1. Pair with a button down for unexpected polish
image via Hallie Daily
You’d never think to pair a classic button down with a maxi skirt, but it does look amazingly polished. The trick? Make sure your maxi is structured, with a fitted waist and A-line fit—it shouldn’t be the straight-hanging, jersey maxi you wear to a backyard BBQ. Roll the sleeves and add your favorite necklace for a look Jenna Lyons would be proud of.
2. Mix up sweet details with edgy sandals
image via Atlantic-Pacific
Mixing different styles and breaking the rules is part of what makes style so much fun! So change up a delicate, feminine maxi by swapping your strappy heels for a pair of edgy gladiators.
3. Keep it (cropped) and flowy
image via Ms. Treinta
Typically, a flowy top and bottom would look aesthetically similar to adorning yourself in a trash bag, but opting for a flowy crop top makes it a flattering (and cool!) option in the summer heat. Why does it work? Letting a bit of your middle peek through shows off your figure and ensures your waist is still defined.
4. Battle boring with bold prints
image via B Soup
We get it—sometimes maxis just feel, well, like something Grandma would wear. One of the easiest ways to make sure it doesn’t feel dowdy is to go with an eye-popping print. (Bonus points if you mix your prints from top to bottom!) Remember, the trick to pulling off this look is to pair one bold larger print, with something smaller and busier.
5. When in doubt, go leopard
image via Seams for a Desire
If you’re leery of buying an ultra-bold print like the above (will I actually wear that, or just feel silly?) sometimes leopard is a great middle ground. After all, it’s a neutral—and is an easy way to feel super chic, yet modest at the same time.
6. Why yes, you can wear closed-toe flats
image via See Jane
Ah, the age old question: “It’s too cold for sandals; I don’t want to wear heels—what the heck do I wear with a maxi skirt?” As tempting as it may be, ballet flats are not the answer! But their close cousin, the pointed d’orsay flat, is! Worn with the wrong outfit, ballet flats can easily take an ensemble from fabulous to frumpy but a pointed toe has a little more sophistication to make it just right.
7. Add a leather jacket for an edgy twist
image via Miss Pandora
Love to make a statement? A tulle maxi is surprisingly versatile. Make it casual for daytime with a plain white tee and leather jacket. It’s also the perfect piece for a formal occasion with a silk cami, strappy heels andstatement earrings.
8. Go tomboy chic
image via Happily Grey
The athleisure trend is just about everywhere these days, so why not add some tomboy appeal to your maxi? The key to pulling off this look is opting for a neutral (all-white is a great option) sneaker, mixed with a flowy maxi that has a bit of a slit. This ensures you don’t look too covered up or frumpy!
More tips to maxi-mize versatility:
- Length: A maxi’s length can vary greatly, from a couple inches above the ankle all the way down to the floor. For the most flattering, go with a cut that is either above or below your ankles. A skirt that is exactly ankle height can cut off your legs and make you look like a tree stump. If you always feel “stumpy” when wearing maxis, try one that has a slit at the leg, which often can feel less restricting and elongate the legs.
- Define the waist: Whatever you’re wearing on top, make sure you define your waist, whether it’s with a belt, tucking in, or tying up your shirt—this avoids the dreaded “paper bag” syndrome.
- Material: Stay away from tight maxis in ultra-thin, clingy material—they show everything. No matter how many squats you’re doing in the gym, those skirts are never flattering! As a rule of thumb, if you get a line from your underwear or from tucking in your shirt, put it back on the rack!