5 ways to wear a maxi: the short girls guide

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I have been sharing a couple of my new maxis lately, and I have received the exact same response from multiple people, “I’m too short for a maxi.”  Believe me, I thought the same thing at one time too! I am a whopping 5’4, (5’5 on a good day). I used to think I looked like an Oompa Loompa in a maxi too. I owned 3 different Maxi dresses and I only wore one of them once. I tried to wear them, but every time, I just felt like a giant blob in a jersey knit. I even went as far as giving away my dresses because I never wore them. It took me a over a year before I became fully comfortable in a maxi. I know that sounds pretty ridiculous, but getting used to a new silhouette can be difficult. When you're short and curvy, you tend to stay away from anything that will accentuate those things. I can't pinpoint the exact moment when my fear of maxis vanished, but I have some tips to ease you into them!

First things first, you have to get used to wearing a maxi. It is a totally different silhouette than you are probably used to. The only other time women wear floor length dresses is at their wedding and to prom. I suggest wearing a maxi around the house for a couple days, that way you can get used to the fit. I hate going out in public and feeling self conscious, so I suggest practicing wearing a maxi first. I know this probably sounds totally outlandish, but it works (Compare this tip to how you would wear a pair of shoes around the house to make sure you like how they fit too).

Now, onto my styling tips! I have put together 5 ways to style your maxi to ensure you look your best! The things to remember when wearing a maxi, are to make sure you define your waist, and make sure the fit is not too tight or too big. Also take into account the length of the hem. You don't want to be tripping over your hem, or looking like you're waiting for a flood, accessorize your shoes accordingly. Other than that, you should have fun with it! There is a reason Rachel Zoe will forever make maxis apart of her runway collections; they are an amazing garment!


How to wear a maxi- belt it


 Michael Kors ball gown dress / Zalando sandals / Sole Society Floral Necklace




The easiest way to define your waist and avoid looking like a blob (in anything) is to use a belt. Belts are my very best friend, and if you do not use them, you should! By using a belt with a maxi you will be able to break up all that fabric. If you do not use a belt with a solid colored maxi, all people will see is one continuous sheet of fabric. By using a belt you cause their eye to see you in two sections instead of one, thus, creating beautiful curves and defining your waist.
How to wear a maxi- do separates


Jack Wills scoop neck tank / Phase Eight stripe maxi skirt, $84 / Report flat sandals

 If you are nervous about wearing a maxi dress, you can try a maxi skirt instead! By using separates, you are defining your waist the same was a belt would. When you wear a maxi skirt, you have even more styling options than a dress. I still suggest keeping your top fitted however, a billowy top with just add more girth.. and nobody want that.
How to wear a maxi- go sheer


Oasis Animal Print Maxi / Natalia Cork sandals / Humble Chic Triangle Necklace

Another style of maxi that is popular right now, are the sheer bottom ones. The sheer maxis are great because while they are floor length, but they still allow your legs to be visible.  So, if you're really afraid of wearing a maxi, try one of these out first, it's like a short dress, but has a little extra fabric around your calves ;). 

How to wear a maxi- structure it



 Maxi dresses aren't just for a day at the beach, they can be really elegant too! I actually prefer a structured maxi to a knit, because they are more slimming. Woven fabrics are more structured and therefore they hug your curves in all the right places.
How to wear a maxi- try a print


John Lewis beach maxi dress / HM jean jacket / Sonya Red heelsStatement necklace

If you struggle with your weight, I'm sure you've been told to stay away from prints. I disagree! I think prints are wonderful and I think everyone should embrace a little more print, and a little more color! The rule of thumb with prints is to make sure your the print size is scaled appropriately to your body type. What does that mean? Basically, if you're on the heavier side, where smaller prints. A larger print can make you look wider than you are. Also, throw that horizontal stripe rule out the window! Stripes are for everyone, and it just becomes a taste level. Yes, some stripes can make you look bigger, but not all. 


Do not be afraid to at least try new things. If you don't love what they look like once you've given it a shot, then that's fair. Trust me, once you've become comfortable with a maxi, you'll wonder why it took you so long to try them!

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