TBH, my style was once… questionable.
Actually, I don’t know if questionable is the word I’m looking for. Of course, I went through phases… I mean, what girl didn’t amiright?! There was the band tee phase (even though I was still jamming to the Spice Girls a decade post break up), preppy phase, and jean shorts and Uggs phase. From there I moved onto the tom boy phase and then, as my boyfriend likes to call it, the chongalicious phase:
Around 16 I realized that none of these phases were ‘me’. Hallelujah! But what came next was worse than all of those phases put together. The Walking Window Display Phase. I can’t remember my logic with this one. Basically, I’d only buy things that were displayed in the windows of my favorite stores.
The Walking Window Display Phase (WWDP)
During my WWDP, Ed Hardy and Von Dutch were the bee knees and I indulged. A lot. Thanks to the 8 million rhinestones on my Ed Hardy tee shirts I was pretty much a walking disco ball. Or maybe even a safety hazard? I’m honestly surprised that Von Dutch has not been permanently imprinted on my backside thanks to their signature jeans. In order to complete this mental picture for you, I feel I must also point out that at this time in my life, there were most likely one (or 4) of those rhinestone stick on body jewelry things spread across my body.
See what I mean about not knowing if questionable is the right word? Should we just call it a hot mess?
Let me tell you, the maxi dress saved my life. Or saved me from being fashion roadkill, at least. A couple of friends and I were at the mall one Saturday afternoon. I was in my Ed Hardy uniform, obvs. We wandered into Macy’s to pick up some more of my favorite extra extra coverage make-up (because a caky orange-ish face was my jam back then). And after that… magic happened.
Maxi Dress to the Rescue
Up until that point in my life, I never really shopped for clothes in Macy’s. Shoes, make-up, and perfume… totally – but I just never made it up the escalator to check out the clothes. That day my friends dragged me up to the juniors section and thank goodness they did!
I found myself face-to-face with the perfect black maxi dress. Strapless with a thick black braided tie around the waist, I was in love. And the sign directly above it? $19.99 plus 20% off. Ummm, what? I can have 6 of these dresses for the same price as one of my
disco balls tee-shirts? Alright… let me try this sucker on and see if it’s too good to be true.
I tried it on and I swear to you, I never felt better in anything my whole life. I felt girly and sexy but still covered up and casual. It was perfect. I was obsessed. Yeah, I 100% wore it out of the store. And after that day my style began to grow and evolve. I started to dress for me and found a style that felt like me instead of just buying the shiny item in the window (literally in my case). And you better believe, to this day maxi dresses are still a big part of my style.
10 Reasons to Love Maxi Dresses
1. Go ahead, eat the cheeseburger!
There’s nothing better than the extra room in a maxi. It makes splurging during meals way more enjoyable. LBH, no one like to be reminded they are full by the sudden fear that their jeans will explode at the seams any moment.
2. No bathroom stress
So I don’t know if this is just me but I get really stressed out in public bathrooms. Especially busy ones with lines. I’m a belt, romper, a bodysuit kinda gal and while they all make for great outfits, they don’t make for quick bathroom breaks. With the maxi dress, you’re in and out and still look cute!
3. Effortlessly sexy
A maxi is just one of those pieces that don’t make you try. Especially if it’s windy out and the maxi has slits. Yeah, I pretend the sidewalk is my runway, don’t judge!
4. Easy as pie
LBH, we’re all pretty busy and we’ve all got ish to do. In a realistic world, we don’t always have time to put together amazing outfits and look stylish all the time. Heck, I go to the grocery store in PJ’s and a denim jacket if I don’t have milk for my morning coffee. I get it. But honestly, I should just be throwing on a maxi dress! With a maxi you just need to add a necklace, a shoe, and you’re good to go.
I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone looks amazing in a maxi. You may have to take some time finding the right cut for your body, but I’m pretty confident it’s out there. My weight has fluctuated a lot over the years and a maxi is the one thing I consistently feel good wearing.
Do: Go for fitted or wrap style maxi’s that will accentuate your waistline. If you don’t define your waist, you can end up looking larger than you actually are. Also, keep in mind that thicker straps will make it easier to wear a bra.
Don’t: Strapless maxi’s are not best for women with larger chests. Stick to accentuating your curves. This means avoiding ruffles and pleats which can add a lot of fullness to curves.
Do: Go for deep v’s, high necks, and open backs.
Do: Find a dress that skims your body but does not cling to it. Bold prints are awesome. Think large flowers.
Don’t: Don’t go for thin straps if you can avoid them. They often dig into shoulders.
Do: Go for an A-line or empire waist to and try vertical prints and stripes or florals to give an illusion of curves.
Don’t: Try to avoid bold prints as they can overwhelm your body.
6. Ditch the Razor
You don’t have to shave. I don’t think I need to say more. But I will. Shaving is the worst. I hate it.
I get razor burn and almost always get out of the shower bleeding. Laser hair removal is in my future but in the meantime, I stretch out shaving sessions thanks to maxi dresses. TMI? #SorryNotSorry.
7. All seasons
Maxi’s are great for all seasons! I love to use maxi’s to transition between seasons. Believe it or not, thigh high stockings are the perfect tool to transition a maxi.
Maxi’s are so easy to dress up and down by simply swapping accessories. You can wear the same maxi shopping, to brunch, and to a wedding.
I love jean shorts! This is a rather new love though, as in the past year. I’ve always been self conscious about my legs and arms and while I’ve (mostly) moved past that, sometimes I can still feel self conscious in shorts. I have cellulite and I know it’s normal but I can still let it get the best of me. If I’m going to some kind of event where I know it’s going to be hot, I’ll almost always go for a maxi. Not having to worry about cellulite while I’m out and about makes for a much more confident Michelle.
10. In a rush
^^^ Me running out the door as my boyfriend continuously honks the car horn ^^^
I am ALWAYS running late. Sometimes I lose track of time working, sometimes I’m feeling really lazy and wait until the last minute to get ready, and sometimes I just can’t decide what to wear and spend my entire allotted getting ready time trying on everything in my closet only to still not know what I feel like wearing. Does this happen to you too?
If it does, I’ve got two solutions for you. 1. Maxi Dress 2. Download She’s Not So Basic’s What to Wear Tonight Flowchart to help you pick an outfit based on how you are feeling.
Download She’s Not So Basic’s What to Wear Tonight Flowchart
Do you love to wear maxi dresses? Let me know below!
I’m Michelle, the founder of life & style blog, She’s Not So Basic. On the blog I write about all things related to style advice, self-love, finding happiness, and so much more while wearing both my heart and my scars on my sleeve. My path through life has been anything but basic and it’s left me feeling lost, lonely, and insecure. Every day is a journey towards feeling confident and finding freedom one not-so-basic outfit at a time. Connect with me to see how we can work together, to tell me your #NotSoBasic story, or just to say hi!