Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our Favourite Maxi Dresses

Nobody's happier than me to see maxi dresses in stores again this season. Long and breezy, they embrace the beach and dress up for dinner effortlessly. The best part? If you've failed to get bronzed legs by July or missed your date with [insert favourite razor brand here], nobody's the wiser. Here are five fabulous maxi dresses that I'm loving right now.
First up, and also my biggest maxi dress crush, this long beach dress by local Toronto designer, Samantha Stoncius. The subtle scoopneck and bold print, accented by a pop of colour around the waist, is very sexy sophisticated but still really fun. The jersey style material is fully lined, hiding any little figure flaws, a detail you don't always get at a $115 price tag. The beach dress is available at Fresh Collective's Queen West and Roncesvalles boutiques in two black & white prints and a few perfect for summer solids. I love it paired with boho elements like the feathered earrings it was styled with or possibly a crazy stack of shiny bangles and big earrings for a more glam approach. 
This handkerchief hem maxi, $129.50, from Banana Republic cheats the category a bit since it hits just above the ankles but... my list, my rules! I'd keep this one simple with ladylike pearls or delicate charm necklaces. Armed with a sweet clutch, I'd flounce into any bridal shower, preferably with some brightly coloured kitten heels or wedges. 
If you're looking to set the town on fire, this is the dress to wear.  At just $59.95 from H&M this could be my LBD of the moment. Who says the "L" can't stand for long or LOOK AT ME for that matter. The plunging neckline and soft chiffon begs for high heels, shiny jewels and cocktails after dark but you could definitely layer up a tube top or pile on some chunky necklaces to bare a little less for day. Hmmm... what time does H&M open again? 

I firmly believe maxi dresses are for all body types, it's just about finding the one that has details that flatter your shape. This Anna Scholz  floral print maxi from plus size online retailer, Lola & Gigi, uses angled pleating to narrow the waist and emphasize curves, the right way. Available in sizes 14 - 18 US, it is a little pricier at $325 but I'm pretty confident the fit will be well worth it. Besides, with this print you can definitely let the dress speak for itself and accessorize inexpensively with a floppy sun hat and flats to complete the look. 
To round up the selection, I have to include this creamy crocheted white maxi from Forever 21. The price is so reasonable ($29.80) and their selection of maxis so wide, that you really could fill this entire post with options solely from this fast fashion retailer. The reason this maxi and not the many others made my list is because with the right accessories (I'd do lots of burnished gold or bronze and invest in a lovely cognac hued wedge), this dresses origins could be our dirty little secret. Shhh...
Now that these dresses are screaming, "Buy me!" I dare to ask, how many maxi dresses are too much? I've got a modest 3 in my closet. Who'll give me permission to add a few more?
-- Tamika Auwai is a fashion junkie, splurge-a-holic, and founder of Shop Socials.
Image credits: Samantha Stoncius, Banana Republic, H&M, Lola & Gigi, and Forever 21.

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