Maxi dresses are soft, fluid and remarkably comfortable for casual, relaxed days at home or evenings out on the town. Choose your favorite fabrics and prints, accessorizing with bold jewelry, lightweight cardigans, playful denim or even tough leather. The right maxi dress can be flattering for curvy girls, whether you're an hourglass, an apple or a pear.
Maxi dresses can be casual or formal, depending upon the fabrics. Many dresses are made of knits, ranging from simple cotton jersey to modern synthetics. Choose a knit fabric that flows and fits close to the body without clinging. Woven fabrics range from light cottons and rayons to dressier silks. While woven fabrics are less likely to cling to your body, they may not be as comfortable or as easy to fit as knits.
Maxi dresses may be loose and comfortable, but they should still fit your body and show off your curves. Choose a dress that accents the thinnest part of your torso, whether that's right below the bust or your natural waist. Add a belt if your dress lacks waist detailing. Go bold with a wide, contrasting color or choose a matching shade in a slimmer belt. Avoid too much volume if you're petite, and watch out for those waist gathers. While a bit of ease through the belly is ideal, too much can make you look like you're expecting.
A maxi draws the eye up, exposing your neck and upper chest, and even your cleavage depending upon the cut. Bigger girls should shy away from unsupportive strapless dresses, like casual shirred dresses, opting instead for halters or styles with wide bra-concealing straps. Choose dresses with V-necks, especially if you're busty. If you do want to go strapless, look for a maxi with boning for additional support. Whatever you do, don't go braless in your maxi. Tuck a cami underneath to hide your bra if necessary. Go bold with a necklace or choose maxi dresses with beading or embellishments around the neckline.
Up in Arms
Many maxi dresses bare not only your cleavage but also your arms. While you can rock a sleeveless dress in the heat of summer, covering up can keep you comfortable as the seasons change, in heavy-duty air conditioning or if you would rather bare a bit less skin. Try a cropped denim jacket, a slight-fit short cardigan, or even a super-lightweight and fluid long jersey cardigan with your maxi dress. Kimono-sleeved maxi dresses allow you to cover up a bit; in the fall and winter, try a sleeved maxi for a cozy look.