Style Tips & Fun with Fashion, over 40.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How to get a maxi dress right, at any age.

Fake Fabulous | How to wear a maxi dress | Bonmarche maxi dress, silver cardigan, nude peep toe booties,

Maxi dresses.

Maxi dresses are still big news, and there is no denying their appeal.
  • A maxi dress is an instant outfit.
  • Maxi dresses are comfortable and forgiving.
  • The maxi length covers everything, no need to worry about pale skin or leg imperfections.
  • Maxi dresses come in a HUGE range of colours, fabrics and styles. You can find one to suit any occasion... from a stroll along the beach to a wedding.
And, who could forget this?

Sex and the city | Maxi dresses
(Image from the first SEX and the CITY movie)

If only real life was like that!

BUT...
Maxi dresses have their challenges too.
  • They can look like a sack (or a tent) if they a too baggy.
  • Squeezing into a one that is too small, even if it has loads of stretch, will look awful...don't be tempted.
  • Maxi dresses can easily be unflattering (especially in the more common and cheaper fabrics) by fitting where they touch, accentuating lumps and bumps and highlighting knicker lines and bra straps. Not a great look at any age!
  • Shoes can be difficult to choose, and get right.
  • Finding a pattern to suit your body size, and shape, can be a challenge.
  • It can be almost impossible to find the perfect length.

Fake Fabulous | How to wear a maxi dress | Bonmarche maxi dress, silver cardigan, nude peep toe booties,

7 Things to think about when wearing a maxi.

  1. Think length. Do you want it dramatically skimming the floor? Or, is it more practical just above the ankle? There are plenty of petite and tall ranges in shops and online. Shop around. You can always get your maxi dresses shortened, unless it interferes with the pattern.
  2. Think fabric. With the right fabric a maxi dress can be appropriate for any occasion, or season. From unlined viscose, to lined wool crepe, to pleated chiffon, to linen, to silk... There is a whole world of options to have fun with!
  3. Pattern placement and size. I (almost) always stick to the simple rule that the bigger you are, the bigger the pattern you can take. Petite ladies can look drowned by a bold (or large) pattern. Larger, and taller, women can look odd in small patterns (especially ditsy florals). Although, there are always exceptions (like stripes)!
  4. Shoes. Shoes are essential, and need plenty of thought. They can instantly de-frump (or ruin) a maxi dress. I am a big fan of flat sandals and gutties (like converse or superga) with a full length maxi. Shorter hems need something 'taller' like a ghille sandal, lace up the leg shoe, flat bootie or even high tops. Moving into the colder months, your maxi dress will look great with ankle boots too.  I don't like ballerinas or court shoes with maxi dresses. They remind me of little girls dressing up in their mum's clothes. But, of course, shoes are a personal thing. If you love the look of a certain shoe with your maxi dress then rock it!
  5. Belts. Belts are a great ideal to give definition to your waist, and help lose the tent effect. You could try adding a pop of colour, clashing with your pattern or just toning the look down with a neutral. 
  6. Bags. Bags look stylish either HUGE (like a beach tote) or teeny-tiny like this one. Avoid 'wifey' handbags or anything too heavy, clunky or overly practical! Maxi dresses are supposed to be fun and slightly whimsical.
  7. Jewellery. Anything goes when it comes to jewellery. Pile on the necklaces for a boho feel or add a single chunky necklace. You can also make a statement with a cuff, or earrings. Do whatever feels right for you. 
Fake Fabulous | How to wear a maxi dress | Bonmarche maxi dress, silver cardigan, nude peep toe booties,

When is a maxi dress maxi enough?

I like my minis to be MINI and my maxis to be MAXI...see my black maxi dress here, and a maxi skirt, here.

But, you will notice that this one is not a floor skimmer.
Should this dress even a called a maxi dress?

The lovely people at Bonmarche  sent me this maxi dress (and cardigan) and I have to admit I was initially skeptical.
The dress is too short for me!

Or, is it?

As I put this outfit together I realised that the length was quite practical.
It may not be a dramatic, floor skimming dress but, I did not need to hold it up when climbing the stairs and it did not get caught under my heel when I was bending down to put the shopping away.
Maybe this length is okay afterall?

I asked my husband (who always gives an honest opinion)...
"Is this dress okay? What do you think of the length? Is it a bit granny-ish?"
I was expecting "It's okay" or "It's fine" but, he surprised me with his reply...
"I think it looks really nice on you."
Maybe I need to open my mind a little, and experiment with different hemlines?

Fake fabulous | Silver and gold geometric necklace.

Because of the maxi dress, this outfit came together with such ease.
Dress, cardigan, belt (for definition) and nude booties.
A chunky, but muted, necklace finished the look off perfectly.

I loved the way I could easy pull cool tones together with the warmer ones.
Grey with yellow.
Gold with silver.
Brown with black.
My hair helped pull the colour of my belt into the outfit.

{Sometimes hair colour is a great accessory}

Nothing could be easier.
An simple summer look.

Unfortunately, the weather was not playing ball...
"Is that rain?"
Fake Fabulous | How to wear a maxi dress | Bonmarche maxi dress, silver cardigan, nude peep toe booties,

Yes.
Scotland's weather never stays the same for long and, when the rain comes the chill comes with it!
Time for a cuppa.

{You can see the rain spots on my shoes, in the shot below... and on my necklace above!}

SHOP my LOOK




You might be looking at my yellow nails and wondering how I have the time to match every outfit to my toe nails while juggling a job, blog, 3 kids (at home) and a dog.
I wish I was that slick and organised!
This toe/dress combination was a (very) happy coincidence.
I painted them yellow last week, as I love the cheerful colour and toe polish lasts so well.
I am sure this yellow will make an appearance again, soon.

Fake Fabulous | Nude peep-toe booties and yellow nails

DRESS: c/o Bonmarche
CARDIGAN: c/o Bonmarche
BELT: Topshop (old)...this one is stunning and I want it now! 
SHOES: Clarks (similar)
NAILS: BarryM...this one looks amazing...and is on sale.
NECKLACE: H&M...this one is very cool.


{PLEASE NOTE: The dress and shrug were gifted to me from Bonmarche but I was not paid to write a review or asked to include any specific written content. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.}

What do you think of Maxi dresses?
Do you wear them?
Do you like them long or a little more practical?

Please share your thoughts on Maxi dresses, and how to style them, in the comments.
Or Contact me.
I love to hear your opinions and ideas!


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17 comments

  1. I am a huge fan of maxi dresses, especially when I can get my hands on a vintage one.

    I love the colours here and that necklace is fabulous.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Suzanne.
      A vintage 70's maxi has to be the best thing EVER! :oD
      XXX

      Delete
  2. I was just reading that one definition of a maxi is when the skirt length is below the calf---so I'd say this constitutes as a maxi! It's kinda like the ankle pants of dresses...
    I love the print mixing in the dress---how very you!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha...yes Jodie, so it is!
      I suppose on someone smaller (I am 5 feet 6 inches) it would skim the floor. As long as it is below the calf? Interesting. Maxi it is then! :oD XXX

      Delete
  3. I wrote about maxi dressing back in March. I've got some tips too! I LOVE your styling!!
    https://atypical60.com/2016/03/21/how-to-wear-a-maxi-for-women-over-50-maxi-mizing-your-potential/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Catherine, I will check them out! XXX

      Delete
  4. I never ever ask my husband for advise on clothes or hair, or I would end up looking like his mum or his aunt, hahhahahhahahahh.
    I prefer midis, but you know me... I wear it all, hahahahhahah
    Mil besosssssssssssssss
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha...there is always that danger! :oP My husband knows that I wear what I want, he sometimes comments but I would never get changed if I liked something and he didn't. XXX

      Delete
  5. lovely outfit, and lovely comfy maxi dress lenght too. Even if longer maxi dresses look really ethereal and beautiful, they tend to get caught in many places, and they're dangerous when stairs are involved!. So this one looks lovely for me without the risk!. I think you picked the perfect pair of shoes, actually I'm loving your sandals!.
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Monica! I have slipped over catching another maxi under my boot ....not a pretty sight! :oP XXX

      Delete
  6. Such a pretty almost architectural feel to this border print maxi. The sandals style is really flattering and trendy and the color of both card and sandals is perfection! Hooray for the inspiration of Bonmarche!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a pretty almost architectural feel to this border print maxi. The sandals style is really flattering and trendy and the color of both card and sandals is perfection! Hooray for the inspiration of Bonmarche!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Judy, I was initially unsure....as I always am! :oP XXX

      Delete
  8. I keep dalling down the rabbit hole with your links, from one pist to another. Lively maxi dress, lovely cardigan, everything made modern with the boots and necklace. Graat styling.
    Greetje

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. falling not dalling, post not pist, lovely not lively, great not graat. Gee I have to check before I press publish. IPhone 5 has letters which are too small for me. Need a bigger one.

      Delete
    2. Hahahahaha...Greetje, this happens to me all of the time! I am such a fool when it comes to autocorrect. I liked your "corrections" :oD XXX

      Delete

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