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The Maxi Dress: A California Girl’s Wardrobe Staple

Posted on Location: 4 m read

A couple weeks ago, my two lovely friends Jenn of Jubilant Dose and Yuena of Simply Yue came to visit me all the way from New York. One of the things they quickly noticed about me was that all I ever wear is maxi dresses! To be completely honest, this is an observation that I only noticed after it was pointed out to me. It wasn’t until then, did I realize that a majority of my wardrobe consists of… you guessed it, maxis!

As a native Californian, I practically grew up wearing these especially during the warmer months, so I didn’t think much of it. Growing up, my mom would not let me wear anything revealing. The maxi dress was a fair compromise — it allowed me to embrace my femininity while staying reserved. In Palm Springs, it’s warm if not HOT probably 9 out of 12 months on average.With that said, having a good variety of these numbers on rotation is key!

When asked why I can’t seem to get enough of maxi dresses, I came up with 5 reasons…

THEY ARE COMFORTABLE & CHIC

It’s not always easy to score both style and comfort in an outfit, but you pretty much can’t go wrong with a maxi. I am not a fan of wearing pants unless I absolutely have to. Not only are they restricting, it’s hard to find ones that flatter my skinny legs and lack of bum. Maxi dresses fix that problem for me, and they evoke a carefree vibe that meshes well with my lifestyle! I personally love the airy, flowy styles for several reasons — they are cooling in the harsh desert heat, and I can go bra-less. There’s truly no better feeling than being able to just throw on a maxi and be headed out the door!

THEY ARE LAYER-FRIENDLY

Layering is a breeze because just about any coat, poncho, or cardigan will look effortlessly cozy and cute over maxi dresses. Since they are longer, I don’t have to worry about my legs being exposed directly to the cold like I would if I wore a shorter dress or skirt. Whenever I’m headed somewhere warm during the day with chillier nights, I’ll just bring along a jacket and be fine. Leggings or tights can also be seamlessly worn under maxis that are long enough and don’t have slits or openings for extra warmth.

THEY ARE ELONGATING

One of my favorite things about maxi dresses is that they are very forgiving when it comes to proportions. Have an oddly short torso but long legs or vice versa? Nobody can tell when you’re in a maxi — at least not the way they might if you were wearing a top and shorts. Ultimately, I find maxis to be flattering on most body types including my own. While I’m not considered short, I do feel that these silhouettes make me appear much taller and slimmer!

THEY ARE SUITABLE FOR VARIOUS OCCASIONS

This is true in California at least. I’ve worn maxi dresses to girl’s brunch, dates with my boyfriend, weddings, and even out to run errands. You can say that they fit the bill for all sorts of events, with the exception of more activity-based occasions like hiking of course. Getting ready doesn’t take me very long when I can just put on a maxi and maybe my favorite hat and go-to jewelry.

THEY ARE EASY TO PACK

The secret to packing light on travels (or at least, to the tropical destinations)? Maxi dresses! They generally don’t take up much space in the luggage and can be neatly folded or rolled up. If you’re looking to keep your outfits simple yet elegant, this would be your best bet. Get all your bases covered and don’t fret about what top you’re going to match with your bottom and packing them separately. This leaves you more room to get creative with accessories and pack more shoes & bags if that tickles your fancy.

I’ve been getting into the spirit of Spring officially coming up in less than a week by shopping these gorgeous silhouettes. Another great thing about maxi dresses is that they are readily available at every price point. You can get a super cute one without spending a lot. If you’re up for a splurge, you can count on a generous variety of dresses to choose from too! The dress I’m wearing in this post is from TJ Maxx. It’s made by Jaase, an Australian label. If you’re a Maxxinista, I definitely recommend perusing through their Spring collection πŸ™‚

Are you a maxi kind of gal?

Photos by David Potter

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64 Comments
  • Nicole
    March 16, 2018

    I can totally relate to this post! Once warm weather hits here in MI a maxi dress is basically all I wear, I live in them!! I absolutely love your photos too btw!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 16, 2018

      Thank you Nicole! I’m so glad you can relate too, and hope it warms up for ya in MI soon so you can rock those maxis!

  • stella
    March 16, 2018

    OMG I can’t believe that maxi dress is from TJ Maxx! I would have never guessed. Will have to head over there after work to see if I can find the same one πŸ™‚ Love your other picks too. Beautiful photos as always!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 16, 2018

      Thank you Stella! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that you can find the same one πŸ™‚ xx

  • Eileen
    March 16, 2018

    You are breathtaking!!! Love your style. That dress suits you! 😍😍😍

    • Sharon Wu
      March 16, 2018

      Thanks Eileen, I’m glad you think so! xo

  • Short Girl Long Jacket
    March 16, 2018

    These shots (and the dress) are so beautiful! It’s hard for me to find maxi dresses that aren’t too long but I really love the few that I do have.

  • Stefanie
    March 16, 2018

    I love this green floral dress! The button detailing in the front is my favorite. I am all about the florals for Spring!
    -Stefanie
    https://www.styletruly.com/

    • Sharon Wu
      March 16, 2018

      Thanks Stefanie! I know right?! The button detailing is my faveee haha I just had to unbutton some of them to show off some leg action πŸ˜‰

  • Mariann Yip
    March 16, 2018

    Maxi dresses are definitely a staple for the summer! I do find it a bit of a struggle because I’m petite and most dresses are extremely long but when I find one that fits, I love them!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 16, 2018

      Aw! I’m sure that there are plenty for petites too! πŸ™‚ so much variety out there these days haha

  • Kileen
    March 17, 2018

    This is such a cute maxi dress babe! I am loving the color, so beautiful on you!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Thank you Kileen! I need to wear green more often haha

  • lydia
    March 17, 2018

    Looking so gorgeous in your maxi dress! I always love maxi dresses for everyone else, besides me! I feel like I am just to short and they are always way too long for me! I wish I wore them a lot because you choose some really pretty ones!

    xo, lydia

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Thanks Lydia! Really? Whenever I go shopping I always find maxi dresses that are too short on me! I guess it’s all about finding the right ones πŸ™‚

  • Carolyn
    March 17, 2018

    I am a huge maxi dress fan and I love all these choices! You look beautiful in this green one and I love it with the bag <3

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Thanks Carolyn! I’m happy to hear that! xx

  • Suzanne
    March 17, 2018

    I have to say I’m a huge fan of maxi dresses too! The one you’re wearing is amazing πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Thank you Suzanne! I’m glad you’re a fan too. I just picked up 2 more this weekend and needless to say I’m reaaadyyy for spring!

  • Alysa
    March 17, 2018

    Great photography and recommendations! I’ve recently gotten into dresses a lot more and completely agree with the ease of packing.

  • Sheela Goh
    March 17, 2018

    It’s funny, I’ve never considered wearing maxis despite living in Houston πŸ™‚ but you’ve sold me on the going braless idea, Sharon, so I’m on the lookout for some nice ones now myself πŸ™‚ have a great weekend.

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Haha once you get into it I don’t think you’ll be able to look back! xx

  • Briana
    March 17, 2018

    I love layering a maxi dress! Especially with a denim jacket!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      YES! That’s a great way to wear a maxi darling xx

  • This is so cute! I love a good maxi dress!!

  • Samantha Mariko
    March 18, 2018

    I absolutely love how these photos were shot and how they’re edited! You look like a California princess if there ever were such a thing! I agree with all the points of why a maxi dress is a staple to have in your wardrobe. I love them too!
    xo Samantha

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Awww thank you beautiful! You’re the sweetest!! xx

  • Lindsay Troncone
    March 18, 2018

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! Which reminds me, I need to get more!!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      YES! Can never have too many. In fact, I just bought two more today. #shameless hahaha

  • Nataly
    March 18, 2018

    I live in maxi dresses during the summer here in Texas! Thanks for sharing babe!
    P.S. These photos are absolutely stunning!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 18, 2018

      Thanks Nataly! I’m glad you enjoy wearing maxis too!

  • whit
    March 18, 2018

    love a classic maxi! that green is a beautiful color!

    Whit

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      Maxis are the best! I don’t wear green often but after this maxi I think I need to add more green to my wardrobe hahaha

  • Taylor Mobley
    March 18, 2018

    This is SUCH a chic and classic look. Obsessed.

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      Thanks Taylor! So glad you like it πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie
    March 19, 2018

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m shocked you purchased this dress at TJ Maxx! I guess I’ve never browsed their selection enough to find these kinds of stunning pieces. I really want this maxi dress. I’m not sure I’ve ever loved something you’ve shared more than this piece! As a taller gal, maxis are definitely my jam. I need to grab this one ASAP! So beautiful, Sharon!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      Thanks Stephanie! So the brand is Jaase, it’s Australian and they make the BEST DRESSES omg. I already picked up ANOTHER one at Marshall’s — if you don’t find it at TJ I definitely recommend trying Marshall’s! πŸ™‚ xx

  • Kait Elizabeth
    March 19, 2018

    I love maxis but have the hardest time with them and my petite frame! Looking gorgeous for warm weather babe. Hugs, Kait
    http://www.baskinginburgundy.com

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      Ahhh! I have a pretty petite frame as well but not height/length wise LOL. Sometimes maxis can be too loose on me. I literally need like an XXS or an XS. It can be a challenge to find the perfect maxi but when you do it feels amazing! πŸ˜‰

  • Miki
    March 19, 2018

    I LOVE maxi dresses and this suits you perfectly. You look great. With weather mostly hot year round, it’s such a fantastic option! Love the various options you shared too! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      Thank you darling!! I hope you had a fab weekend x

  • Rachel
    March 19, 2018

    This maxi dress is gorgeous and looks so good on you! I can’t believe it’s from TJMaxx.

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      So many great finds at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, especially when you live in the desert and don’t have many shopping options. LOL!

  • Ankita Bardhan
    March 19, 2018

    Maxi dresses are a huge staple for me in summers! Couldn’t agree more with the points you made here. You look absolutely stunning in this maxi dress, love how the pictures were taken! It looks perfect H to T!
    http://realgirltalks.com/

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      I’m so glad you can relate darling! And thank you for the compliments! xx

  • KatWalkSF
    March 19, 2018

    I couldn’t agree more! I love a maxi dress and I’m a california girl!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 19, 2018

      Haha yayyy! California girls all the way hehe πŸ™‚ I’m glad you love maxi dresses too! So great for spring and summer coming up πŸ™‚

  • Corretta
    March 20, 2018

    Maxi dresses are everything! I always make sure I have a black and/or white one in my wardrobe!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 27, 2018

      Those are staple colors! Great choices babe xx

  • Jessi Malay
    March 21, 2018

    You can never go wrong with a pretty floral maxi!! Love the high slit on this one..so feminine and chic! Can’t wait for summer and the warm weather!!

    XO, Jessi
    https://jmalay.com/dtla-plaid-blazer/

    • Sharon Wu
      March 27, 2018

      Couldn’t agree more! Thanks Jessi πŸ™‚ I also can’t wait for summer!

  • Candace
    March 21, 2018

    I’m typically not a maxi dress kind of girl, but I do tend to reach for them when I’m on vacation for ease in styling. You shared so many beautiful options for spring that are actually affordable. I may need to snag some of these for my Puerto Rico trip coming up!

    • Sharon Wu
      March 27, 2018

      I hope you’re able to find some nice ones that you love in time for your trip babe! Have fun and safe travels xx

  • kelly Fordon
    March 28, 2018

    The maxi dress is one of my go-t0 spring and summer wardrobe essentials! I love the style you showed here πŸ™‚

    Birdie Shoots

    • Sharon Wu
      March 29, 2018

      Thanks Kelly! I’m glad that you love maxis too xx

  • annie
    March 30, 2018

    I love maxis because they’re so easy to pack too! Definitely a traveler’s best friend. Beautiful photos! xxx

    • Sharon Wu
      March 30, 2018

      Couldn’t agree more! Thanks Annie x

  • Jessica
    April 4, 2018

    Yes! I love maxis too. They’re flowy and really easy to wear. Plus they can be really versatile too, and can suit with almost any occasions. I absolutely love your maxi dress here dear, perfect for summer!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • Sharon Wu
      April 4, 2018

      Thanks Jessica! I’m really looking forward to summer πŸ™‚ xo

  • Prachi Maulingker Naik
    April 11, 2018

    Yes indeed !! Im a maxi kinda gal and love wearing them across any season ❀

    • Sharon Wu
      April 11, 2018

      They are so versatile and comfy! Glad you love them too xo

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