While fall is often considered the best time of the year for fashion, sometimes saying goodbye to summer or otherwise out-of-season pieces can feel rather heartbreaking. While you’ll probably have to stow your bikinis, macrame, and bustier tops this autumn, a new season doesn’t constitute a total closet purge! If you’ve been dreading ditching your summer maxis (perhaps in favor of the jeans+boots+blazer routine we’ve all fallen victim to at one time or another?!) don’t be! Summer’s longline staple is still totally wearable in cooler temperatures…All you need is a little creative styling. Here’s how to wear a maxi dress in the fall.
Option 1: Leather It Up
Key Pieces: Leather Jacket + Ankle Boots
Nothing fall-ifys a maxi like adding a killer leather jacket over top. Not only does this simple addition lend a more badass vibe to even the most feminine of pieces, but it also warms–visually and literally speaking. This particular combo is a favorite amongst celebrities and basically impossible to mess up. Buy a leather vest earlier this season? You’re in luck–they look amazing over a maxi, too. Options, people. Speaking of which, ankle boots (aside from being our go-to in fall footwear!) are a perfect option for pairing with your maxi because they anchor the look and lend seasonal appeal. If you feel like showing off a particularly awesome pair, wear a maxi with a slit or tie up the bottom!
Option 2: Layer Over It
Key Pieces: Sweater + Belt
Though a spaghetti-strapped maxi dress’s days are likely limited in your autumn wardrobe, it’s sister the maxi skirt can be worn well into the winter with a little planning…See where we’re going with this? Every maxi dress can become a maxi skirt. All that’s required is a few key layering pieces. Enter: The fisherman sweater! If you’re rocking a maxi with a fitted bottom, popping on an extra-cozy oversized sweater effortlessly transforms the look into the classic tight bottom/relaxed top combo that’s so universally flattering. Stock up on those chunky knits! Bonus points if your sweater is at all shoulder-slung–an unexpected glimpse of shoulder can be super sexy. Add a belt (large or small!) to define your waist and make your look even more polished, or opt for a cropped sweater for extra emphasis.
Option 3: Accessorize Like Crazy
Key Pieces: Fall Hat + Circle Scarf + Vest
Sometimes, the smallest pieces make the biggest impact. Pile. It. On. On warmer fall days, you can totally get away with a maxi dress–sleeveless or otherwise–paired with a vest, circle scarf, and a wool hat. Will you be as warm as you would be in jeans and a jacket? Obviously not. You will look eons cuter, however. Further proof is available in this photo–even the most summery and translucent maxis can be transformed with the simple addition of belts, bangles, and fringe. Throw a vest over it and you’re golden. Adding these kinds of accessories generally allow you to keep the summery appeal of the maxi intact while still (somewhat) covering up. You’re not changing the look by adding sleeves, or altering the proportions with the addition of a new top layer. Cute accessories, however, do have the power to make a basic dress look completely different. Go with it! Change things up for fall by adding not only the above elements, but also layering on an arm party, jeweled necklace, or a statement belt.
Do you wear maxi dresses year-round? How would you style one for cooler weather?
Liza, Editorial Director