May 18 2010 By Chester Chronicle
TK Maxx maxi dresses, from £14.99
Go to longer lengths in this season's must-have maxi.
The nation's floors are set to become a whole lot cleaner this summer - and that's nothing to do with the new Cam-Clegg takeover. The ground-grazing maxi is this season's statement length.
Models at Chloe, Aquascutum and Basso & Brooke floated down the catwalks in maxis which give their brasher mini-skirt sisters a real run for their money.
This shift from short to long, is one you shouldn't have to think too hard about.
Agreed, the hemline is a potential trip hazard, but wearers will no longer have to worry about epilation or pasty pins - or perhaps even footwear.
The trend has real longevity on the High Street too. All things uber-long will see you through the upcoming autumn/winter season when you swap your flip-flops for ankle boots.
So go to great lengths this summer and embrace maxi mania.
Think maxi and the style that springs to mind for high summer is the timeless Ossie Clark-inspired billowing frock.
If seventies fever still puts a swing in your step, embrace your inner hippy and take inspiration from Etro and Stella McCartney who paraded floaty maxis updated with modern digital prints.
You can give an everyday maxi a boho spin via accessories. Pile on the bangles, throw on a psychedelic headband or go the whole hog and buy a pair of this season's clogs for Woodstock chic.
Try: Phase Eight Martina maxi dress, £99; Awear purple printed maxi dress, £60; Dorothy Perkins blue vintage print maxi skirt, £32; M&Co dip dye maxi dress, £45.
Farewell pretty maxis and hello grungy minimalism.
Longer lengths have been given a makeover this season with sleeker shapes and less fuss in a simple colour palette of blacks, whites, greys and smudgy khakis as seen at Chloe and Aquascutum.
Maxi length jersey skirts are the new kid on the block to embrace this tougher look. Team with flats for extra attitude.
Toe the rock chick line further by playing with proportions and teaming your cement-sweeping hemline with a black leather biker jacket.
Try: Label Lab charcoal maxi ruffle dress, £45 at House of Fraser; River Island printed maxi skirt, £24.99; New Look graphic jersey maxi dress, £24.99; Just Female t-shirt maxi dress, £45 at ASOS.
You don't have to reserve your maxi for daytime or beach attire. Full length can equal super-luxe.
Draped styles in neutral hues like nudes, greys and blacks as seen as Pucci and Elie Saab are a modern take on the trend with a nod to the Grecian style.
Keep it simple or pile on statement jewellery pieces to change the look of the dress every time you wear it.
Alternatively try a maxi with some inbuilt bling. Embellishments such as beading, sparkle or embroidery will really add the wow factor to your look for a special occasion.
Try: Aftershock blue Grecian maxi dress, £279; Monsoon grey strapless Tippi maxi, £160; Warehouse cream embellished maxi dress, £65; Poltock and Walsh jewel print maxi dress, £150 at Oli.
Maxi styling magic
Whatever your vital statistics, there's a maxi out there that will make you feel like you're floating on air.
Designer Noelle Adam ( www.noelleadam.com ), who specialises in limited edition maxi dresses, says: "While the maxi is a timeless style that embraces the feminine shape and suits all figures, and ages, there are key points in getting this look right."
"The perfect length of the maxi should be ankle or just above ankle length, approximately 1cm from the floor," Noelle advises.
If you would rather wear wedges or heels than flats, take them with you when you're trying maxis on to ensure you get the desired drop.
"If you have a curvier shape, flat sandals often look better for a more casual look," Noelle says. "Choosing block colours can have a slimming effect and floral patterns and prints will disguise waistlines."
Opt for strappy or halterneck maxis with fuller skirts if you have a rectangle or inverted triangle body shape.
"The maxi's key appeal is that it can be dressed up or down with accessories," says Noelle.
Move the maxi look on from beachwear to evening glamour with statement jewellery and towering heels.