How to Look Thinner in a Maxi Dress

A woman in a yellow maxi dress and big black hat

Dressing a curvy body is not always easy. Maxi dresses, in particular, can be challenging since most seem designed for tall, thin women. But that doesn’t mean curvy women have to give up wearing these versatile dresses altogether.

If you’ve got a generous bust and some junk in the you-know-what, you have to get a little creative and learn how to wear a maxi dress in a way that makes you look thinner. Interestingly, the right maxi dress on a curvy woman looks absolutely amazing.

Ready to learn the tricks?

Find the Right Maxi Dress

You can do a lot to make yourself look thinner, but it has to start by choosing the right maxi dress. The silhouette, shape, and material all have to work together.

What makes a slimming dress?

 Right size

You may think a baggy dress will hide those areas you are insecure about, but all it does is make you look like you are popping out of a duffle bag. On the other hand, a dress that’s too tight draws attention to all the wrong places and exposes them more.

Instead, choose a dress that’s just right for your size NOW. Get someone to measure your current bust, waist, hips, and shoulders instead of relying on the size in your head.


Maxi dresses come in different silhouettes, some of which aren’t very flattering for a curvy girl. So far, the best options we have found are an A-line dress, a wrap dress, and an empire waist maxi. The A-line and empire waist dresses have that triangular shape that flatters your body and hides the imperfections.

All these silhouettes also have a defined waist that creates structure, enhances your bust line, and helps elongate the lower part of your body, making you look thinner and taller.


How fabric works with your body can make you look thinner or fatter. The right fabric should not cling to your body, restrict your movements, or crease. It should be flowy with some drape and lightness to it. It should also be soft and smooth, so anything that’s rough and embroidered will not do.

You need flat fabrics like cotton, jersey, cashmere, satin, and spandex blends.

Go for V-neck Dresses

This tip is simple; the inverted triangular shape strengthens your shoulders and lengthens your neck and upper body. A wider V-neck balances broad Hips and thighs, while a deeper V gives a generous bust some lift.

This is one of the reasons wrap dresses work so well- they draw attention to your cleavage and waist instead of the curves. You can also achieve this with a buttoned dress by simply opening a few buttons and exposing your chest.

A one-shoulder dress is also perfect because it draws much attention to your neck and shoulders instead of your lower body. Stay away from round necklines and halters because they make you look rounder.

Stick to Dark, Bold Colors

Everyone knows that black is a slimming color. It does indeed hide a multitude of sins. However, black is not your only option if you want to look slimmer. Bold dark shades like dark brown, green, blue, and maroon are all great slimming colors.

What you need to stay away from are pastels and bright colors, even if you are a lover of white.

Small Prints and Vertical Stripes, Always

If you love color, however, you don’t have to stick to black and blue only. It’s still okay to wear some prints as long as you do it right. Ideally, the foundation color of the dress should be dark, so the prints add the rest of the colors.

For prints, choose as small as possible, be it flowers, dots or other patterns. Wider prints make your body look wider as well.

As for stripes, always go for vertical stripes if you have to. This elongates your body and makes you look thinner.

Add Slimming Accessories

The dress alone, as slimming as it may be, will sometimes not be enough. Thankfully, you can throw on some accessories to pull off the perfect slimming effect. Here’s how you can use accessories to make you look thinner in a maxi dress.

Long jewelry

A long pendant necklace and earrings draw attention to your neck and away from your midsection and hips. They also elongate your torso, making you look thinner. If the idea is to look slimmer, stay away from chokers and round jewelry.(Read here to learn more about jewelry and maxi dresses)

Long Outerwear

Another fantastic way to look slimmer in a maxi dress is to throw on a long tapered jacket or blazer. The narrow lapels, crisp lines, and length make you look straighter and longer. Even if it’s an office blazer, choose one that goes past the buttocks for that elongating look.

Alternatively, you can wear a long cardigan instead of a sweater or cropped jacket. In warm weather, a light shrug or cover-up will do.

Pointed Heels

It’s not necessary to wear heels with a maxi dress to look slimmer, but it helps. Heels add some height, making you look taller and thinner. The important part however is not the height but the shoe’s shape.

What you want is pointed toes and a thin heel. Square and round toes or a block heel make you look shorter, bulkier, and chunky. Even if you choose to wear strappy sandals instead of heels, pick something with pointed toe area.

Speaking of straps, you must be careful with shoes with a back or top strap. It can cut off your foot and make the legs seem wider and shorter.


Finally, you can create some structure with a belt. A belt cinches in the waist and draws the eye to the thinnest part of your body. However, it has to be a wide belt because a thin one will get swallowed by the fabric.

Do this only if the maxi dress you are wearing is flowy and has no natural waist structure to it.

Consider Shapewear

This point is last because only some people are comfortable with shapewear. I advise women to get the right underwear first before considering shapewear. Go to a store and have them measure your bust and hip size so you can get the right bra and underpants.

Undergarments that are too tight will squeeze your skin and create bulges. You want them to lift your goods and flatten anything that’s out of place. If they can’t do that perfectly, consider shapewear which will tighten and pull in any unwanted bulges, so your waist, hips, and back look smooth under the dress.

All said and done, looking and feeling thinner is mostly a state of mind. If you feel fat and flabby, it will show up in everything you do, from standing to walking. Instead, stand tall, shoulders back, head high and imagine yourself being a model. You may be a plus-size model for now, but you are still a hot model, looking amazing in your maxi dress.

Also read:

Do maxi dresses help you look slimmer?

Yes, a maxi dress can make you look slimmer because it elongates your body. Make sure to wear the right silhouette and fabric of maxi dress and one that goes just below the ankle or touches the floor, so it looks longer and thinner.

How do you look slimmer in a maxi dress?

If you are curvy, you must pick a maxi dress that draws attention to the upper part of your body, like the neck, shoulders, and cleavage. Pick a dress with a V-neck, one shoulder, and an empire waist to elongate your torso and make you look slimmer. You can also use accessories like a long structured blazer, a long necklace, and a belt to make the dress look slimming.

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.