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Maxi Dresses for Spring/Summer 2008

Monochrome Maxi Dresses

We were going to skip writing another maxi-dress post, but then we realized the monochrome angle hasn't been properly articulated. Like our wanting to constantly discuss the recession, we just can't let this topic go down without a fight.

The allure of a maxi dress. Picture the follow scenario:

It's a sweltering day. Perhaps you've reached the dreaded "in between" stage in your shaving/waxing/laser hair removal regime and donning a skirt would be unwise. Putting in the effort to style an outfit just isn't worth it, as you're likely to end up looking like a sweat-soaked fashion victim with your carefully selected designer duds sticking to your most unflattering bits.

Save yourself a drycleaning bill (recession, after all), because at this point, throwing on a tent-like thing sounds like a winning idea. As Spring/Summer picks up, the fashion blogosphere is buzzing with love for the maxi (as we gave them shout in our print-centric maxi post) . Our network partners Shopalicious and Margarite Elaine have been busy picking their favorite styles. She Finds discovers them at bargain prices on Bluefly, Catwalk Queen advises against ruffled versions, and Budget Babe ponders how best to wear them. We're thinking, with flats. Definitely flats. You don't want to resemble a circus freak on stilts, as the elongating, column-like silhouette doesn't require more height. Try a flat leather sandal (see our paean to Devotte shoes).

Print verus monochrome:

Because the maxi covers almost the entire body, and a busy pattern can become positively seizure-inducing when draped over a large surface area -- especially one that walks and moves. If you're nervous about print stick to the solid hues, as they tend to be slimming and are an easier, simpler way to wear this length. The idea is to use those long lines and draping fabrics to create an elegant, willowy silhouette that flatters. If you find, however, a print that you're drawn to, like we were to many of the DVF options, there are just a few styling rules to adhere to.

The rules:

We like the maxi accessorized, but don't overdo it. We're not trying to channel the jewelry-laden gypsy chic from the last time this trend came our way. Oversized earrings, a small necklace, or a couple of stacked bangles will do, and not all at once. We also like big bags to cart around all our summer essentials. If wearing a print, choose a solid leather bag, and if wearing a solid hue, try punching the look up a bit with a bright or printed canvas tote. You'll look (and feel) as cool as a cucumber.

Finally, we're maxed out on the maxi-topic. Now let's everyone slip into one and go for a celebratory ice cream cone. We promise we'll go to the gym with you tomorrow.

The monochrome spread:

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