I’ve been looking at summer maxi dresses for awhile, but most of them are just completely impractical (spaghetti straps) or unflattering (voluminous tent) unless you are a size 2.
However, I recently stumbled upon a great post by style expert, Deborah Boland, that featured some incredibly flattering ones. I decided to do a deep analysis of why they work. See if you agree.
Helen of Troy
You will indeed feel as graceful and beautiful as Helen of Troy in this Grecian-inspired number. (The Ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about draped fabrics and hot weather.) It’s comfy, chic, versatile and flattering: the Holy Grail for most women!
I love this dress because It gets absolutely everything right:
- pretty blue color
- the pattern is a low-contrast motif, so it doesn’t overpower the viewer, yet still offers some camouflage for those extra curves
- deep V in front and back to show some skin, yet still leaves something to the imagination
- V-neck makes the waist look smaller
- straps wide enough for a real bra
- empire waist with a flat band around upper cage to maintain a feminine silhouette
- soft jersey fabric that is heavy enough that it doesn’t pouf out (like cotton would) where it’s gathered but instead flows down smoothly over the tummy (without grabbing it)
- enough pleating in the tummy area to allow you to eat whatever you want and sit comfortably
- falls straight down from the hips—very helpful if you have heavy thighs
- flares out at the feet so you can take real steps versus feeling like you’re wearing a restricting kimono
- ankle-length means you can wear flat sandals or heels and it works
- no ironing – perfect for travel!
Genius all around.
The only thing I would add is maybe a semi-sheer long-sleeved bolero cover-up/wrap to ward off the evening chill.
Another great maxi is this one, which has many of the same features as the one above. In addition it offers:
- cap sleeves that flatter plump arms, and make the waist look slimmer in comparison
- a modern square neckline enhanced by a faux V-neck look, courtesy of the piping on the bodice
- an empire waist to flatter rounder figures, with a tie at the centre to draw the eye up
- comfy, stretchy viscose fabric
- a pattern that is bold, vibrant and fun, without overpowering the woman wearing it
- a darker background color for a more slimming and sophisticated look that can be worn day or night
This would be a perfect choice for dinner al fresco, or drinks at the yacht club. Or even attending a casual beach wedding. Bridesmaid’s dress, anyone?
So if you’re looking for something comfy-chic to throw on for drinks by the pool or just to run to the store, the maxi dress can indeed be your new best friend… just be sure to choose wisely.