It’s summertime. It’s heating up and we actually have events and places to go to again. If you’re anything like me, you’re still clinging to your favorite matching sweat sets while looking over your shoulder at all the lovelier things in your closet wondering how the heck to get dressed.
Putting an outfit together to wear outside my front door seems incredibly exciting — and yet, if I’m being honest, a little bit daunting. I already feel beyond exposed knowing people can see my mouth again, and now my old dance of trying on 10 different outfits 10 minutes before I’m supposed to leave is feeling the beat again.
SO WHAT IS A GIRL SUPPOSED TO DO?
Grab a pretty, twirly dress.
Nordstrom | Shopbop | Revolve | Free People | Bloomingdale’s | Dillard’s | Amazon
In With The Maxi Dress & Out With The Sweat Sets
A long, light, breezy dress is a piece of clothing I have admittedly overlooked in the past, but is now one I find very comforting. These are often the pieces I see online looking cute on the model, but in my head it seems straight Little House On The Prairie–and that’s not exactly my vibe. But I wanted to take a chance and try out a flowy maxi dress for myself.
This beautiful Free People maxi dress was the best surprise. I almost grabbed it much earlier on because the dress just sort of spoke to me. Does that ever happen with clothes for you? It’s also rare I find something from Free People that I don’t love (that store just gets me) but still, this dress felt like a risk and I hesitated. It wasn’t until I saw someone else wearing it that I knew I had to try it for myself (it always helps to see it on someone else other than the model)!
In short, I fell in LOVE. Immediately, I realized this could be worn for so many things. The happy surprise of flowy maxi dresses is that they aren’t hot like a fitted long dress would be. I just wore this on a 90 degree day with extra humidity and it felt incredible (that open back design certainly helps).
How This Flowy, Fun Dress Fits & How To Wear It
Based on all the reviews, I decided to size down in this dress. I’m typically a medium in all things, occasionally a large, but I ordered a small and am so glad I did. Like pretty much every Free People dress, this one is perfectly bohemian, having a very relaxed fit and there’s a lot of fabric involved in order to get that swishy swooshy goodness.
When I use the word “flowy,” I mean capable of some serious movement–Free People is king of this. It’s actually quite hard to find a maxi dress from other brands with the same type of motion. Do a quick search and most have fabric that lays nicely around your legs, but not enough to really kick up when you take a little twirl. This is the key of having extra fabric: the motion, the twirl, the fun of it all (and we all deserve funnn)!
Sizing down helps minimize the chances of the dress swallowing you up, while still giving you a chance to make some waves.
The first person I saw wearing this was 5’7” and I’m 5’9,” so it’s a major win for us taller babes (would also be so perfect if you’re pregnant). This would look gorgeous with a summer wedge or platform sandal if you need a little extra height. The dress is loud in the best of ways, which means you don’t have to fuss much over the accessories. They simply need to be light and complementary.
I slipped on my favorite slides of the summer, which are so comfy, easy and didn’t add to the noise or take away from the magic of the dress. I kept it light on the jewelry as well. Small gold hoops are my go-to right now, I swear they elevate any look!
The Perfect Beach, Wedding Guest & More Summer Maxi Dress
I think the best part of this dress is how versatile it is (it also has POCKETS that can fit my iPhone). You can throw it over your bathing suit if you’re heading for the coast, wear it over a classic white tee for a casual Sunday brunch, or pair it with your favorite clutch for a summer wedding (if it’s an outdoor wedding on a farm/orchard wear it with boots)!
You could throw on a pair of Converse (the lifted high tops are everything and bonus, they add height for this long dress) and include a belt bag at the waist for something a bit more youthful. No matter how you wear this dress, I think the most delight comes by how pretty you feel in it.
dress | t-shirt | bralette (similar)
The open back of this dress can seem intimidating at first, but it’s so stinkin’ cute with a bralette or bandeau showing. The one I’m wearing in the photos is a few years old, but this one has a very similar design + so does this one. You could rock a strapless version like this that also has beautiful lace detailing on the back.
Flowy maxi dresses might be just what we all need to ease into this thing called a social life again. They’re a one-step outfit, can be worn to multiple events, and the length is both practical and comfortable. If the one I’m rocking isn’t quite calling your name, here are a few other gorgeous options to try (slipped in a few midi dresses, too, which are nice if you’re not as tall)!
Shop More Flowy Maxi Dresses
Here’s to us, attempting to break out of those sweat sets (I mean, at least for an afternoon) and join society again!
Let’s be friends on Instagram! Sharing life from my sleepy little beach town, my professional photo work and the occasional drink recipe, because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.