An ode to: the maxi dress

I don’t usually become obsessed with certain styles until they’ve been around for at least a year, so I know they’re legit. Case in point: skinny jeans (I didn’t start to embrace those until last fall). More recent example: the maxi dress.

I already have a feeling it’s going to be my summer uniform.

Since it started to get warmer, I’ve been wearing dresses everyday. Not only do they look super cute, it’s an entire outfit in one (bonus) and just needs a few accessories. I’ve been loving the maxi dress because it’s so easy to dress up, dress down, or throw a sweater over when it gets chilly.

Even though “chilly” in Tucson is 90 degrees on a summer night. You know 🙂

las vegas 018

They’re also perfect for traveling. I wasn’t too freezing on the plane –since I had a sweater- and I didn’t have to change before we walked around Vegas. I also wore it over my swimsuit to the pool and goofing around with the beautiful statues. A great multi-purpose outfit 😉

me (3)

The above maxi dress was 29.99 from H&M 🙂

I’ve talked about this before, but I was SO afraid to try maxi dresses because of my height- I thought they were only made for the super tall. So not true!


(A steal from TJ Maxx- Max Studio for $49)

Some tips for wearing maxi dresses:

-pick one major accessory and rock it- medallion earrings, a cuff bracelet or a fun necklace are my faves

don’t go too crazy with the prints. Pick a smaller, more neutral print or go with a solid color- it will keep the look more classic.

-If you decide to go for all black during the day, or a more dressy style, keep the look more daytime-appropriate with structured sandals, messy hair (like a falling-out side fishtail braid or beachy waves) and a hobo bag.

Lauren_Conrad_Maxi_dress Source

(Lauren Conrad = queen of the maxi dress)

Have you fallen in love with maxi dresses? Where’s your favorite one from?

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  1. Claire on June 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Is that maxi from H&M recent?

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      yep just got it a month or so ago

  2. Kelly on June 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Love the maxi dress too! It is flattering for all figures!!

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      and it hides my in-between belly 🙂

  3. Tamara on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Love the pattern on yours! Super cute.

    I just bought my first pair of skinny jeans last weekend. How’s that for holding out? ;D

  4. kaleigh on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I scored one at my local thrift store that I often hunt at. It was from OLD NAVY and the perfect print in bright coral! I love it, because it makes me feel a bit fancy when in reality i’m totally slobbing it out (i.e. much to my bfs discontent, legs don’t “have” to be shaved when wearing one….) ; )

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm


    • Shareece on June 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Haha I saw this comment and laughed at the no shaving part.. it’s SO true though! Love it.

  5. Joelle on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    They scare me. Maybe I’ll just try one on next time I see one I like

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      don’t fear the maxi dress 🙂

  6. Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I LOVE Maxi dresses…on anyone but myself! I don’t know what it is but I don’t find them flattering on me…maybe cuz I’m shorter. I’m determined to find a nice summery one though! They look great with wedges or flat sandals too.

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      omg you could totally rock it 🙂

    • Kathie R. on June 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      I agree! You could “totally rock it” as Gina said. I’m only five feet (and a quarter inch — of course!) and I was afraid to wear them for that reason but I soon found out that I can wear them and look cute!!! Def try to wear one..Old Navy has some reallyyyyy cute ones right now, too! :o)

  7. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on June 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Another amazing thing about maxi dresses: They mean you can still wear dresses even when your legs aren’t shaved!!!

    • Kathie R. on June 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Amen!!!! =)

  8. Kathie R. on June 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    You will also find, now that you’re preggers (yayaya)..that Maxi Dresses during the Summer with the soon to be pertruding belly (or in my case already pretruding bc im 20 weeks)…is an ideal and a staple piece for the Summer! Don’t be surprised if this is your go-to attire trend for the season. :o)

    Thanks for the tips on how to accessorize them also. I’m not one to know too much about that and I really found this informative.

  9. Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty on June 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I have a few of them, but I only wear them on vacation. When I do wear them though, I feel so feminine and pretty!

  10. Sarah for Real on June 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I’m scared of the maxi dress. I’m afraid they’ll just swallow my legs and waist entirely! After seeing yet another maxi-phobe turn to the other side, though… I’m thinking about at least trying one on.

  11. Vivianne on June 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I haven’t gotten into maxi dresses… I’m still very wary of them :/ I feel like everyone pulls them off except me! I don’t have a lot of curves so I feel like they make me look frumpy.

    Maybe I’ll try one soon. We’ll see (;

  12. Jenna (hello, i love you) on June 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Love the maxi! I live in them now that I am at the very end of my pregnancy and it is so hot outside.

  13. Suzanne on June 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I think this is the only style that I’m obsessed with but don’t own. I tried one on on a whim last summer at Banana Republic- I had a bad cut on my leg, and was going to a wedding and wanted to cover it. Before that, like you, I was convinced I was too short for them. I loved it and it was so comfortable but didn’t end up getting it, and have been regretting it since! I’m on the lookout for a solid black or gray jersey one now!

    • Kate on June 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

      New York and Company has great jersey ones. The store by me didn’t have any but online had some really cute ones. I may or may not have worn it the past two days;) Didn’t think it would work on my frame. But I am in love!!

    • Jaime on June 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      I recently got a solid black jersey one from Old Navy. I was always afraid of them because I’m super short (about 5 feet), but I was recently trying to cover up a walking cast while on a trip and it worked perfectly…concealing the bulky cast while still managing to look cute! But I love the Old Navy ones and the prices are great too!

  14. Desi @ Domestic Diva in Training. on June 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I absolutely LOVE my maxi dresses. They make getting dressed so easy, I think that they are even easier than the jeans and t-shirt combo and WAY more stylish. I have had the opposite problem with dresses, finding them long enough that they look like a true Maxi dress. I have actually had great luck with Old Navy of all places. I guess they make theirs a little extra long. 🙂 I am slowly building up my collection, in the Vegas heat nothing is cooler that a dress that you feel like you aren’t wearing.

  15. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen on June 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I love the idea of maxi dresses but everyone I’ve tried on I think looks horrible! And I’m not short either (5’7). Maybe I just haven’t found the right one?
    I love the Lauren Conrad’s look!

  16. lizzy on June 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    totally just got into this trend myself. i just purchased my first maxi and i’m waiting for it to come in the mail! so excited!

  17. Sarah on June 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I have a great maternity maxi from old navy. I’m selling it on ebay right now and thought of you when I saw this post. I wore it all the time last summer when I was pregnant and i too am vertically challenged…ha ha!
    Here’s the link if you’re interested. My favorite part is that the straps are adjustable!

  18. Vicki on June 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I would love more maxi dresses, they are so versatile and great for summer.

    Unfortunately I only have 1 black one. I’m 5’10” and most dresses are way too short on me. The black one is from a tall range and it could do with being an inch longer, even when I’m in flats. Can’t wear it with heels at all 🙁 I think it’s be easier to be petite because then at least they can be taken up!

    I do like my black one though, because it is jersey and feels more structured than some of the dresses I tried on. Some of them are just so much fabric that it’s like wearing a tent.

  19. Dani on June 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Ones that are gathered with ruching and elastic under the boobs help create “shape” rather than the typical potato sack styles. I just got a new maxi dress from the RIDIC Bloomies sale they were having earlier this week.

  20. LeeAnn on June 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I was scared of the maxi dress until my mom sent me one as a gift-no I am in love!

  21. Kim @ girlevolving on June 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    The other bonus about dresses – they’re more forgiving as you grow! Which means less clothes you have to buy that you’ll only wear for 5 months… money save!

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      yep! that’s why i’ve only been buying dresses 🙂

  22. Crystal on June 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I have a cute maxi dress that I wear a braided belt with, and it helps create a defined waist (something I’ve always been self conscious about). I find cute ones at Macy’s or JCP (original, I know)

  23. Jessica on June 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Definitely not in love, but I guess it depends on the person wearing them and how they’ve styled it.

    I think if you’re not careful they look frumpy. I also think they look a tad matronly, but again, perhaps the right style would eliminate that.

    I bet many men out there hate them. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      the pilot used to hate them (last summer) but now he’s a fan 🙂

      • Jessica on June 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm

        Good to know that it can happen.

        Now only to change an opinion on empire waisted shirts. 😀

  24. Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! on June 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I just bought my first maxi dress and I LOVE it! I didn’t think I would, but I’ve totally fallen in love with the flowy style and beautiful pattern. It’s this one from Anthropologie and I wear it with a thick brown belt around the waist and either orange and turquoise accessories: I am so happy that I’m on board with the trend, too! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      So cute!!

  25. Maria on June 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I’m about to buy my first maxi dress from VS!! I’ve always been nervous to try them because I’m afraid they’ll make me look “shlumpy”. But I saw a super cute one that keeps haunting me in my dreams. Also, side note about the first picture you took…When you first told us that you had some BIG news to share on your blog I thought you could possibly be pregnant and then I saw this picture…Pilot-champagne glass/Fitnessista-just a regular juice glass 🙂 Not stalkerish, just observant 😉

  26. Jerilynne on June 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    You have the most perfect timing with this post. I just bought my first maxi dress this week for a graduation party I’m going to tomorrow. I was still on the fence a little because I HATE wearing dresses (I know I’m in the minority on this one… but I HATE them), but now I think I’m just going to suck it up and wear the dress!

  27. Emily on June 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I always worry about wearing a Maxi dress that people will think I’m pregnant. Guess that doesn’t matter as much for you! 🙂

    • Krista on June 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Emily…I feel that way too and my “baby” is 9yrs old! 🙂

  28. Lina @ Lil B in the Big C on June 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    OMG, you are preachin’ to the choir!! I’m 5’2″ and I definitely thought I was too short for a maxi! It’s legit my staple this summer!! They’re so great for absolutely everything and you can dress them up and down!

  29. Andrea on June 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I soooo want to wear these. I’m 5’2″ish and afraid. Maybe I’ll try. I just tried a romper a couple of weeks ago, and ended up loving it, I wore it with a sweater and wedges, and it was super cute. Are wedges appropriate with the maxi dress? I’d probably feel better if I added some height.

    And, LOL to the shaving thing. I’m sure many men hate them 🙂

  30. Laura @ Backstage Pass on June 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    LOVE maxi dresses! My favorite is an ELLE dress from Kohls, in a black and white graphic / floral print. The top is structured / boned, with a cute zipper accent on the bust. I’ve dressed it up for weddings (LOVE the long skirt for dancing!), down for a glamourous look at a daytime baseball game, and will try pairing with a sweater for a work outfit.

  31. Sam on June 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I really like them but have been too afraid to try one on lol. And I am even 5’10”! I think I will try one on next time I go shopping…I especially love that white one of lauren conrad…sooo nice!

  32. Jess on June 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve had this peacock print maxi-dress since I was 14 but it took until this year for me to finally wear it “for real” and not just on Halloween with a hippie headband. I wonder if I’d have bought it then knowing it would take 11 years for the “aha” moment, but I’m glad I did. It’s quickly becoming a summer favorite.

  33. Annie D @ Annie's Simple Life on June 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    YAYAY I love maxi’s!

  34. Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine on June 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Love, love, love them! I especially love that even though I am 7 months pregnant I can still wear most of the ones that I already have and it makes the belly look so cute!

  35. mi-an on June 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    omg i sooo love maxi dresses!! but i feel like that’s one fashion snafu i cannot pull together! i always feel like i look more pregnant than sexy! ugh

  36. Betty on June 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve tried on a few but they just don’t work for me. I’m too short and it makes me look weird. At least that’s what I think. Maybe I just haven’t found the “right” one for me 🙂 I love them on other people though.

  37. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on June 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    If you live in So Cal and you’re not wearing a maxi dress, you’re in the minority 🙂

    I think that every.single.woman I know, owns at least one of them and lives in them.

    They are great for covering up with and look pretty and are comfy, i.e. no waistbands or anything tight! which is a bonus and you can put one on and look more put together than baggy gym clothes but the comfort level is still the same…it’s all about comfort levels for me 🙂

  38. Sara @BakingandWine on June 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I always disliked maxi dresses, also because of my height, and partially because of my weight. I’m very pear shaped and they never seemed to flatter. In the last month or so of my pregnancy though they have become my go to outfit. They definitely flatter the baby bump and my God, they are SO comfortable. After I have the baby I will probably keep wearing them, but I prefer to get them hemmed so they hit an inch or two below my knee, instead of all the way to the ground.

  39. Hallie on June 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    My favorite one is all black, thin and super comfy.. best of all, it was only $15 from Forever 21!

  40. Sana on June 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I love love love maxi dresses, they look awesome and are super easy to slip on and off!

  41. Gina (Yogattude) on June 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I finally tried one on the other day that I LOVED! But then I ended up not getting it because I didn’t want to go through the hassel of getting it hemmed (and that its still 65 degrees here in Seattle…)

  42. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on June 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I LOVE maxi dresses!!! All my favorites are from Target! 🙂

  43. aneessa on June 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I am such a huge fan for the maxi dress. I too am pretty short and thought the maxi would look awful on me, but it doesn’t, it looks great! Super simple outfit that is slimming and stylish. love it!

  44. Christine (The Raw Project) on June 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Maxi dresses are adorable, wish I had more opportunities to wear them!

  45. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on June 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Ah, I love the maxi on you (and LC! haha), but I still feel like I’d be too short to wear it! I’m really petite (5 ft tall, holler), so maxi might not be a good idea,, I’m torn!

  46. Courtney @ Sweet Tooth Sweet Life on June 18, 2011 at 2:59 am

    LOVE the maxi dress!! My favorites all came from Target, Forever 21, and Old Navy, and I get compliments on them all the time. They’re so comfy!

  47. Janiek on June 18, 2011 at 3:41 am

    After this post I might buy a maxi-dress after all…. I am so afraid of them because of my height. I’m not even that short: 5’6, but here in Holland, I am definetly on the shorter side, so the dresses are always too long for me!!

  48. Chelsa on June 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

    ooooo I love that white one that LC is wearing. She’s such a pretty lady and so are you!

  49. Brigid of Vegging out in T-Town on June 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I’m 5’3″ and had the same concern as you, but I finally bought one and LOVE it! I want more, but I have to find ones that accommodate my (kind of massive) bustiness. Most have spaghetti straps, a no-go for me. Mine is from Target and cost $25, I think.

  50. Ashley on June 19, 2011 at 1:06 am

    The best places for maxi dresses is Target! They are so cheap. I love them so much because I can still wear a dress and be nice and cool on days I am too lazy to shave my legs, hehe. 😉

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