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Friday, 24 May 2013

The Long Good Buy

Elegant black maxi Anthropologie
Asos print maxi with side splits
Maxi dresses are still hanging lankily around store rails again this summer,  but are they a good look on us grown-ups?  First a qualification: summer maxi dresses are different in spirit to long winter dresses or skirts, at least in Looking Our Best’s eyes. A full length, cool, romantic dress is something LOB associates with a holiday in the sun, worn with flat sandals, barefoot strolling along the sand and tripping tipsily back to the apartamentos.  The very words maxi dress brings back memories of LOB’s girlhood and the early 70s milkmaid period which developed into full-blown Stevie Nicks   
Stevie Nicks in her maximum frockage period
mode complete with fringed embroidered shawl and blond shag. (Shag being a 70s haircut, for anyone tittering there at the back).

But to the present.  LOB has no time for that old saying, a woman is as old as her knees, and, at least in theory, feels we should wear whatever hemline length we damn well please. But it’s the max in maxi that makes full length dresses so impractical for any members of the grown-up sisterhood still holding down the day job. There’s an awful lot of fabric to contend with if you’re running for the bus/driving/traipsing up the elevator/getting trapped in the revolving doorway. 
Plus you could end up just looking plain daft.  But if summer ever comes, and exposing our winter-white legs to the elements becomes an issue, there is something to be said about the coolness of a floaty dress and the cover-up potential afforded to the putty-coloured pins.  
French Connection silk maxi
Getting the balance right when there is so much fabric wafting around the ankles is essential, and so maxis will be exposing a lot of shoulder, neck and d├ęcolletage action. This is when you can make with the tinted moisturiser, Nuxe shimmering oil, and ethnic jewellery in keeping with the bohemian style of the dress. Barefoot is best – tights with those flat sandals would be teetering on hicksville.If it’s a dressy up occasion or evening, sandals can take a little heel height. 

Turquoise maxi Anthropologie
While the message is that age is no barrier to go to any lengths, many women LOB asked felt that this season's long dresses are best confined to the holiday suitcase.

So for now, your blogger will continue to look longingly (so to speak) at maxis, if only because these signifiers of sunshine are about as close to a holiday as she will get this year – think Back Garden rather than Barbados. 

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