It isn’t unusual to be doubtful about a trend and then change our mind when we find the version that works for us and figure out how to wear it well. Sometimes it’s also a question of allowing our eyes to adapt to a particular look. Some trends never work for us because they don’t suit our body type or style preference, and that’s  fine too. They will work on someone else and we can appreciate them in that way.

That said, in the last seventeen years of my professional fashion life I have come across a few recurring trends that I don’t find flattering on anyone. Despite being the the number one frock in stores this season in all its bohemian and 70’s glory, relaxed maxi dresses is one of these trends.

Casual ankle length frocks worn with casual flats for either day or night just don’t work in my book. It’s too much fabric for daytime and the look swallows you up if you’re short. They also resemble nighties when worn at night and look odd when sported with dressy heels. However, if you have a bit of height, I love the look of a dressy ankle length gown or skirt for formal occasions matched with dressy high heels. I guess my challenge is that I find it hard to accept the ankle length frock as a casual thing. It’s not only hard to wear (knee-length dresses are infinitely more flattering) but it screams “formal”.

The question of casual maxi dress wearability keeps coming up on YLF now that it’s getting warmer and the style is everywhere in stores and on the street. So I went back to try the look AND had clients do the same, but my perspective has not changed. Nevertheless, if you like the way casual maxi dresses make you look and feel, I won’t hold it against you! I feel strongly about the guidelines that I evangelize, but this case feels more subjective than most.

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The two maxi dresses on the left are casual and I just can’t get my head around the look. The two gowns on the right are evening formal and super dressy. I love that look.