How to Style a Maxidress for Summer

Minimum effort. Maximum style.

A woman shows how to style a maxidress.

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Maxidresses just might be the trickiest summer dress to style. Simply put, a floor-length dress doesn’t leave you much styling real estate. Most of the look is, after all, the very long dress, but that’s not to say it’s impossible to add your personal touch and aesthetic. You just need the right accessories, styling ideas, and inspiration.

Ahead, you’ll find 14 fun and fresh ways to style a maxidress that won’t get overwhelmed or overshadowed by the signature dress in question. From flowy maxidresses akin to beach coverups to columned ruffle maxis and everything in between, we thought of every style, too.

Under a Knit Tank

A woman shows how to style a maxidress under a knit tank.

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If you find yourself getting a bit swallowed by a maxidress — especially one that has longer sleeves — we highly recommend slipping a knit tank over it. A slightly snug fit is best here, as is contrasting materials or patterns. Trust us, it's a 30-second trick that'll take a boho maxi out of cottagecore territory.
Shop Similar: Maje Asymmetrical Knit Top, $325.

With a Chain Belt

A woman shows how to style a maxidress.

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Cinching a dress at the waist to create an hourglass silhouette isn't a new idea, but it's one that we return to for good reason. Swap out your usual belt for a trendy multi-strand chain belt for a look that's classic, but still very of the moment.
Shop Similar:
SASHI Classic Layered Coin Belt, $68.

Mix Metals

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with mixed metals.

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If you've got a maxidress that includes some metallic details through embroidery, embellishments, or thoughtful stitching, we recommend mixing up the metals by carrying a contrasting statement purse.
Shop Similar: Verono Hill Amanda Jodie Handbag, $149.

With Platform Loafers

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with platform chunky loafers

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For a look with a bit of a punk edge, wear a gingham or plaid maxidress with a pair of stacked loafers. A purse or tote that owes its structured lines to a vintage physician's bag keeps things firmly on the fashionista side of the style spectrum.
Shop Similar: Nasty Gal Leather And Suede Mix Chunky Loafer, $83 (Originally $208), and Brandon Blackwood Elizabeth Doctor Bag, $375.

Over a Button-Down

A woman shows how to style a maxidress over a button down shirt.

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Adding a button down is one way to bring big street style energy to a maxidress that might otherwise feel a bit too formal for daywear. A simple white button down looks great under a spaghetti strap maxi, but don't be afraid to mix things up with a colorful linen or even a peasant blouse.

With a Vest

A woman shows how to style a maxidress under a vest.

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Vests are having a moment this summer and you can bring the romantic energy of a slightly oversized vest to your favorite maxi dress. A vest in a neutral color or subtle pattern works especially well on a dress with a loud print.

With a Western Belt

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with a thick belt.

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Break up the long lines of a maxi by cinching your waist with a Western-style belt. To give the look a rustic, Coastal Cowgirl edge, add cowboy boots and a textured leather bag.
Shop Similar: Banana Republic Leather Corset Belt, $149.

Mix Prints

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with mixed prints.

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For a whimsical look that transitions beautifully from daytime to evening, we recommend mixing prints and mixing them well. Since maxis take up so much visual attention, you're going to want to throw as many different prints as it as possible, from jewelry to shoes to hair accessories, for the most contrast.

Add Cut-Outs

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with a cut-out top.

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If you like to stand out from the crowd, you're going to want to try this unconventional maxidress styling trick ASAP. Rather than layering on a conventional belt, try wearing a cut-out heavy crop top or harness atop your dress.
Shop Similar: Current Mood Divided Attention Harness Top in Vegan Leather, $58.

With Chunky Sandals

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with chunky sandals.

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For a daytime look that's comfortable but still serves, we recommend slipping into a pair of chunky, athletic sandals. Adding a structured statement purse adds just enough elevation to ensure this maxidress look reads put together, not thrown together.
Shop Similar: Teva Flatform Mevia, $80.

Add a Headband and Heels

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with a statement headband and heels.

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One of our favorite ways to style a maxidress, especially one with lots of details, is to create some visual connectivity from head to toe. Together, a bold headband and stylish heels that share embellishments like rhinestones or finishes like iridescence act as the cherry on top of a very fashion-forward 'fit.
Shop Similar: Lele Sadoughi Smoked Latte Swarovski® Tresor Holly Headband, $595, and SCHUTZ Lou Pump, $118.

With a Blazer and Flip-Flops

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with a blazer and flip-flops.

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Have a formal dress and nowhere to wear it? No problem. You can wear your fanciest evening maxidress to brunch, date night, or even the office if you add a roomy blazer on top and flip-flops as your footwear.

Under a Cropped Jacket

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with a cropped jacket.

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You can add contour and shaping to even the most voluminous maxidress by wearing it under a cropped jacket that hits your natural waist. This works especially well if you're petite and find yourself and your curves getting lost inside a maxi's length.

Keep Things Casual

A woman shows how to style a maxidress with sneakers and a bucket hat

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Add a casual vibe to a maxidress by mixing and matching laidback accessories. Sneakers, bucket hats, and colorful purses are all ways to add some playfulness to the refined silhouette of a maxi.

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