I recently posted a couple of blogs all about Maxis (check them out What to Wear Wednesdays: It’s HOT! and What to Wear Wednesdays: The Maxi Dress). While these dresses and skirts can be floaty summer answers to otherwise stiff pencil and A-line bottoms, the lengthy nature of the piece can create a number of figure-flattery challenges. A question that came up almost immediately was:
“Ah, but can a petite flower rock the maxi skirt? Any caveats?”
As a petite fleur myself, this is a question near and dear to my heart. Yes, I do have some guidelines that will allow a person of the 5’4″ and under set to successfully wear a Maxi style and they all revolve around… Fit.
FIT: It’s the key for anyone wearing anything, but it’s particularly important for Maxis. When a Maxi is perfect it will:
a) Show Some Toe: Shorten your hem to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ from the ground when you are wearing the shoes that go with your outfit. With every horizontal line, the body is visually shortened. Show some toe, and maybe some forefoot, but refrain from a sharp line across the ankle or pooling on the floor (if you shorten your skirt to go with heels, please don’t wear it with flats!).
b) Hug the Waist: Just like a perfect pair of pants, the waistband of your Maxi should fit well, yet allow you to tuck in a thin top if you wish. Skirts that float around the waist can twist and turn when you walk, and slip too low when you sit down.
c) Just Enough Fabric: A Maxi overpowers when it is too voluminous, and looks skimpy if it’s stretched across the hip or rear. Material should flow across your curves without adding bulk or pulling. Try to grab a fistful of fabric on both sides or at the rear. Lots available? The hips are too broad. Not an inch to pinch? Try going up a size.
Still not sure? Here are a couple of advanced tips to help make you look like a tall(er) glass of water:
1. Asymetric Hems: The aptly named short-long hemline has been big for a few seasons, and it’s sticking around for more. This ‘mullet’ of a skirt is shorter in the front and longer in the back giving you the best of both worlds.
2. Side Slit: A slit to the side of the front of your skirt can elongate the leg and make walking easier in a narrower style. Just make sure the slit is no higher than 2″ above the knee.
Check out the Trademark 10: 10 Maxis That Fit Perfectly! board for some more ‘Pinspiration’.