10 Ways to Style a Maxi Dress
This week’s 10 Ways to Style installment takes the ubiquitous jersey knit maxi dress and dials it up a notch by turning it into a one-shoulder cocktail dress, overalls, and so much more. With just a few key items, it’s easy to get a ton of different looks with this one staple piece. Consider this a packing guide for your next summer trip. :)
Now, let’s get to business.
1. A Little Bit Country
You know we’re a little bit country and a little bit rock n’ roll (and a little bit ’90s hip hop). This look turns your maxi into a mid-length flowing skirt, tops it with a ruffly blouse and cinches the whole thing up with a belt.
The technique for shortening the skirt is simple: just roll it up! Use a thick belt to hide the rolled fabric.
2. Aviator Chic
This look also employs a little shortening action to create a different look. For the top, we took a vest and tucked it snugly into the top of the dress/skirt, and then belted the whole thing with a studded black belt.
Finish the look off with some ankle bootie stilettos and let the compliments take flight. ;)
3. Hi-Lo Sweetheart
Ready for three super current trends rolled into one killer look? This orange-y coral happens to be the Pantone color of the year (officially called Tangerine Tango and coming in at 17-1463) so start with that. The maxi is the maxi, and here we turn it into a hi-lo dress.
For the sweetheart neckline, simply pinch in the middle of the bust and safety pin from the back. For the hi-lo effect, ruche and safety pin in a few places in the front and you’re done.
4. Beach Baby
For a super relaxed look, drop the bust of your maxi to your hips, throw on a skinny belt and leave your shoes at home.
For the top, any light summery sweater, crocheted crop top or gauzy sheer blouse will do the trick.
5. Strapless Ruffle Hem
For this sweet little number, your best friend is the safety pin. It’s a great way to change up your look midday and can be paired with heels and a statement necklace if you’re looking to take your maxi into the evening.
To create ruffles, cinch it up in small sections, safety pin from the inside, and that’s all!
6. Haute Halter
Oh hey there party girl! The drape on this look is so gorgeous, you’d hardly be able to recognize it was originally a maxi dress.
Simply turn the dress upside down so the bust is hugging your thighs, light up the skirt part and tie around your neck. Voila!
7. Belt and Fold
Actually, it’s more like fold and belt. This look is one you could even rock to the office, and is a great way to add shape and dimension to your maxi.
Fold the bust over itself so you get a more refined shape at the top. Belt it around your hips, blouse it out a bit, and throw on a pair of heels.
8. T-Shirt and Flops
Nothing’s more comfortable than a pair of flip flops and a t-shirt. Turn your maxi into a high waisted skirt and that’s all there is to it!
We recommend a tight-fitting tee for this look and a simple bun or ponytail. And yes, those flip flops are from our tricked out flip flop project! :)
9. Suspenders & Boots
We debated on whether to call this something like Overalls 2.0, The Newspaper Gal, or Bo Beep Goes Chic… but we settled on Suspenders & Boots.
To create the overall look, turn that dress upside down and place the bust right below your behind. Bring the skirt part of the dress all the way up, and then let it fold over, creating a layered look. Attach the suspenders on each side. For the back, gather up all of the excess fabric in a symmetrical fashion, and attach the back suspender. We promise, it looks much more complicated than it is!
10. One-Shoulder Cocktail
And finally, a cocktail dress! This one is gorgeous and easy to put together if you’ve got your steps in order.
Put the dress on upside down so that bust part is tight around your thighs. Pull the skirt part up over your body, and bring one side over your shoulder. Using a safety pin, attach this to a ribbon or belt, or even a scarf. Let it hang.
Now wrap the excess fabric around your waist. It will naturally create the line you see. To fasten it, grab that shoulder ribbon, bring it across your back and wrap it around your waist as many times as the length will allow. Tuck it in the middle and safety pin to fasten, and there you have it!
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)