I’m going to a summer afternoon wedding and I’d like to wear a maxi dress, but I have no idea what kind to choose. Also, I’m 5’3″ and wonder if this style would even work for me? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Melissa
Yes, A maxi dress is a wonderful choice for an afternoon wedding, but here’s the catch. You have to be careful you don’t pick a maxi that is 1) too casual or 2) too sexy for the affair.
Casual Maxis Belong at the Beach
Maxi dresses like this white striped one (right) are so casual they look like they should be worn lounging by the pool or at the beach. For a wedding you need something dressier so go for a maxi dress made of a fluid fabric like silk, jersey or chiffon. Cotton or linen is too relaxed.
Solid colors are more formal than prints- not to say you can’t wear prints, but do be mindful the pattern you choose is not too sporty-casual, too funky-boho, or too beachy. Casual cuts like tank top style maxis are too relaxed for such an important celebration.
Your Maxi Dress Needs to be Classy, Not Trashy
Maxi dresses that are too sexy or edgy don’t work either. Steer clear of maxi’s with plunging necklines, thigh high slits or peek-a-boo cutouts. These look like you are desperate and will get people thinking you are trying to upstage the bride. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear a maxi that shows some skin at the neckline or shoulders but do bring pashmina as you will need to dress respectfully in the church.
Animal prints like leopard or python look tacky at a romantic wedding ceremony. Save an edgy maxi for your next cocktail party. A bit of beading on a maxi dress is fine, but too much shine or sequins is overkill, especially for an afternoon wedding.
Best Maxi dresses for an Afternoon Wedding?
Floral maxi dresses are always an excellent and appropriate choice this time of year. They are feminine and fitting for a wedding.
Caftans can also work if you are a bigger gal who wants to cover up. Just no Hawaiian mumus prints please.
Dresses that flow and move- You are going to be walking around and dancing. Get something feminine.
Black and white– When in doubt black and white is always a classy choice.
Petite? Keep this in Mind when Choosing a Maxi Dress
Also Melissa, since you are only 5’3″ I suggest you avoid maxis that have little or no shape because they will drown you. Petite women need to choose maxis that sit closer to the body and have a defined waist. The defined waist can even be a higher one, such as an empire waist.
What Type of Maxi Dress to Wear to a Beach Wedding?
If you are attending a beach wedding or an outdoor wedding you have a little more leeway and you can go a bit more casual with your maxi. Check out this post to see what I mean.