This past summer was my maxi dress summer. For some reason, despite the long run of popularity, I had yet to invest in a maxi dress. So last June I took the plunge. And I'm so happy I did. Not only were they surprisingly mom-friendly (I could chase! Carry! Bend-down! Sit in the grass and sand! Go to the playground!) but they were incredibly flattering…and ended up being the only comfortable option for this pregnant gal. (I literally wore the dress pictured at left 4-5 times a week).
I. Am. Sold.
So yeah…I'd like to keep wearing them. Especially considering that a few of my empire-waist options (perfect for pregnancy) will also be perfect for post-partum use.
However, I'm finding that the proportion is a bit tricky. Some of my shoes are too high for my dresses, some of my sweaters are too short or too dumpy when layered…the ease of the summer maxi dress doesn't necessarily translate into Fall. It requires a bit of thought.
So I rounded up three very different sources of inspiration. These three different gals are wearing their maxi dresses with various layers, which served as a perfect starting point to cozy up a summer maxi. And because we're moms, I then translated their fabulous looks into something I'd be willing to throw on amidst the chaos that is raising a 2-year old (and soon to be new baby…in exactly one week. OMG).
Maxi Dress + Long Cardigan
This first pairing, from the very stylish Lena, is the most easily translated look. She pairs a simple black maxi dress (from Target, no less!) with a long sweater and pendant necklace. Because all of the lines are long, long, long, this whole outfit works.
Also notice that her maxi dress almost grazes the ground. I like this proportion. Keeping your maxi dress within a few inches of the ground keeps your lines long, and makes you look tall.
To cozy Lena's look up even further, I paired a simple cotton maxi dress with a blanket-style cardigan and tall boots.
Want more Lena? Check out her blog, Quality Rivets.
$170 - piperlime.gap.com
Maxi Dress + Belted Long Cardi
Again, the proportions are nailed. The jacket is a bit longer, drawing your eye down, but the belt gives her a waist, and the overall look a bit of structure. The skirt? Nice and long.
However, as much as I love the jacket vibe she's working, I know wouldn't be able to pull off a belted jacket for very long. I just get uncomfortable in anything not butter-soft, and I'd be messing with the jacket all day. So to translate it into a mom-friendly look, I'd suggest either belting a soft cardigan, or finding one with a belt. I cozied it up further with a turtleneck and tall boots.
I also love this look because it shows a totally amazing way to use printed summer dresses in your Fall/Winter rotation.
$50 - delias.com
Smocked dresses »
Maxi Dress + Cropped Sweater
This last look from AnnaKatrina is my current obsession. Like most of my obsessions, there is nothing mom-friendly about a white lace shirt (nor is it winter-friendly for that matter). HOWEVER…I'm in love with the proportions. I think this look is perfect for shorter moms. So my translation is a bit loose, but, I think, still works fabulously.
$58 - urbanoutfitters.com
$140 - zappos.com
$34 - piperlime.gap.com
What do you think, readers? Are you planning to bust out your summer maxi anytime soon? Which look will you try and re-create?