6 maxi skirt and dress outfits to lengthen your line
The max has long been an elusive figure for many. While it makes sense for formal situations or on vacation, everyday versions can confuse even the most savvy dressers. And yet, for Spring/Summer 2022, ankle-grazing dresses and skirts join the ever-popular midi, from cotton and crocheted patterns to flowing silks, playful fringing and figure-hugging ribbed fabrics. In contrast, micro-minis do the same. However, if a low-cut shape isn’t your thing, mastering the maxi is of utmost importance to freshen up your summer wardrobe. And yes, you can, indeed, pull off a floor-sweeping hem as easily as your favorite pair of jeans.
“We are seeing a shift from midi length to more extreme proportions that are about color and fit in the maxi,” Ashley Petrie, senior vice president of merchandising at Fred Segal, told TZR. “The longer the better, with hemlines sweeping and accentuating the body through interesting details such as high slits, cutouts, mixed fabrications and tighter cuts.”
Petrie says the new maxi movement is universal, highlighting the range of casual and formal designer iterations that debuted in the spring collections of Khaite, Peter Do and Christopher Esber. “It elongates the body and can easily be incorporated into your wardrobe as a day or night option, which also helps with transitional weather conditions this season,” she says.
“The refined fit of Peter Do’s collection, which included a variety of longer skirts and dress lengths in an effortless neutral color palette, can be paired with a voluminous tee or blouse for a stylish look. more relaxed”, explains Fred Segal SVP. the versatility of the trend. “Christopher Esber continues to give us all the amazing color and cutouts we need this spring, with pops of green and orange and exposed skin in all the right places.”
For something more romantic and occasion-worthy, Petrie points to Khaite’s long leather dresses, silk skirts and sheer longer lengths. “These floor-sweeping shapes and silhouettes strike the perfect balance for work or play whether it’s your home, office, or free-living,” she says.
Along the same lines, Irene Yuan, vice president of marketing for Ba&sh North America, says fresh, inspiring shots in plush hues and alluring prints beckon for brighter, brighter days in 2022. “Our Noma maxi is one of our favourites, mastering the soft, romantic vibe of the ’70s with a flowing, off-the-shoulder silhouette – relaxed yet elevated for sunset strolls or seaside happy hours.” , she shares. “We’ve also brought back the cutout maxi dress, refreshed in super lightweight fabrics and hues perfect for warmer weather, like our Baloma Maxi Dress and Alula Maxi Dress.”
Petrie says length, fit and construction are key in determining a fitted maxi silhouette. “This season, we’re seeing that silhouette slim down and become more universally flattering, eliminating much of the bulk we’ve seen in the past that presented challenges for different body types,” she explains. Yuan adds, “A dress with a relaxed, flowing silhouette like our Isolde suits different body types. Cinch it in to accentuate the waistline and lift the hem slightly for taller frames. Or look for an elastic waistband like our maxi Becky, which is comfortable and forgiving.
Merchandiser Fred Segal says longer, drapery silks, cotton blends, and even heavier fabrications such as leather in floor-length proportions work best for tall frames. At the same time, figure-hugging silks and stretchier options that don’t go past the ankle — unless you’re wearing heels to help elongate your line — are best for petite. “You don’t want to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of fabric on your lower half – it should fit and complement your natural body shape,” she advises. Yuan has another tip for shorter mounts. “Consider buying a midi silhouette instead, like our Benja, which should work just fine for a maxi.”
Plus, Petrie has a few favorites for those who shop by brand. “Simon Miller gives us a playful take on this trend with bodycon layered mesh skirts and dresses that appeal to nearly every body type in a ton of fun hues this season,” she told TZR. “Nanushka is another favorite for more unique and quirky prints and fabrics. “Their vegan leather is so soft and buttery and comes in different color options and lengths,” says Petrie. Adding, “If you don’t want break the bank, I love Sir for its construction and fit. These maxi dresses and skirts [come in] opulent colors with interesting proportions and cutout detailing – I lived in their asymmetric Anje dress.
Ahead, check out six new ways to master the maxi for spring and summer. Each outfit includes the parts for purchase, with more expert insight from Yuan and Petrie.
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Summer Whites + Bright
Petrie suggests a cropped long-sleeve tee and a crisp cotton maxi skirt, like Staud’s Wells silhouette, to freshen up your approach to summer whites. Finish with a woven bag and delicate gold jewelry for a casual yet refined vibe.
For work, Yuan tells TZR, “Try a printed maxi with a sweater layered on top – it goes like a skirt and sweater combo. Then take the sweater off and throw it over your shoulders for after-work drinks. Finally, accentuate the polished effect with a leather bag, a sandal and a shimmering chain necklace.
Petrie advocates cut-out knits or stretchy maxis for an understated approach to occasion wear, like Simon Miller’s Solar dress paired with platform clogs. Fred Segal’s VP suggests a comfortable, vibrant sandal – like Birkenstock’s highly anticipated collaboration with Manolo Blahnik – to add an unexpected splash of color for an even more laid-back look.
Add a layer of denim
“For weekend outings or casual dinners with friends, throw on an open denim shirt over your maxi for an effortless transitional vibe,” suggests Yuan. Complete the look with choice accessories like a woven clutch, leather sandals and bright earrings.
Elegant in silk
“A more casual pairing is the SVNR Vee Silk Maxi Skirt with the Nanushka Danique Black Crop Top paired with your favorite sneakers or flats,” says Petrie. “Or put on a strappy sandal if you’re going out.” It exudes a cool girl attitude with minimal effort.
Ready for a getaway
For the holidays, Yuan suggests a maxi that bares the skin, whether it’s a cutout silhouette or an open weave design. “Pieces like our Baloma make perfect travel companions because the material doesn’t wrinkle easily — and make them the center of attention with strappy sandals to accent,” she says. A sun hat, woven tote and sunglasses are added extras while on vacation.