Maxi Dresses for Every Body Type

Find the maxi dress that suits you best.
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Julianne Hough

Short on stature? Fret not. Though pint-sized princesses are typically cautioned against long skirts that hide the legs, making this trend work isn’t a Mission: Impossible. Look at Julianne Hough, although she’s only 5’4”, she looks fab in a maxi dress. The key is to find a dress that skims the floor, as opposed to a shorter version that cuts the leg off at mid-calf. Look also for fitted numbers that won’t overwhelm a petite frame. It’s important to keep everything in proportion so steer clear of heavy, long-sleeved caftan styles and over-the-top prints. Wearing a solid color or diagonal or vertical stripes can lengthen the body’s appearance, while an Empire waist can help make your bottom half look longer than it is. And don’t forget the heels—you’ll definitely need them!

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Our Picks:

Go safari-chic in this olive number by Nasty Gal ($58,, which hugs the body beautifully. Add towering clogs for extra height, plus wooden bangles and a tribal-print scarf for a trendy touch.

Maxi dress

Add chunky turquoise jewellery to the Gap eyelet-detailed convertible maxi dress ($79.99, Gold heeled sandals will liven up this sweet strapless maxi.

Maxi dress

This gorgeous blue dress by Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent ($250, has a glamorous, date night appeal. The solid color and narrow waist help elongate a short frame.

Maxi dress

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14 thoughts on “Maxi Dresses for Every Body Type

  1. I absolutely love maxi dresses. They are so easy, comfortable and perfect for summer. The only problem I have with them is the length… sometimes they’re too short, or too long. I wonder if it’s worth it to get them altered.

  2. @Fashionista: Definitely! Small alterations can make a big difference in your clothes. I love maxi dresses, too – they feel as comfy as nightgowns.

  3. I am so glad to read this article. I am short and always thought icouldn’t wear the maxi dresses. The tip about finding a dress that skims the floor will be useful for me when I go shopping for a maxi dress.

  4. @Miriam/@Yay heels

    it’s a little disappointing that nothing seems to come between curvy and plus size. i certainly don’t fall under average or petite, but can’t shop plus size.

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