Even though the word “summer” is part of its name, long summer dresses (otherwise known as “maxi dresses”) are year-round wardrobe-essentials. You can wear them day or night, no matter what the occasion is. A night out with friends, a simple stroll in the park or on a date — these are just some of the best occasions to look cute in a long summer dress.
Although they’re cute and fun to wear, styling long summer dresses can be such a chore. How can you look sexy in a summer dress that reaches the floor? Should you wear sneakers or is that a fashion faux pas? How can you rock summer dresses with sleeves?
Fortunately, whether it’s winter or summer, an evening or a daytime occasion, there are many ways you can wear your maxi dress to suit your body shape and style.
Long Summer Dresses: What are They and What are Their Styles?
Maxi dresses are floor-length dresses that fall to the top of your feet. Like any item of clothing, they come in different styles to suit a variety of body shapes, heights and occasions. Whether you want a daytime dress or a casual dress for the night, there’s a cute or sexy summer dress meant for you.
Depending on your style preferences and body shape, there are many necklines to choose from, including v-neck and high-neck maxi dresses. You can also look great in a halter neck or a long and strappy summer dress.
While there are endless ways to style long summer dresses, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused with your choices. The rules on how to wear maxi dresses properly, as well as how to accessorize with different items of clothing, remain open questions.
But you can’t go wrong with a little bit of mix and match. So if you don’t have the time to grab clothes in the closet and make your look book, we’ve got you covered!
How to Style Long Summer Dresses
The first step is your selection of the dress. As mentioned above, there are many long summer dresses to choose from: shirt dresses, A-line, sleeveless styles, wraps, knit looks, fit and flare and more. From simple spaghetti-strap dresses to flowery maxi dresses, determine the right dress for you. This is the part that may take some of your time since you’ll be trying on a few dresses. But browsing for dresses can help you find your favorites.
If you want more versatile and cute summer clothes, choose maxi dresses in solid colors or have subtle prints. You can wear them to almost any occasion!
Once you’ve chosen your long summer dress, here are some styling tips to consider:
Dress It Down with Denim
If you’re not a big fan of looking fancy in a dress, denim is your new best friend. Denim is a wardrobe staple that never fails to give any outfit a casual touch. You can always pair your long summer dress with a sleeveless denim vest or a denim jacket, which makes it the perfect outfit for summer barbecue nights or just casual hangouts with friends.
If you have a medium-length summer dress, pair them with skinny jeans or denim jeggings for a relaxed and cool look.
When you dress down with denim, you enjoy a fresher and younger look. Plus, the color of a denim jacket is neutral so it goes well with any skin type. And the cherry on top of the styling cake is the denim jacket + long summer dress combo that accentuates your legs by making them look longer!
Shoes Seal The Deal
One of the most common styling questions people ask is “What shoes do you wear with a long summer dress?”
Traditionally, a strappy pair of sandals is enough. But not everyone’s a big fan of the sandals + sexy summer dress combination. Some people just want to venture out of their styling comfort zone.
Why not pair your favorite long summer dress with a pair of sneakers? For some people, it may still look weird since sneakers are associated with casual wear or sportswear. Nowadays, however, the dress + sneakers combo is a classic!
If your summer dress is flowy or has a slit on the side, make the look sexier by wearing high heels. High heels make you look taller and more sophisticated. Gladiator heels paired with a denim jacket take the elegance of summer dresses a notch down, making them a perfect look for an evening picnic.
One thing to note about wearing heels with long summer dresses is the length of your dress. To make heels look good, you need to achieve the perfect length to floor ratio. After all, you don’t want the hem of your dress falling on the floor or tripping on your heels. On the other hand, you don’t want the dress to fall so short that wearing it with heels would look ridiculous.
High heels and sneakers paired with sexy summer dresses are like cheese paired with wine but you can still experiment with other shoe styles. Go crazy with embellished flip-flops, canvas tennis shoes, slingbacks and fancy espadrilles! A pair of cute summer boots may also look perfect with your floral dresses.
Layer the Look With Tank Tops
A tank top paired with a long summer dress? Yes, it makes sense.
A tank top made from dressy fabric or has an embellished or lace edge can be worn under the dress for a touch of fashion flair. If you want a sportier look, wear a casual tank under the dress. For a beach-worthy look, go for an oversize tank top.
Create a New Style With Blouses
Have fun with your summer blouses and tops to create a new look for your long summer dress. For a smart and stylish outfit, wear a fitted button-up blouse under a looser summer dress. If you want a cuter and dressier look, pair your short summer blouse over the top of your dress. You can easily change this look in case the weather gets too warm.
For a more casual style, wear an oversized summer blouse over your maxi dress and tie it at your waist. You can also wear a structured light blouse for a semi-casual outfit.
Accessorize With The Right Jewelry
Necklaces, earrings and rings may seem like a subtle touch to any outfit but it can really take your long summer dress to another style level. Make a statement by wearing big and bold pieces like bright earrings or chunky necklaces for a unique and casual style.
If you want a more upscale feel, wear some dangling earrings and sparkling necklaces. Simple bangles and small stud earrings add a splash of elegance to your look.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Maxi Dresses?
You can find long summer dresses at your local Target or Nordstrom. Popular brands also offer beautiful long and cute summer dresses on their racks. The best places to shop for maxi dresses include:
- Boohoo. This UK retailer houses the most affordable fashion pieces and its selection of long summer dresses is no exception. Maxi dresses below the $50 price tag? Yes, please!
- Forever21. Look good in a long summer dress that suits any style, even if you’re on a budget! Even Forever21’s clearance rack has the prettiest options under $20! You’ll have more budget for accessories!
- ASOS. Shop dresses from top brands like Religion and AllSaints at this fashion superstore. ASOS stocks hundreds of long summer dresses and constantly update their selection of maxi dresses.
- Anthropologie. This is THE haven for beautiful maxi dresses. When it comes to floor-length summer dresses, Anthropologie always gets the assignment.
- Express. Whether you’re dressing up for a party or a casual date, Express has frocks that work for any occasion.
- Old Navy. This all-American brand won’t let you down with its selection of soft and sexy summer dresses. The low prices won’t hurt you either.
Long summer dresses are perfect for people who want to look fancy, dressy and casual all at once. The best part is styling it is no longer a difficult chore. All you have to do is step out of your style comfort zone, take a deep breath and start styling!