In December The Sun Newspaper reported that sales of floor length gowns had doubled this year. Selfridges had reported amazing sales of maxi’s, citing a Project D blue silk dress designed by Dannii Minogue that had been a complete sell out, whilst budget chain Peacocks reported that their best seller had been a £32 off the shoulder dress. The Sun put the success of the maxi dress down to the X Factor, believing that the looks sported by Cheryl, Danni and other contestants on the show had help raise the popularity of full length dresses.
But we are now a full month away from the X Factor, with maxi dresses showing no signs of going away. From being a Summer staple, they have now moved into the realms of all year round wardrobe must haves. In January alone, fabulous maxi dresses have been sported by the likes of Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Olivia Wilde and Nicole Richie. Jessica Alba sported her dress as casual day wear, whilst Olivia wore a maxi dress on the Red Carpet. Nicole Richie wore a design from her own Winter Kate range in her typical luxe boho style. Maxi dresses have become the dress for all seasons – why is that.
I wore my first maxi dress when I was 3 and a half years old. It was my baby sister’s christening day and she got all the attention. And boy, was I jealous. To get some attention back to me I changed out of my pretty two piece pink outfit and put on a multicoloured floral maxi dress. I teamed it with my dads aviators (think Eric Estrada from Chips!) and a fluffy pair of pom-pom slippers. I thought I looked the business. I feel in love with maxi dresses there and then!
But today, I think the pictures above possibly explain more about why the maxi dress is here to stay. They can be elegant, floaty, casual or sexy. The floor length nature of the dress covers up for a multitude of sins. Not shaved your legs this week? Just wear a maxi and who will know? Have thick ankles/bad legs/varicose veins? All these things are well hidden below billowing skirts.
Maxidresses can be cool and floaty in summer, but also provide a winter staple in thicker fabrics/paisley prints and with longer sleeves. Many fashionistas prolonged the life of their summer maxi by adding polo neck jumpers and chunky knits a la Ralph Lauren. Nicole Richie shows that adding a cute cardigan is one way to adapt your maxi dress to a cooler climate.
Maxi dresses have also proved to be a totally democratic dress. They can be worn by almost anyone, of any size, shape or age. Samantha Cameron proved they were perfect maternity wear, looking elegant as her floor length summer dresses skimmed her bump. They look just as good on the tall Florence Welch as they do on the petite Nicole Richie. Boho girls can opt for something floral and flowing, rock chicks can add a leather jacket. You can be glamorous with heels, wear converse pumps and a denim jacket, or chic boots. They are perfect festival wear, are elegant enough to be wedding attire, and yet are perfect for the school run.
No wardrobe should be without a maxi dress. Me, I’ve got about 30 now, of all different designs, colours, fabrics and styles. From being an early 1970’s throwback style, they have become a wardrobe essential. The maxidress is here to stay!
New Season Maxi dresses
And for your designer wish list…