Sizzling Summer Party Dresses for Women Who Love Maxis

Break out the margaritas and put on the shish kabobs—it’s time for a summer celebration! What will you wear to a backyard BBQ or neighborhood pool party this weekend?

Pants can be hot and boring, while shorts and skimpy sundresses may feel too bare.  But a maxi dress is party-perfect and always sure to”wow.”

Here is my favorite maxi party dress and how I styled it, plus a few others with plenty of summer sizzle.

A great summer party is like being on vacation, so I like to dress up in something festive and fun to set the mood!

This summer, Dr. D and I are hosting a huge afternoon family pool party. Everyone is coming, from my 95-year-old mother-in-law to my one-year-old nephew. We’re expecting about 40 relatives and a few friends from as far away as California and British Columbia. It’s going to be a party to remember!

I’ve already got my dress—a fabulous cotton summer maxi from Talbots! The colors are fresh and gorgeous, and the medallion print says backyard summer party to me!


Summer party dress

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Party-Ready Halter Maxi Dress

I’ve always loved halter necklines because they show just enough skin to look sexy but don’t leave you feeling too bare. They’re also super modern and youthful.

bow tie on back of summer maxi dress

Do you see the back of the dress?  It has a long tie at the neck that you can wrap into a bow. This is such a pretty, feminine detail, and it really gives you that party dress look and feel!

Woman wearing Paraiba jWatch the video of me modeling this jewelry my LTK shop, here!

Add Some Jewelry

This lovely summer maxi dress has a lot going on, but since it’s for a party, I’ve added some of my favorite new statement jewelry from @deandavidson.

The stunning greenish-blue gemstones in my pendant, earrings, and cocktail ring match this dress so perfectly that they look custom-made!

Dean Davidson Paraiba jewelry collection

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These gorgeous pieces are from Dean’s Paraiba collection, inspired by the ultra-rare Pariaba tourmaline. I’m crazy about the color and how it energizes this dress and anything else I wear with it.

More Summer Party Maxi Dresses

This pretty Halter is just one of the gorgeous maxi dresses I found for summer parties. Here are a few others that are fantastic!


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Bold is Beautiful

Here’s a sleek summer maxi dress with an exciting abstract print that makes it look like a walking piece of art!

I love the high-energy mix of these vivid, saturated colors and how they effortlessly come together in this brushstroke painterly print.

This dress was made for cocktails by the pool or beach!


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Tropical Vibes say Summer

You can’t go wrong with a tropical-themed dress on a steamy summer day.

This cool and refreshing palm print maxi dress is instantly relaxing to the eye and would be nice and cool to wear, too.

Be sure to accessorize it with natural raffia accessories to enhance the island girl vibe.


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Exotic Summer Maxi

This chic maxi with its ethnic-inspired, world-traveler look is another must-have.

Wide shoulder straps and dark, neutral colors make it easy for anyone to wear.

Play up print with a brown leather tote, black sandals, and accessories.

Square hoop earrings add a cool twist to this modern Boho look.


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Still Searching? Above are a few more Summer party maxi dresses that are hot, hot!


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19 thoughts on “Sizzling Summer Party Dresses for Women Who Love Maxis

  1. Hi, I am looking for a maxi dress suitable for a spring wedding. I have seen a couple of possibles on
    Your website, but I can’t access details of the dresses, and when ‘shop the look’ appears, that doesn’t work.
    Please advise; thanks

  2. Thank you for this post. I love all of the maxi dress choices you featured. I’m a little distressed by the other comments saying that the dresses are too young or can’t be worn by more mature women because the dresses are sleeveless, show too much skin, etc. I wouldn’t want anyone to wear something that doesn’t feel comfortable. Still, I wonder if we worry so much about how we think we look rather than enjoying the beautiful clothes available to turn 55, and I’ve never been a “skinny mini.” Still, I like feeling pretty and wearing pretty clothes – including lots of cold-shoulder tops and dresses – and I decided I’m not going to worry that my arms aren’t thin or may jiggle when I move. If I like it, I wear it. I think our beauty comes through our confidence, not our weight.

    1. I love your attitude Anita, and I am in total agreement! Life is no fun if you are always worried about having a perfect body (and, of course, there is no such thing.) Cheers, Deborah

    2. Anita. Ignore the nay-sayers. This is 2018. We 50-somethings are free to wear all those beautiful fashions and hot hairstyles. We deserve to look our best and feel our best!

  3. I love these maxi dresses, especially the “by the sea” blue one at the top! Even though some ladies mentioned in the comments that these wouldn’t work for mature women, I think they would work for a fun vacation dress when we might get a little more sun on our arms. They could also work as a casual evening dress with a bit of self-tanner on the arms and shoulders. I think these dress choices are beautiful!


  4. I love how you put clothing together, and it always makes me rethink my wardrobe; my only qualm is that your models are all tall and thin; I am short and not that thin, with an ample backside and bigger arms. Could we please have a section with models under 5’5 Thank you?

  5. I love the dresses, but I struggle with what type of bra to wear with spaghetti straps and backless dresses. I’ve yet to find a comfortable strapless bra.

  6. THANK you. I’ve been looking at these maxi dresses for a while, but most of them are just entirely impractical (spaghetti straps) or unflattering (tent-like) unless you are a skinny mini.

    I love the first dress (blue Chloe empire). It gets everything right. It’s comfy, chic, and flattering: the Holy Grail. I was so inspired by it that I analyzed why it works on my blog (

    Keep up the great work – it’s very much appreciated.

    1. Thanks, Belinda,
      I switch the photos of dresses around often, as they sell out, so come back and check out this post in a month, and you may see more dresses you like. My diverse audience is so diverse that it is hard to find dresses that appeal to all. I prefer a thicker strap myself on a maxi, so I liked your choice of the blue maxi. Fantastic blog, by the way, and the paintings on it are gorgeous!! Did you do them? Cheers, Deborah

  7. Unfortunately, all your lovely dresses are sleeveless. Most mature women I know would not wear any of them because of that fact. Even the Blogger you featured from Las Vegas stated she NEVER goes sleeveless. Please feature fashions for mature women.

  8. I like this site’s idea and the information it provides; however, all your models are young when you are supposed to promote fashions for over 40-year-olds! Why don’t you use mature models to demonstrate what looks good? I would be more interested in seeing mature models of all shapes and sizes.

    1. Hi Carolyn, Yes, that is a problem. We show clothing from department stores and chains that all use young models. Please let us know if you can find a store that uses mature models. In the meantime, we encourage readers to send photos of themselves in stylish outfits! Cheers, Deb

  9. Hello,

    So far, I have been wearing maxi dresses alone – as maxi dresses. I would be interested in how to wear them differently and more often.


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