Move over midis, the maxi is making a comeback. Whilst the midi dress has been our sartorial hero for years, we’re now looking to get back into our dresses (and out of our joggers) in a big way. And the maxi dress takes us one step further. Thanks to its effortlessly smart style, with minimal effort, it can take you from work attire to weekend bbq with the simple swap of a shoe. The best thing? Since they’re barely visible, you can wear your comfiest pair. Bring on the sliders.
If I’m totally honest, being slightly on the short side – I like to call it average height – I used to shy away from anything that might drown me out. The midi was my safe zone, knowing I could wear a long dress and still have comfort that it would look like I had legs. And then I discovered the mid-axi (half midi, half maxi), so contrary to popular opinion, us petite girls can wear maxis too.
Personally, I like to don a maxi now on the days that I can only give minimal thought to what I wear. They are a get up and go kind of purchase. And now things are back in full swing – social and work calendar wise – I’m only interested in easy and transitional outfits. Whether I am layering it for spring with a blazer or trench, or wearing it in warm weather (here’s hoping!) as a stand alone piece, it requires nearly zero styling effort.
These floor length frocks come in every style to suit your needs – checked, floral, plain, linen. Some have short sleeves, some have none. Keep scrolling and let our picks of ankle grazing hemlines do all the work for you. Just make sure you avoid any puddles…
The ditsy floral maxi dress
If there’s one brand that constantly delivers gorgeous boho maxi dresses, it’s Free People. And this cut-out style ticks every box. The short sleeves and flowing hemline will keep you cool on sweltering public transport. And the uber feminine style goes well with contrasting chunky bovver boots. Add bold earrings to complete the look, and a light weight quilted jacket for cooler evenings. So chic.
The sleeveless maxi
If you’re looking to bare all whilst still feeling smart enough for the office, going for a coloured maxi will instantly make you feel more chic. Try this vest style dress which has a beautiful tiered skirt, giving it that expensive-looking edge.
Adding a cute basket bag and chunky sneaks will make you rooftop drinks-ready, so make the most of those long, lush summer evenings. Your arms might get a little chilly later one, keep the look monochrome and drape a stylish striped sweater over your shoulders to warn off goosebumps.
The textured maxi dress
Okay, so crochet might scream more Coachella than Clapham but this beautiful neutral number is too good not to include. Other textured styles such as lurex and knitted dresses are a great option for a garden party or summer heatwave. Whilst the holes make it breathable, the thick material is flattering and makes beachwear possible in the unpredictable British climate. Keep it summer party ready with open toe chunky sandals. In case of inevitable rain, pair with a trench.
The patterned maxi dress
Choosing a maxi dress with all over pattern is a sure fire way to wearing a stand-out look. This floral seersucker dress hits the trend on the nose and with a square neckline and frill sleeves, it gets bonus style points. Pair with box simple sandals and an oversized denim jacket for that off duty summer look. Don’t worry about clashing jewellery with the high-octane print, layers of chain necklaces like this will make your tablecloth inspired look, more granny chic – the more OTT the better.
The linen dress
Linen isn’t reserved only for tailoring and beach cover ups. Yes it comes in maxi-style too – what could be better than a dress that’s long enough to be decent for the office, loose enough to cover up your long lunch with a client, and cool enough to keep away the tube sweats?
Try this smart full length shirt dress, in the most delectable spring hue. A clog will give the look an on trend edge and double up on the shirting layers with a denim shacket in a creamy tone. Layer up your necklaces with pearls for clashing textures. And bracelets galore to match.
The body-con dress
Another great style of maxi dress that works from season to season. Often associated with autumn, the ribbed style makes for a great summer option too. Styled in the right way, it’s cosy and chic whilst keeping you cool in the office.
I love this sleeveless style, which can be smartened up with a pair of cowboy boots. Complete the western look with a leather jacket. Longer pendant necklaces will work and lashings of bold rings. Trust me, it works!
The cut out dress
This one is great for petites. If you’re short like me, I always look for belted styles, cinched-waist or cut-out details to create shape and allude to long legs. We’re obsessed with this floral cut out dress, which would make a great wedding guest outfit dressed up with platforms. But for the pub garden, team it with woven sandals and an oversized jute bag to transport you to sunnier climates. A chunky cardi will complete the look – very Little Women crossed with cottagecore.