I love to dress modestly, and most of the dresses in my wardrobe are midi or maxi in length. The main reason why I love long dresses is because of my body shape. I do not have pronounced curves to showcase. Often when I wear tight-fitting dresses, I can see my stomach bulge, my back sausages, and the dimples on my hip area. I love my body, but I prefer to keep intimate details of my nooks and crannies to myself and not for the whole world to see. That is a personal preference, and I encourage you to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, confident, and happy.
Since I have bought a lot of maxi dresses through the years, I have had to find some tips and tricks to help elevate my outfits, and today I will share with you some of the ways I style loose-fitting maxi dresses so that I do not drown in so much fabric. You can also find a video covering this topic on my Youtube Channel!
1. Cinch your waist with a belt
Adding a belt will corral the fabric into one area around your waist and allow the rest of the material to flow down in a flare. This helps to accentuate your waist and gives you a lovely silhouette. The main advantage of adding a belt a loose-fitting maxi dress is that you can create an illusion of having a smaller waist and a wider hip.
2. Go for short sleeves or sleeveless
If your loose-fitting dress has sleeves, you can fold the sleeves or pull them up to allow for more skin to show, so the fabric does not fully cover you. Going short-sleeve works well for summer months, but not so much so in fall and winter. Furthermore, you can buy a sleeveless dress, and having some skin out can make the outfit look not so bulky.
3. Less is more on jewelry
Since loose-fitting dresses tend to have so much going on already, you may want to go easy on the jewelry to limit the amount of activity surrounding you. This depends on whether your dress is full and tent-like, in which case, less jewelry is the way to go. However, If it is loose-fitting but somewhat contained and you do not want to attract attention to the ill fit, you can add one statement piece of jewelry to distract from the dress.
4. Carry a small bag
You want the bag you be small to reduce the bulkiness that is inherent to loose-fitting maxi dresses. Go for a small handheld bag such as a clutch, wristlet, or a small crossbody. You want to avoid looking like you are moving around with all your possessions. Unless, of course, if that is the look you are going for.
5. Top with a cropped jacket/blazer/cardigan
Wearing a blazer, cropped cardigan, or jacket has the same effect as the belt in tip one, in that it brings the top part of your outfit together. This works perfectly well if the top layer you are adding is cropped and ends right above or at your natural waist. As such, everything below can flare out, giving your outfit a fit and flare type of effect.
6. Wear less bulky shoes
I advise wearing some form of strappy sandal or flipflops (if you are just around the house or running some errands). The main goal of styling a loose-fitting maxi dress is to lighten the load/baggage that it comes with to your body, and simple, delicate sandals will do just that. However, in fall and winter months, wearing a loose-fitting dress with some high knee boots, but with a long fitted coat or jacket, can have such a dramatic effect when the dress peaks out while you walk or pose for photos. The coat works to tame the wild fabric, and that is what we are aiming for.
7. Use dress as a beach cover-up
Most beach cover-ups tend to be loose-fitting midi and maxi dresses to allow for relaxed putting on and putting off. Getting that short-sleeved (preferably sleeveless) loose-fitting maxi dress you have in your wardrobe, will save you money come beach season. You can even add a floppy hat, and although beach hats tend to be big, you have to protect yourself from the harmful sun rays. With everyone having fun, you don't have to worry about the fashion police!
8. Rock it loose at home
When lounging at home, you can get away with rocking that loose-fitting maxi dress you did not know how to style. You are in your comfort zone, away from prying eyes, it is the best time to air your body without restrictions. I use my maxi dresses without a bra for lounging, especially when the air conditioner is one over the summer, and my stomach and boobs, always thank me for that!
9. Sewing Alterations
Unleash the inner tailor in you if you have a sewing machine and alter the dress to your liking. Sometimes you buy the dress because you like the color, or you like the fabric, but not the loose fit. There is so much room for error given the amount of material you have to play with. So I say, on your marks, get set, CUT!
10. Go the short dress route
This works perfectly if you are short because maxi dresses are the worst offenders when it comes to swallowing you up to a point where you cannot be found even by Agatha Christie's Poirot. So I encourage you to buy a shorter, loose-fitting dress instead of going the maxi route if you are short or if you are skinny. Having your legs out instead of being buried in the fabric can easily elevate your outfit!
I do hope that you will find these tips useful in your quest to be fashionable and in finding your style. If you have suggestions or questions, please leave a comment, and I will answer to the best of my knowledge.
With so much love,