The maxi skirt is a look I admire on others but never felt that it would work for me; I’m more of a pencil skirt kinda gal. But I recently bought my first maxidress (I KNOW!) and I have enjoyed it so much that when I came across a rack of maxi skirts at the Gap last week, I impulsively decided to buy one. It seems like a versatile, casual summer piece that could add some variety to my wardrobe.
A maxidress is easier to style because you already have the main component of the outfit in the dress. I am finding it a bit more challenging to style my new maxi skirt because I have to figure out what to wear for a top before I even get around to accessorizing. Of course that warrants a post about it!
My skirt is a basic black cotton knit. I had envisioned it with a tank top and flat sandals. For some reason, in my mind, maxi skirts and tank tops seem to go together. So I went through my closet to see what I could find.
Take One: white tank, jean jacket, pink sandals and accessories
My first attempt was totally NOT WORKING. The top is way too long and makes me look boxy. Bleh. The denim jacket adds some much needed structure, but the tank is still too long, and I would want to be able to remove my jacket. Pants that button are so much more forgiving than a skirt like this. It shows every imperfection, which is why I have avoided them for so long. So far, this outfit is a big, fat NO.
Take Two: floral tank, denim jacket, silver sandals and accessories
The next way I tried it was with this floral tank. I actually ended up wearing it this way to visit my friendly endodontist (root canal #3 coming up . . . sigh) which was okay as long as I kept the jacket on, which I did. Without the jacket, the tank is too tight for my comfort level, and I’m not sure I like that much of the print. This could be cute with a chambray shirt over it, knotted at the waist.
I was feeling dumpy in the long, flowy skirt so I tried it on with heels.
Better, but dressier than I wanted to be. Plus I really want to be able to wear the skirt without the jacket so I knew I needed to try something else. This could work though, for a casual dinner.
Take Three: teal tissue tee
The next top I tried was this teal tissue tee. It’s not as tight as my tanks, so I thought perhaps it would work better, but I just felt dumpy. Maybe if I had a wide belt that I could wear over the shirt, slightly below the waist . . . but I don’t.
I was thinking at this point that the skirt could be cute with a fitted blouse. There are a lot of pictures on pinterest of maxi skirts with button-down blouses tied at the waist, or with a belt to provide some definition at the waist. But I’m bound by what I have in my closet and I don’t have any button-down tops or sassy wide belts. I also don’t think the skirt would work for me with something more blousy. I tend to feel thinner in tops that are more body hugging or structured.
Take Four: orange tank with a statement necklace or . . . a scarf!
Back in my closet again, my eyes landed on this orange ribbed tank. I wear it a lot with skirts because it is a bit shorter than my other tops. I am short-waisted, so I really have to pay attention to the length of my tops. With jeans, I can wear them longer, but with skirts, they really need to be shorter or I look boxy through the middle (see Exhibit A above!) I also like that while the fit of this orange top is body-conscious, it is not skin tight, so I don’t mind wearing it without another layer.
It’s more flattering than the first attempt, but it’s rather plain. I tried adding a statement necklace, which helped, but it still seemed a little blah. Then I thought about trying a scarf.
Now, you guys know about my love/hate relationship with scarves. I have tried so hard to wear them and like them, but I find them to be incredibly uncomfortable, inconvenient and also just not very flattering on me.
Look how a scarf transforms this outfit.
I really love this look! I tried styling the scarf loosely so it doesn’t look chokey. Of course, this isn’t a practical around-the-house outfit. The scarf gets in the way when I’m doing basic household tasks, but it does finish the outfit if I want to wear it out somewhere.
The print and pattern is just what the outfit needed to take it to the next level, and it also helps disguise any lumps and bumps the midsection, where I tend to feel the most self conscious.
It looked cute with the denim jacket too, but the jacket AND the scarf is rather heavy for this time of year. Perhaps in the fall, though? With a different shoe . . . oh no, here we go again! I will save that experiment for another post.
I did end up wearing the outfit with these wedge flip flops. I like the height of the wedge with the casual vibe of the flip flops. I’d probably also like it with the tobacco-colored wedge espadrilles above, depending on where I’m wearing it.
Other ideas . . . a fitted, short-sleeved tee with a sleeveless denim jacket on top could be super cute. And I really do want to try belting it. I grabbed these photos from Pinterest.
So many options!
How about you? How do you rock a maxi skirt? I’d love to hear your ideas!