How to Wear a Maxi Skirt or Maxi Dress for Your Body Shape


how to wear a maxi for your body shape

Maxi skirts and dresses are everywhere again this summer here in Australia.

They can be a glamorous addition to your wardrobe, work for day and night (though not the office).  There are a few tips to consider when wearing maxi’s depending on your height and body shape which I’ll share with you here. So what are my tips on how to wear a maxi skirt for your body shape?

How to Wear a Maxi if You’re Petite

Most often I hear that petites find them tricky to wear and they can be if you choose a style with too much volume and wear them too long.

  • End them around the ankle, rather than dragging on the ground.
  • Make sure they are made from a fluid fabric that doesn’t swamp you, avoid too many gathers and lots of fabric.
  • Keep patterns in scale with your body, avoid large scale patterns.
Petite maxi style


Petite maxi style by imogenl featuring a white skirt

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How to Wear a Maxi if You are an H shape (or lack a defined waist)

  • Avoid gathers and anything belted or pleated around the waist
  • With maxi-dresses, an empire style is the most flattering
  • Straighter shapes follow the lines of your body and flatter.


Maxi tips for straight body shapes



How to Wear a Maxi if You have an X or A shape (or have a defined waist)

  • You want a waisted style that you can cinch in to show off your defined waist.
  • A flared shape follows your curves
  • Look for fabrics that drape softly and move as you walk


maxi tips for curvy body shapes



How to Wear a Maxi if You are Tall

  • It’s hard to find things long enough for you most of the time, but a maxi for you should come at least to your ankles, if not a little longer.
  • Play with horizontal details if you want to look shorter
  • Work with your body shape recommendations as mentioned above if you are either more curvy or more straight
maxi tips for tall women


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  • Wow, I had never considered how variations there were in maxi skirts/dresses, and your suggestions make great sense to enhance the various body types!

  • Nice picture Imogen. You have a large wardrobe to choose from it seems. Guess it goes with the job. I’ll have to take you shopping one day. I can never find a thing makes me look nice. Colour swatches or not.

  • Imogen – Thanks for the wonderful article – what about A and O shapes when they want to wear maxi dresses?

    Thanks – Tina

  • Great article! But what if you are petite and X-shaped? It seems the flare recommended for X shapes would swallow a petite frame?

    • The tips with petite is not too much fabric – you can still follow the lines of shapes for the X but without swamping yourself in lots of gethering or extra fabric.

  • As an H/V inbetween, I find, maxis don’t match my bady shape at all. They just take away from my hips, expose my flat bum and broad upper body and hide my best parts: My legs. Never really found one that I liked to wear, although I keep hoping and trying.

    • I think the maxis that have a sheer overlay over a pencil or other short shape underneath would give you the coverage of a maxi, with the pop of leg flirtily visible.

  • Great post! I’m really petite and it’s hard for me to wear maxi dresses that don’t make me look like I’m playing dress up. was one of the few clothing sites that fit well, if anyone is looking for some suggestions. Any other recommendations ?

  • Do you have any recommendations for the shape of maxi skirts? I’m an 8, and while I wear my knee skirts in pencil style, I think I look better in a-line maxis. Makes any sense?

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