Gorgeous, Dramatic Maxi Dresses (wear ’em with flats)

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There’s something so wonderfully joyful about wearing an all out, no-holds-barred, wildly pretty maxi dress.

It’s just….fun.

So much of my time, I think, is spent in a combination of workout gear, sweatpants, denim and turtlenecks, that a beautiful dress feels like a change of pace, a breath of fresh air.  It feels like summer.

For a while, I tried inventing reasons to wear these glamorous pieces:  a dinner out, perhaps, or a wedding.  But as the wedding invites dwindled and the babies increased, my reasons became a little more grasping: a haircut, for example, is cause for a pretty dress.  A request from my boys to “look like a princess”, or heck – showering – are all valid reasons (in my book) to rock a frock.

Truth be told, I don’t believe in saving anything “for good”.  Life is too fragile, too hard.  There are too many possible reasons that the elusive “good” moment will never come.  So this means that we put our wedding china in the dishwasher (because we actually use it, yo), we sometimes drink Champagne on Tuesday (actually Cava, because, cheaper) and when I want to wear a pretty dress…I go BIG.

My real-life compromise?  Comfy shoes.  Always.  I’ve been testing the limits here, but most gorgeous, glamorous maxi dresses look amazing with flat sandals, sneaks, or flip-flops.  In fact…I almost think they look better when offset with a tiny dose of casual.  Just like my wedding china.  It might be a little worn from being put into the dishwasher, but it also represents years of memories, years of use.

I’d rather wear something a little bit worn, fearlessly, than perfection, preciously.

Outfit Details

dress: Parker Constance Dress, c/o Amazon Fashion (size xs) – on sale!  Also comes in this silhouette – both are on sale.  I also rounded up a TON of other options below (both under $120 and over….)

flip-flops: Reef Slim Ginger (my long-time favs)

sunglasses: Prada (last year’s colors)

bag: Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mission Bag…oooo…also in a larger size, with contrasting black straps.

bike: Felt Bicycles, Verza Cafe 7 with the Peterboro Quick Release Bike Basket (amazing – it pops right off for shopping)

Wildly Glamorous Maxi Dresses Under $120

 

And The Over $120 Set….

 

Enjoy!
xo,
S

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About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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13 Comments

  1. I absolutely love your story on Maxi Dresses. I love the offerings you show, but I like to be reminded to stop saving stuff because its ‘too good’ to wear while I’m doing nothing. I just cleaned out my closet and got rid of a lot of this ‘good’ stuff I was saving. I never wore it. Now its out of style, not my style or I just don’t like it. What a waste. I do donate to a wonderful place, and that is some consolation. But not really. What am I waiting for ?I just wore a maxi last night, saving it for when I was here in Vegas. I could not possibly wear it anywhere else, its too ‘good’. I’ll be wearing the hell out of it when I get home. Thank you for the great article and research into wonderful maxi options.

  2. First, fearlessly rather than preciously is the perfect summation of my family-hood goals. LOVE that!!

    Second, thank you for this! I’ve been hunting for a less expensive alternative to that Parker dress with no luck but I just ordered that Adelyn Rae from Rack plus two others. Can’t wait to see if they work!

  3. Elizabeth Rafter on

    Please!!! No more dress posts! I wear sneakers and scrubs to work! I can’t possibly justify another dress in my closet! Haha! I adore the dress you’re wearing in this post. The floral print is so pretty! I am currently wearing this maxi on repeat…with nude sandals and a fancy necklace, and with a pink bralette and pink adidas! (Hope the link works!)

    http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/elan-cover-up-maxi-dress/4602939?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=NAVY

  4. I love this so much. I always splurge and hoard (save/ protect) instead of enjoying. I bought the James Perse blazer and SW midlands (both thanks to you) and will wear them on repeat.

    • Promise?? (haha) . But seriously, I’ve been much happier with my closet once I started wearing the really good stuff. And I’ve found that things don’t really need to be dryclean/washed/etc as much as I feared. I can sometimes go months with a good spot clean / hang to air out combo. It helps remove the barrier for dressing fearlessly. 🙂

  5. Any tips on sizing for the Parker Macedonia dress? They only have xs left! I would prefer a small but I love it so much I might try to order the xs…

  6. I feel like NOT saving the “good” stuff for a worthy enough occasion is when you start to develop a real sense of style. For me at least, I’ve become more fearless in what I choose to wear, disregarding whether it’s “too much”. I love wearing the prettiest things in my closet to just lounge at home or grab coffee or whatever the casual situation might be. I feel like it makes everyday life more beautiful, as hokey as that sounds.

    • Ooooo…I think you are on to something here. I try on really expensive pieces for a similar reason – it helps me hone in on what I actually like, when I remove the construct of price. And allows me to spot the really good deals at a lower cost.

  7. Maxi dresses are always too long when I wear them with flats. I’m 5’6″ so not short. Do you always get yours tailored?
    I LOVE your blog. I’ve purchased so many of your suggestions that I never would have found or even considered. Thanks!!

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