This summer is a season of extremes when it comes to hemlines – on one hand, we have the ultra-mini dresses and micro shorts, and on the other, maxi-dresses that skim the floor. Done in casual cotton or lightweight linen, these breezy frocks are perfect for hot summer days. Floor-length dresses aren’t just for formal events anymore.
If you go long on the bottom, you can get away with showing some skin on top. Halters, spaghetti straps, and backless styles all work well when combined with a long, flowing skirt. Trapeze and tent silhouettes can also work (check out this stunning tiered dress from Jovovich-Hawk at Net-a-Porter), but be aware that too much fabric can be overpowering – unless you’re very tall and slender, you may want something a little more fitted, or try cinching your waist with a belt. It’s all a matter of finding the dress that works best for your shape.
Start your search at Pink Mascara, because they have some gorgeous long dresses, including this graceful fluttersleve dress in watermelon number by T-Bags. Girly girls will also appreciate this pink and white print Rebecca Taylor dress.
Shopbop is another good place to look for maxi-dresses with a high drama factor. This feminine spaghetti strap frock from Foley for Foley + Corinna is perfect for casual summer nights, or rock one of the season’s chicest shades in this yellow and white silk jersey dress from Alice + Olivia. Other good choices from Shopbop include comfy cotton dresses from casual cool labels like Ella Moss and C&C California.
Looking to pick up a maxi-dress on the cheap? Look no further than your neighborhood Target, where you’ll find cute and colorful dresses from Mossimo and high-low king Isaac Mizrahi. If the preppy look is your thing, go for this colorful madras plaid halter with a flattering empire waist, or keep it basic with this long linen dress in classic black. Either way, you’re out less than $25 which makes these dresses an excellent way to try out this trend.
With a maxi-dress, especially a colorful one, the key is keeping the accessories simple and sleek. Flat sandals, cork wedges or espadrilles, and maybe a few bangle bracelets or a pair of oversize hoop earrings are all good options. Although at first this may seem like a tricky silhouette to wear (especially if you’re on the short side) it’s actually quite simple and comfortable – and you can always pair your dress with some platform wedges to add a few inches if necessary.