How to Wear a Maxi Dress All Year Long
Breezy, flowing and elegant — a maxi dress not only feels great, but it can also look great. Since they are usually made of drapey, lightweight fabrics, plenty of women assume that maxi dresses are a warm-weather-only closet staple.
The reality is, you can wear a maxi dress all year long. Here's how to style a maxi dress for maximum comfort and chicness, whether it's spring, summer, fall or winter.
How to Style a Maxi Dress in Spring
In the spring, the last traces of winter melt away, and the weather starts to warm up. But it's still likely to be a bit chilly on many days, meaning you'll want to have an extra layer or two for warmth. Whether you're looking for a relaxed and casual look for a weekend day, want a style you can wear to the office or are hoping to put together the perfect date night outfit, here's how to style a maxi dress in the spring.
1. Cozy up With a Cardigan
One way to stay warm in a maxi dress while still looking stylish is to pair it with a cardigan sweater. Cardigans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and not all of them will necessarily work with the proportions of a maxi dress. To keep your look balanced and to avoid looking frumpy, choose a waist-length or slightly cropped cardigan style to pair with your dress. A longer cardigan or a "boyfriend" style cardigan will add too much fabric to the look.
Since it's spring and the weather's starting to get warmer, you don't need to pick a particularly heavyweight cardigan to wear with your maxi dress. A cardigan made of cotton or a polyester-blend should be just the right weight for springtime.
2. Look Trendy With a Leather Jacket
Few pieces say "cool girl" quite like a leather moto jacket. A leather jacket that hits at the waist is also an ideal accessory or layering option for a maxi dress in the spring. On unusually chilly spring days, you can wear the leather jacket over a cardigan sweater and a maxi dress for maximum warmth.
What color leather jacket should you choose? Black is always a reliable pick, but you can experiment with other hues if you want to add a pop of color or interest to your look. For example, a light gray leather jacket is unexpected and works with pretty much any dress color or print. Light gray is also a suitably "springy" color.
A chocolate brown leather jacket is another good choice. It's warmer than black or gray and will work well with dresses on the warmer side of the color spectrum, such as yellow, orange and red. Dark brown also looks great when paired with a light or dusty blue maxi dress.
3. Create a Casual, Cool Look With a Jean Jacket
Depending on the cut and color, many maxi dresses already have that relaxed, bohemian vibe going on. One way to enhance that vibe and make your look even more casual and cool is to style your dress with a denim jacket.
Just like the cardigan, a jean jacket that's cropped or that hits at the waist will create the most balanced look when worn with a maxi dress. An oversized jacket will be too voluminous and might make you look as if you're drowning in fabric.
If you're looking to up the style of your look, try adding a collection of enamel pins to the front of the jacket. You can also sew or iron on an embroidered patch to make your look even more trendy and relaxed.
4. How to Style a Maxi Dress for a Spring Date Night
Spring has sprung, and you've got a date. Take your boutique maxi dress from day to night with these ideas:
- Add a long, simple necklace.
- Add a shawl or wrap for a warm and elegant look.
- Pair the dress with black patent leather or nude heels.
- Pick a pair of statement earrings to wear with a solid color maxi dress.
5. Shoes to Wear With a Maxi Dress in Spring
What shoes should you wear with a maxi dress in spring? It all depends on the overall look you're going for. A cute pair of sneakers can be a good choice if you're trying to create a casual outfit. For a more dressed-up look, choose a pair block heels or pumps. If you're on the tall side and don't want extra height, a pair of ballet flats can be a comfortable but still refined style choice.
How to Style a Maxi Dress in Summer
Summer seems to be the season for women's maxi dresses. One good rule of thumb to follow when deciding how to wear a maxi dress in the summer is "less is more." While you might want to throw on a lightweight jacket if the nights get chilly in your area, generally, the summer months are a time for a maxi dress to stand out on its own.
For that reason, you might want to look for maxi dresses that have more embellishments and stylish touches to wear during the summer. Here are a few style options to get you started:
- Choose a maxi dress with embellished or bell sleeves. You most likely won't be covering up the arms with a cardigan or jacket, so choose a sleeve style that has a lot to say.
- Choose a maxi dress with embroidery. A maxi dress with an embroidered pattern looks pretty for summer and eliminates the need to find jewelry to pair with it.
- Choose a button-front maxi dress. A button-front detail adds a smart touch to a maxi dress as well as a bit of function if the buttons work.
1. Shoes to Wear With a Maxi Dress in Summer
Book your pedicure now, because sandals are the best bet when it comes to styling a maxi dress in the summertime. Depending on the length of the dress, you might have the chance to show off a pair of attention-grabbing, statement sandals. Here are a few ideas:
- Flip-flops: In the summer, you're as likely to wear a maxi dress to the beach or the pool as you are to wear one to work or while running errands. A comfortable, casual pair of flip-flops can be your go-to pick for a pool or beach trip.
- Boho flat sandals: If you want to tap into that boho vibe, choose a pair of flat sandals with tassels or other bohemian-inspired touches. Flat sandals look terrific when worn with a maxi dress and tend to be super comfortable.
- Wedge sandals: If you want a little height but don't want to sacrifice comfort, choose a pair of wedge sandals to wear with your dress.
- Statement sandals: If your maxi dress falls to your ankles, leaving the feet exposed, it's the perfect excuse for breaking out a pair of statement shoes or sandals. Go ahead — pair your dress with those cherry red sandals or those embroidered shoes you've been longing to wear.
- Mules: Mules are an excellent option to wear with a maxi dress when you want a bit more coverage but still want your feet to feel free.
- Canvas sneakers: A pair of solid-color canvas sneakers look cute when peeking out of the hem of a maxi dress. Canvas is also breathable, helping your feet stay cool and comfy during the heat of summer.
Getting Ready for Cooler Temps: How to Wear a Maxi Dress in Autumn
After the glorious heat of summer, the temperatures have started to drop, the leaves are falling from the trees and the pumpkin spice latte has made its annual appearance. You might think that you need to pack away your maxi dresses for the season, but not so fast. Here are a few ways you can transition your boutique maxi dresses from summer to fall.
1. Look Professional With a Blazer
Want to wear your maxi dress to the office this autumn but without looking as if you've just stumbled in off of the beach? Add a structured blazer to your look.
A blazer works best when worn with a maxi dress with a minimalist design. If you want to make the look even more structured and professional, consider adding a leather belt around the waist of the dress.
2. Get Mad for Plaid
For many people, fall is all about the Ps — pumpkins and plaid. As the temperatures start to dip, one way to extend the wearability of your maxi dress is to pair it with a cozy plaid, flannel button-up.
Wear the flannel over top of the dress. Button the top half of the buttons, leaving the bottom ones open. Gather the two sides of the button-up and tie them in a knot to create a relaxed look.
You aren't limited to trying this look with a plaid button up. It will also work with a comfortable chambray shirt or any button front shirt with a relaxed fit.
3. It's a Wrap: Add a Scarf
Scarves add a pop of color. They help to keep your neck warm. They also help to transition a maxi dress to the fall. Is there anything scarves can't do?
Try wearing a plaid or solid color infinity scarf with a solid color maxi dress. You can also get extra creative and try pattern mixing. Look for a patterned scarf that has at least one color in common with the printed maxi dress you want to wear
4. Look Preppy With a Vest
Vests can be a bit tricky to wear, but vests and maxi dresses seem to be a match made in heaven. A vest works best with a long-sleeved maxi dress since you don't depend on the vest to add much in the way of warmth. If your dress is a column shape that's not very full, a long and lean vest that falls to the hips or lower will look smart. You can add a belt to cinch in the waist and add some definition to the look.
5. Shoes to Wear With a Maxi Dress in the Fall
As summer turns to fall, it's time to pack away your sandals and break out the boots. A comfortable pair of ankle boots will not only give your outfit an autumn-appropriate look, but it will also help to keep your feet nice and warm.
Another perfect shoe option for maxi dresses in the fall is a pair of tall, knee-high or higher boots. You won't be able to see the full height of the boots under the dress, but you will benefit from the added warmth.
It's Cold Outside: How to Make a Maxi Dress Work in Winter
Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can make winter dressing a challenge, but not impossible. You can keep on wearing your maxi dress all through the winter months. The main thing to keep in mind is that winter is the time layer, layer and layer some more.
1. Keep Your Legs Warm in a Maxi Dress
Step one to wearing a maxi dress in the winter is creating a base layer. Depending on the temperatures in your area, that can mean wearing a pair of opaque black tights or taking it a step further by wearing warmer leggings under your dress. For even more warmth, you might want to wear a slip over your tights and under the dress.
2. Wear a Turtleneck Under the Dress
Adding a turtleneck under a maxi dress adds warmth and a touch of charm. This look doesn't work for every type of dress, though. It's a good option if your maxi dress is sleeveless and has a scoop or V-neck. Although the dress can be printed, you want to avoid wearing a turtleneck with ruffled or otherwise embellished styles.
3. Pair With a Full-Length Cardigan
Look for a long cardigan, sometimes called a duster or "coatigan," that matches the length of your maxi dress. When you wear the duster and dress together, the matching lengths will help to create a balanced look. Since it is the winter, now's the time to look for cardigans in heavyweight fabrics, such as thick wool.
4. Add a Chunky Sweater Over Your Maxi Dress
You aren't limited to pairing your maxi dress with button-up or open-front cardigans. You can also try wearing an oversized, chunky sweater over the dress for a warm, casual look. Pick a sweater that coordinates with the colors in your dress. While you can leave things loose for a relaxed look, adding a belt around the waist will help to create definition.
5. Try Wearing a Puffy Vest
If you want to give your boutique maxi dress that "apres ski" look, throw a puffy vest over the top. The vest will help to keep your core nice and warm while giving your outfit a sporty and fun look.
6. Shoes to Wear With a Maxi Dress in the Winter
What shoes are best to wear with a maxi dress in the winter? In a word — boots. You can pair your dress with ankle booties for a cute look or go for a pair of knee or thigh-high boots for added warmth. If there's snow on the ground or the weather is exceptionally cold, a pair of faux-fur or shearling lined winter boots will keep your feet extra warm.
Shop Women's Boutique Maxi Dresses for Year-Round Style
Ready to give a maxi dress a try? My Sister's Closet boutique has many women's maxi dresses to choose from. Whether you want a versatile solid-color dress you can wear to work, dinner or out on the town, or a statement-making patterned dress, our varied selection means you'll find what you're looking for. Browse our range of affordable maxi dresses and place your order today!