How to Accessorize a Black Maxi Dress

different ways to style black maxi dresses
If black is your go-to color, then you must learn how to accessorize a black maxi dress. Luckily, we have just the tricks to make you stand out

If I could choose only one item of clothing to wear every day, it would be a classic black maxi dress. It’s simple, versatile, and an excellent clean canvas to style however you want. With the right accessories and add-ons, this is an item you can wear casually or officially, day or night.

The primary thing to know about accessorizing a black maxi is that it’s all about your body. The accessories need to highlight your hands, face, legs, waist, and head. You must also choose colors that make the outfit pop stylishly, depending on the occasion. Think bright colors like whites, gold, silver, pink, light blues, and light brown. While the dress won’t color-crash with anything else, the accessories can crash with each other, so be careful with that.

By adding the right flourishes here and there, you can get the most out of this versatile dress and allow it to go from season to season.

Ready? Let’s go

Use colors

Black makes other colors stand out. When choosing accessorize, mind the colors.

Since your dress is black, all colors will look good on it. You can choose one color and all of your accessories in different shades of that color.

Or you can use other black items, for an extra dramatic look.

You can let the accessories speak for themselves and choose accessories in contrasting colors – meaning in opposite directions of the colors wheel.

wheel of colors

Two color combinations you cannot take your eyes of are black and gold, black and red and black and white.

Black and gold

The black and gold combination of colors is as old as history. Still, the light shiny-ness of the gold with the depth and darkness of the black, create a classy look. It’s like a chocolate dessert: it always works and you don’t have to work hard.

Black maxi dress, gold jewls – c’est tout. Maybe add golden shoes if you have, but keep it simple and stunning.

Black and red

Another sexy combination is black and red. The red is sexy, warm and vibrant. No wonder most sexy lingerie will be in these two colors. This is a bold look, and if you don’t intend to stand out – consider wearing something more toned down. But if you want to be well-noticed – girl, these are your colors for the day.

Black and white

It’s so classic it is almost cliche. And if you are wearing a cliche – own it and go big. Big white accessorize, while the dramatic-to-begin-with black maxi dress emphasizes the white accessories. It can also go the other way around: accessorize a white maxi dress with bold black accessories.

Throw on a Stylish Top Piece

You can wear any black maxi dress just as it is and accessorize with some jewelry, bag, and shades. However, wearing an extra item on top transforms the dress and makes it more versatile. For instance, adding an official white blazer transforms the beach maxi dress into something you can go to meetings with or even the office.

Other stylish top options we recommend are;

  • Denim. Denim items come in this gorgeous light blue color that makes a black maxi dress pop. You can do a little denim jacket or a denim shirt, buttoned or undone. This is a great casual look, especially if it’s not hot outside, and it goes well with a lot of accessories.
  • Buttoned shirt. Any long sleeve buttoned shirt will be perfect here. Fold up the arms and tie a knot on the bottom hems of the shirt.
  • Chunky sweater. If it’s a bit chilly, wear a nice chunky sweater on top for a warm, casual look.
  • Camo jacket. Instead of a denim, go for a camo jacket to make the outfit pop even more.

Go with Open Footwear

The shoe you wear with a black maxi dress can make or break the look. For style, I recommend an open shoe over a closed shoe every time, unless it’s winter. Sandals, platforms, and open wedges go very well with dresses because you get to see the nicely pedicured toes.

However, some maxi dresses work extremely well with white or pink sneakers if you are wearing denim, a buttoned shirt, or a jacket on top. For those dressy occasions like official dinner, wear black or embellished strappy heels to add some class.

As for the color of the shoes, a black dress gives you the freedom to wear colorful, sparkling colors. Silver, gold, white, and light brown sandals and wedges are perfect. If you have to wear black, make sure it’s decorated with some bling to bring more attention to your feet.

A woman wearing a black maxi dress ad carrying a statement bag

Select a Statement Bag

You have not fully accessorized a maxi dress if you haven’t picked a statement purse to go with it. What you choose depends on the occasion. For instance, a stylish clutch will work really well if you are going to a wedding, dinner date, or event. Make sure it’s a bright-colored clutch or embellished in some way to make the black dress pop.

A tote bag, on the other hand, will be better for the beach, shopping and a day with friends because you never know what you may need to put in there. I recommend a bright-colored tote bag with some embellishments as well. If you want the outfit to stand out even more, pick an oversized straw bag (preferably a circular one) because the light brown color and straws will bring character to the look.

For a quick run, however, you can do a simple cross-body bag or a tiny shoulder bag with some silver or gold elements.

Stun with Oversized Sunnies or Scarf

Again, this choice will depend on where you are going. Black maxi dresses go well with oversized sunglasses in three out of the year’s four seasons. It’s a classic look as long as your sunnies are perfect for your face and the color fits.

My favorite look is wearing a black maxi dress with pockets, sandals, and big stunners when going out on a sunny day. That is all you really need for this outfit and maybe a few jewelry pieces.

If you are wearing the dress in winter, during cooler spring weeks, or at night, replace the sunglasses with a nice chiffon scarf. The scarf has to be bright and has neutral colors like whites and light blue. However, feel free to leave out this piece if the outfit already feels too layered, unless you are smack deep in winter.

A woman wearing a black maxi dress with open footwear

Go Big On Jewelry

Maxi dresses are a boho vibe, which means you have to mimic that bohemian look with extra jewelry or statement pieces. One way of doing this is choosing bold statement necklaces instead of a scarf. Of course, you also need to go all out for your hands with bracelets, plenty of statement rings, and a good watch.

If the necklace is too much, keep the earrings modest because you don’t want to overpower the face. The other way around works too, as long as you achieve balance. The idea here is to go big and bright with metallics like silver, gold, and other captivating colors.

To bring the whole boho vibe to completion, don a nice anklet with your sneakers or sandals.

Belt Up

The last accessory I want to talk about here is a belt. Most maxi dresses are free-flowing and can leave you looking unstructured, especially if they don’t have pockets. A belt cinches your waist and gives the dress more structure. You can either belt up the dress itself or put the belt on top of a blazer, coat, or sweater.

The infamous Gucci belt is extremely popular when accessorizing black maxi dresses because the buckle brings some pop and character to the look.

All of the above accessories work better for different occasions, and some work better together. Learning to put the pieces together is very important to achieving a stylish look. As a final tip for accessorizing a classic black maxi dress, I like to add a pop of color with nail polish and lipstick. Choose a popping red, purple, pink, green, black, or even blue polish for your toes and fingernails. You want to keep your makeup light, but there is nothing wrong with a red lip.

Lior Shapiro

I love clothes with pockets and dresses, and I think any woman can pull off a good maxi dress.
I believe women's clothes with pockets make the world a better place.