Shop Your Closet: Layer a Short Dress Over a Maxi


Mamas, I have to give credit where credit is due, and this idea came primarily from Stylemint, whose stylists paired the Broadway Dress over a long maxi:

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(photo credit: Stylemint Broadway Dress)

I saw this and thought, well, hunh.  Interesting.

Interesting, because I have a problem dress.  It's a t-shirt style dress, and happens to be a maxi-length.  It also happens to look, according to Raines, like a nightgown.  And once that thought is in your head, there's no turning back.  

Buh-bye dress.  Right?

Except…this damn dress is comfortable, I can nurse, and it sorta obscures any poochiness….so I find myself rescuing it from the donate box and re-hanging it in my closet.  Only to try it back on, realize that it is best accessorized with slippers and a teddy (as in bear) and fling it, annoyed, back into the donate box.  Repeat…49857343094872093 times.

I mostly hate this dress.

Unfortunately for me, this dress' fate is now sealed.  I now love it under my little Target shift dress, which can be too short for some mom-life situations (not riding a scooter, mind you). 


(wearing: Jason Wu for Target jersey dress, J.Crew Factory Striped Maxi dress – here's a much cuter one, Jessica Simpson gold sandals – similar, bracelet c/o LOFT – similar)

Now whenever I'm in the middle of a crazed closet-purge, I won't be able to part with this truly stupid dress.  Instead I'll remember this outfit and be all like, "oh wait!  I have that one outfit I can wear this nightgown with!  Yessssssssss….success."

But seriously!  This trick is a good one!  It's basically an easy (and comfy) way to make a shorter, sexier dress a bit more manageable.

One final example: 


(wearing: Velvet Harden Knit Mini dress, Target maxi skirt, Salt sunnies)


Almost looks like loungewear, right?  Yup.  Feels like it too.  And what do we say when we find a respectable outfit that feels like sweats?

C'mon Mamas, say it with me:  Yesssssssssss…..success.



DISCLAIMER:  Mamas, if you own (and love) that striped J. Crew factory dress, I have no doubt that it looks much better on you than it does on me.  On me, there's just something about the way it falls that screams take-me-to-bed-in-a-purely-platonic-way!!!  


  1. I was getting dressed on Saturday night to go out with my man and I put my shirt on and walked into the hall and my seven year old said “momma, do you have a baby in your tummy?”. Mind you this is the shirt that I had just finished sewing (bc I pretend I’m a seamstress).
    Well goodbye new shirt. If your kid thinks you look preggers (and I’m not) then there really is no hope.
    Way to rescue! Inspiring as always.

  2. Ah, Kristen — I feel you. My oldest (now 5) likes to ask me why, if her twin bros are now 15 mos+, I’m not skinny yet.
    Umm, I AM SKINNY, kiddo. Skinnier than I was BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. That “fat” you are so fond of pointing out is the POOCH YOU PEOPLE GAVE ME.

  3. Love the looks – not sure I can pull it off. Shana- you said these hide the pooch? If they do it might work. I am tall and like the idea of something that feels like loungewear yet isn’t a pair of sweats.
    Great post as always!

  4. Love this! Took it straight to the bank (aka my closet, you know, where all my money goes) and turned 2 dresses stuck in the swimsuit coverup bucket into one work appropriate outfit! And the double layer of fabric did help with the pooch, thank you!

  5. Kristen & Sarah – your comments cracked me up!
    Beth – the strategic rushing will hide a pooch that looks roughly 3 months preggo, but not 5/6 months preggo, so it depends where you are. Or, in my case, how much I’ve eaten, lol!
    Lindsay – love that!! Thanks for sharing!!

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