What to Wear Wednesdays | Maxi Dresses, Yep, We're Still Talking About Them

What to Wear Wednesdays | Maxi Dresses, Yep, We're Still Talking About Them:

It's back to the maxi dress we go. The maxi trend snuck it's way back into the fashion limelight seasons ago and has managed to stick around ever since. You'd think with it practically being a Spring/Summer mainstay these days we'd have figured it out by now right? And yet every time I'm in knee deep in a closet with one of my personal styling clients and get to the hangers with the maxi dresses on them, without fail I always hear, "OK, that one, well I bought it, loved the print/color, I'm just not sure if it's the best thing for me to wear?"

It goes back to the concept of knowing what to wear AND (keyword: and) knowing how to wear it for your body types. One just doesn't work without the other.

Trends have a way of sucking us in, and that's all fine and good, but if you aren't sure whether they're the right look for your body type then really, they're just going to end up taking space in your closet or worse, you'll try one out and just not feel confident with what you have on. Problem solved, at least for the maxi dress. More to come on that with the upcoming launch of our monthly Body Type Lookbooks that will translate how to wear runway looks for real-world body types.

This 'What to Wear Wednesday,' we're serving up six maxi dresses that cover the spectrum on silhouette. Get some quick tips on what body types these work best on PLUS a little inspiration from the runway below:

product montage

sources: 1. Willow Ruched Silk-tulle Gown (www.net-a-porter.com), 2. Mara Hoffman Luau Cover Up Dress (www.shopbop.com), 3. Diane von Furstenberg Hailey Printed Silk-chiffon Maxi Dress (www.net-a-porter.com), 4. Torn by Ronny Kobo Celina Long Dress (www.shopbop.com), 5. Jason Wu Beaded Gown (www.net-a-porter.com), 6. Issa Printed Silk Halter Neck gown (www.net-a-porter.com)

Each cut is a little different from the other, and well one of the picks is just sheer glam that isn't necessarily the most realistic buy, but I had to add it in there. It was far too gorgeous (read: I literally melted when I saw it on-line) to leave out. In general, if you're more on the petite side, maxi dresses are just not going to be your thing. You need a little height to pull these off which you can definitely get with a heel, just be sure they don't swallow you whole. Not a good look.

Number 1, from Willow has a stunning deep v-neck that will help elongate all of our Apple body types. As for dress number 2 from Mara Hoffman, leave that to our Rectangle ladies. The print could definitely overpower the curves going on in an Hourglass or Pear shape. The third dress from DVF with the cinched waist is a perfect pick for our Hourglass shapes. If you're short-waisted just be careful with the cinching as it could cause a bit more volume to 'puff' out around the waist, right above the hip, so for my Pears, you'll want to keep an eye on this. The larger print will work better for you though (Pears that is).

Dress number 4 from Torn by Ronny Kobo is a great option for the Pears out there. The top half is ridiculously flattering for a smaller bust and will balance out proportions. Jason Wu's masterpiece, a.k.a. dress (or really, gown if we're getting technical) number 5 is beyond. It's old Hollywood glamour and will officially be my go-to visual when I'm dreaming of what I want to wear to some insane event in the future. Ob-sessed. I mean, I can't even write, let alone form a sentence out loud with this so I'll leave it be for now.

And finally, the Issa dress or number 6 on the list (see it on the runway below, #3). I love the neckline on this one, accentuating the shoulders. It's a great dress for our Hourglass ladies out there.  I would have gone with the Pears but the pleating that extends out under the empire waist is only going to add volume. Rectangles, this would also work well on you.

On to the runway looks. Check out six looks from the Spring 2013 runways that set the tone for what you see in stores & on-line now. It's always good to look to the runways for inspiration. Just take bits and pieces from each look and make them your own to bring things back to reality a bit:

 runway montage_maxi dress

sources: all images courtesy of www.style.com; 1. Jenny Kayne Spring 2013, 2. J. Mendel Spring 2013, 3. Issa Spring 2013, 4. Elie Saab Spring 2013, 5. Daniel Vosovic Spring 2013, 6. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Spring 2013

Maxi dresses are just one category to shop. We've got so much more of where that came from all lined up in our Closet, our Happy Place, where editor-curated pieces are added to the virtual shelves weekly (because, a. we're always on the hunt and b. things are constantly selling out). Shop the Closet below:


Get more inspiration on what to wear and how to wear it for your body type here.

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HTW | Get the BCBG Max Azria Resort '13 Runway Look in 4 Steps

I love a good runway look to use as a little inspiration for 'how to wear' the latest trends in fashion. I can pull from collections of Fashion Past, or in this case, the most recent round of Resort picks that hit for 2013, to re-create a look that came directly from the mind of some of our most creative fashion minds out there, in this case, Max Azria and BCBG.

It starts with some maxi dress/blazer inspiration. Here's the hero-shot of the Resort '13 runway look:

source: www.style.com

Now on to the details. How to get the look, and where to buy all the little goodies along the way. I boil it down for you in the shop-by-number montage:

1. Juicy Couture Easy Summer Silk Maxi Dress (shop online: www.bloomingdales.com)  2. Sass & Bide A Matter Of Fact Jacket (shop online: www.us.asos.com)  3. BCBGMAXAZRIA Two-Way Sequin Oversized Clutch (shop online: www.6pm.com)  4. POLLINI Platform sandals (shop online: www.yoox.com)

The loose maxi dress works back to a pulled together blazer to create this soft/tough contrast that I have a habit of being drawn towards in fashion. The interplay between masculine and feminine is a personal love of mine, but evidently, based on BCBG Max Azria's Resort 2013 collection, I'm not alone. I'm in really, no really really, good company. The rest of the look comes together in a few simple steps that throw in a couple of essential accessories from a pair of Pollini platform sandals with a blue streak, to an oversized bronze clutch to keep the metallic hues in the fashion picture.

All in all, an easy look that works well for day (sans jacket, and sub in some lower sandals) and night. You've gotta love a little versatility right?

See more about what to wear from the runway, how to wear it, and where to get the look here.

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Must Have | The Maxi Dress

Welcome to the latest round of my Must Haves for the season. This time around, it's all about the maxi.

It is officially summer in Dallas and, even though I've been living in this massive state for eight years (still coming to terms with that number), I still find myself bewildered by how ridiculously hot it gets here. Most people hibernate in winter. I hibernate in summer, or fly out of state every other weekend. That is what the Dallas heat has driven me to. Well that, far more hair product than I ever used in Boston, and the annual search (albeit last minute) for a maxi dress, the perfect complement to putting up with triple digits as far as I'm concerned.

Enough about the sticky weather, on to the fun part that makes living in this unbearable heat (almost) worth it all. Check out my top maxi dress picks, and get your hands on this trend if you haven't already. Or find another maxi dress to add the collection. You know you can't stick with just one...like potato chips, or in my case, blazers.

















1. Young Fabulous and Broke Jude Layered Maxi Dress (shop online: www.neimanmarcus.com)  2. Gypsy 05 Long Zoe Maxi Dress in Turquoise (shop online: www.shopthetrendboutique.com)  3. Haute Hippie Colorblock Maxi Dress (shop online: www.cusp.com)  4. Malene Birger Aubergine Belen Silk Maxi Dress (shop online: www.my-wardrobe.com)  5. Tibi Strapless Jasmine Print Maxi Dress (shop online: www.cusp.com)  6. Heather Long Sleeve Maxi Tee Dress (shop online: www.shopbop.com)    7. Splendid Dress Venice Stripe Maxi Dress (shop online: www.bloomingdales.com)  8. Vintage Havana Open Back Maxi Dress (shop online: www.boutiquetoyou.com)  9. Diane von Furstenberg New Krystal Print Maxi Dress (shop online: www.my-wardrobe.com)  10. Vince Tank Striped Maxi Dress (shop online: www.piperlime.gap.com)  11. Rachel Pally Boatneck Jersey Maxi Dress (shop online: www.saksfifthavenue.com)  12. Karen Zambos Vintage Couture Gemma Maxi Dress (shop online: www.shopbop.com)  13. Issa Deep V Maxi Dress (shop online: www.shopbop.com)  14. Slinky Triangle Maxi Dress (shop online: www.us.topshop.com)  15. Rebecca Minkoff Long Dehlia Silk-jersey Maxi Dress (shop online: www.theoutnet.com)  16. Milly Tahlia Maxi Dress  (shop online: www.bloomingdales.com)

See more of my Must Have picks covering the trends out there and more, plus how to wear it all.