A few of you (and especially Esperanza!) have asked for advice on the Maxi dress and where to find them.
Here’s the scoop on this style. Maxis are (usually) floor-length dresses that flow downward and are not very clingy. They became popular in the late 60s as a reaction to the popularity of the Miniskirt (see? Mini/Maxi!) and between Rachel Zoe championing them and the stylistically popular show Mad Men now entering the late 60s, they are having a bit of a moment.
I was daunted by Maxis for a while, but I also remember my mom in a photo on a beautiful beach looking super glamorous in a purple and yellow number with a fabulous hat. So I decided to track one down for myself.
Maxi dresses can be tricky. If you are petite, you can feel engulfed, overwhelmed by the proportions. If not done right, a Maxi can look like a muumuu. And not in a cool, retro-Hawaiian style.
Here’s some tricks:
Halter Maxi Dress, Anthropologie
If you are wide-hipped (like me!) look for a halter-style top to balance out your hips by widening your shoulders. Want to hide a tummy? Choose an empire waist style, or belt your dress slightly higher than normal. When it comes to belts, a wide one could be super cute, also metallics (like gold!) would be pretty. If you are on the shorter side, you can add pair a pair of wedges/espadrilles to add some extra height if you are feeling overwhelmed by all that fabric. I generally like to wear sandals with mine.
Dress by James Pearce
Solid colored Maxis are going to be more slimming as a general rule. Adding stripes across will add curves (and can emphasize waists nicely) but unless you are perfectly proportioned (hips, bust the same size, waist about 10 inches smaller) it could widen you in odd places.
Dress by Vince Camuto
I think some of the cutest Maxis are the ones with prints, but you have to be careful with the wild prints. Make sure YOU are wearing the dress and the dress isn’t wearing you! Keep it simple with your shoes, bag and accessories if you are going with a wild print.
Where to Shop:
Pucci became widely known for their iconic Maxis with their wild prints and neon colors. I have always wanted a Pucci-printed dress. I would consider it an investment, as they have remained popular and sought-after throughout the decades. Here’s some vintage Pucci Maxis on Etsy.
Anthopologie has some really cute Maxis. A bit pricey, but look for sales. I get almost all of my stuff there on sale. Confession: I am a bit of an Anthro-holic.
Vince Camuto has created a bit of a speciality business with his line of Maxis. My dress from Mexico is by Vince Camuto. There’s lots of them at Nordstrom, but I got mine at TJ Maxx for $49. It was marked down from around $300! TJ Maxx actually had tons of Maxis the last time I was there. Please note that Nordstorm also offers Plus Sizes for some really cute Vince Camuto Maxis, like the one featured above.
Now that summer is here, at least in retail land (sorry about the snow, Colorado and Minnesota!), the major retail outlets are featuring lots of cute Maxis.
Old Navy My old stand-by.
Looking for a Coachella vibe? Urban Outfitters has got THAT covered! Plastic flower headdress and Docs not included.
If you are pregnant right now, Target has some great Maxis for you.