Let’s take a look at some maxi dresses

Many of you have asked for some maxi dress options. Maxi-dresses are an easy one-and-done style for summer, just add a few accessories and go.

A vacation-ready ensemble with a maxi dress.

Above: a vacation-ready ensemble with a maxi dress in the Summer palette.

hat | earrings | bag | sandals | dress | sunglasses | wrap | bracelet | sandals

You’ve also asked for styles that aren’t too oversized or flouncy, or too skimpy on top. That’s a taller order; the trend at the moment is toward tiers, ruffles, floral prints, and styles with cutouts. But I love a challenge, and have turned up quite a few that I think you might like.

I’ve noticed that retailers seem to have a loose definition of “maxi” dresses. “Maxi” seems to include anything that hits below mid-calf. I’ve included those lengths here, as what may read as “midi” on a taller person (remember most models are 5’10” or so) may be “maxi” on those of us who are shorter. I’ve also tried to stick to styles that are bra-friendly, and aren’t drowning in ruffles and tiers.

Summer maxi dresses


Vince Camuto black and white ikat print maxi dress

Here’s an example of a shorter length maxi. The black and white ikat print is a nice alternative to florals (great for you Winters).

J.Jill floral print maxi dress.

Yes, it’s a floral print, but not one that’s too girlish or twee. It’s available in Misses and Plus sizes. This color looks like it could work for some Autumns.

Talbot's linen maxi dress in Aqua.

Viva linen! There’s nothing better to beat the heat. This dress is available in Misses and Petite sizes. Springs, I think this is our Aqua!

J.Jill Ibiza tiered maxi dress in Tangerine.

Ok, so this one has tiers, but they don’t look too overwhelming. I say that with fingers crossed, as I’ve ordered this one to try! It’s available in Misses, Petite, Plus, and Tall sizes, also in black. I love this subtle tie-dye pattern, and think this color might be one that could work for both Springs and Autumns.

Caslon tiered dress in blue plaid

One more for you Summers. Again, there are tiers but I don’t think they overwhelm. And I think the plaid print helps balance the “girly factor” too. Sizes XX-Small to XX-Large.

Amour Vert twist front long dress in navy.

This elegant style could easily dress up or down. It’s available in sizes XS to XL, and made from sustainable TENCEL fabric. It’s hard to judge navy without seeing it in person, but I think it’s in that realm where it could work for some Springs or Summers.

Boden jersey maxi dress ikat print.

Here’s a simple jersey maxi dress, available in multiple colors/prints. Winters, this one’s for you.

With sleeves

Chico's 3/4 sleeve tiered maxi dress in coral.

Think pink! Here’s a 100% cotton 3/4 sleeve maxi dress, available in sizes 00(0-2) to 4(20/22). This looks like a Spring Flamingo pink on my monitor. There’s also a turquoise color available.

Lilly Pulitzer jersey maxi dress blue pattern.

Here’s a fun print jersey dress you can toss in your suitcase…it’s available in sizes 0-16, and is machine washable. I think this would work for most Summers.

Everlane cotton maxi dress pepper green

If you’re looking for something more casual, here’s a budget-friendly tee shirt dress in organic cotton. It’s available in four colors, sizes XXS-XL(16). This green looks close to Pistachio in the Autumn palette.

Universal Standard Geneva dress cranberry

This “Geneva” knit dress is a customer favorite, and is available in sizes 00-4XL. There are several colors offered, as well as v-neck and long sleeve options, though some sizes may be limited. This “Berry” color looks close to a Winter cranberry on my monitor.

Marais long sleeve maxi dress blue and white.

If you don’t shy away from a bold pattern, this might be in your wheelhouse. Yes, it does have some ruffles, but again the high contrast geometric pattern balances out the girly elements. Available in Misses, Petite, and Plus sizes. There are two other colors as well.

Johnny Was lace up kaftan maxi dress

Don’t be afraid to try a kaftan. You can find many beautiful styles that can dress up or down, in a range of prices. This one’s a gorgeous patchwork pattern in the Spring palette. Also available in Plus.

Emerson Fry organic cotton caftan blue white.

And an organic cotton caftan in Summer blue and white. (More styles HERE.)

More summer maxi dresses

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  1. Thank you for all these great dress recommendations!!So many options for WOMEN-with the ability to wear a bra AND quality breathable fabrics! I’ve been scouring stores & online for 2 years with little luck. Fabulous post!

  2. I love these dresses. Thank you so much for giving us selections for each seasonal palette, and for actually naming the palette in your description. It’s helped me consider some options I might have otherwise passed by.

  3. I love seeing all the dresses. I spent a month in France, now I am in Italy. Dresses are everywhere in both countries , and I am surprised at how many of them are three tiers with ruffles. The other thing I am seeing more of then I expected is one piece pantsuits..or do you call them jumpsuits or rompers???

  4. You have done a great research number Susan! These dresses are lovely and wearable (apart from the clingy ones).

  5. Thank you for some long dresses with sleeves! When I look, i only find long pieces with no sleeves or pieces with longer sleeves that are minis or ultra minis. I am inspired to try two of them, even though I haven’t worn a dress in years. Love all the research you do!