Model and Me: Virtu spring-summer 2012-13 maxi dress

The Model and Me: Virtu spring-summer 2012-13

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, The Model and Me 49 Comments

It is no state style secret around these parts that I’m a fan of the maxi dress.

Massive fan.


If you need to play catch-up at this point, head on over to this post I wrote last year. Everyone can find a maxi dress that fits and flatters. Yes, you can.

For me (and most people), the best styles are ones that are streamlined, have an a-line shape or give you shape under the bust. Or all of the above.

These are the types of maxi dresses you’ll find in my summer wardrobe.

They are my go-to, summer dresses for all occasions.

Case in point, this one from the Virtu spring-summer 2012-13 collection. She’s called Delilah and we are very much at one with each other.

She’s got that a-line thing going on plus a lovely v-neck to keep the girls nicely balanced and in proportion with the rest of me, plus she’s in a wash-hang-and-go fabric combo of polyester/elastane.

(I know this fabric combo may be a problem for some but because it’s sleeveless and skims the body it will mostly survive my summer sweat test.)

Want to check her out?

On the model:

Virtu maxi dress $89.95

Virtu Delilah maxi dress $89.95

Virtu Girlfriend wrap $69.95

Virtu Girlfriend wrap $69.95

And on me:

Virtu maxi dress and cardi | Zoe Kratzmann shoes | Polka Luka ring | Miu Miu sunglasses

Virtu maxi dress and cardi | Zoe Kratzmann shoes | Polka Luka ring | Miu Miu sunglasses

I have nicknamed it the Liquorice Allsorts dress, partly for its yummy-ness, mostly for it’s colour-splashed-back-with-black yummy-ness.

These sweets are a favourite in our house at Christmas time … a bit of a tradition … so it seems fitting that this dress is already a front runner for Christmas Day.

Especially as I added in a bit more colour with the Virtu chartreuse girlfriend wrap.

Can I please just take a moment to talk up these wraps for a little minute?

Chartreuse is just one of five colours in this style and if you like to cover up your arms and keep your cool in summer then I’d be adding a couple of these babies to your wardrobe. Quick smart.

Yes, I will wear this sleeveless maxi dress sans cardi, waving my tuckshop arms in the air like I just don’t care, but sometimes I just like to look and feel a bit more polished. Hence my love of this garment. It’s cotton, it’s loose and drapey. So perfect for all but those super-stinky summer days.

We’d better talk sizing too.

Virtu is a store that offers on-trend fashion pieces for women sized 12-24. I’m very much a fan. The 12 is a busty 12 too, which is good to know if this is sometimes an issue when buying a 12 or even a size 14 or 16 in other stores.

I’m wearing a size XS (14) in the dress and XXS (12) in the wrap. And I’m 167cm tall if that helps you working out how the length would sit on you, unaltered.

As for the shoes, I’m simply in love with these leather platforms from Zoe Kratzmann. They remind me of a Country Road pair I had several years ago but they are lighter in weight to wear.

I’m a big fan of platforms for adding height without sacrificing comfort and they provide a great accompaniment to a maxi when you’re wanting to dress it up a bit.

Zoe Kratzmann Frisk platforms $230

Zoe Kratzmann Frisk platforms $230

Are you a maxi dress fan? If you’ve found one lately that ticks all your summer style boxes, leave a comment to let me know what it’s like and where you found it?

* These garments and shoes were gifted to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy.

Want more Model and Me posts? Click on over here.


If you have an online business that Styling You readers need to know about and buy from, check out the Christmas banner advertising specials I’ve just launched.

Buy two months and receive one month free.

  • michelle

    This dress is currently on sale for $39 at Virtu. I brought one, and love it. 😉

  • Michelle

    Nikki, thank you for bringing this dress to my attention. I am a size 22 and 174cm tall. I tend to dress in black (boring). Before Christmas this dress came on sale, I thought why not. It fits perfectly, is comfortable and flattering. I have got lots of great compliments. I wear a Taking Shape cardi with it.

  • Jo Oliver

    Hi Nikki, do you think someone who is 5ft 1″ (got put that 1″ in every bit counts) can wear a maxi in the stripe you’ve shown. Won’t it make us shorties, how do I put it – “larger than an hippo who needs a diet”? Jo

    • My step mum always says she’s 5ft 1 3/4 so I get that! I think you can give it a try – you’d need to get it taken up and I suggest breaking it up with a wrap cardi like above. A lot of it comes down to confidence to wear and try something new. x

  • Nikki I have been reading your blog for years now in the hope that one day I would be a lot slimmer and be able to indulge in and wear fashion instead of the very plain clothes that I currently wear! I am by no means slim and am stressing about what I will wear in the Summer especially those 40C+ days (I suffer the same Thyroid condition as you and we are still playing with medication to find the right dose after 18 months 🙁 ) After reading this post I have gone to that website and have purchased 2 dresses – fingers crossed that they will fit! How awesome that they have a buy one get one half price at the moment!!! So thank you for sharing your wisdom – I am no longer stressing about the Summer!

    • Oh Katherine – good luck with the purchases. I’m a big believer in having clothes that make you feel good now … not waiting for any day when you think you’ll feel better. Good luck with your thyroid – get the meds sorted but look at the lifestyle things the doctors don’t talk about xx

  • Linda

    You look fab Nikki! Can’t say how much I appreciate the “Model and Me” posts. I wouldn’t have even considered this maxi as one that I could wear…until I saw you in it. Thanks for making it real 🙂

    • Oh I’m glad Linda – that’s the aim, is to help others visualise what it might look like on someone different x

  • You look amazeballs. Again. Love the stripes. Amazing how flattering they can be. Love the little wrap top too. I’ve got a couple of Virtu things (I do love that I am an XXS!) but anything a little bit oversized in the cut is a bit big on me. I’m a 12 with curves (just in case anyone is working out their sizes – thought that might help).

    My favourite maxi dresses are, um, all of them! I have caftan style maxis, elasticated bust strapless maxis, tube maxis, tiered maxis …

    My tip for strapless or shoestring strap maxis that you otherwise love is to buy them and change the straps. I take mine to my alterationists in my office building (they are fabulous). Sometimes you can recycle a fabric belt which came with the dress or find some ribbon that will do the trick. You can get them positioned perfectly for your bra position.

    • OMG, that’s an awesome idea, Kim-Marie … especially for people like me who never wear the belts in the first place!

  • Reannon Hope

    LOVE me a maxi dress!! I’ve spotted HEAPS in stores lately but my only problem is they are all stipes! I know we’ve talked about stripes before Nikki but I still have a bit of a problem getting my head around them…As for that little cardi-LOVE IT!!


    looking smoking Nikki.

    xo em

  • Fun fresh look and a great line in the dress by the looks. I love the Sacha Drake Maxi’s too but love this one you xxx

    • Thanks so much – I do love my Sacha Drake maxi from last summer and kicking myself that missed that same shape when it came through again this season!

  • LOVE that dress Nikki! I’ve gone “maxi mad” myself this season (not to mention the ones I already had lol) soooo many gorgeous ones to choose from. So far I’ve gotten them from Virtu, Macy’s, Sacha Drake and Ezibuy – who have just introduced the fab Evans label from the UK.

    • Love it … let’s be Maxi Mad together!!!

      • You’re on! I think we need a club… with an annual convention… maxis compulsory of course!

  • B

    Love! I am sooooo glad that platforms are still ‘in’. I have a Wittner pair that I haven’t worn as much as I thought {was going to wear them to work, but I have to walk LONG distances and I need to be QUICK – not always possible in a platform/wedgey kind of shoe…}

    Love the dress also. Might go check out Virtu – I don’t know if I have ever looked at their site before. How is this so?

    • Very much still in and I’m very good at walking in mine 😉 Love that I have height and comfort.

  • Hi Nikki, just found out that I can add ‘Styling You’
    to Flipboard, an ipad app that lets you design your own magazine/newsfeed. Another way that I can keep up to date with your blog, love it!

  • Jeannie@gracefully50

    Great maxi! Yes, I’m a big fan of maxi, too!
    I’m yearning for warm weather already!

  • I love that wrap SO much! The colour is just WOW!

  • Workingwomenaustralia

    Oh I’m a massive fan of the maxi dress! That one is gorgeous and the wrap would compliment 2 other dresses I’ve recently bought. Thank you!

    • Oh, happy to help out Kim … wraps and jackets make and extend my wardrobe so much further!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Yes I am a big fan of the maxi dress ,they are probably my favourite sort of dress in my wardrobe and I love that liquorice allsorts dress on you ,you look stunning,I especially love the stripes in the dress and you could wear it with a lot of different coloured cardi’s and jackets and accessories,and that makes a great wardrobe staple in my book.
    Love you in this dress Nikki and I love your Model and me posts and btw you always look better than the model,just saying.
    Yes indeed a great dress for Christmas day,cool and comfy and chic.

  • Nardia Sheriff

    I love a maxi dress too, particularly after having my baby three months ago. I bought two (same style, different colours) recently from Katies and I love them!!! and at only $39.95 they are a steal! I have the grey/orange and the grey/navy. I’ve attached the link –
    The biggest trouble I’ve had is finding a lightweight cardi to go over the top so you’ve solved that problem! I will definitely be grabbing a couple of these 🙂 thanks Nikki!

    • JicyJac

      They look fantastic Nardia – thanks for the tip – I’ll be heading to Katies tomorrow. I plan to live in Maxi dresses this summer. I’m a fair red head, so it cuts down on the surface area I have to sun screen. I love that in a maxi you are basically wearing an over grown t-shirt and you look so so glam.

    • Brilliant! And thanks for sharing your finds here – they’ll definitely help others!

  • Love this dress and (of course) love the colour of the wrap! Such a fabulous outfit to wear to Christmas parties. x

  • Oh I got rather excited when I saw xs & xxs on the website only to find the sizing to be for the fuller figure ladies. Now I wish they would cater for the height challenged ladies like myself at 5″. Most maxi dresses we either have to pull up or cut off the bottom.

    • In the blog post above I explain the sizing, Louise. I think if you’re after a maxi you don’t have to take up, why not look in the tween sections of Witchery, Seed and Country Road – often the styles are the same as in the adult section and cheaper!

  • Karen

    The dress looks great on you but would be worried I might look a bit shapeless in it. The wrap on the other hand…I love it!

    • It’s got heaps of shape – but they only start at a size 12. This a-line shape is super flattering on everyone.

      • Karen

        Thanks Nikki. I will give it a try, always good to try on something you never normally would and I definitely need to build up my maxi dress wardrobe for summer. I am a size 14 so no need to worry about sizing. I more meant that I might look like I had no waist, just all boobs and hips.
        Have you tried any of the Sussan dresses this season? They look lovely but I hate the models on their website. They are so skinny it is impossible to tell what the dress will look like on a size 14. Plus they wear really ugly shoes!!! They should do a sponsored post with you! 😉

        • Definitely worth a try – the a-line shape does a subtle cut in under the boobs and in at the waist. I haven’t bought a dress from Sussan this summer as yet. Bought some things early in the season but will go in and have a try for you … and agreed, they should 😉

  • Deanne

    I am liking how maxi dresses are becoming more stylish and are now available with wider straps or sleeves, I avoided them for a long time as I don’t like shoestring straps- but now I am loving them! and I do a little short cardi with them often, love a bit of layering!

    • It’s my favourite way of wearing them – and yes, agreed re styles for normal bras. It makes a huge difference!

  • Love that dress and the colours, heading over now to have a looksy! I have never bought virtu, but have plenty of TS gear that I absolutely adore!

    • I love a lot of the Virtu styles, Mummaducka – those cardi/wraps are perfect.