How to Dress Down a Maxi Skirt

How to Dress Down a Maxi Skirt
To dressing down a maxi skirt for a casual look, you can wear a T-shirt, knot a button-down shirt, opt for a fitted minimalist top, or pair it with a jacket or sweater.

Like you, I have a few maxi skirts that will be doing too much, even on a casual, easy day. One is pleated, another a wrap high-low, and I have a printed flowy one.

It’s ironic because most times when we advise on styling a maxi skirt, it’s always add height, cinch in the waist with a belt, wear a chiffon blouse. All tips geared towards dressing up a maxi skirt for certain occasions.

Sometimes though, I want to wear my pleated maxi skirt to a quick lunch with my girlfriend, before heading to my child’s school meeting and then errands after. In short, I want an easy, casual fit I can run around with without feeling overdressed. And no, jeans won’t do because a girl’s legs wish to breathe sometimes.

So, how do I dress down a maxi skirt?

I have a few tips below.

1. Wear a T-shirt

There are many ways to dress down, but this one here is full-proof. A plain or graphic tee will bring down the pizazz of any fit to street status. Wear a well-fitting t-shirt and make a side knot at the waist instead of tucking it in the skirt. This works every time, with any maxi skirt out there, and you can then do sneakers or sandals to complete the casual, easy look.

If you choose to tuck in the t-shirt, I recommend wearing sandals instead to show off some skin and cute toes.

2. Knot a Button-Down Shirt

You know what else you can make a waist knot with? A shirt?

I know- we mostly use button-down shirts to dress up a maxi skirt for the office, meetings and such. But if you open a few buttons on the shirt, make a knot at the waist and pull back the hands, it gives an entirely different vibe. Again, you can wear this with sneakers or sandals, depending on what’s more comfortable.

And hey, you can get tips here on how to wear a maxi skirt and denim shirt because it works even better.

3. Contrast a Long Skirt with a Fitted Minimalist Top

Crop top, tank top, one-shoulder top and a camisole will work here. The idea is to create contrast where the flowy, long silhouette of the skirt is balanced by the minimalist top. It’s the same thing as making a knot on the t-shirt or shirt, except these tops are designed with that minimal look.

A nice casual shoe is all you’ll need after that, be it a wedge, sandals or Barbie flats. You can also accessorize according to the weather with shades, a hat and maybe a belt bag.

4. Throw on a Jacket

A t-shirt or a fitted minimalist top with casual shoes are enough to dress down a maxi skirt. But you can always kick it up a notch, especially if it’s chilly. My first trick is to wear a trendy jacket over the top or t-shirt. Think something like a denim jacket and maxi skirt paired with white sneakers.

I also love pairing a leather jacket with a floral maxi skirt and ankle boots during cold weather. It’s a simple look that’s also exquisitely elegant and suitable for any occasion. If it’s really cold, a scarf around your neck and a hat will add some warmth.

5. Rock a Sweater

Speaking of cold weather, how about a sweater instead of coats and jackets? A simple sweater is the ultimate dress down, and you can pair the look with sneakers, ankle boots, flats and even wedges.

I love how the blue sweater on this first look tones down the extravagance of the printed pleated maxi. This is a look you can wear to many elegant places, but it’s simple enough that you don’t feel overdressed. Light sweaters are great t-shirt alternatives, and you can tuck in the front part to give it that cool, casual vibe.

The last look with a warm, cozy sweater and brown boots is perfect for fall, and you only need to throw on a scarf and wear leggings underneath during winter.

6. Go Monochrome

I’m all about mixing prints and fabrics to create a bold, fun outfit. There’s something about a monochromatic look though, that creates an elegant minimalist look. It seems like you are dressed to kill but didn’t try too hard.

Next time you want to dress down that classy maxi skirt, think of pairing it with a similar-colored top. Black on black, white on white and especially beige on beige or any other color. You can also do a complete monochrome look where everything matches, including shoes.

However, Please note that when I say monochrome, I don’t mean the same shade. It could be different shades of the same color or something close.

7. Vest Up

A vest top, whether it’s a vest jacket or a real top is a fantastic way to dress down a maxi skirt. As I said, the minimalist look brings down the mighty maxi skirts to casual status, and vests kick it up a notch to street style.

I’m in love with the floral vest Blake Lively is wearing with a long red skirt and a tank top underneath. A denim vest jacket could also work here.

In the second picture, she has thrown on a denim shirt over a vest top, and it looks amazing with that skirt. Both are wearing sandals and minimal jewelry to keep the look simple.

How do you dress down a maxi skirt?

An easy way to dress down any maxi skirt is with a t-shirt, light sweater or a minimalist top. Pair this with casual shoes like sandals or sneakers and accessorize with a hat, scarf, sunnies and minimal jewelry.

Can you dress down a tulle maxi skirt?

A knot-down t-shirt is the best way to tone down a tulle maxi skirt. You can also try a horizontal striped crop top and a denim jacket, paired with sandals or Barbie flats.

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.