Fashion: Maxi-mizing Your Summer Look

There are some trends that are so well accepted that you wonder ... why have I not gotten in on it? That is exactly how I feel about the maxi dress.

I have always been a mini skirt girl. As far as I can remember I have worn short skirts never thinking of age appropriateness, weather or occasion.

So this season’s maxi trend was one that went by somewhat unnoticed to me. That is until I started noticing that everywhere I turned, every one of my friends was wearing a maxi!

I had to ask, “why the obsession with the maxi?”

There are so many answers to why this is the dress of choice for so many woman. The first is that it really does look great on everyone.The most flattering style is the empire waist with an A-line silhouette and a v-neck line. This silhouette elongates the body and is slenderizing on all body types. So you can be petite or plus size it will still look amazing on you.

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Most maxi’s are made in jersey knit which, of course, means it is also extremely comfortable. The fabric drapes nicely and stretches to fit and flatter you. As one of my friends said “I can lose or gain five pounds and it still fits great” You have to love a dress that can do that!

You can also wear the same dress as a sundress for an afternoon of shopping with flat sandals and a cute hat. Wear it in the evening as a date dress with platform sandals and bold gold accessories.

The accessories you choose will determine the look for the occasion. An oversized hat worn with a bold color maxi dress is very resort chic look. While a white cotton maxi with natural leather and tan accessories is perfect for a city stroll.

You can belt it and place the belt at the thinnest part of your waist to emphasis your waist. You can add a jacket or shrug to give it a more structured look.

Today, most maxi dresses come in a variety of prints and colors. Choosing which one looks best on you is what can make or break this look. Remember the bigger and bolder the pattern looks best on taller ladies while a smaller print looks best on petites.

You also need to be aware of fit and length. Choose a length that is at your ankle or grazes the tops of your feet. Do not go any shorter than your ankle. If you are petite this might mean that you need to get it altered.

When choosing a color, look for one that looks best on you and reflects your personality. Bolder brighter colors work well with bolder personalities while softer pastels flatter a quieter person.

Just because I have not bought a maxi dress for myself yet doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I recently incorporated a few maxi dresses into a clients wardrobe because of all the above reasons. She loved them all.

To my surprise, I found myself adding a maxi to my must-have summer essentials. So now all I need to do is decide if I want to wear it to the beach or on a date. Wait... I don’t have to decide, I can wear it to both!

Monica Diaz is a NYC fashion consultant, owner of MonicaDiazMode and the author of 7 Days To Style.

Follow Monica on Twitter @MonicaDiazMode

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