Maxed Out

One of the most important things to keep in mind when going shopping is the versatility of a piece of clothing. I don’t know how many times I’ve become frustrated after buying a blouse I can only wear with that one pair of pants—only to get home and realize that the blouse wasn’t as “perfect” as I had envisioned.

Choosing versatile pieces takes time (and therefore patience), a little more effort, and having a good knowledge of what is already in your wardrobe. However, once you’ve mastered this skill your outfit options will become virtually limitless.

To get you started I want to share just a few of the ways to style one of my biggest obsessions and a piece that certainly keeps on giving—the maxi dress.

Max Azria/Gerdman/Derek Lam

Designers no doubt understand the adaptability of the maxi dress for all occasions and seasons, and have reinvented the piece time and time again. This season designers dawned the maxi with florals and jewels while others kept it basic with solid neutral colors. Not to get ahead of myself, but Derek Lam even created a maxi for fall in a beautiful, rich red-color (shown above).

Maxi at Nordstrom Shrug at Net-a-porter
Runway Max Azria

Whether you’ve been invited to an outdoor summer wedding or formal summer event a maxi dress is a great option, especially in Arizona, because it is not only comfortably chic but also cool. To accomplish this look choose a bright solid-color dress that has a little extra flow. Make sure that the straps are thinner for a more elegant look and pair with a sheer shrug and a sexy pair of heels.

At Net-a-porter

Speaking of weddings, maybe you are the bride-to-be. Looking for a wedding dress that you can actually where again…and again and again? Designers have created exquisite white maxi “gowns” fit for an over the top wedding extravaganza or a simple beach ceremony.

Maxi at Saks Cropped Sweater at Net-a-porter
Photo at Free People

The maxi dress isn’t just adaptable to different occasions, but it is also versatile in nature. Feel like you’ve been seen in your maxi one too many times? Throw a cropped sweater (I can’t help but sneak a little bit of fall in) or tee over and voila! your maxi dress is now a maxi skirt. Get creative with this look by mixing textures, colors, and prints to create a myriad of different looks.

At Net-a-porter

Although the appropriateness of wearing a maxi dress to work has been hotly debated, I think that if you are careful and deliberate with your accessories then—yes you can wear a maxi to the office. Keep your look professional with neutral colors, wider straps, a fitted blazer and classic pumps. Then when 5 o’clock hits, ditch the pumps and throw on a pair of funky wedges for an evening-glam look.

By Kristianne Young

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