When maxi dresses hit the high street a few years ago, I instantly fell in love with them but had a feeling my 5ft-something frame wasn’t suited to that kind of length; drowning myself in fabric was never going to be a good look. A few summers later, however, and there seem to be more and more vertically-challenged suitable full-length frocks that allow us to get our maxi fix without looking like we’re playing dress up… Because, when you get to grips with them, maxi dresses are nothing to be feared and are actually a girl’s best friend (if you know how to pick the perfect one for you!)
Because of its continuous color and pattern, maxi dress can effectively elongate your body frame and create the illusion of length. As long as you opt for styles that don’t swamp you, and are prepared to take up hems when they’re dusting the floor, a maxi dress is a wise investment that you’ll keep loving year after year; the style has become an effortless go-to for whenever I want to look a bit more polished without the faff, and my collection of maxis is ever expanding.
This Simply Be* number is my current fave, taking me from day to night with ease throughout my recent holiday to Tenerife. It ticks all my boxes and fulfils all the needs I have for maxi styles, the perfect example of a dress designed to effortlessly flatter and make you feel like a million quid. I love the fabric, the cut, the straps, the shimmer and the length – it was one of those miraculous online decisions that paid dividends in real life!
If you want to follow my lead but aren’t quite sure where to start, here are five of my tips on how to wear maxi dresses when you’re short and curvy – and what details you should be looking for if you want to opt for the most flattering fit.
TRY BLOCK COLOURS
Solid colours will help to elongate and flatter the body, helping to create a look without distraction. Often lots of colours, patterns or a bold design will overwhelm the wearer, so it’s best to keep things simple – especially if you’re just starting on your maxi dress journey. I love this rose gold colour for that reason, and most of my maxis are in plain block colours as I know that’s what works for both my height and my shape.
OPT FOR A FLATTERING SHAPE
If you’ve got the benefit of curves, avoid anything utterly shapeless as it’ll leave you feeling twice your size; similarly, if height is not on your side then a style with a nipped in waist or v-neck will help to create some interest and enhance your shape (rather than completely cover it up.) What I love about this Simply Be maxi is the empire line cut, flattering my curves and ensuring the fabric falls beautifully without making me conscious of my tummy or hips.
AVOID LARGE PATTERNS
Ever heard of the phrase ‘wear it, don’t let it wear you?’ It’s never been more relevant in this instance, as large patterns or shapes can leave your actual body completely overwhelmed with fabric. I personally choose to avoid anything with too heavy a pattern, instead opting for understated micro-patterns or suble details – like the rose gold shimmer that catches the light within this dress.
FIND THE PERFECT LENGTH
The perfect maxi length should just skim your ankles, as it helps to elongate the legs and create the illusion of a perfectly in-proportion body. It’s worth shopping around until you find the right length for you, but it’s also worth paying a trip to the tailor to have it taken up so it fits you perfectly; I’m always having maxi dresses taken up (or even made into midis) and it ensures they get worn time and time again, rather than lingering in my closet. By some miracle, this Simply Be dress was perfect at first fit – but it also has adjustable straps, which helps!
Often letting the maxi do the talking is all you need, so nude or understated accessories is all you need. If you do pick a dress with little shape or a pattern that could be a bit too bold, often a great belt or a little jacket can make all the difference in helping to create the result you want with very little effort. Play around – and have fun!
Although these are my top tips on how to wear maxi dresses when you’re short and curvy, don’t forget fashion is supposed to be fun and it’s all about finding what works for you personally… Break the rules and feel fab doing so!
Do you love a maxi dress as much as me, or are you still building up the confidence to give them a go?
SHOP THE LOOK
Simply Be Joanna Hope Glitter Knit Maxi Dress* | £75.00 (Now £67.50) | LINK
Simply Be Nude Clutch Bag* | £20.00 (Now £16.00) | LINK
Simply Be Rose Gold Heels* | £16.00 | LINK
ASOS Jewelled Earrings | £10.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Kate Spade Watch | £125.00 | SIMILAR HERE