Fashion & style advice for petite women. Here you can find fashion tips, resources, reviews, and fashion inspiration for petite women.

how to wear a maxi dress petite style tips eshne petite accessories how to style petite maxi dress

How to wear a maxi dress or skirt if petite

How to Wear a Maxi Dress or skirt if you’re Petite

Creating length and elongating your body is one of the key factors in styling petite women and maxis are perfect for this!  Because of its continuous color and pattern, maxi dresses can easily elongate your small frame.

Some quick tips if you’re shopping for a maxi dress:

  1. Try it with lace or sheer/lightweight fabrics for a less bulky look.
     

     

     

     

     
     
     
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    A post shared by Lucy Hernandez-Style Blogger (@lucyswhims) on

  2. The ideal length is for the hem of the skirts to be slightly above your heels.
  3. Avoid horizontal lines or patterns (small prints are best)
  4. Try maxi dresses with empire or high waist lines
  5. Add a slit!  Check out the tutorial HERE

For more check out some videos below for more tips & tricks on wearing maxis

Video 1: How to wear / style a maxi skirt

A guide for petite women under 5″ tall

Source: Daniels Corner Blog

Video 2: Petite & Tall: How To Wear a Maxi Dress

Source: Sydne Summer

Featured image source: Everyday Pursuits

how to style tips for petite women

Fashion Tips To Make You Look Taller from your favorite Petite Bloggers

Wear a top know or a high ponytail

Every inch counts when you’re petite! By piling your hair on top of your head, it can give the illusion of height.

Wear all one color

We’ve hears this one before but have you tried even matching your shoes?
The trick to dressing monochromatic is to keep everything well tailored.

Try Wide legged pants

To visually lengthen your legs, wear a high-waited pair of wide legged pants and tuck in your top so that your waist is defined. You can also wear a crop top to create this effect.  When the fit is right and worn with the right shoe, it can give you the illusion of having longer legs.

Scale your accessories

Making sure accessories especially purses are scaled to your body size is important for petite women.

Think clutches, cross-body bags, and mini satchels, and smaller sizes bags.

Rock a Maxi the right way

Most small women avoid long floor-grazing skirts and dresses but if you feel a bit overwhelmed in a maxi, try using a high low maxi. Don’t have a high low version? Follow our guide on How to add a slit to your maxi. Add a pair of wedges or heels underneath and you’re set!

 

Wear a plunging neckline

A plunging “V” necklines give the illusion of a longer torso

Check out our pinterest board for more of looks from petite bloggers!

For more petite fashion bloggers, check out our petite blogger feed

Sunglasses styles that are best for smaller faces

You know that the right accessory can make you feel sexier, bolder, and pull your outfit together.  Whether it be those sexy heels or that pair of sunglasses that will turn heads, a key fashion accessory can easily get you noticed. But which styles work best for petite women. We’ve rounded up the best styles of sunglasses for a small face.

Round

The key to solving dressing dilemmas that all petite women face is to have a wardrobe full of classic staples.  Round glasses are a great addition to a classic wardrobe. There are few shapes as simple and timeless as the round frame sunglasses. You really can’t go wrong with such a timeless look.

To rock this look, find a pair of round sunglasses that sits just above your eyebrows and right on your cheekbones. For more tips on finding the right pair, check out or post on finding the most flattering style style for your face.

 

 

Cat-Eye

Cat-eye frames are a versatile choice that can complement the features of most face shapes. You can instantly dress up a classic wardrobe with a statement making pair of cat-eye sunglasses. Women who wear cat-eyes are cool,  flirty, and bold. Think old Hollywood glamour. Cat eye glasses were a longtime favorite among fashion icons including the petite actress Audrey Hepburn.

Shop our  eye-catching, statement-making pair here.

Vintage style Cat Eye Retro Round Black Sunglasses_ front view_sunglasses for petite women

Metal frame sunglasses

This style features a delicate frame and a dainty silhouette that’s perfect for a small face. Metal frames have a very minimalist look and are generally a lot thinner and more lightweight than other sunglasses. Round Metal frame sunglasses are not just iconic, but the  slim frame lends to a better look on petite women.  Why not try our gold rim pair of sunglasses made for petite faces.

Metal frame gold rim round small size sunglasses with dark lens eshne sunglasses for small faces

 

For more fashion tips for petites, check out our Style Tips on the blog

For more style for small faces, check out our Sunglasses Collection

Featured image credit: Nany’s Klozet

 

lingerie bra for petite bust

Bra Solutions For Petite women: Reviews, Roundups, and Where To Shop

Finding bras that suit our body type and make us feel confident can be tough especially if you have a petite frame! We all know that sexy Petite Friendly Bra’s can be hard to find! But we found some great gems for you, showing reviews and a roundup of great bras for petite sizes, and even some styling tips and tricks.

Enjoy!

Video 1: Jens Happy Home

Loving this video as it shows a few different brands that are best for a small size.

Bras mentioned in this video: Body by Victoria Wireless bra, Where Everywhere lightly lined t-shirt bra, VS Lightly Lined Wireless Bra with mesh
VS Lightly Lines Wireless Bra, VS Bombshell bra (strapless multi-way), VS Pink Date Racerback bra, Aerie Sunnie Wireless Lightly Lined Bra
Aerie Sunnie Racerback Demi Pushup, JC Penney Warner Cloud 9 Wire Free, Bust Up Cups, Free Bra Silicone Strapless/ Backless

Video 2: Chloe Ting

This video is great for those of you who are smaller than 32 or find that a size 32 band is just a bit loose for you. Bonus fitness wear review!

 

Video 3: Theresa Huaroto

Tips & Tricks to make you look bigger

 

Now that you’re ready to shop for petite-friendly bras, here are some options on where to shop check out our list of Petite Lingerie shops.

If you’re looking for custom styles, check out our post on Handmade Lingerie for Petites

petite blogger spotlight_eshne_hautenooz_fashion blog

Petite Blogger Spotlight – Noozhat Nashir

Fashion Blogger Spotlight – Noozhat Nashir

For our latest petite blogger spotlight, we interviewed Noozhat Nashir, a fashion blogger from ‘A Hautenooz Affair’ to get her insight on fashion and lifestyle as a petite woman. She is a petite size blogger you need to know!!!

Blog: A Hautenooz Affair

Height: 4’11”

Location: Orlando, FL

Q&A

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I grew up thinking I would go into the field that my parents always expected me to, medicine. All my life was delicately molded to do just that. Until my junior year of college, when I did an art management internship in Madrid, Spain. That was a turning point, because I came back knowing that medicine was my parents’ passion for me, not my own. Sure, I finished school with the degree I started with, a BS in biology and chemistry with a focus on premedical sciences, because I hate quitting anything…But after graduating, I immediately got my Master’s in business, instead of going to medical school.

When did you start blogging and what made you want to start a blog?

I started with an Instagram account in August 2017, and launched my blog, A Hautenooz Affair (https://hautenooz.com) in March of this year. I had an Instagram before this, but used it maybe once or twice every few months before starting with my blog. I started blogging to express my love for fashion and travel with the rest of the world, and boy, has it really changed my life for the better! I’m such a creative person, and blogging has become amazingly cathartic for me as it allows me to use my creativity in every way possible. It’s been a wonderful challenge for me, and there’s nothing I love more than learning and growing by overcoming challenges!

How would you describe your style?

Bold, edgy, and super statement all the way. I also love leather, big ruffles and bows, lace…and of course designer labels!

What do you love about being petite?

I love to travel, so I love the fact that I can fit a week’s worth of clothes in my carry on, given how small the pieces are!

What are the challenges you face being petite?

This, I’m sure I have in common with all fellow petite women out there: I have an EXTREMELY difficult time finding clothes that fit, especially trendy items such as wrap tops and dresses. This is especially true if I’m trying to stay within a budget.

What are your favorite brands? Where do you shop?

I’m in love with For Love & Lemons, Alice + Olivia, and Marciano—they are wonderful for petite women! I love to shop at high end local boutiques that sell these brands!

Your favorite style bloggers

I love Micah Gianneli, she definitely speaks my style language…also a pretty big fan of Aggie Lal, even though she’s more on the travel side, I can’t deny her wonderful and effortlessly chic sense of style!

Best style tip for petite women

Pointed toe heels are magical when it comes to making you look taller than you are, more specifically in neutral shades such as grays, nudes, and pinks!

Be inspired and follow her on Instagram @hautenooz

petite blogger spotlight_eshne_hautenooz_fashion blogpetite-blogger-spotlight_eshne_hautenooz_fashion-blogger-min

For more check out all of our posts on Petite Fashion Bloggers, here!

For more petite fashion bloggers, check out our petite blogger feed

How to Look Older (And more sophisticated)

So you’re not built with long legs or you happen to have a baby face and you want to look older or be taken seriously. If you’re a grown adult who still looks like a teenager, then you’ve like heard the words ‘cute’ plenty more than you’d like. Sure “you’ll love it when you’re older” but what can you do right now to embrace your youthful look.

When you’re a petite woman and shorter than everyone else, it can be especially hard to look your age but this post is not just about what works for petites (tailoring, monochrome outfits, etc….you’ve heard them all before), its about giving you that edge to look older and more sophisticated.

  • Invest in a really great pair of heels 


    You’ll automatically look older and you’ll carry yourself more confidently.
    If you have small size feet, check out the collection in sizes 6 and under

  • Avoid overly casual looks (t-shirts, sweatshirts, uggs, sneakers, flip-flops, etc)

    It just makes you look sloppy and younger than you actually are. The same goes for sweatpants and hoodies, those are typically things you should save for the weekend. If you do want to dress casual, opt for basic classic styles and keep it simple.


    Source: Extra Petite

  • Avoid rhinestones, sequins, and floral

    Instead, look for zippers and fur, or leather

  • Try a moto or leather jacket

    There’s something about a well fitted jacket that instantly pulls together your look. You are almost guaranteed to look polished.

    Source: Olivia Rink 

  • Find a good tailor

    This can get expensive but you should get your most important work pieces tailored.

  • Invest in a quality pair of sunglasses

    Simply by adding chic glasses to your outfit, you’ll easily add a polished look to your entire appearance. Stay away from cheap or colorful ones and consider a classic style. If you have a narrow face, check out the collection in small sizes.

  • Wear Red Lipstick… Or any bold Lipstick color

    This is my favorite go to when I need a pulled together look.

    Source: Styling my life

  • Accessorize well

    The right jewelry can lend to a polished look but ill fitted jewelry can make even the most perfect clothing combination look haphazard. Avoid overly trendy accessories. The best fashion items are ageless and timeless. For those of you with small wrists, you can check out or latest collection here 

 

Best Jeans for Petite women

Finding the perfect pair of jeans is tough! And when you’re petite, you probably find jeans shopping especially stressful.  But before you ask or suggest the kids section, consider the proportions! Women have larger hips than children and for those of us with larger hips and thighs, shopping in the kids section is hardly a solution.  Ever tried to buy a regular sized pair of torn jeans and noticed the tear at the knee was way off? When it comes to jeans, it doesn’t always work to just shorten the length. But don’t worry our guide should here to help you find jeans that fit and flatter your petite figure.

By Inseam

Search by Inseam

50% off at Lands' End

Probably the best site you never heard of! Search By Inseam allows you to comparison shop at multiple online stores for the exact inseam you need.

By Brand

J.Brand

J.Brand offers petite sizes and the smallest size starting at 22!
You can find em online and at large retailers like Nordstrom.
Tip: search for sales on Nordstrom Rack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revolve

GRLFRND PETITE Karolina High-Rise Skinny Jean in A Little More Love

A bit more on the expensive side but they offer a large selection of styles.

Levi’s

For you extra petite ladies, check out the Levi’s Women’s Petite 512 Straight Leg Jean which has had great reviews from petites (and even not so great reviews for being too small!)

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What bloggers recommend

Jean from Extra Petite: “One of the best petite-friendly jeans that I discovered last year has to be Express’ “high-waisted legging jeans” in their short inseam. I’ve tried on lots of denim styles there, and this cut fits me the best by far (the mid and low-rise cuts run bigger at the waist),”

Source credit: Extra Petite

Kelly from Alterations needed: “A new fit from my go-to denim brand, Rag & Bone, these “Ultra Capris” are such a great ankle length for me, not to mention the knee distressing hits right at my knee. I wasn’t sure about this wash at first, but the blueish grey has been really versatile and the fading is flattering to the figure. If you’re petite and like Rag & Bone jeans, you should really check these out!”

Source credit: Alterations Needed

 

What the community recommends

Jeans / Jeggings from r/PetiteFashionAdvice

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

Comment from discussion Jeans / Jeggings.

For Skinny legs

Skinny jeans or pants for thin calves/ankles? from r/PetiteFashionAdvice

For Curvy petites

Favorite jeans for curvy and petite? from r/PetiteFashionAdvice

 

Miroslava

Petite Style Tricks From Miroslava Duma

Style Tricks from Miroslava Duma.

Can you beieve she’s  only 5 feet tall?? And yet Miroslava can pull off bold pieces and can layer lots of pieces without getting lost in them. And you can too!

Here are some of our style tips from the petite fashionista.

Wear monochrome

Black leggings are your best friend


Keep it short


Wear mini’s


Wear platforms


Check out our pinterest board for more looks from Miroslava Duma

Follow Eshne Petite’s board Petite Fashionista – Miroslava Duma on Pinterest.

Why Handmade is Better for Petites

 

Everyone knows the key to shopping when you’re petite is to find what fits and buy 10 of em! This works a million times better when you buy high quality products for obvious reasons but when you buy handmade fit is not an issue. Here are some more reasons why handmade is that much better for petite women.

Smaller sizing

Handmade usually not only carries smaller sizes but is often willing to include a smaller size just for you. That ring only comes in size 5? Ask and I bet they can make it in size 4; this is especially true for etsy shops that even have a Request Custom Order button! Etsy makes contact with the shop especially easy, much easier than any department store website.

Customizing your purchase

Since you’re talking directly with the person who is making what you buy they might be open to tweaking certain things just to cater to your needs. The strap on the bag too long? It’s no problem for them to shorten it before it’s sewed on.

Free alterations

I recently bought this Bralette from Handmade by Elma; not only was the bra gorgeous and well made, but I got a message from her asking how the fit was and she offered free alterations! This is huge if you’re petite since these costs add up.

black-lace-bralette-handmade-for-petite-eshne

 

Handmade products are unique just like you!

There’s just something about having a product that very few people own. People also seem to love items that aren’t from a big name company. Support the little people I say 😉

 

 

Quality

Yes handmade tends to be more expensive but the quality more than makes up for it. I saw tons of Bralettes for less than half of what I paid but you just imagine how quickly it will look faded or worn out. The products also last longer and are made using better products.  Counting removing the need for alterations, and the purchase is definitely worth it.

 

 

 

 

For more options on where to shop check out our list of Petite Lingerie shops.

Petite How To: Wear an Oversized Sweater

As a petite woman, we all know fitted clothing is a must. A loose baggy silhouette is not a good look for us!

But with a few adjustments, there are lots of great ways to pull off an over-sized sweater.

Warm, comfortable, and cozy….what’s not to love?

Here we show you the best ways to pull of this look on a petite frame without looking frumpy.

1. Belt It

You need to shave off some of the bulk of the sweater by cinching it around the waist.




2. Pair with super-skinny printed jeans and leggings Skinny, cropped pants make your legs look slimmer, more so when you wear a baggy sweater. With so many patterns and colors, this is a great way to try out some fashion-forward creative pieces.    



3. Flaunt those legs

We like the look of a baggy top with a micro mini, pencil skirt, or a shift dress.

 




4. Draw attention to your neck Balance the look by adding a chic element. Try a collared shirt worn underneath, a scarf,or a statement necklace.    



5. Wear a monochromatic outfit

Wearing all one color has a slimming effect.

 




6. Accessorize This moves the focus away from the heavy top and keeps you looking chic and polished.    



Check out our board for more looks we love!


Featured image Photo credit: Maria Morri/Flickr

Adding a slit to a maxi skirt

Ok so I saw this skirt at Macy’s on sale for $20. Super huge but I loved the pattern.
So I though why not, even though I’m petite and drowning in it, I’ll make this more flattering with a simple tweak and here’s how you can too:

how to add a slit to a jersey maxi before- eshne petite fashion
Using a small pair of sharp scissors:
1. Remove the waistband (save for later – optional)
2. Cut at the side seam of the skirt on the side you want the slit to be.
Important!!: My skirt was wide enough that I was able to make the original side seam the new slit in the front. If your skirt is not wide enough for this or not that big on you, you may just cut where you want the slit to be after trying it on. I suggest marking it with chalk before cutting.

how to add a slit to a jersey maxi cut- eshne petite fashion
With pins:
PIN BEFORE YOU CUT
3. Try on the skirt and shorten as needed. I took off a few inches from the top of the skirt since I will need to add the waistband back anyway and then pinned where the slit should fall.

4. If the skirt is not showing as much leg as you want, you can cut out extra fabric from bottom where the slit starts in a triangular shape (see red lines).

how to add a slit to a jersey maxi cut arrow- eshne petite fashion

 

how to add a slit to a jersey maxi pinned- eshne petite fashion

Sew:
5. Sew the slit to the top of the skirt using a stretch stitch
6. Sew back on the waistband using a stretch stitch or you can fold over the top and do a simple straight stretch stitch if you’re not a fan of a waistband (I like the option so you can make it longer or shorter by folding over the waistband depending on the heel!)
7. Optional : I choose to finish the sides of the slit although its jersey and doesn’t fray at the end just cause I thought it looked better (jersey is not easy to work with, I recommend leaving it as is if you’re a beginner to hate to sew)

Iron:
8. Ok I didn’t mention this one above, but better to iron before pinning and after sewing. I always forget but ironing makes it looks more professional and whatnot 🙂

Happy sewing!

 

how to add a slit to a jersey maxi before and after- eshne petite fashion1

 

 

The Petite Women’s Guide to Fall fashion

Hi ladies,

Can you believe fall is only two weeks away?! I tend to be sad at the idea of the end of summer but I’m excited for fall.  Runways were beautiful and the return to 70’s is always fun. But changing trends makes finding the right fit for your body type a constant search. Right when you think you have the low rise jean look figured out, fashion keeps it interesting and introduces high waisted jeans. Being petite can make you want to stick to skinny jeans, but as long as you know the right hem, fabric, and fit you will be all set!

 1. Culottes

Culottes are great for the fall, they give you coverage and a fun new look. They can also be tricky to find the right pair. For the petite figure look for culottes that are slimmer down the leg and are made of fabric that’s not too thick or overwhelming. Pair with heels or booties.

 

2. Flare Jeans

Flare jeans present the same challenge that culottes have for petite women, if worn wrong, could end up making you smaller.  So tip for flares, don’t go all out. You are probably use to wearing skinny jeans anyways, so even a little flare will still give you that bellbottom look you are going for. Like the culottes, look for jeans that are straight in the leg. Avoid any embellishments on pockets and go for the darker wash. When flared jeans are worn with heels it really gives the outfit a modelesque look.

3. One Simple Color

This trend actually is already tailored for the petite frame. Wearing all one color can not only  be elongating, but also slimming. One of the trends this fall is wearing all black or grey. Everyone owns at least 1 or 2 pieces of black clothing, which is great because you already know that they work with your body and now all you have to do is pair them together!

4. Chunky Sweaters

The oversized chunky sweater is a comfy and warm look that everyone should enjoy. You just want to make sure you don’t end up looking like a blob. Balance will be your friend for this look. With a heavy piece of clothing up top, make sure you balance it out below with leggings or skinny jeans. You can also try more of a cropped chunky sweater paired with high waisted pants to show off your waist and elongate your legs. For more, check out my post on how to wear an oversized sweater.

Check out our board for more looks we love!

Follow Eshne Petite’s board Petite How To: Wear Oversized Sweater on Pinterest.

Shop the Petite Look

Reese Witherspoon wearing a J.O.A. Tropical Safari Skirt, a black top, and a jean jacket.

Reese Witherspoon wearing a J.O.A. Tropical Safari Skirt, a black top, and a jean jacket. White ankle straps and a white bag tie the outfit together. We love how girly the petite star looks this time around. The outfit is perfect for Spring. Whether you’re looking for something flirty and fun or want a new casual look, check out where to shop the look below.

 
Petite shop the look- Reese Witherspoon

1. Eleanor’ Snake Embossed Ankle Strap Sandal (Women)

2. Mellow World Purse

3. Vince Camuto ‘Palm Horizon’ Pencil Skirt

4. Two by Vince Camuto Jean Jacket

5. V neck Crop Top

For more petite celebrities, check out our pinterest board
Follow Eshne Petite’s board Petite Celebrities on Pinterest.

Kerry Washington’s ‘Scandal’ Collection comes in Petite Sizes

The Limited has partnered with petite actress Kerry Washington and costume designer Lyn Paolo to create a special “Scandal”-inspired collection that launched last week.  The line comes petite sizes XXS through L and 00 to 14.  The collection, based on Kerry Washington’s character comes in  neutral and soft colors. True to her character’s style, you can find wide-leg pants with blazers, drapey feminine tops, striking outerwear and bold trims.  

I love that they worked with the costume designer for this collection. Lyn Paolo said, “We believe the collection tells a story of confidence and professional sophistication as well as maintaining a strong feminine point of view.”

Elliot Staples, head of design at The Limited, said “Our plaid round collar cape seamlessly translates television to reality and captures the true essence of the consistent sophistication and style that Olivia Pope represents for confident women everywhere.”

 Check out some of the looks:

Powerful and sexy: 'This line is created so that everybody can find their own inner gladiator,' Ms Washington added

(Photo : Courtesy The Limited) A piece for the “Scandal”-inspired collection.

Powerful: Teaming with costume designer Lyn Paolo and retail designer Elliot Staples at The Limited the trio have launched a series of dresses, tops, pants, jackets and outerwear
(Photo : Courtesy The Limited) A piece for the “Scandal”-inspired collection.

 

 

 Pair with Red Wine

Spies Like Us

Pretty in pink: The outfits could easily be costumes from Washington's hit show

(Photo : Courtesy ABC) 

Shop the collection here:

http://www.thelimited.com/features/scandal-collection-inspired-by-kerry-washington

 

 

Short Girls Can Rock Maxis: Seven Dress Looks

By Emily from Modern Midwest Maven

Hi everyone, Please say hello to Emily. She is the author and my guest blogger. Loved her post on Maxi’s Check it out…

Let’s face it, not all of us are Amazonian models with legs for days straight off the runway.  We come in all different shapes and sizes, and it should be embraced!  I am proud I’m wrapped up in a short package – one that packs quite a punch.  While being petite is great in lots of situations, such as getting a front row seat, or always being able to wear sky-high heels and never being taller than your date (well almost always!), clothes were definitely not made for our short and sweet frames.  Jeans, skirts and dresses are often inches to even a foot too long for my five foot one stature.  This can make shopping for these items frustrating.  I’m not always able to purchase and wear, instead having to wait for alterations and hemming to be done to the items. The last few springs and summers have brought the maxi dress trend front and center.  I think its a classic and glamorous way to feel pulled together and chic.  They come in all types of cuts, colors, and patterns.  This can cause some confusion and frustration when trying to find one that flatters your figure, and in my case, doesn’t swallow my frame and make me look short and stocky.  I’ve been lucky enough to find seven maxi dresses to add to my wardrobe over the past few years and I wanted to share them with you all to provide you some tips and inspiration when you decide to take the plunge and add one to your closet as well!

BRIGHT SOLID TIERED MAXI:

 

 

This dress was something I stumbled upon at one of my many visits to Nordstom Rack (if you haven’t noticed already, this is one of my favorite shopping haunts where I can always find great deals and the latest styles) and it ended up being my birthday outing dress last May.  When I saw it on the rack I was struck by the gorgeous red/coral color and the petite tiered detailing.  On the hanger it looked like I would have to chop off the bottom four or five tiers, but once I was in the fitting room, I realized the stretch lycra material hugged my curves and would be perfect with a pair of platform wedges.  To break up the solid color, I grabbed bold accessories in maize to pop and define my waist and accentuate my hourglass figure.  The braided leather belt, is also from Nordstrom Rack, and the maize and gold multi-strand statement necklace was from a new boutique in Ann Arbor, Hot Mama.  With everything together, the maxi gives a great summer pop of color, and is work or play appropriate – definitely a staple item I reach for often in the warm months!

BANDEAU SCHOOL-SPIRIT MAXI:

 

This dress was an unexpected score when I was in Atlanta last spring for the Final Four NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with my dad watching Michigan make its run all the way to the championship game!  We were out and about shopping in the Atlanta downtown and suburbs and found so many wonderful boutiques and stores that aren’t prevalent in the Midwest.  When walking into the shop, I spotted this dress immediately and thought how perfect it was, given the purpose of our trip.  Again, looking at the dress on the hanger, it looked miles too long, but once I had it on, and adjusted the bandeau strapless top up conservatively, I was pleased to figure out the dress would be perfect with a heel.  I love this look because the flowing empire-waist maxi is flattering on all figures!  It floats away from the body and minimizes your hips and legs, while emphasizing the upper body and bare arms.  I’ve worn this dress to different school functions, and think it would be a blast to wear to a beginning of the season football tailgate and channel all of those southern belle beauties of the south!  Pairing the dress with my Hot Mama beaded necklace is the perfect added touch to feel covered and appropriate with bare shoulders, but I have also thrown on a navy cardigan, or ivory blazer for a more covered, corporate look.

CHEVRON HI-LO MAXI:

 

 

Yet another score from Nordstrom Rack, I have loved this dress and its versatility in my maxi collection.  With a slight twist, and altered hi-lo hemline, this maxi shows off a little extra leg and elongates a shorty like me!  With the bold emerald and navy chevron print, interesting cut-out back, and playful hem, this dress is truly a home run.  The dressy satin material is a great feature to make this dress cocktail appropriate if needed, yet is airy and summery enough to be worn with wedges and sported for a grad party, wedding or bridal shower, or even a bar-b-q.  The sleeveless style has an empire elastic band waist which is the most flattering cut when it comes to maxis.  The key is to show off your waist, and create shape, despite the extensive amount of fabric the dress contains.  Here, I’ve paired the chevron print with cognac Steve Madden Wedges and a double-around matching braided belt from American Eagle.  These colors are a great neutral to add to your spring and summer accessory palette, are much less harsh than black, and look great when you’ve got a tan (I’m working on it!).  Unexpected touches are great, and this peek-a-boo  petal back detailing is just enough sexy while still being appropriate, and doesn’t require special undergarments.

COLOR-BLOCK ACCORDION PLEAT MAXI:

This sophisticated maxi was a steal from Banana Republic last summer!  My best friend, Marie, had been online shopping and let me know they had an insane 50% off online sale happening.  I had seen this dress in-store at the mall and couldn’t bring myself to spend almost $160 on it, and had been waiting for a situation just like this one to get it at a reduced price.  It was just my luck that Banana Republic had just marked down the dress to $120, and even sale items were a part of their deal, so I scored this dress for only $60 and free shipping!  I couldn’t believe my luck, and was thrilled when it arrived a week later.  The detailing is impeccable – from the triangle neckline, to the accordion pleat color block skirt, the dress just oozes sophistication and effortless glam.  The thick strap is a great feature, and I love the ribbon sash that gives me the ability to cinch the waist as tight as I’d like to define my shape and ensure I don’t look stocky or boxy.  The white, teal, and navy color palette has a hint of nautical appeal, and is great for any type of summer event such as weddings, cocktail parties, or vacations!  I’m even able to get away with wearing this with flats or a shorter heel, since the dress came in a petite.  Be sure to check for that option in-store or online, as it definitely helps when you are vertically challenged such as myself.

THREE-QUARTER SLEEVE MAXI:

 

This bold print maxi dress was a steal at Target for only $24.  Their juniors and women’s clothing area has greatly improved in the past few years, especially with the different guest celebrity and designer collections they bring in and feature on occasion.  I loved the bold print and coloring of this maxi, knowing I would have lots of options for layering with my existing wardrobe.  The cotton stretch dress is casual, and perfect for a day running errands or a daytime party.  The coral, nude, and blue color palette is perfect for spring and summer, and all of these colors are popular in stores currently.  I happen to have a coral cardigan sweater that I pair with this dress often to wear to work to stay warm in the air conditioning.  The three-quarter length sleeves are covering enough on their own as well, and the dress can definitely be worn alone.  Here I have paired the maxi with my coral Coach purse, and blue chunky stone necklace from Francesca’s.  The length was perfect for me to wear with flats, and I am looking forward to looking for some fun coral sandals for the summer!

WATERCOLOR PRINT MAXI:

 

Another steal from Target, this watercolor bandeau maxi dress was less than $20!  I immediately loved the unique print and coloring of this dress, and thought for sure it wouldn’t be too long for me to wear.  Boy was I right!  The stretch/elastic bandeau strapless top allows for adjusting to your comfort level, and the empire waist is great.  The skirt flows away from the body nicely and has side vent slits up to the knee for movement and ease when walking or sitting in the dress.  The watercolor floral abstract print has been very popular the last few seasons, and this blown-out look fits in perfectly with the trend.  The teals and mint greens contrast perfectly with the blacks and burnt reds.  I’ve added a beaded teal tassel necklace for some color coordination, and a bit of attention up towards the bare neckline.  This dress would be great to wear to the beach, or to a pool party as a cover up, and is definitely a vacation must!  You can always dress it up with a black cardigan, or bold teal blazer for a more dramatic evening-ready look.

ZIG-ZAG HALTER STRIPED MAXI:

 

 

This final maxi look was another vacation score.  While on spring break in Cancun in college with one of my best friends, and fellow cheerleaders, Leslie, I stumbled upon this maxi and took a chance.  This was my first ever maxi dress purchase, and was shocked when in the fitting room I discovered I would be able to wear this with a medium heel.  I couldn’t believe my luck!  I loved the bold zig-zag striped pattern and the halter/empire waist was very flattering to my petite frame.  I wasn’t swallowed by the fabric, and actually had a shape accentuated by the black waist band and flowing skirt.  The halter criss-cross back was an added fun summery detail.  The top has built in cups and padding so you are able to wear the dress au natural and not feel uncomfortable or scandalous.  It features plenty of coverage and while there is a plunging neckline, the maxi skirt provides an adequate balance and creates an overall classy look.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and have learned a little bit more about how to make maxis work for YOU!  Don’t let trendy styles intimidate you, and don’t be afraid to experiment and try on tons of styles until you find one that makes you feel fabulous.  Everyone deserves to feel like a million bucks and you definitely don’t have to spend nearly that much to accomplish it!  Enjoy the warmer weather, and try out some maxi styles just in time for summer.
Love,
Emily

 

About Emily Emily Ray, a sassy and sophisticated socialite with simplicity in her soul, writes her lifestyle look book Modern Midwest Maven, for the everyday fashionista who believes as she believes that life itself is a red carpet moment. Wolverine State born and bred and a former University of Michigan cheerleader (Go Blue), Emily is obsessed with make-up, shoes, and most importantly shopping. She enjoys spicy food, sports and she loves her furry four legged daughter, a dachshund named Sadie.