How to Style a Maxi Dress

One of my favorite staples for summer is the maxi dress. They're feminine & can have you feeling chic without sweltering even in 100 degrees .

However, they're not necessarily "easy". Meaning not every one looks great on every body. I hear from a lot of my clients that they feel they can't wear them & I think there's one main culprit: Jersey. The fabric, not the state. A lot of us {hand raised} don't have a perfectly flat stomach. And a lot of maxi dresses are one long sheath of clingy fabric that excentuates your every curve, including all the ones you'd like to direct attention away from.

So step number one: Look for fabrics that flatter. I still buy cotton jersey dresses. They're light & comfy. When it's 100 degrees outside, a polyester or silk like the dress below can make me too hot. But if you don't have the crazy overheating issue that I do {I swear I'm like a woman in menopause} or you're heading to an air conditioned restaurant or evening party, look for a lined dress or one with a floaty-er fabric that doesn't cling.

And then, regardless of fabric, your second magic bullet: Have a waist. While I do buy cotton maxis, I NEVER buy one that doesn't have a waist. It's just not flattering on my shape. If you have a straight boyish figure or love the curves you have, then rock on! But if you're one of those "maxi dresses just never look good on me" folks, then I promise this fabric + waist combo is your answer. Either a built in waist, or a fabric that can be "bloused" around a skinny belt.

Now who has a garden party we can meet at?

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Shop this Style { Navy Stripe Maxi Dress : Primark : Similar + Similar + Similar | Yellow Skinny Belt : JCrew : Similar | Poppy Ballet Flats : DNA in Park Slope, Brooklyn : Similar + Similar | Gold Polka Dot Clutch : Accessorize : Similar + Similar | Rose Gold Watch : c/o Sperry | White Gold Bead Necklace : Ann Taylor : Similar Similar } + Brooklyn Photographer Bethany Michaela

This is also a great 4th of July ensemble for those of you here in the US! Navy & cream, with accents of poppy. Not too obvious, but perfectly celebratory. And here's another of my fav red, white & blue ensembles from the Dean St vault.

Happy celebrating whereever you're watching fireworks this Thursday!

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P.S. How do you feel about maxi dresses? What is it about your favorite one that's so flattering? What's still confounding you? Leave it in the comments below!