Seed Heritage tube maxi dress

Keeping it (VERY) Real: one dress, more than 30 ways

Nikki Parkinson Everyday Style, Fashion 131 Comments

Once upon a time … actually it was less than two weeks ago … the good fairy of shopping, aka Mrs Woog, bought a black tube maxi dress.

I shall wear my dress and go and get sozzled with my girlies, she declared. Or maybe I’ll behave over lunch with the inlaws? But mostly I just need something to schlepp on before the school run.

What happened next had never before been seen in all the land. A spell had been cast on women from Perth to Port Douglas. Normally considered and conscious shoppers lost control of their keyboards and their mice, clicking their way to snap up one of these dresses.

Seed calls it the “longline tube maxi dress”. Mrs Woog decreed it was a “condom dress” and so it became.

As the Seed Heritage site crashed under the clickety click of fine shopping maidens making their purchase, word spread even further.

What is this condom dress you Tweet of, they asked? And why did I not know that I needed one until now.

As online parcels … and tales of in-store encounters started to flow in, it was clear that we indeed had the makings of a wardrobe fairytale.

Cries of OMG I don’t know how they do it were heard in change rooms and homes, as women of all ages, shapes and sizes realised that yes, they had a comfortable wardrobe alternative and this autumn-winter didn’t have to confine their legs solely to jeans or leggings.


Me? I’ve worn mine twice. It’s thicker than I thought (which is a good thing) and I layer over tunics and tees and knits to suit. It’s a wardrobe layering piece that delivers a look that is relaxed, yet stylish and comfortable enough to sleep in … should you know … hypothetically … drop off for five minutes on the lounge on a Friday night after a wine or three.

Seed Heritage tube maxi dress

Black Seed maxi tube dress | Bella Lido orange leather ballet flats | left: Mix Apparel stripe asymmetrical tee | right: Country Road green knit tunic top  | Virtu scarf

I love my condom dress so much I hopped back online yesterday to order another similar in navy – it’s $30 more for a slight capped sleeve but it was the colour that got me in. (UPDATE: the navy dress arrived but it’s going back – it’s not as thick a fabric as the black condom one I have and is quite see-through.  It could be unfortunate for everyone in my vicinity, should my top roll up to reveal my undies.)

But enough about me … and more about you: I presenting the Styling You-Woogsworld Condom Dress pageant of 2012. Never before have we seen such a diverse mix of women showing – and owning – their personal style. I LOVE it.

(Just click on the first image and use the arrows to navigate your way through the slide show)

Thanks so much for sending in your photos to me … if you’re still waiting on your dress and want to submit a photo to the mix, then please do (just email me: If your photo appears above but I’ve stuffed the link to your blog or Twitter handle under your photo, please email me also and I will fix it.

And if you haven’t got yourself one of these styles of dresses, what’s stopping you?

Note: Mrs Woog and I have received no monetary or compensation from Seed for these posts. We paid for our own condom dresses. I, was however, gifted these very lovely ballet flats from Bella Lido.

bella lido orange ballet flats


  • shoppegirls

    Ok I have just purchased two of these dresses. Thanks to all your inspirational readers who shared their style. Thank you Nikki

  •  oh I like that hint about the oversized shirt not swamping if it’s sheer. Hmmm do I want my shape seen underneath?

  •  Oh I’m glad you mentioned that Nikki, going by the actual measurements of what M and L represent I would have gone for L myself (I’m a 12-14 with virtually no waist so that’s usually the measurement I need to go by). Oh….maybe they have an M in stock…..checking….checking….ah only in the beige…..Maybe I’ll just bite the bullet and do it 🙂

  •  Oh Fi I love how you phrased that “how it seems to glide over my excesses, yet screams attention to my good bits” – I SO want one!

  • Thanks Nikki for the great blog post because I’ve also just bought the black maxi tube dress online to add to my winter wardrobe.

  • I love the idea of all the bloggers and friends parading this.  Even @Katesaysstuff was in here…Love the blue gorgeous…Grey would be my pic so versatile for mixing and matching. Go girls!

  • LISA Mckenzie

    After being SO good and cleaning out my wardrobe ,well the knits and the tops ,I popped over to seed online and purchased a new seamfree black maxi to go with all my new knits that were hiding in there ,looking forward to getting it and the weather to cool down so I can wear something different .

    • Oh, fantastic, Lisa … great move on finding the stuff to go with it first!

  • goodness..I love those shoes!

    And maxi dress ordered!  Just waiting it to arrive…a little nervous…but trust your judgement…so here goes!

    • They’re cute, aren’t they. And don’t be too nervous … look at all these women who are here to hold your hand! 

  • Jane

    Hi Nikki,
    It’s wonderful to see all these gorgeous real women, and so much inspiration. I’m so pleased to have been a part of it!
    I love your new blog ‘frock’ too. It’s so fresh and happy looking. You must be very proud.

    • Jane, thanks so much for being a part of it! And yes, I get excited every time I look at my new blog frock!

  • Salinafix

    oh Nikki and Mrs Woog….all these years I’ve been ignoring fashion, hating my lack of style and my body. And now…the condom dress, fashion advice from StylingYou and a dear stylish friend…I’m liking it! My condom dress arrived this morning (black), I stared at the package for 2 hrs and then I looked through this posta again and tried it on. I love it.

    Keep doing what you do and to all the other devotees, you all look FABULOUS!

  • RebeccaK

    Nikki, I saw the navy one with the cap sleeve today in DJ’s and the material is actually a bit see through, u need another layering piece underneath it. fyi.  The colour is gorgeous though.

    • Mmmm … I wondered about that! Can always send it back if it doesn’t work as I’d like it too … unfortunately no DJs or Seed stores where I live!

  • Pauline

    I bought one of these dresses after the original post and cannot wait to wear it.  Thank you for the photos, I really needed inspiration on how to style it and I’m now a fan of your page (thanks to Mrs Woog and the condom dress) so I look forward to spending the rest of my millions (time to wake up!) on whatever you tell me to!!!

    • Hahaha, Pauline … thanks for coming over here. I’m so amazed at all the wonderful inspiration that the women above have given ALL of us. Do send in your photo when you get yours!

    • Mrs Woog

      Oh you will LOVE Nikki’s site Pauline! xx

  • Ok, I REALLY want to buy one of these dresses but I am a size 12 on top & a 16 on the bottom!! Help!!! I don’t think that I could wear one without it being too baggy on the top & a squished sausage on the bottom or looking like a squished sausage on top & nice on the bottom!!!

    • Joslene, I’d go the M size … you don’t want to have it too baggy as it’s a layering piece … then you just work what you’re wearing over it to suit your body shape.

  • I purchased this dress today thanks to this post! Thank you to all the beautiful ladies here.  When I tried it on I instantly saw myself wearing it with cons and a thoughtful expression while blogging in a cafe. Funny how that happens. lol! 

  • Sharon O

    New frocks are looking good Nikki! The blog’s and this maxi one from Seed, which I’ve ordered now BTW thanks to you and Mrs Woog. And now your oh-so-stylish readers as well 😀 See what happens when you give women what they want! We go nuts for it 😀 More please! 😀 

  • AshMmisforMe

    Oh I am hankering after one of those condom dresses! However, while I’m breastfeeding I shall have to console myself with the Big W Peter Morrissey dresses that I saw on one of your posts!

    • Now, if you scroll down, someone is actually praising them for their breastfeeding friendliness as you can pull down the strap!

      • Jennifer

        Ash – Dress is very VERY breastfeeding friendly.  Do it you won’t regret the buy. 

  • Shanina

    I wore my dress of similar style today.  It hugs but it stretches and it slides… I love it.
    I love it because it celebrates my “puku”.  (If you don’t know this kiwi term, google it.)  Yes, I have a puku.  Not a huge flubberly-jubberly belly… but a definite puku.  I let my dress hug my puku, because I like my puku.  And I don’t go to much effort to hide it. 
    Celebrate the puku ladies.  (It’s taken me 42 years of longing, eating and occasionally working for a flat belly to now love my puku, and all it took was a condom dress and a cute kiwi name… and 42 years.)

    • Oh, I’m loving … and will be owning my “puku” thanks!!

      • I think the gentle curve of a lady’s tummy is actually quite sexy. We call them pukus in my house too. X
        Kim-Marie Williams

  • Love the dress and loving everyone’s individuality.  So hard to find breastfeeding friendly dresses too so thanks to you and Woogs for sharing x

    • That is so true, you can easily tuck this off the shoulder, can’t you?! And Carli, you look amazing in your photos!!

      • AshMmisforMe

        Breastfeeding friendly you say?!! I’m so there! YAY!!

  • Mummaducka’s Kaos

    Thank God i was not trying this on in a shop with all that grunting to get into it!!! Mine arrived today- the black and grey ones and they are keepers! I have plenty of tunics that i can wear over the top of them, I couldn’t get away with just the dress! 

    • LOL – me too! But so worth it … glad you ordered two! Very smart!!

  • I love this dress it looks gorgeous on every single one. Thanks for sharing these wonderful piece of inspiration.

  • Jennifer

    As a breastfeeding Mummy I can say I LOVE this dress!!!  For the last 10 odd months I have missed wearing a dress.  Thank you Mrs Woog for testing that the top could be pulled down!  Awesome styling Nicki and great work to all those that supplied photo’s.

    • Thanks Jennifer … I would be lost without dresses in my wardrobe and this is already a firm favourite.

  • BBeingCool

    Awesome post – I love that so many people took their time to post photos {but who wouldn’t, knowing it would be posted on your blog!!}…. Great to see so many shapes and sizes kicking it in the dresses…. I stand in awe of your {and Mrs Woogs} amazing ability to cause a fashion stir! So I am now off to buy the dress, fully convinced that it will suit all shapes… I already know what I will be able to wear it with…. 

    This has been truly amazing to watch unfold… love it!

    • It’s been amazing to see unfold from here too! Part of my battle/mission is to help women of all shapes and sizes see that they can wear the things they think they can’t; that they can own their style.

  • You rock, Nikki. I wouldn’t be seen dead in a condom dress (too many suspicious lookin g lumps!) but I love what you’ve done! x

  • This is genius. Well done, I love it. 

  • Ahhh I already had so many more idea’s for my condom dress, and this has just inspired me even more!

    • Now, that is a great thing – I love that you were one of the first to break free from the black!

      • Well thanks! I’m not much of a black person to be quite honest. Feeling a stronger alliance with white at the moment.
        Although black could be more versitile, colour wise, I think the other colours are pretty versitile too. The trick is in accessorising, right?

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style

    I love this. I have been following the ‘Condom Dress’ from the beginning. I love how everyone is putting their own twist on it. Thanks for the inspiration. Rachel

    • It’s wonderful to see everyone’s take on it, isn’t it?!

  • Wow! ALL of the ladies look fantastic! I might have to get one too.  At 162cm would I be too short to wear it?

    • Not at all because the dress is streamlined!

      • Hey Nikki, sorry for the dufus question, but what do you mean by streamlined? I’m around the same height & have never really been able to buy maxi dresses unless to wear with staggering height wedges…

        • Not dufus … at all! By streamlined I mean you’re not wearing a tent! You are wearing a fitted garment so it won’t swamp you. 

          Yes, you might have to have your hem taken up – but spare a thought for the tall people who can’t just tack on a bit of extra fabric to actually make the dress a maxi dress 😉

          •  would sincerely love to buy one of these but everytime I go online they’ve sold out of the Large 🙁
            I am VERY short @ 155cm so if anyone tall wants the offcut (when I get the dress) you can have it ;-p…

    • Elizabeth Moore

      Katrina, I am 162cm too 🙂  I tried on the dress BUT, it was far too long.  It needs tailoring to take off some of the length.  I think so long as you have it altered it would be great.  Doesn’t matter that you and I are short

      • I’m 165cm and curvy and for me it is the perfect length but only with flats. Definitely worth trying on. A taller lady with fewer curves might find it the perfect length. A shorter lady with more luscious curves might find it the perfect length too! The dress really is magical with its form and shape shifting ways!
        Kim-Marie Williams

  • I tried to take a selfie in my condom dress yesterday and failed. Will have to get hubby to take one for me!

    • I know – see above – very difficult to get head to toe!

  • Kel

    This is going to be my first ‘pregnancy purchase’! YAAAAAAY! And the best thing is that it will still be wearable forever after, too 🙂
    Everyone looks fabulous!!

    • I’m thinking I’m going to get so much wear out of mine this pregnancy that it will be stretched forever more!!! But I don’t mind. I’m sure on a cost per wear basis it will still be good value.

  • Loving the new design!! Really fresh and bright 🙂

  • Natasha Hiko

    Ok I’m having a very off day and cannot see – where can I buy one of these tops from??

    • Do you mean the tops that I wore with my black maxi dress? There are links underneath the main photo at the top.

  • Just ordered mine! My first maxi-dress too. Fingers crossed!
    And i just LOVE your new blog look Nikki. Bright, fresh, funky. Love it.

    • Oh, you’ll love it – and thanks for loving my new look x

  • I am honored to have been part of the condom dress mania – they’re a yearround staple in LA. Not sure if J. Crew ships to Australia but they have a few great ones for Spring.

    And the new blog frock looks fab!

    • Love that we have an international contingent – I look forward to checking out J.Crew … and many more stores in August!

  • Stacey Mcmillan

    I always have trouble wearing maxi dresses, I am so short they look huge on me, but this one seems to have some figure hugging too it…love all the different ways its been worn!!

    • You can ruche them down the sides for shorter people, or faster walkers like myself!
      Kim-Marie Williams

  • Mrs Woog

    I cannot tell you how much I love all these photos!

  • Nina

    You didn’t use my photos 🙁  

    I love my dress – I’ve worn it several times now!

    • Did you email them to me? I added all I received. Or post somewhere? Pls email and I’ll add!

      • Nina

        I sent them to you via Facebook a few days after the condom dress mania began!  What’s the best place to send them to you?  My surname is Downes – you responded via Facebook 🙂

        • So sorry, found them … still getting used to the Facebook page message thing! They’re up there now!

  • This is SO exciting. Mine arrived yesterday. Looking forward to adding my piccie. 

  • Rebecca S

    I love the new one too in the navy with the little sleeve.  LOVE that colour!!!

    • I know … and pretty much all my things I have to go with my black one will work back but look different with the navy one! Just need it to hurry up and arrive!

  • Christine_roberts_1974

    Hi Nikiki, I am new to your website and love it, I am on here everyday. Two questions, what shoes/boots do you recommend for winter and if I am a size 12/14 would I be a M?

    • Christine, yes, go the M size. For winter, an ankle boot will look great with this dress … I’ve attached an image of the ones I’ll be wearing most. They’re from and I got them for a steal.

      • Bec

        Hi Nikki, can you post a photo showing the dress and your boots? A maxi dress seems such a summer style I’m finding it hard to imagine with a heavier style of shoe. Thanks!

        • The first thing I thought of when I saw this dress was how good it would be in cooler months with scarves, cowl necked jerseys, drapey cardigans, ribbed tights and my beloved Chelsea boots. The fabric is fab for all seasons. I think your typical floaty silk maxi would be tricky to winterise though.
          Kim-Marie Williams

  • Fi Basile

    This dress is amazing! My black edition arrived yesterday and I’ve had so much fun playing dress-ups that this morning I went and ordered the marine version.

     Being a woman of, um, a certain age, I love how it seems to glide over my excesses, yet screams attention to my good bits. A fantastic recommendation, Nikki! Thank you very much. Oh, love the new blog frock too!

    • Oh, I’m loving that you’re loving it … and yes, it glides where it needs to on this woman of a “certain” age too x

  • Lill

    Thank you so much Nikki.

  • Lill

    Could I have an indication of sizing as well please? I’m about a fourteen would that be a medium?

  • I hope Seed’s ready for another onslaught because these girls look AMAZING!

    And the site is gorgeous! So bright! So happy! Love all the white and that reddy-pinky colour (what is that called?) is perfection.

    • Thanks Kirralee – I should get the colour’s official name! I’ll find out for you x

  • I haven’t worn a dress since my wedding day (I’ve fallen into the mum-trap of tshirt and jeans), but that bright blue almost has me drooling! I can see the grey being added to my wardrobe too! thanks for sharing some great ideas for revamping a boring wardrobe!

    • I think from memory that @katessaystuff:twitter is not a dress person either – but she found three ways to wear hers – from things in her wardrobe!

  • Rebecca S

    Can I ask what the sizing is like.  I am an 8-10 (about the size of the lady with the tiffany  key on in the photos).  So should I order a S or a M?? Thanks

  • Lou_dit

    They look great ladies. I’m still waiting on mine but now have some ideas how to wear it. I’m wondering where you get those oversized shirts and would they swamp a 5″ nothing petite frame? Also where do we get belts for these? Ive looked for belts but never find any. The lady with the dress belted with red I want that belt! Lol. Oh and I bought my first pair of sucker in undies yesterday. They fit great but they tend to roll after sitting. Any tips on how to stop this?

    • An oversized shirt will not swamp you if it’s sheer and you can still see your shape underneath – check out the gorgeous blue one in one of the photos above! PS. It’s possible that the undies may be a size too big? 

  • This is amazing. As I scrolled through the pics I was oohing and aahing at how good it looked on EVERY SINGLE person! x

    • I know Chantelle! I will add more as they come in – viva la difference! Have you bought yours yet?!

  • I love the luscious pregnant tummies in the frock! Isn’t it lovely how everyone looks good in what at first glance looks to be a very unflattering garment!

    Both of mine are in the wash and I’m missing them!

    • Me too, Kim-Marie! At least you had the sense to buy two from the start!!

  • Huwandnellie

    The best thing about the fab dress is not how versatile it is, but how beautiful it is to see real bodies wearing a dress in a way that celebrates their own style and shape. Hurray for you all. You look gorgeous

    • That was our intention – when I realised so many people were buying the same dress, I thought this was such a great way to celebrate our beautiful differences!

  • Tam

    Thank you so much for compiling all those photos, Nikki.  I got some great ideas for styling my condom dress – will definitely be wearing it with a cardi and belt – and of course, now I want more!

    • Yes, me too … need to stop writing about them as I wasn’t coping with mine being in the wash … so accidentally bought another 😉

  • OH, and I’m LOVING the new outfit on the blog – she’s looking mighty fine. 

  • I just love this. LOVE. It’s a celebration of women – all shapes, all sizes! And I’m coveting those ballet flats.

    • That’s the idea, Kim … we wanted to celebrate and show amazing EVERYONE can look.