 7th, 2011 at 1:05 am

    I don’t really like the style. Also, I think that you need to have long legs to make it work.

  19. 19
    December 7th, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I would like to respectively disagree with the author and some of the posters above me. I have never heard of the long sleeve skirt ratio rule, but I guessing it is particularly grounded in the concept being too covered.
    I like the maxi skirt/dress “trend” and think it could fit everyone of course depending on the cut, style, color, fabric etc. It s unfair to put all long sleeve maxi dresses in the same boat, it would be similar of putting all jeans in the same category and dismissing them.
    For a long sleeve maxi dress I think the best are form fitting and solid colors with open necklines. Not too low but a good cut out back or scoop neck is just enough sexy to keep it from being too matronly. The American Apparel dress you chose is the perfect example. I also like the long sleeve maxi dresses that have a front thigh slit for added appeal.
    The dress could also serve dual purpose as a maxi skirt. By choosing a neutral is make it the most universal and easy thing to wear for basic every day.
    IMHO nothing is ever too 90s.
    Especially the maxi dress that came from minimalistic origins makes it an instant classic.
    How I would wear it would to have fewer accessories to emphasize its simplicity. I would choose a black one like the one from AA’s. Wear it with pearl or no earrings, tussled hair or a messy bun, nerd glasses (optional), with loafers. ..And that’s it! It’s casual yet elegant, modest yet sexy. I think wearing would heels sometimes make it look to formal, that’s why particular attention to fabric and cut is important.

  20. 20
    December 7th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I think they’re beautiful. I’d totally wear one and feel like a princess ;)

  21. 21
    December 7th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    oh my god early christmas present for myself? yes please.

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