NSFW: Maxi Dress, Too

We interrupt your regularly scheduled “Friend Friday” program to bring you this Maxi Dress Discussion, Part Two. Yesterday(see comments & post), IPF‘s (Recently-In) London Correspondent reported that maxi dresses are all over London. She also noted that some of us did the maxi dress two years ago. Thus, she wondered, are London fashionistas behind or ahead of North America’s sartorial times?

As much as I like the concept of a dress that’s long, loose, and eliminates my morning-shower-leg-shaving-rage, like D-Med, I can’t help but feel like I’m wearing a costume when I sport a long floaty dress in daylight. And even though I adore the navy blue of this maxi – because navy, like gun-metal gray, is kinder to my pale complexion than black is – the extreme contrast between my near-naked top and my very covered bottom bothers me:



Cotton maxi dress: Gap
Pewter leather sandals: Kenneth Cole
Necklace: Smart Set
Bangle: The Bay
Pythons: care of Sheila’s upper-body workout tips

‘Just trying some other accessories (hey- where’d the pythons go?):

Necklace & bracelet: thrifted

Other elements of this dress that make it awkward as well as NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) include the following: requisite bralessness (i.e. not nearly enough layers of material between “me” and my colleagues and students), and spaghetti straps (I’m supposed to be retiring from wearing these).

And finally, once again, please bear with me as I offer myself a lesson via public exposure. A-Dubs: This. Is. A. Beach. Dress. No necklace will change this fact. Stop wearing it in the city.


Poly-cotton BEACH maxi dress:

(Winners last summer, but I cut out the tag)
Necklace: sad sale rack at Suzy Shier
(that’s right: I shop with the tweens)

Way back in May, Fit For a Femme offered some great suggestions to make a maxi dress SFW. I was immediately inspired, but gave up almost as quickly.

Do you think maxis can work for work? If so, how?
If not, are your reasons the same as D-Med’s and mine?

33 thoughts on “NSFW: Maxi Dress, Too

  1. A PS: Outfits Anonymous posted a tie-dyed maxi tank dress yesterday, styled in a bunch of different ways. I would definitely wear it to teach in, styled in some of the ways she shows. The fabric's substantial and though the arms are bare, the neckline isn't too low. With a scarf, or a cardi or jacket, it looks classroom-ready. And I love it with the boots.

  2. I have to agree that maxis don't belong at work, unless you are in retail or something where business casual is not the norm. I love my maxi dresses, but I would never wear one to work, even topped with a blazer or cardi. It's just not the right silhouette for a conservative environment.The point of the skin-baring top is to balance the bulk and coverage of the bottom. So for me, adding a blazer would make me feel like an old lady. It defeats the purpose.I think you look amazing in the maxis above, especially the first one. And why not go braless in it on the weekends? I do. You look totally respectable in the darker colored maxi. No worries…just feel free!♥ Vhttp://www.gritandglamour.com

  3. I really love these dresses on you! You look fantastic. But I also think these are appropriate for work if work that day involves a quick trip to campus to check your mailbox and visit the library! Though I get where the reservations come from for sure.

  4. Ch: Aww, I'd love to come over for a vegetarian cookout! Also, I checked the tie dye on Outfits Anon, and I agree that it could totally work in the classroom.Ya'll: Thanks so much for your comments and links. I've added a TON more to my blog roll thanks to you – here and on your blogs.

  5. @A-dubs: I saw 3, no 4 women today in Manhattan wearing black maxis and black "boyfriend" cut blazers (with the sleeves rolled up, of course) on the train. It is officially a "thing."And I read it here first, on IPF.

  6. Ch: Aww, I'd love to come over for a vegetarian cookout! Also, I checked the tie dye on Outfits Anon, and I agree that it could totally work in the classroom.Ya'll: Thanks so much for your comments and links. I've added a TON more to my blog roll thanks to you – here and on your blogs.

  7. I really love these dresses on you! You look fantastic. But I also think these are appropriate for work if work that day involves a quick trip to campus to check your mailbox and visit the library! Though I get where the reservations come from for sure.

  8. I have to agree that maxis don't belong at work, unless you are in retail or something where business casual is not the norm. I love my maxi dresses, but I would never wear one to work, even topped with a blazer or cardi. It's just not the right silhouette for a conservative environment.The point of the skin-baring top is to balance the bulk and coverage of the bottom. So for me, adding a blazer would make me feel like an old lady. It defeats the purpose.I think you look amazing in the maxis above, especially the first one. And why not go braless in it on the weekends? I do. You look totally respectable in the darker colored maxi. No worries…just feel free!♥ Vhttp://www.gritandglamour.com

  9. A PS: Outfits Anonymous posted a tie-dyed maxi tank dress yesterday, styled in a bunch of different ways. I would definitely wear it to teach in, styled in some of the ways she shows. The fabric's substantial and though the arms are bare, the neckline isn't too low. With a scarf, or a cardi or jacket, it looks classroom-ready. And I love it with the boots.

  10. In academia, there's much more flexibility. Some of my male colleagues teach in washed-out tee-shirts and baggy jeans, as if they're planning to wash the car after class, but I think most people try to outdress the crowd just a little bit. Urban campuses are probably a notch or two dressier than out here in the wilderness, where the students dress as if they're at camp. I think the skirt length matters less than the bareness quotient–showing too much skin is just distracting.

  11. actually, i do have an opinion regarding work. i used to be an accountant and no, i could not wear maxi to work (power suites only!). but am i wrong assuming that in education field though you still have to look professional- there less rules? i can totally picture one of my college professors wearing maxi but with a vest or a jacket on top (light and sleeveless jacket for summer). and i went to a private and very conservative school.http://byebyesoccermom.blogspot.com/

  12. Thanks for your great comments, all. And I agree that while it's tempting to style up just about anything for work, a maxi dress probably requires more work than I'm willing to do to make it office appropriate.So, what I need, then, are some more friends in my city who want me over for a cookout. Hmmph.

  13. Ok, I'm running out of blogging time so this will be quick.The dresses look great on you. Wear them for the weekend, only.If you notice the maxis from FFaF they are both solid and simple. Shoes are simple and shoulders are cover with a jacket. I think that is a lot of fabric to wear, so why do it? G&G rocks her maxi dresses because she keeps it simple and wears it the way a maxi should be, bare shouldered. I would never wear a maxi to work because it is not me. All done.Sorry if I repeated anyone's comments, not enough time to read them all.

  14. I love the navy one – it's just gorgeous. But I hear ya. You could do a tank under it for some extra coverage, but a long dress just doesn't scream "wear me to work". I like the second one, but only for weekend wear. And hey, I have a bunch of clothes from Suzy Shier – most of their stuff is crap, but every so often there's something good.

  15. The maxis are cute on you, but they don't look like work-wear. They're too bare on top and the material's very casual. These are great to wear to someone's house for a cook-out or out to dinner, out shopping, anything casual. I wear long dresses and long skirts to teach in all the time, but the lines are much sleeker and the material's less "fun."

  16. Wow, that navy maxi is great on you. I don't think you have to count this as spaghetti straps because they are mostly in the back and they don't seem to insubstantial. The other maxi is great too, but I do think it's more of a beach/cottage/Steeltown look. I'm still not convinced, despite FFF's stylin', that a maxi is okay for the office, or at least for our respective offices.BTW all, A-Dubs and I went to grad school in a town where it was a regular occurrence to see some dude in cut-offs and a leather vest (no shirt) riding a bike while smoking. We might be a little urban steeltown-style influenced.

  17. I'm with Sara, I think a blazer would transform these dresses into city wear for sure and possibly even teaching attire. Then, again, maybe I just think blazers will solve every problem since mine are all on an ABF truck somewhere in transit and I pine for them.Both are gorgeous on you, by the way!

  18. These dresses are gorgeous on you. I think you're right that the second one is a casual dress and truly NSFW, but if you combined the aforementioned structured bolero and boob tube, you may well get the first dress closer to SFW.Or just save them both for hot n' casual and show off that beautiful back.

  19. I think that both dresses look lovely and I am impressed with those pythons!The second dress is pretty beachy, but it looks like a good running errands dress. It beats sweats (not that you would ever run around in sweats).There are these cute minim tube tops that I've seen around called Miss Oops Boob Tube that are bandeus you can use to create a little frilly panel of modesty. If you had multiple needs for deep v coverage, maybe you could consider them?http://www.amazon.com/Miss-Oops-Boob-Tube-Lace/dp/B001AC3U6S/ref=pd_sim_a_1For the record, I don't do deep Vs because of my "elegant" bust line looks too sad and deflated. But yours look lovely!

  20. Okay, so I kind of adore the top maxi dress, quite a lot. I think I would wear it to work (given a job), but not on a day that was going to include teaching or meetings. So, if I was going to go and work in my office, or in a coffee shop where I might see people, I would go ahead and wear it. But I would also wear a bra with it, and maybe that cute, short sleeved sweater you wore just a bit ago, to cover the bra straps?But otherwise, see my concerns about nightgowns, from yesterday. (Oh, I like the beach dress as well, but suspect that you are correct about its beachiness.)

  21. EK: How've you styled it? Do share!OiB: I like the structured bolero idea, but the deep V neckline in the top dress would, I think, still make me uncomfortable all day.

  22. I love both these maxi dresses and they look great on you. For me, any thing that requires bralessness would keep me from wearing it to an office (and likely, at all – I'm not a braless type of gal). That's just my personal line in the sand. I wonder, though, what a structured bolero or blazer would do to alter the office-acceptability of the top dress. I don't mean covering up completely, just throwing on a little something on top.

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