Since forever I've believed that maxi dresses were not for me. I have a water drop shape, and every single maxi I've tried on has overemphasized my hips in contrast to my narrow torso/shoulders, leaving me feeling bottom-heavy and self conscious. I'd try on a dress, but before the hem could even fall to the floor, I'd whip that baby off because I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. After trying dozens of maxis, and having none of them work, I decided NO MORE! All you long and lean girls out there, ENJOY... I'll pass on the maxi dress, thank you.
The words NO MAXI DRESS - EVER were air-scrawled into my virtual Wardrobe Manifesto.
When I was in Salt Lake City for Alt Summit back in June, I went to a local thrift shop to do some peeking around. And there, jammed into a circular rack among dozens of other second-hand dresses, was one of the most beautiful maxi dresses I had ever seen. I loved everything about it, and since it was a brand sold at Anthropologie, I knew that at $6, it would be a helluva deal. I decided to try it on, with the absolute lowest of expectations and broke my own NO MAXI DRESS EVER rule.
To my shock and dismay, as soon as I slipped the dress over my head, I was in love. I let it fall all the way to the fitting room floor with a valiant WHOOSH + SWOOP. It fit. It flattered. And I was amazed.
So, WHY DID THIS MAXI DRESS WORK FOR ME when dozens of others have failed? Let's break it down.
- The halter-top/deep plunge combo creates an illusory affect of my upper body, making my shoulders look broader than they actually are, and BONUS - making me look like I have a little bit of cleavage!
- The navy detailing around the bodice of the dress adds additional visual interest and draws the eye upward.
- The wide ruffle at the bottom of the dress adds movement and volume, adding to the overall visual interest and balance of the dress.
- The dress is made of 100% silk, and drapes effortlessly over my woman-curves.
I'm so glad I tried on this dress, even though I had written maxis out of my life forever. It just goes to show, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to style. Because it's all about the detail.
Like bluets. These wispy little damselflies may all look alike, but there are literally dozens of species out there on our lakes and ponds that to the untrained eye, look exactly the same. I studied them in college, and was fascinated to see that the slightest variation in morphology meant a totally different species of insect.
Maxi dresses are no different. They may all look the same at first glance, but when you sit back and study the detail, you'll see that subtle variation in design can make the difference between what does and does not work with your body and your overall style.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Try to figure out why something does or doesn't work. Analyze. Observe. Study. NEVER make a broad statement like, I CAN'T WEAR MAXI DRESSES. Because it's likely you just haven't found the right one, or figured out the right way to wear it. Pay attention to the detail, and keep on trying!
If you're local to Brattleboro, Vermont, and need a little closet help, I'M YOUR GAL. You can read more about the In-Home Closet Consultations HERE. And if you're from "away", there's a virtual style coaching package coming down the pike real real soon.
Do you have a NO-NO in YOUR Wardrobe Manifesto? What is it, and tell me why. I've got some experience with this stuff, and I just might be able to help you!
To your VIBRANCY! xo Stasia
Dress: Anthropologie (thrifted) Necklace: unknown (thrifted) Shoes: Talbots (thrifted)