Let’s go shopping for: maxi dresses

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 25 Comments

Hello holidays. I can almost smell you. I’ve already started dressing like it’s G&T O’Clock. All day. Every day.

And you know what that means, don’t you? Every single maxi dress I own is on high rotation {with more than the odd kaftan thrown in for good measure!}.

It’s no State Styling You Secret that I love me a maxi dress and that I’ve never met a woman who I couldn’t convince to give one a go either.

Don’t believe me? Head on over and check out this post and then come on back. I wrote it more than a year ago and I still stand by it.

The case for the maxi

Maxi dresses give you permission to wear flats and still feel fabulous.

As soon as you pop one on, you immediately look more dressed up than in a short dress. 

It’s one garment. Summer dressing does not get any more simple than that.

Style tips

Keep it streamlined. Too much fabric and someone will throw a couple of guy ropes in your general direction and try to peg your “tent” into position.

Look for styles that show your shape. Petit? A fitting tank style works a treat. On the curvy side, seek out A-line or styles that fall from under your bust.

Summer 2012 maxi dresses

Shopping suggestions

Plenty of stores are already on sale so if you see something that will suit perfectly for the Christmas/New Year period jump on it. Click on each image, then click on the caption for where to buy.


See anything you like? What are you wearing Christmas Day? 


  • I really didn’t get into the whole maxi thing until I picked up the Benita Maxi from Virtu last year. It has sleeves, a scoop neck, a small stripe and the most comfortable material EVER. now I own more maxi dresses than pencil skirts {which is A LOT}. You’re so right, they’re a go anyway dress. Loving the selection you’ve found.

    • Thanks hun and I agree – it does take that “one” to get you started. Then cannot be responsible for what happens next 😉

  • I love the floral one, very flattering design and the colours are so spot on for summer. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  • Lisa @ Blithe Moments

    Does anyone have suggestions for where to buy maxi dresses for those tall girls among us. I’m just under 6′ so by no means a giant and yet every maxi I try on comes to some unflattering above the ankle length. I know that most models are taller than me so they must make extra long ones specifically for them.

    • It’s a lot of trial and error involved in finding a length to suit you. A good start is looking at model images wearing the dresses above and seeing where those particular ones come to … those girls would all be around 6ft.

    • Hey Lisa, I’m 5’11 and have found the Virtu Maxi’s really good for length and the Target ones too. If I get really stuck I just size up for the teeny bit of extra length. Hope that helps!

  • Reannon Hope

    I do love a maxi dress or skirt but they are on much higher rotation now I’m pregnant. I’ve found some cheap & cheerful ones in Best & Less that’ll see me through my pregnancy which is great because I really didn’t want to pay big money for maternity clothes.
    I do love the orange strapless one in your gallery ( Bella Lido I think) but am unsure I can get away with no straps right now…

    • You could get away without straps – and that one also lends itself to a little shrug being added.

      • Reannon Hope

        you always have the best answers Nikki xx

  • S.

    I’ve yet to find a maxi dress that doesn’t PLUNGE so far down, you can almost see your navel. I’m a big-busted girl and don’t like the leer that comes when you wear them out in public. Your examples are lovely, but I guess I must be looking in the wrong shops because I’ve yet to find anything remotely like those.

    • sasha

      i agree..i am a small (ish) size but with e cups..i find the fabric stretchy and clings and dips around my boobs. Men love it..i dont!!!!

  • I’m hoping Santa brings me a maxi dress (or two!)!!

  • LIsa mckenzie

    I love me a maxi as I think you know,and mine are on high rotation too,I have one on today actually a tank style grey with orange stripes and orange flat sandals and an orange necklace,yes they do make you feel more dressed up for some reason and they make me look taller,i am !67cm tall same as you I think Nikki.Today is my fave day of the month hair colour/cut day yay!
    I am wearing on Christmas day a beautiful maxi kaftan two of my faves rolled into one,it is blue and white and has shirring to pull it in split sleeves and split hem to the thigh,so will be cool and comfy and very Camilla looking with a lace up bodice with beads and tassles without the price tag and I bought blue and wooden bangles to match and blue flat sandals,what colour nail polish do you suggest?? I was thinking orange or red pedi that is,I don’t know if I will have time for my hands. I have blue but I think it is too matchy matchy.Thoughts please!!.
    What are you wearing on Christmas day Nikki,I bet it is something stunning.I know maxi dresses will never go out of style in my wardrobe:)

    • I’d go an orange pedi. Love a pop of contrast colour. As for me this Christmas, haven’t decided as yet. Did by a lovely dress yesterday that will suit – either for a family gathering this Saturday or Christmas Day. Love to have options up my sleeve!

      • Lisa mckenzie

        Yes me too,hence why I bought another maxi dress,and thankyou for the advice I was thinking orange I like a contast too X

  • Lorna

    I’m pregnant and loving my little bump, maxi dresses are a great way of feeling feminine without being too revealing. Would love any ideas on where to get some more for Mama’s to be!

    • Most maxi dresses made from stretchy fabric will work for you throughout your pregnancy, Lorna .. no need to buy a maternity label. Look for anything a-line or dropping from under the bust.

      • Lorna

        Thanks Nikki, I’ll just have to gather the energy to get to the shops! I’ll maybe leave it till after the Christmas rush has passed 🙂

    • Nashuagirl

      Hi Lorna, I wore them during my pregnancy and grabbed some lovely light ones (long dresses in summer make me even hotter, so the lighter the better!) from Tree of Life. Not crazy prices either.

      • Lorna

        Oh I will have to look and see whats at my local store, thanks!

  • Deanne

    I have been living in maxi dresses this summer, so bought another one yesterday and I think I might pop into Rockmans and get a cute orange and pink one to wear on Xmas day!

  • I’ve got a gorgeous red, yellow and white Country Road cotton maxi dress that I’m wearing on Xmas Day. It is fitted around the bust, slightly tiered and falls straight from the bust line. Uber flattering!