How to wear a maxi dress

A maxi dress is an outfit essential during the spring and summer as it offers comfort and breathability while appearing glamorous yet casual, and if styled and accessorised correctly, it could be utilised for a multitude of events and can even be worn during cooler months of the year. But if you haven’t worn a maxi dress before, you may be wondering how they differ from other types of dresses, what to wear with them and when you should wear this item of clothing.   

In this blog, we explain exactly what a maxi dress is before offering tips on choosing suitable clothing and accessories to wear with it.

What is a maxi dress?

A popular item of clothing during warmer months of the year, a maxi dress is a long, loose garment that is designed to flow over the body. Suitable for both smart casual and casual events, they typically appear in bright, vibrant, colourful designs with visually appealing patterns. Although there are many different types of maxi dresses, with a mix of necklines and styles to choose from, they’re often made using cotton or polyester and flow to the ankle or floor. The name maxi refers to the length and differs from midi dresses - a type of dress that flows below the knee but above the ankle.

An older woman wearing a maxi dress during a summer walk.

How to dress a maxi dress

Due to the coverage they offer, maxi dresses can be worn for a number of different occasions and in an array of weather conditions. However, in order for them to suit the style you’re looking for, they need to be matched with the correct items of clothing and accessories. Below, we offer tips on dressing a maxi dress correctly:

What to wear with a maxi dress

Depending on the type of event you’re dressing for and your own personal style, you can match a maxi dress with a number of different items of clothing. For example, if you want a casual look, you could wear a maxi dress with trainers and a denim jacket. It’s common for maxi dresses to be bright, patterned and bursting with colour. However, if you want a more relaxed look, consider wearing neutral, light colours with it to create a more relaxed look.   

If you want to make a maxi dress work in a smart casual or possibly even formal style, swap your trainers for high heels, espadrilles or sandals and instead of wearing a denim jacket, wear a blazer or a leather jacket. As previously mentioned, using light colours can complement a maxi dress if you’re wearing it casually. Likewise, dark colours work for wearing a maxi dress in a smart casual or formal way. As such, consider swapping out light items of clothing for garments that are grey, black or muted colours.  

How to accessorise a maxi dress

As with any outfit, the style and feel can be defined by the accessories you pair it with. Many different items could be matched with a maxi dress to achieve the style you’re going for. For instance, if you’re aiming for a casual, relaxed look, you could wear earrings, bangles, bracelets and rings, as well as a long necklace if the neckline of the dress allows for it. If not, you could wear a shorter necklace that will still be on show.   

For a smart casual or formal look, you could add a sophisticated belt to hold in the middle of the dress and make the outfit appear more elegant. You may decide to use a bag, but as another factor that can alter the feel of an outfit is the style and colour of this accessory, it’s important that you pick one that suits your style. If it is a dark, leather bag, for instance, it will be better suited to a smart casual or formal outfit. Alternatively, you could consider a pastel coloured bag, one that matches the colour of your maxi dress or a tote bag if you want a more relaxed look.

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