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Maxi dresses have become increasingly popular thanks to their simple look and versatility. These dresses or skirts have the perfect lines and simple style that gives them a classic but malleable look. Nevertheless, plenty of women keep these dresses in their closet, never quite sure if it’s professional enough for work, casual enough for a day of shopping or simply something they should throw on when everything else just isn’t right. The answer is that the maxi dress works in every case – it’s can be dressed up enough for a day at the office, it’s perfect for spending the day out hitting the sales and it’s also ideal for those days when you just want to be comfortable.

Whether you want to show off your bad girl side or dress to impress, there’s a way to make a maxi dress work. We’ve found seven different styles that convey completely different images but all use the same foundation – the classic maxi dress.

The Fashionable Flower Child


This is a look that works with solid color maxi dresses or those with a soft design. Match up colors with a peasant blouse or similar top, keeping it short or form fitting in order to avoid a shapeless look. Pair it with simple, hippie styled accessories like a small beaded bag, simple headband and, of course, sandals.

SoHo Sexy

Grab a solid color maxi dress in a pale color and match it up with a cropped, patterned sweater (horizontal stripes work best) and a beat up denim jacket. Add funky fun accessories like asymmetrical beaded necklaces, bangle bracelets or a silver thumb ring. Stick with comfortable, flat shoes with this outfit – it’s perfect for a day of shopping.

Grungy Gorgeous

Prove that a maxi dress can fit in with a bad girl’s wardrobe. Pair up the classic black maxi dress with a top in a solid white or other bright color. Pair it with a biker jacket or a flannel shirt knotted at the waist. Throw on some heavy boots, silver chains and a smirk for good measure.

Updated Downton Abbey

Okay, maybe the maxi dress isn’t upscale enough for dinner with the Crawleys but with the right combination, it’s easy to dress this look up for a formal engagement. The key piece here is the maxi dress itself. Choose a skirt with am embellished waist against a deep and solid colored skirt. A royal purple skirt with a thick white lace embellishment along the waist pairs perfectly with a simple scoop necked, long sleeved white shirt. Tuck the shirt in at the top smoothly, put your hair up and voilà! This look is easy to adjust and can be made more formal with an up hairdo and Victorian inspired jewelry or kept semi-formal by keeping your hair simple and sticking to a simple necklace with a pendant or charm in a complimentary color.

Simply Professional

Unless you have to stick to a stick business suit only rule at work, it’s a simple task to make a maxi skirt work appropriate. Stick to simple, solid colors for both the top and bottom with this one. Pair a black maxi dress with a tailor grey sweater and throw on a textured eternity scarf with a mix of grey, black an small accents of a bold color. Pair your jewelry to match the bright pop of color and you’re ready for a day at the office.

Saucy Librarian

The maxi skirt is a nice casual look so when it’s paired with a crisp, starched white button down shirt, waistcoat and dark rimmed glasses you’ve got a saucy, sexy and slightly edgy look.

Classic Comfort

Paris Hilton wears boho

Paris Hilton wears boho

Of course the big draw with a maxi dress is the comfort it offers. It’s a simple, low-maintenance dress that both flatters and forgives. So make it your go to staple on days when you want to relax and be comfortable without compromising on style. Pair up a skirt in your favorite color with that sweater you can’t bring yourself to give up or the softest wrap around shirt you own. You’ll feel cozied up and comfortable all day.