Fashion Advice on Maxi Dresses for Petite and Plus Size Women

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I love a good maxi dress. It's the quintessential throw-on-and-go piece during the spring and summer months. Some say the maxi is a girl's best friend due to its ability to conceal unflattering body parts.  However, maxi dresses can also be your worst enemy. The cut and color of your maxi dress can make or break you.

I've received lots of questions in regards to choosing the right maxi from petite and full figured women.  Below are some tips I've put together to help you choose the right maxi.

Tips For The Petite Woman

Women 5'4" and shorter want to avoid being overpowered by a maxi dress. Maxi dresses are made with lots of fabric which can mask the figure making you look shorter and frumpy.


Opt for a form fitting maxi dress. A flared or tiered maxi can make it seem like you're swimming in yards of fabric. Your maxi dress should hug your body accentuating your waist and hips.  Empire waist maxi's look great on petite women. The empire waist creates an illusion of a nice long leg line. If your only option is a loose-fitting maxi, add a belt to reveal your shape.  


A maxi with a v-neck or plunging neckline will also aid in elongating your body.  


Add a few more inches with a pair of heels. The best pairings for a maxi dress are wedges, espadrilles, chunky heeled sandals or flatforms.


Dark colors such as navy, black, grey, green and brown make you appear thinner and taller. Match your shoes and or belt with your dress. Monochromatic dressing creates a strong unbroken vertical line elongating the body.

Patterns and Prints

When choosing a print, it's all about scale. Petite frames look best in small to medium sized patterns.  Large prints can be overwhelming.  In the matter of stripes, vertical stripes lengthen the body.  If you find yourself in a sea of horizontal striped maxi dresses, choose the maxi with the thinest stripes.

Tips For The Full Figured Woman

The floor skimming maxi is great choice dress for a full figured woman. Maxi dresses have a hip and leg slimming effect.


Empire waist or A-line maxi dresses are flattering full figures. Empire waist dresses not only elongates your body, it conceals your tummy. An A-line dress will skim over your body without clinging in all the wrong places. You don't want a dress that pulls and gathers around your tummy and hips.

Avoid loose maxi dresses as it will make the body appear wide and shapeless. You can add shape to a loose maxi by layering a wide stretch belt over your dress. The key is to place the belt on the thinnest part of your torso.


Although v-necks and plunging necklines elongate the body, they can also be a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen on a busty woman. If you have a large bust area and want to conceal some cleavage wear a camisole. Scoop and square necklines also minimize the bust line.


Thick or wide straps provide comfort, support and coverage. Spaghetti straps are geared to flatter women with smaller chests. Tube dresses with tie front detailing also look good on full figures.


If your short go with a cork or espadrille wedge. If not, multi-strap flat sandals pair well with maxi dresses.

Color, Patterns and Prints

We've all heard dark colors are supposed to be a full figured woman's best friend, however it's spring so live a little. Instead of choosing a dark colored maxi opt for a printed maxi. Large prints and patterns work equally well in camoflauging problem areas. A print or pattern with a dark background will simultaneously slim down your shape while hiding those problem areas.

Stay tuned for tips on how to style your maxi dress...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can I purchase the featured dress for this maxi dress article online?

Post a Comment