Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Beachy, flowing, loose and relaxed, the maxi dress is almost like perfection in an outfit. It keeps you comfy, but it still skims your body, showing it off in all the right places. At the same time, it's trendy and fashion-forward, making you look like a fashion queen with almost no effort on your part. Is there anything this wonder dress can't do? When the weather turns chilly, you can even pair your maxi with a coat to pull it into the next season with ease.
Maxi dresses have a well-earned reputation of looking relaxed. With their down-to-the-floor length, loose-fitting style and lightweight fabrics, it's no wonder that they are usually considered perfect for a casual date or day at the beach. To turn your maxi dress into a look that's a bit more structured, add a fitted leather jacket on top. Voila! Not only can you now carry your maxi dress into the fall, but it automatically updates the look, making it chic and sophisticated. The combination of that loose dress with a fitted jacket equals a more-tailored look that is cool and the pretty dress balances out the edginess of the coat.
Another way to add sophistication and structure to a maxi dress is to pair it with a fitted blazer. In the same way that the leather jacket keeps the Bohemian vibe in line, a blazer stops your maxi dress from looking too "hippie." Blazers and maxis can be best friends because they prove that opposites attract. The maxi dress keeps the blazer from being too serious or grown-up, while the blazer pulls the maxi dress from the laid-back beach to the stylish, fast-paced city streets. A tight blazer adds some figure-flattering definition to a too-loose maxi, especially when buttoned closed.
A short coat is another choice for your maxi dress. Any style coat that is cropped at the bottom will do for this wonderful look that adds height and length. Maxi dresses, by definition, are extremely long, which is great for hiding unshaven legs, but not so wonderful for adding height to a petite figure. Maxis have a tendency of making short gals look even shorter because of their long, figure-hiding length, so when you pair them with a cropped coat, you can regain those coveted inches. The short jacket will cut your torso in half, visually lengthening your legs and midsection and making you appear taller than you actually are.
Coats To Avoid
Unless you actually want to be identified as a 1960s throwback, avoid long sweater-coats while wearing a maxi dress. The same goes for any coat that skims the floor or ends at mid-calf. All these looks are just as casual, relaxed and beachy as the maxi dress and the two of them together are just a little too much relaxation. The effect will be entirely Bohemian instead of Bohemian-chic and you will have crossed the line from stylish to hippie-like. When it comes to maxi dresses, think Mary Kate Olsen's Bohemian-yet-trendy vibe instead of Yoko Ono's simply hippie one.