The maxi is a kind of mythical creature when you’re tall. I harboured ambitions to own one from my teenage years, perhaps hoping that my tall, lanky frame would somehow be transformed by the flowing femininity of a floral print maxi dress. However, even if we can find one long enough, the chances are that, unless styled the right way, it will make us look even taller than we are and therefore the recipients of more “Cor blimey, you’re tall” comments than usual. And let’s be honest, we don’t need anymore of those. So here are a few tips for styling a print maxi dress when you’re tall.
Break It Up
When styling a print maxi dress, remember that you’re head to toe in one colour/print/material, so it’s going to be good idea to break the outfit up. You can do this either with the addition of a chunky handbag, in a contrast print would look fantastic, or else with a wide belt, as I have done here, again either in a contrast print or with something else bold, like this polished black L.K.Bennett number from a few years back. This is an easy and effective way to encourage the eye not to see one long column.
Show Some Skin
Flashing some skin has the similar effect as above, literally by reducing the sheer quantity of print required to cover our limbs. The more print the eye can see, the bigger/taller it will perceive the underlying figure to be. A deep v-neck, a high slit or an open back all achieve the goal of reducing square footage of print beautifully. If it’s getting a bit chilly to be flashing skin, try layering a short sleeved dress over a roll-neck for the same effect.
Wearing heels with a maxi dress or jumpsuit is totally unnecessary when you’re tall. We’re the lucky ones! We are going to look great in flats and be comfortable too. You really don’t need to add the extra inches, as the print is already going to have a lengthening illusion. For a chic daytime look, opt for box fresh trainers like these white Superga. I have one pair which live in the box for smarter occasions, and one pair which I live in and are totally filthy! I hear it’s getting a little chilly now in the UK, so try swapping your trainers for knee-high or over-the-knee boots for a super sassy Autumn-ready look.
Don’t Go TOO Maxi
Growing up, I craved trousers, skirts and dresses which hit the floor. That was more because everyone else was wearing these and I wanted to blend in. But it’s utter nonsense. Things almost always look better cropped or a little above ankle height, and if the length doesn’t seem quite right, try wearing the dress or skirt over boots instead. The longer something is, the taller it will make you look. This maxi from RIXO London is around 4-5 inches above my ankle and such a gorgeous length. The bare ankle reduces the lengthening effect of head-to-toe print.
I hope this short guide to styling a print maxi dress has been helpful. Now the UK (not me hehe!) is going into Autumn/Winter, a denim jacket or a scarf would have the same effect of breaking up the outfit. So experiment with what you have in your wardrobe and see what works best for you. This stunning floral print maxi belongs to a friend but floral print is huge in AW17/18 so there’s plenty around. Start by checking out the collection at Net-A-Porter and the RIXO website.