Maxi dresses are fabulously versatile and universally flattering, which means that in theory, any woman can wear one and look great. However, like any other trend, it is possible to get it wrong and end up in a really unflattering maxi.
Rule 1 – Never wear a shapeless maxi
The key to looking fantastic in a maxi is to choose one which has some form of in-built shape. This is to create a sleek and defined silhouette. No matter how tall or slim you are, a maxi dress without any shape will billow unflatteringly around your figure and hide all your lovely curves. If you have a fuller figure, a shapeless maxi will only make your frame look larger.
Rule 2 – A belt solves everything with a maxi
Most maxi dresses look great with a belt, as it cinches in the waist and gives some good shape and definition to the wearer’s figure. Just make sure you don’t over-tighten your belt, as this can cause unsightly bunching and bulging of the fabric around the belt.
Rule 3 – The ideal length of a maxi dress is just above your feet
There are manyout there and many different lengths to choose from. You need to find one that you are comfortable in (i.e. a length that you can actually walk in without tripping over) and that flatters your height and frame. The most flattering maxi dress is one which finishes just below the ankle but above the feet.
Rule 4 – Strapless maxis are to be avoided if you have a large bust
If you are well-endowed up top, you should avoid wearing bandeau-style maxi dresses. This style will not provide you with another support in the bust area and it may not even stay up properly, meaning that you have to constantly hike it back up again. Besides this, a strapless maxi may draw too much attention to your bust, throwing your figure out of balance and making you look disproportional heavy up top.
Rule 5 – Fitted jackets are perfect for maxis, oversized jackets are definitely not
A fitted biker-style leather jacket, blazer or cardigan can look fantastic with a maxi, but an oversized or shapeless coat or jacket can completely overwhelm the look. Any shape you’ve managed to create with your maxi will be forgotten when you wear the wrong jacket with your maxi, turning the look from chic to frumpy in an instant.
Christine Felton is a writer at Fashion Union provider of on trend women’s clothing in the UK.