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5 ways to style a maxi dress in Autumn

One of the main reasons we love a maxi dress is that they move seamlessly between seasons. That maxi you loved in summer, when styled a little differently, can be a perfect option for autumn too. So, don’t pack it away! Keep it out, and enjoy it all year round..

Why do maxi dresses work well in Autumn?

They are the perfect transition dress between summer and autumn! With things cooling down, short dresses, and even midis, can leave your legs feeling chilly. You’ll be wanting to pair them with tights, which is another stunning autumn/winter fashion trend, but not what we’re focusing on here!

With maxi dresses, your legs are already kept warm by the dress itself, and even with tights underneath, you get the best of both worlds! You keep warm AND your maxi dress still looks lovely.

So, how do you successfully transition your maxi dress from summer to autumn?

Here are some easy ideas for styling maxi dresses for women in Autumn using staple basics you probably already have! Save those pennies girl!

1 Oversized T-Shirt, Shirt or Sweater

1 Oversized T-Shirt, Shirt or Sweater

An oversized, cropped sweater over the top of your maxi dress screams casual cool. It’s a fashion trend we’re repping in house too!

With loose-fitting t-shirts, rather than figure hugging silhouette, you can style these by knotting it at the waist, and pairing with your favourite jacket for a chic, layered look.

T-shirts in block colours look best, like black or white or grey, but a graphic tee can add a whole new element to the look. . Think of matching colours in the graphic with those from the dress for an effortlessly tied together fit! 

If you want to turn up the sophistication of your favourite layered tee, try a black tee with a wide cinched buckle belt  around the waist, platform sandals, black leather jacket and handbag. Pop your Hair up and finish the look with dangling earrings. Très chic!

For sweaters, again, go oversized. We recommend cropped sweaters too. The sweater over maxi dress looks well considered without looking like you tried too hard. It’s also super comfortable, especially if you go for a soft fabric, like a fluffy teddy texture or your favourite cable knit! Style this added dimension effortlessly with ankle boots and a scarf!.

Don't have a cropped sweater? Never fear! You can again create shape around the waist by adding a belt over the sweater. You can crop your sweater a little or a lot, by pulling some of it through your belt. This creates a blousing effect at the top for added flair!. Pull most of your sweater through, and you basically look like you’re wearing a cropped sweater. Check out this demo video here

In terms of colour, sweaters in neutral tones work best over patterned maxi dresses, or vice versa. You can also play with different fabrics and textures. For instance a fluffy sweater over a satin dress is our go-to Autumn look.  We also love this look, where a ribbed sweater is matched with a pleated maxi dress in different tones of pink. And we LOVE pink!

Whether you go for a t-shirt or a sweater, there is no end to how to finish off this look!  To look even more casual style with canvas high-top sneakers or pair with solid boots, like Dr. Martens for an edgy look, our favourite!

Note, a denim or chambray shirt, knotted at the waist, can also look good over your maxi dress.

2. The Blazer

2. The Blazer

A well cut blazer never goes out of fashion, and over a maxi dress, you get a classic look for work, brunch with friends, or pretty much any special occasion. It’s also super easy to throw together!

For styling tips, make sure your blazer is well-tailored. Those that draw in at the waist tend to work best. In terms of hem, shorter is usually more flattering. Blazers that are too long can overwhelm the dress and weigh down the whole look, so if your blazer is not cropped, it’s best to keep it above mid-hip. 

If your maxi dress doesn’t taper in at the waist, consider adding a waist belt over the dress to draw in the fabric and add a little more shape. You can then ‘blouse’ the top of the dress a little. This works especially well if you plan to leave your blazer unbuttoned - which we love!

Although straight, leg-hugging maxi dresses look good with a blazer, it makes for a nice contrast when you mix the formal lines of the blazer with a voluminous skirt. Consider maxis that are pleated or ruffled at the skirt end and pair with your favourite cropped blazer for a very “Sex And The City” Look!

For shoes? Pointed toe booties or chunky heels work wonders with the blazer + maxi combo, as do casual sneakers!

3  Top under dress

3 Top under dress

To make use of your maxi in autumn, a simple trick is to wear a long sleeve top underneath it, like a figure hugging t-shirt, turtleneck, or even a collared shirt. 

This is a classic 90s look that works particularly well on maxi dresses with spaghetti straps or square necklines and makes for a stylish, studious look. 

You can go for a grungy vibe, with a black t-shirt under a chequered maxi and chunky Dr. Martens. 

For a preppy vibe, try a cream coloured turtleneck, pastel floral maxi dress over the top, and ankle boots!

4  Denim jacket

4 Denim jacket

A denim jacket is the perfect companion to most maxi dresses. No matter whether your maxi dress is long sleeved, short sleeved, off the shoulder or has straps, a denim jacket is a great way to keep yourself a little warmer on those autumn days, and look cute at the same time.

Blue, black, grey or white denim can all work here. As with blazers, a cropped jacket tends to go batter with the maxi, rather than denim jackets with longer hems.

5  Leather jacket

5 Leather jacket

A leather or vegan leather jacket thrown over a maxi makes for a sophisticated yet street look and takes your dress from day to night with ease. 

For a day look, dress the combo down with your favourite sneakers. For an edgy night look, a pointed toe heel or heeled boot of any length will work really well.

The handbag exercises a lot of power with this look, as it can really dress the look up or down. Whilst most handbags will work, think about making things more interesting by choosing a sparkly handbag, or rather than matching black with black, pairing a denim clutch with a black leather jacket. We love a POP of colour too - so tying your neutral outfit together with an iconic royal blue, croc leather shoulder bag would send us to heaven!

Bonus tips for styling a maxi dress…

  • If you’re looking for maxi dresses for women for the autumn weather, obviously go for long-sleeved. It’ll keep your arms warm, and there’s less to style.
  • Some maxi dresses for women do almost all the work and need little styling for autumn. So if you don’t want to do much work, seek out a dress that already has some shaping or detail to attract the eye, such as a belt, puff sleeves, tiered skirt or front-tie neckline. Then all you need is a nice pair of heels or boots, earrings and a handbag. See this divine example of a maxi dress working hard for the money.
  • If you’re petite and your maxi is too long, try tying the hem on one side into a knot to shorten it. (For ideas on tying your maxi, check out this YouTube tutorial.)
  • Cold legs? There’s no limit to what you can put underneath a maxi, so tights, fleece leggings, knee-high boots are all in our top picks..
    If you want to show off those tall boots under your maxi, go for a dress with a split, or again, knot the hem on one side or at the front to flash more boot.
  • Whilst it’s more balanced to pair a solid colour jacket or sweater with a patterned dress (or vice versa), there’s no law against mixing patterns. So if patterns are your jam, go for it! As New York fashion icon Iris Apfel famously said, “More is more & less is a bore”. Rock out!