It’s no secret we love maxi dresses over here. They are the simplest and most convenient style, no matter the weather. Maxi dresses may be comfortable and breezy, but it’s really their versatility that we love so much.
And what makes a maxi dress so versatile? It’s the way you style it. In summer, I throw on the dress and some sandals and run out the door. But this same dress also transitions well into cold evenings, fall, and even winter seasons because of one thing- layering.
The outerwear you choose is the secret to wearing the same maxi dresses throughout the year without looking repetitive. It’s how you elevate a dress from simple to classy, and it’s also how you stay warm outside of summer.
But as you can imagine, not every coat, sweater or jacket will do. Some outerwear can cover the entirety of your beautiful dress or make you look shapeless. What we want here is an outer piece that accentuates your figure and brings the best out of that dress.
And that’s why we have to discuss the best outer garments for maxi dresses.
The Waist Length Jacket
I am starting with this modern twist to layering a maxi dress because it’s honestly the best look ever discovered. A waist-defining leather or denim jacket over a long dress is a simple, stylish, and extremely comfortable look that flatters your figure and allows the dress to shine.
For a casual daytime look, don the latest combat boots, sandals, or sneakers, or step it up with a pair of heels for that date night. A cool jacket is more of a summer evening or spring vibe, but you can layer it with a turtleneck underneath the dress or a scarf to warm it up.
Sweater and Cardigan
The second most popular way to layer a maxi dress is a sweater, and a chunky one at that. This trend went viral a few years ago, and now models and influencers are redefining it by the day. The best method so far has been to use a thin belt over the sweater and then pull it over until the belt is no longer in sight. Plus size models Maxey Greene and Ashley Graham have been photographed countless times in this look and a pair of sneakers.
If the sweater has a waistband, you can let it loose for a more relaxed look.
But sweaters are not your only option- you can also do cardigans. The cardigan’s open front allows your dress to show through. A straight cut cardigan is your best option for a maxi dress and it’s even better if it has pockets. As for length, you want a cardigan that stops right below the bum or goes all the way to the ankles.
A poncho is a great outer layer while we are still in warm weather. It’s light, a tad warm, and does not interfere with the silhouette of the maxi dress. This is a garment you can wear with the dress to church, weddings, lunch with family and then go to dinner with it. It really is that elegant and versatile.
When choosing a poncho to layer a maxi dress, I recommend plain fabric or geometric fantasy because they are easy to combine with other fabrics.
Fur Coat and Vest
Faux fur coats are a trendy, warm, and flexible solution to layering. Their neutral colors make it possible to combine with any fabric or color. Fur’s swollen texture also makes the silhouette a bit more rounded, not to mention fur is very luxurious.
I like to wear fur coats over maxi dresses in two ways. One, wear a sleeveless faux fur vest or gilet over a long sleeve maxi dress and some high closed shoes. Two, go 101 dalmatians over a black dress with a belt. The enveloping of fur all over you creates a luxurious look that you can complete with statement glasses and high heel shoes.
Last but not least, a trench coat layers amazingly well over a maxi dress. It could be a light coat for evenings or a heavier one for winter. The secret is choosing neutral colors that brighten the look and the right length.
If you can’t find a coat that’s the same length as the dress, get one that goes below the knees. A trench coat with its own belt is also better to cinch in the waist and define the upper and lower part of your body.
Like all cold weather outfits, this is not a look you want to wear with low shoes. Instead, think about elevated boots or stiletto heels when the occasion calls it.
Again, layering a maxi dress with outer garments is not straightforward. You have to find the right proportions, colors, and length. A blazer, for example, can be a good outer garment when you want to rock a maxi dress for casual Friday at work or a meeting. But will the blazer accentuate the dress or make it look drab? This is where a full-length mirror comes in, and if the outfit doesn’t work, choose something else.
The best jacket to wear over a maxi dress should be waist length and minimalistic. A long-line coat can drown you in fabric, while a cropped jacket creates a cut-off look. We recommend a classic leather or denim jacket to accentuate a maxi dress.
When you wear a sweater over a maxi dress, it makes the dress look like a skirt. The secret, therefore, is to ensure there is a clear distinction between the top, which is the sweater, and the skirt. Use a belt to create that illusion on the sweater or tie the ends onto a side knot.