Maxed Out

I think the maxi is a hard to wear stylish look – whatever your age.  Particularly hard to wear with anything other than a sandal or a sneaker and get the proportions right.  I sort of feel the same about a wide legged trouser.  But it can be such great comfort dressing as well as an easy mix  up from always wearing a pant … and no fake tan required.

Here’s a few maxi looks I think are done well.


The mix up on the left between formal and casual is unexpected and adds edge.  This is tricky as it’s quite a youthful play, and you can end up looking a bit like a bag lady if you don’t get it just right.  But don’t be afraid of the idea of anchoring this type of length with with a trainer or plimsoll.  I think it gives just the right amount of irreverence as well as being particularly ‘now’.   This is also a great way of taking a dress or skirt you would normally only wear in warm weather and getting the cost per wear down by taking it to winter as well!

The look on the right is love for me, but I know not to everyone’s taste.  It’s not going to get many male votes that’s for sure.  I love the play on quite structured proportions and accessories with a length that is a fine line between cocoon shape and literally, looking like you are a cocoon.  Look, this isn’t a dress that goes with any age, but a dress that goes with an attitude whatever the age.   The difference between this and the others is the formality – something that’s hard to achieve in a maxi.  But this is what makes this dress  professional enough for business in anything but the strictest of work codes.

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These two looks are easier to pull off and just work so well on many levels.

The shirt around the waist is a good decoy for the bits you don’t love so much, as well as providing a level of interest to a classic look.  Again, the trainer just gives it an great edge.  Bassike always do a good range of t-shirt dresses in a 3/4 length.

Miranda Kerr wears a lot of maxis and this is a good rendition.  I think she has nailed it with this Givenchy dress plus accessories, with the resulting look both edgy and classic.  Of course, most of us can only dream of having a Givenchy anything, but this t-shirt fabric and shape are usually done by someone each season.  I have a great plain black version by Ksubi from 4 years ago, but if I was looking again I’d just be dropping into any high street chain or department store, plus Sass & Bide, Basssike and Zimmerman often have a maxi somewhere in their range.