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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