49 Ethical Maxi Dresses To Get You Through the Summer
Well, it’s the official first day of summer and the weather in San Francisco has been downright balmy these past couple of days — which, FYI, is incredibly uncharacteristic (case in point, the weather today is foggy and the temp is currently 53 degrees).
And nothing screams summer like a maxi dress (and a margarita, but that’s a different post). Basically the epitome of effortless summer style — big on style, low on effort. Now, that’s my kind of outfit. And similar to a jumpsuit, a maxi dress is kind of a one-piece wonder.
Comfortable. Need I say more.
Universally flattering — there’s a maxi dress out there for pretty much everybody, regardless of age, style or body type.
And versatile. When the weather is hot, I basically live in maxi dresses because they’re super light and airy. But they’re also great for when there’s a slight chill in the air (#everydayinsanfrancisco), or when the sun goes down because they offer a little more coverage. And they can take you from work to cocktail hour, from weekend errands to a evening out — usually in one swift swoop (or maybe an accessory change).
That being said, the maxi has been around for a while, and some may say they are past their prime. “Bollocks!” I say.
I’m not ready to give them up yet, and from the looks on the runway, to the stores, to the streets (and by streets, I clearly mean Instagram), I’d say the fashion world isn’t yet, either. Some bloggers are breathing new life into the maxi look with interesting styling, while some brands are updating by making tweaks to the silhouettes and details. Either way, I’m in.
And whether you’re looking for a new way to wear that old maxi, or just want to find an updated maxi dress from an ethical brand, I’ve got you covered (okay, okay, I technically threw some midis in there, but they could play the part of maxi in a pinch).
The Knit Maxi
The knit maxi is the tried and true. I think every woman probably has one in her closet. A slinky maxi paired with a top knot and some cute sandals, and you’re good to go. And let’s be real, sometimes minimal styling = maximum reward (I’m talking about being comfortable, people). But, if you do want to update the look, try knotting your dress at the bottom — on one or both sides. I promise, it will look like a whole new dress.
The Striped Maxi
While the striped maxi has been around the block, I’m really digging this year’s fun stripe combos and updated silhouettes. Easy to pair with your favorite denim jacket, and easy to update by adding a cool straw bag.
The Festive Maxi
Absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, screams summer like a festive maxi dress. Whether it’s a fun color, fun embroidery or a fun print, the festive maxi is just plain fun. Add a wide brim hat and platform sandals and you’ll be the life of the party.
The Floral Maxi
On the opposite side of the spectrum, go a little more flirty fem with a floral maxi. P.S. loving the updated colorways in a lot of this years floral prints (Grey ground? Yes, please.). And since the floral maxi is not new on the scene, pair it with metal accessories like a ring-handle bag or grommet sandals for a cool-girl contrast to the feminine print.
The Breezy Maxi
Because we all want to feel ethereal every once in awhile, the breezy maxi is an easy choice for summer. Give it some edge by adding some sleek pointed flats or some heeled mules (and toss on a leather jacket when the sun goes down, obvi).
The Tie Maxi
Whether a tie front or tie back, this updated detail offers a sexy new twist (or tie) to the maxi dress.
The Button-Up Maxi
Really, really digging this new silhouette for summer. And as an added bonus, you can get more bang for your buck by styling an unbuttoned maxi dress over jeans or pants.
The Wrap Maxi
The wrap dress has been around forevs (thanks DVF), but the wrap maxis this year have really stepped up the wrap dress game. Or vice versa. You choose.
The White Maxi
White maxi’s were all over at Coachella and are pretty much a summer staple, as they’re a great way to stay cool in the heat. For an update skip the boho sandals and go for slides.
The Black Maxi
Who says you can’t wear black in the summer? Because a maxi dress is so airy, it’s the perfect way to sneak some black into your summer wardrobe. Add a straw hat for a summer vibe, or a wide brim to keep that mysterious train going.
The Sexy Maxi
With low backs and a fit that skims pretty much every curve of the body, these guys are great for when you want to take your maxi for a night on the town. Pair with a sleek ponytail, cool jewelry and heels to pump it up a notch.
The Ruffled Maxi
Because ruffles are everywhere this summer, of course the maxi wants to get in on the action. Kind of a new spin on the breezy maxi, these puppies are a nice update to the breezy maxi.