How to Style a Maxi Shirt 3 Ways | Office, Casual, Evening | Navy, Black & White

How to style a Maxi Shirt 3 Ways | Petite Silver Vixen

Whenever I buy an item of clothing, it’s always with an eye to how many ways I can style it with existing items in my wardrobe, and/or how many occasions I think I’ll wear it.  That way, I’m maximizing my clothing budget and building an efficient wardrobe.   Of course, there are some items which don’t really lend themselves to you taking that approach.  You can hardly wear a full length evening dress on your weekly shop run!  Or maybe you do?  More power to you, if so.

I’d been toying with the idea of buying a maxi shirt for this coming Summer, so when I saw this petite navy and white spot maxi shirt with side splits, in the sale recently, I knew it was the time to buy one (still available).  Even though I’m petite, there’s no reason why I can’t wear longer length items. Here I am wearing a long line coatigan in my Easy Sunday Chic post. You just need to bear in mind proportions a little more when you’re petite and balance volume.

I always like it when fellow bloggers show their creativity and do posts where they style a particular piece in a variety of ways, so I decided to join in the fun.

I’ve styled it 3 ways using a main colour palette of navy, black and white. Here and there, are dashes of colour and texture for depth and added interest.

Look One: as a long line waistcoat or vest for a smart casual office outfit.
Look Two: as a long line waistcoat with white jeans and a tee for casual wear.
Look Three: buttoned for an evening look paired with classic cigarette pants.


It’s obvious to match a maxi shirt with trousers or jeans but I was curious to see how the shirt would work with a skirt. Realistically it’s going to work best with a straight skirt to allow the shirt to hang as a sleek column.  My tube skirt was the ideal shape and also because the stripes lend themselves to doing some pattern mixing.  The last time it was on the blog was also a pattern mixing post – Polka Dots & Stripes

But it’s not only spots and stripes this time.  Oh no, all THREE pieces – shirt, top and skirt – have patterns,  It might not be immediately obvious but the top is a textured pattern – broderie anglaise.  I purposely chose it instead of a plain tee to show

that as long as the size of all the patterns are in proportion with each other, which the stripes, spots and embroidery are, you can get away with wearing them as an ensemble.

Wearing the shirt as a long line waistcoat (or vest as our friends across the pond would say), it’s an alternative twist on wearing a jacket for Summer.  Now I appreciate that for certain professions this might be too casual for the office, but this easily adapts to situations outside the 9-5 environment, such as a weekend lunch with friends.

To give a crisp, sharp finish, it had to be a dash of red; necklace, bag and of course lips!  I don’t know about you, but I do love red with black and white.  So striking.

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Tube Striped Skirt, Embroidery Top, Topshop Ghillies | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Tube Striped Skirt, Embroidery Top, Topshop Ghillies | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Tube Striped Skirt, Embroidery Top, Topshop Ghillies | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Tube Striped Skirt, Embroidery Top, Red Bage | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Navy Spot Maxi Shirt
TKMaxx Striped Tube Skirt Striped Tube Jersey Skirt
TKMaxx Embroidery Anglaise Top Debenhams Broderie Anglaise Top
Dorothy Perkins Red Necklace (old)
Red Bag e-bay (old)
Red Herring Bracelets (old)
TopShop Ghillies S/S15  This Season’s Ghillie Sandal


I only needed to change a few details and hey presto, I’ve a relaxed daytime outfit. The top half is the same as the ‘Office’ look, bar a change of necklace.  I like white on white but it can be tricky to wear if you’ve not been blessed with the ‘tanning’ gene. Wearing the shirt still in the waistcoat style with the white on white, is enough colour for my pale skin.

Wearing it with the white jeans, just makes me want to grab my passport and fly off on holiday right now!  With my padded slip-ons, I can comfortably do a spot of sightseeing without sticking out like a sore ‘I AM A TOURIST’ thumb.

And wearing my ever so practical hat (!), the shirt will slightly protect the white top and jeans!  You know, because I’m always the one that manages to

sit on a chair without noticing the bubble gum 
or food stain 
or [insert here] anything else that magnetises itself to white clothing!

And there’s a little cheeky pattern mixing going on but this time with shirt and bag.  I’ve had this adorable, embroidery bag for over 20 years.  I don’t know which was the deciding factor in buying it – the beautifully delicate, embroidered flowers or the bamboo handles!  I can’t resist either.  And it looks a treat with my blue and green tassel necklace.

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, BHS Petite White Jeans, Embroidery Top | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, BHS Petite White Jeans, Embroidery Top | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Embroidery Top & Bamboo Handle Embroidered Silk Bag | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Embroidery Top & Bamboo Handle Silk Embroidered Bag,Yosa Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

I’m very happy to admit when I’m inspired by other bloggers; it’s one of the many benefits I love about blogging.  Credit is due to my blogging pal, Olga, from Local-Moda.  I loved her gorgeously vivid blue, über long maxi shirt; it’s a beauty.

Seeing Olga in hers unwittingly sealed the deal for me in finally deciding to look for a petite maxi shirt for myself! My styling is an homage to hers.

Dorothy Perkins Petite Navy Spot Maxi Shirt
TKMaxx Embroidery Anglaise Top.  Debenhams Broderie Anglaise
BHS Petite White Jeans (old) Dorothy Perkins Petite White Jeggings
Yosa Tassel Necklace.  Similar Yosa Teal Tassel Necklace
Silver Chunky Bracelet from the Emporioum of I Forget
Embroidery Bag (ancient)
Mock Croc Silver Slip Ons from France (old)


I’m all for having a killer dress on stand by in your wardrobe for nights out on the town but more often than not, when dressing for a night out either with friends or on a date night with Tall Brown Fox, I want an easy going outfit that doesn’t scream


Enter stage right The Cigarette Pants.

They are one of those classic items that stand up to pretty much any kind of styling and they tick that ideal combination box of comfortable and polished.  I bought these linen ones a few summers ago and they’ve more than proved their worth.

I find there’s something quite appealing about a shirt fully buttoned up.  A touch of the masculine chic!  It’s streamlined, uncomplicated, unfussy, and the best bit?

No ridiculous body shaping, circulation cutting, organ squashing undergarments that some killer dresses require!!!

To up the ante more for the evening, a few well placed accessories; a sterling silver pendant, an opal and grey bracelet, wedges with a criss cross pattern and a decent sized wristlet clutch with a glittery panel.  The glitter is in varying hues of purple, violet, blue and gold; a delightfully sparkly contrast to the shirt.You can read the story of buying the clutch here when I was visiting family in France at Christmas time.

The tootsies are out for the first showing of the year!  A dash of colour to match the lips, of course.

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Black Linen Cigarette Pants, Glitter Clutch | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Black Linen Cigarette Pants, Glitter Clutch | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Eternal Collection Sterling Silver Pendant | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Black Linen Cigarette Pants, Glitter Clutch | Petite Silver Vixen

Dorothy Perkins Petite Navy Spot Maxi Shirt
Camaieu Cigarette Pants (old)  ASOS Petite Cigarette Pants  Regular ASOS Linen Cigarette Pants
Eternal Collection Sterling Silver Pendant Similar Pendant
Camaieu Sequin Wristlet Clutch  Similar style wristlet clutch
New Look Black Wedges (old)

Maxi Shirt Footnote

I’m chuffed to bits with my new shirt.  I’ve definitely maximised its potential – I make no apology for the appalling play on words there!

The second and third looks are ones I can easily wear on a holiday with the shirt effortlessly moving from day to night.  The shirt would certainly earn its place on a holiday packing list, especially when space is at a premium in your suitcase and pieces need to double up.

And for evenings that may be on the cooler side, you simply slip on a thin, short length jacket. The loose style of my waterfall faux leather jacket fits well with the flowing feel of the shirt, even when it’s fully buttoned up.

I’ll see you at the bar – mine’s a Sea Breeze cocktail with a dash of lime please.

Dorothy Perkins Petite Maxi Shirt, Black Linen Cigarette Pants, Waterfall Jacket, Glitter Clutch | Petite Silver Vixen

Do you have a maxi shirt?  If so, how do you like to style it?  And do you have a favourite look out of my three?

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike / Confident Twosday / Garay Treasures / finewhatever / Style Sessions / Colourandgrace / JerseyGirlTexanHeart / Thursday Moda / Throwback Thursday / TopoftheWorld / Fashion Should Be Fun / Fabulous Friday / Fashion Friday / Flashback Friday / Fancy Friday


  1. May 17, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Three great options! I think the evening one is my favorite though! It's so chic and sophisticated!

  2. May 17, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    I love clothes that are versatile, lending themselves to many looks and really earning their place in the wardrobe.
    My favourite is the casual look, but all three are great.

    • May 17, 2016 / 8:14 pm

      Exactly, pieces must earn their keep! I was pleased at how well the white on white casual actually looked considering I'm so fair skinned!

  3. May 17, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    I love all the ways you styled this! It looks so versatile and makes me wonder why I don't have one in my wardrobe. I can see it tucked in a midi skirt too.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • May 17, 2016 / 8:16 pm

      I am very happy to be your maxi shirt buying enabler, Amy! You'd look fabulous in one. And yes, tucked in absolutely extends the options even more. I guess I wanted to show it off at it's natural length but it would look great with a midi tucked in.

  4. May 17, 2016 / 9:45 pm

    I really haven't even bothered looking at a maxi shirt. Honestly I wasn't even aware that they existed! LOL Lame blogger I know.

    You make it work. I'm very pleased considering you are petite.

    I especially like that last look. So chic.


    • May 17, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      Lame is not a word I'd ever associate with you, Suzanne! I never let a style I'm interested in stump me because I'm a shorty. A look or trend might not work because of fit, cut or bodyshape that's different but it shouldn't be out of reach (bad I know, couldn't resist!) just because of my height, er so to speak!

    • May 17, 2016 / 10:29 pm

      Sheela, thank you for you compliment. I'm chuffed you like the first one so much. I really did throw it together on a whim when planning the 3 looks and when I saw it in the mirror, I thought wow, that works! I showed my husband straight away and he immediately smiled and said 'I really like that'. So both of you have great taste!
      Agreed, there's something special about black, white and red.
      Just popped over and read your great post about reinvention and this month's project sister act. Superb writing.

  5. May 17, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    I really love the different looks! They all look so different! It is such a versatile piece to wear! My favourite is the first look!x

    • May 17, 2016 / 10:31 pm

      Thanks Kezzie. So far look one and three are neck and neck! I like the fact that it really does work with a skirt. It's proved to be very versatile indeed.

  6. May 17, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    Okay—so I have to admit, I knew not the term maxi shirt (when I first read your title I inserted skirt and was confused when I didn't see one–haha). But thanks to you—now I know!!
    Many of my series do exactly this idea—show the item styled in different ways, so I'm a huge fan of this concept!!
    Do I have to pick a favorite? I think all three outfits work splendidly with the occasion in mind!

    • May 18, 2016 / 2:32 pm

      I can see that would confuse you, Jodie! Exactly, I always like seeing how you style pieces. It's inspiring.
      Glad you like all 3!

  7. May 18, 2016 / 12:29 am

    Love this – I don't anything like this in my closet, but I need one! You look great in all the options. xox


    • May 18, 2016 / 2:32 pm

      Thank you Patti, sweet of you to say so. Yes, do get one. I think it would suit you brilliantly.

  8. May 18, 2016 / 2:48 am

    Love your options for such a versatile item and your post fits in perfectly with my Up, Down, All-Around link-up. Please do consider added your post to the others. Thanks.


    • May 18, 2016 / 2:33 pm

      Hi Rena, glad you like the various ways I've styled it. Yes, I'll pop over.

    • May 20, 2016 / 3:48 am

      thank you so much for posting on the link-up. I forgot to mention before that I love the blue and black color combo in the evening outfit!


    • May 20, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you Laura. I'm pleased how the pattern mixing turned out in the end!

  9. May 20, 2016 / 5:03 am

    Jacqueline, you look so chic! I especially love the last two looks. That monochrome look with the vest is one of my all-time fav ways to style anything. It just gives you a "long line" from neck to toe and looks so put together! And the dressed up version, with the cigarette pants is so sophisticated! I love the striped skirt version too, but you rock the last two looks, in my humble opinion!


    • May 20, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Aw thank you Sherry for your lovely compliments. Us petites need that 'long line' more than most! What I really like about the last look is that it's sophisticated with minimal effort! My kind of dressing!

  10. May 20, 2016 / 6:34 pm

    Oh, this is such a stylish and versatile piece! These are all Fabulous looks, but the final one is my very favorite. I'm hoping to start sharing at least one post a month like this showing the different ways a piece can be styled. You implemented this wonderfully. Have a great weekend, Jacqueline!

    • May 20, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Well, I think the final one takes the lead now in popularity! I hope this have given you a boost for when you start something similar Jennie. Have a great weekend too.

  11. May 20, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    I have a few maxi shirts and I love them. However, I can never button my all the way up (hello, giant chest getting in the way!), so naturally, I find your outfit with the cigarette pants and the shirt buttoned up to be most fabulous! I do like the other two looks very much…as that is how I would style mine. Maxi shirts are definitely versatile and super cool, too. Great post!


    • May 21, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      Oh I totally get the difficulty in doing them up when the chesticles are on the larger size! I have the same problem. I was so lucky that the style of this one allowed me to do that without any gaping or pulling of buttons!
      Another vote for the evening one!

  12. May 21, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    All three looks are great!

    I love the triple pattern mixing in the office outfit! I only started pattern mixing last fall, but now absolutely love it! Great example! And the casual outfit is so nice and airy! Perfect for enjoying a beautiful day. Great evening outfit, too! Love the leather jacket with it!

    Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    • May 21, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      I too, am getting more and more into pattern mixing and the first outfit was the perfect opportunity to do some. It's fun to do, isn't it.
      Enjoy your weekend too, Andrea.

  13. May 21, 2016 / 9:45 pm

    Three great looks here. I love all the acssesories you have chosen, they really help change the outfits. Something I need to invest in is acssesories x

    • May 22, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks Laurie. Accessories can really make a difference in changing the feel of an outfit.

  14. May 22, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I HAD to check your blog out. I love it! You replied to my post on the Bloglovin' article in connection with the Cannes Film Festival! And I feel the same as you do. I'm not jealz of the younger bloggers but really??? Those women do NOT speak for the average nor do they speak or represent the older woman! Here's a post I wrote a few months back about Maxi dressing that I think you will like! XOXOXOXOX!!!!!

    • May 22, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      Hi Catherine, thanks for popping over. Glad you like the blog! I thought you absolutely hit the nail on the head with your post.
      Great post about the maxi dressing.

  15. May 24, 2016 / 8:08 am

    I absolutely love this Jacqueline! I am allll about the making items work hard for you, and this is the perfect example. I bet it could even be worn through winter with some layers underneath and over. What a wonderful piece and wonderful post. You look beautiful!XX

  16. May 28, 2016 / 7:36 am

    What a great How-to piece Jacqueline. I love all of the styling and am surprised how versatile you've shown this type of top to be. I never plan what I'll do with something at the point of purchase – I'm much more "I love, I want it, I've bought it" mentality. I think I like the evening option the best, but do so appreciate the pattern and fabric mix of the office look too. Beautifully done x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *