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How to Style a Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are a summer essential and the styling possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking for something casual and quick to throw on for the weekend or planning to make a floor-length statement, we’re going to show you how to find, style and wear a maxi dress this season. Read on to find out what to wear with your maxi dresses and how you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion!

What is a maxi dress? 

The name says it all, a maxi dress goes to the max, it is a long dress normally falling anywhere between the ankle to skimming the floor. Typical a-line maxi dresses are form-fitted over the bust and waist becoming looser towards the hemline, however there are many shapes to choose from including smock dresses which feature a relaxed oversized shape. The maxi dress offers almost limitless styling options and comes in flattering shapes, bold prints and breathable fabrics.

If you haven’t bought a statement maxi dress this season, you need to! They’re a must have for the hot weather; especially if you’re planning a sunshine filled getaway.


What to wear with a maxi dress in summer

It doesn’t get easier than throwing on a summer maxi dress with your favourite pair of shoes for a chic and effortless look when it’s hot outside. And the best thing about them is you can choose to dress them up with heels or down with flats so you can wear them for all of your summer plans.

Since maxi dresses are most commonly looser slightly relaxed fits, the silhouette you buy is not as important as how you wear it. Adding a belt can cinch in the waist and create a more fitted shape if you prefer.

Tailor your accessories to the print, a vibrant floral dress might work with paired back styling; whereas something plain can take bolder accessories. For a statement print, layering dainty chains and stacking rings will build an easy yet put together outfit. With a slightly plainer print or neutral colours opt for statement jewellery, like a chunky necklace (we personally love a large gold tone chain and matching rings) or statement drop earrings. Styling with heels will instantly elevate your look if you need or pairing with flat strappy sandals will give a more relaxed feel to your outfit.

Here are some of our best tips and tricks to styling your maxi dress for every event from a casual brunch to a birthday party, and even a formal event.

What shoes to wear with a maxi dress

Flip flops

Keep it laid-back with a pair of simple flip flops that are great to put on and take off if you’re going from the beach to the town. They pair perfectly with a bold floral print maxi dress and a denim jacket.


Opt for sandals for a more formal (yet still casual) look. Greek style sandals give a more dressed up feel and with options available in classic neutral shades and more dressy metallic hues you can’t go wrong. They pair best with classic a-line dresses with a full skirt.

Slides give you the best of both worlds as they laid back and comfortable but can also slip on and off easily.


Perfect for daytime events and dinner dates, wedges are the heels of summer. They give you height and whilst the larger sole is usually more secure to walk in, especially on uneven surfaces. 

If your dress is a little longer than you’re used to, heeled wedges with a platform at the front are a great option to keep the dress off the ground without having to make adjustments. These pair perfectly when styled with a floral dress for a wedding or even a classic maxi shirt dress for the office.


The dress and trainer trend doesn’t stop with maxi dresses. You’ll find that plenty of fashion bloggers and influencers are still styling their maxi dresses with a classic white trainer for that perfect casual and practical look. This is an ideal way to style an oversized smock dress where your goal is to stay stylish and comfortable all day.


What jacket to wear with a maxi dress

Depending on the weather and your personal preference on layering, you can style your maxi dress with a lightweight jacket or an oversized coat.

Here are 3 jackets you can style with your maxi dresses

1. Oversized coat

For a chic and dramatic statement look, you can layer over an oversized and long-line coat. Choose a neutral colour-way that can be worn with any print or a printed statement coat for block colour dresses. 

2. A classic leather jacket

You can never go wrong with a faux leather biker jacket over a dress, including a maxi dress. The waist length jacket is the perfect way to further cinch the waist and create more of shape, while still keeping your covered up and stylish. 

3. Trench coat

If you’re planning on wearing a maxi dress during transitional weather, a classic trench coat is an effortless way to layer and style your maxi dress. It creates a semi-formal look and put together look all while protecting you from any weather conditions.


How to wear a maxi dress with a cardigan

Not feeling a jacket? A light cardigan is the next best thing for layering over your maxi dress or even to have on hand just in case the evening gets chilly. 

There are 3 things you want to think about when deciding what cardigan to wear with your maxi dress:

1. Fabric

Choose a light breathable fabric for something easy to throw over your dress. These are perfect for packing in your bag or to keep the look flowy and loose. Go for a chunky knit for those colder days to keep you warm.

2. Length

Keep it short to add some shape to your dress and to further cinch the waist. It also creates the illusion of a maxi skirt from the behind, sounds like 2 outfits in 1 to us.

Longer cardigans are great for the colder seasons as they cover more area in the look. Add a belt to stop it from looking frumpy.

3. Colour

The choice is yours on whether you want to keep it simple with basic and neutrals colours like black, white and beige. 

Co-ordinate your cardigan with your dress by choosing a colour that matches the print or base colour. You can really make a statement if you go with a vibrant and bold colour that’s already featured on your dress.


How to make a maxi dress formal

When we said maxi dresses are versatile dresses, we meant it. Whether it’s a wedding event or work event, styling your dress to look formal couldn’t be easier. 

Grab yourself a cropped blazer (preferably not black, to avoid an office feel), add dainty jewellery if you’re wearing a statement print or statement jewellery if the dress is simple, get your favourite strappy heels and take a matching clutch bag. It really is that effortless. 




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