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
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.
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.
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.
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.