NSFW: Maxi Dress

I would be remiss in my duties as a style blogger if I did not report in on London street style. It did not seem distinctly different from North America, actually—jeggings, gladiator sandals, general pantslessness—with one notable exception: the maxi dress. Maxi dresses were everywhere in London. Weren’t they everywhere here, like, two years ago?

At least, that’s when I succumbed to the trend with this dress.

Dress: Calvin Klein

Beads: belonged to my grandmother (I love them)
Pose: Wonder Woman, via A-Dubs

It took me a long time to get on board with the maxi dress and I think I’m still on the fence, even though I own one (I’m ignoring the mixed metaphor; please follow suit). Something about the maxi seems costume-y to me. And this was especially evident in London when groups of women in maxi dresses would go out en masse looking like a mis-matched bridal party. There is something distinctly 70s about the maxi dress that I don’t dislike, I just think it’s difficult for me make it current (except, obviously, it is current so what do I know?). I also think that it looks best on tall, willowy chicks and that is not me (it is A-Dubs).

Nonetheless, I do love how comfortable my maxi dress is, especially in the hot weather. And this one is the perfect long length on me because it does not trail on the ground, even if I’m wearing flats.

Gold flat sandals: Cole Haan Canvas Wedges with a kicky bow: Keds

I don’t think it’s at all suitable for my workplace though I do wear it a lot when I work from home, mostly because it feels like a nightie. And, of course, I’ve worn it to the cottage. I love the pattern and the softness of the fabric but this dress does not get a lot of street wear and I think I bought into the trend because it was deeply discounted even though I was not convinced I could pull it off. Lesson learned (probably).

These are my favourite things about my ensemble today.

And I like the beads too. (I’m here all week, folks. Try the veal.)


Do you wear a maxi dress? How and where do you wear it and how do you tone down the 70s? Or maybe the 70s isn’t a bad thing? After all, TV’s Wonder Woman is from the 70s.

27 thoughts on “NSFW: Maxi Dress

  1. Thanks for the maxi support everyone! (wow, that sounded more like a feminine protection shout-out than I wanted it to.) I do like this dress, which is why it's still in my closet, and I think that you are right and that I should wear it out , though maybe not to the office. At least, not until I have tenure.

  2. i tend to like UK (and other European) fashion blogs maybe because i'm from Europe originally. when i noticed maxi trend (in those london blogs) i had the same reaction as you did: did not we just go through this a year or two ago? but then the look kind of grew on me and i decided to hunt for an all black REALLY long maxi and found one at Ross. i'll have to do a post, thanks for the idea!!! i'll be sure to do a link to your blog.@Cynthia: i was looking for exactly the same maxi (at least the top of the dress part) as you described. no spaghetti straps etc. and i found a perfect one for me. will share pics soon!

  3. I love that maxi dress – the print at the bottom and the detailing around the bust breaks up the material and makes the dress so interesting and different. I love it with both shoes, too. It looks floaty and breezy and summertime.I love the maxi dress but don't own any. I walk so much in the city and go up and down so many staircases that I have this irrational phobia of getting the hem absolutely filthy. Which wouldn't happen if the dress was the right length and I gathered it up when I needed to. Maybe next summer will be my maxi dress summer… You've got me wanting one, that's for sure!

  4. I might do my maxi dress for a Casual Friday, but otherwise it's not really appropriate for work. I haven't worn mine more than twice since I got it.I love the 70s! I was there! 🙂

  5. Yes! Rock that lavendar dress!Also, I forgot to add that I LURVE everything 70s, so I am a bad person to ask. I know that I might look foolish and out of place, but since I think my mom in the 1970s was the coolest thing ever (she truly was), I don't mind. I am however, a girl who wore a prairie dress at her wedding, has 2 other prairie dresses in her closet, and a fetish for "natural" wedge sandals, so keep that in mind when I push a 70s look.

  6. Bring on the WW pose log! Who wants to write up that call for poses?Also, D-Med, you're right: this is a full-on emboobening (as Sal would say) dress. And even though I agree that maxi dresses can seem costume-y, I think you should do what Rad said and "rock it" on the street.

  7. I am not a fan of the maxi for myself. You may remember I tried it once with disasterous results and took the dress to the tailors. I think there are women out there that can wear them so well. I think the dress is flattering on you. I agree with Rad, you do look willowy in it.I love the beads.Ok, now for the pose. When, oh when, are we going to have a Wonder Woman pose challenge? (Along the same lines as the BA Bondgirl challenge.) Hmm? Can't you see it? 50 or so bloggers rockin' the same pose. It make me giddy.

  8. I think that particular maxi dress looks great on you. I have a couple of maxi dresses, but I rarely wear them because it is hard for me to pair them with a comfortable bra.

  9. This dress is gorgeous on you. Rackariffic yet floaty, in a color that complements your alabaster skin. The beads make the whole thing pop.I love maxi dresses. On other people. Whenever I try one I think I look like a 5 year old playing dress up in her mother's closet. This is likely not the confidence Sal mentioned!

  10. I love how you look in this dress. Very cute. I can't face myself in the mirror in a maxi dress. I think I have too many vivid memories of my mother and her girlfriends chain smoking cigarettes and playing mahjong all day in them in the early 70's. I think it is in my head though because when I see eople wearing them they always look so cute.

  11. I like maxi skirts (especially in the summer) more than dresses. Feels less 70s to me. Having said that, I was a teenager in the 70s, so anything that reminds me of high school is right out.

  12. I wear maxi dresses all the time, especially in summer. Here in the fashion hot-spot of central PA, most of the ladies I see at Wal-Mart or on our two bustling downtown streets do not seem to be wearing them, but this is not a major concern for me, since if I wore what they wore I would spend my life in tee-shirts and jeans. I saw a Bill Cunningham piece in the NY Times LAST summer where he was exclaiming over women wearing maxi dresses, as if it was bizarre. When I was in NYC earlier this summer, I saw a lot of maxi dresses and a lot of mini dresses and a lot of everything in between.

  13. Maxi dresses can feel tricky, but I think they're one of those magic garments that instantly looks better when worn with confidence. And your stance makes me think you're plenty confident in this one!

  14. I think you look awesome in this dress. It probably just takes some time thinking that you look great. I think you could throw on a light cardigan and rock this in many "street" settings. Ladies in NY of a diversity of shapes/sizes are wearing many maxi dresses, and this one has a great print and makes you look quite willowy (and A-Dubs like). The coral beads and the lavendar dress? Genius.

  15. That dress is really cute on you (esp with the beads) and I could see it being a really great Saturday-at-the-farmers-market kind of thing. I have not been able to get into the maxi dress. For one thing, I'm just too darn short and they make me look like a hobbit wife. For another…well that first one is enough.

  16. I kind of love maxi dresses, because they feel like nighties, but also cannot really bring myself to wear them out of the house, because they feel like nighties. I think they came into fashion right as I was studying for my comprehensive exams. I bought one then, and wore it out, stretching the stretchy fabric by curling up in my chair, probably slipping diet coke and maybe red wine on it. It is now dust rags, but damn, I loved it while it lasted.I have a bunch of really long skirts, though.

  17. I would rock a maxi dress — probably even at work — if they made them with micro-cap sleeves and friendly to supportive bras, and if there were something to give it structure in the ribcage/waist area. But the ones I see are mostly spaghetti strap, straight up and down, and I have decided that if I can't wear the item as it was meant to be worn and with a supportive bra with straps, then it simply does not belong in my closet. This isn't an age-appropriateness thing or even really a modesty thing — it's just not comfortable for me to be going braless.And the 70s is awesome. I bought a cute little calico print hippie dress a while back (which y'all haven't seen yet) that I could not resist because the fabric reminded me of my very very favorite shirt that I had in fourth grade, deep in the 70s.

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