What Jacket To Wear With a Maxi Dress

Many women sing the praises of maxi dresses because they are casually stylish, comfy and a nice change from pants. The only problem is many are sleeveless or skimpy up top and a lot of gals want a little more coverage.

Maxi dress with jean jacket

If you like maxis dresses but need more coverage up top, then here are two suggestions. You can either look for a maxi dress with sleeves, or you can throw on a cute jean jacket over top of a maxi dress.

jean jacket with maxi dress


A Jean Jacket adds Style and Is the  Perfect Cover-Up

A jean jacket looks cool with a maxi because it enhances that laid-back boho vibe.  This is a great outfit to wear to a pool party, a backyard summer bbq, when you are out shopping or when you are on vacation.  A classic, slightly faded blue denim jacket works with every color or choose white, which looks nice in summer.


Maxi and denim jacket
Keep accessories big and casual.

Choose Big Accessories

For a sporty, more youthful look, roll up the sleeves a little to show off your forearms and then throw on some bangles or layer multiple bracelets.  Keep in mind that accessories need to be a little larger and bolder since, with a maxi, there’s a lot of fabric.

Tiny little earrings or a dainty necklace will get lost. You’re better off to go with accessories that stand out; for example, a pair of oversized hoops, a long scarf, or a funky, wide leather belt with a big decorative buckle. These work with the boho vibe.

Laura Dern Maxi dress
A maxi with a jean jacket is casual and fun.

Keep the Shoe and Bag Casual

What women love about maxis is that they can be worn with flat or low wedge shoes so you can feel comfortable but still look casually stylish too.

The other great thing is that since the maxi dress has a long vertical line, it will give you the illusion of looking longer and leaner. Have fun with a natural-looking or sparkly sandal or, if you prefer, a relaxed-looking rope or cork wedge.  I wouldn’t recommend wearing a maxi dress with a kitten heel or pumps; it will look too dressy for such a casual look.

Transition Your Maxi Into Fall

If you want to get more mileage out of your maxi dress come fall, you can do what this gal did. She wore a long red tank over the top of the maxi dress, then added a fringed scarf and a denim jacket. It makes it look as she is wearing a skirt instead of a dress. Two outfits from one dress! If you have a summer maxi dress in your closet, get it out and have some fun trying to layer it for a casual look. It’s a nice change from pants, and it makes you feel fresh and feminine.

denim vest over maxi dress


If you don’t care about sleeves but are after a more layered look, then the jean vest over a maxi is trendy this year.

And don’t forget, maxi dresses are fabulous for summer parties and even work for summer weddings.

Join the Conversation

10 thoughts on “What Jacket To Wear With a Maxi Dress

  1. Hi Deborah,
    I am headed to Paris in about ten days, and I am taking maxi dresses in black and navy with me. Since it gets cool in the evenings there, I wondered how would a jean jacket be there? I’m afraid it will immediately identify me as a tourist. What do you think? I think your blog is great, thanks for all the tips!

    1. Hi Colleen, France/Paris is much more casual nowadays but if you are worried about looking like a tourist, you could bring a wrap or drape a blazer over your shoulders. Both these are more chic (and more seen) than a denim jacket. The darker colors re: your maxi dress is right on. Bright colors aren’t as popular in France as they are in North America. Have a great time!

  2. I have a closet full of maxi dresses because I love them! I wear mine with either a denim jacket…with the sleeves rolled up of course!….or a pretty lightweight cardigan or a sleeveless denim jacket/vest. I consider the maxi to be a staple in my wardrobe!

  3. A maxi dress is great. I wear mine with a jean jacket typically. I was wondering what people think of a sleeveless jean jacket over a maxi?

    1. I think a Jean vest would look great, especially in warmer weather. I’m gonna try it. Thanks for the tip! :-)

  4. Hi Deboah,
    I really love your youtube videos. But one thing i’ve noticed is that your models are all slim (lucky). I am 5′ 2″ and stocky, a US size 16 (i’m a New Zealander, and here i would be a size 18). I have slight waist curves, a full bust and broad shoulders. I’m really struggling to feel good about myself and find my style. I’m 55 years old.
    Any suggestions.
    Regards from down under

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