I’ve long had a love affair with maxi dresses but since last year, there has been a new amour in my wardrobe…
… the maxi skirt!
As a petite it can be easier finding a needle in a haystack than a decent maxi skirt and certainly one that I like enough to want to be part of my wardrobe. They are out there, but you have to hunt. Many are quite poorly made, often of flimsy material.
The one I’m wearing I bought in May on a whim, a couple of days before I went on holiday to Denmark. I was partly taking advantage of an early Summer 30% off promotion but I was drawn to how different it was from other maxi skirts I’d seen.
I was taken by its bold baroque style print.
I liked the idea of a non pastel skirt for Summer.
It had a decent weight to the fabric.
Visiting the writer Karen Blixen’s house, just outside Copenhagen, on a warm day, it proved to be a perfect holiday skirt.
I like all season pieces and in many ways the maxi skirt transcends all the seasons. At this time of year you’re not ready for woolly tights (or tights in general, if you’re me!), but bare legs aren’t practical for chilly mornings or dips in temperatures once the sun has set, making the maxi skirt ideal for Autumn and beyond.
Here’s how I maximised my maxi skirt for Autumn.
Denim jackets and shirts are pretty much common wardrobe staples for everyone and even if you’re not a shoeaholic like me, you’ll probably own a couple of pairs of different coloured ankle boots. Using a light wash denim jacket, a dark wash denim shirt and 2 pairs of suede boots, I’ve maximised the wearing potential of my Summer maxi skirt for Autumn.
LOOK ONE: LIGHT WASH DENIM & PATTERN MIXING
Highlighting light colours & pushing the boat out with a little pattern mixing.
It was my Mum’s birthday at the end of September and we took her out to a country pub for a slap up lunch and this is what I wore. I didn’t want to wear jeans or trousers, but I would’ve looked a tad over the top rocking up to a pub in a LBD!
This outfit hit that sweet spot of being laid back, without being comatose. The light wash denim jacket picks up the light blue in the skirt beautifully. Denim is by its very nature casual but the additions of a second accent colour with the orange cardigan and the pattern mixing, bring a little finesse to a relaxed look.
Even with a print as striking as this skirt, you can still mix patterns. To keep it balanced and harmonious, I chose a top that had
– similar colours to the skirt,
– a complimentary aesthetic i.e. the embroidery band on the top links to the bands on the bottom of the skirt,
– a smaller design than the skirt,
giving it almost the look of a maxi dress, rather than two separate pieces. I even fooled my Mum; she thought it was a dress at first, because the pattern of the top is so similar to the bottom border of the skirt.
I’m not a great thrift clothes buyer – tricky when you’re a petite – but I do love thrifting for bags and jewellery. My necklace and 2 of my 3 bracelets are all thrifted gems totalling a mere £6.00!
LOOK TWO: DARK WASH DENIM & GILET
From light, we travel to the dark side! And from pattern mixing, we switch to fabric mixing.
Just as dark wash denim jeans can be dressed up or down, a dark wash denim shirt has the same versatility. A western style, fitted denim shirt completely changes the feel of the maxi skirt; its deep, indigo colour adds drama to the outfit.
I upped the western vibe with a swish of suede fringing from both my boots, which have fringing around the ankles, and my bag. They’ve been seen so many times on the blog, you’re probably all bored of seeing them by now! And with the absence of pattern other than in the skirt, I added a faux fur gilet for some fabric mixing and as a completer piece to the outfit.
The shirt needed a different style of jewellery; a piece to fit snug in the neckline. I bought my three stone, chalcedony necklace about 20 years ago in Italy and style wise it’s perfect for the shirt.
Fringe, meet faux fur!
Maximised Maxi Skirt Footnote
One skirt, two contrasting looks for Autumn. And they would work equally well in the other transitional season we have; Spring.
It’s quite striking how a few tweaks, as simple as swapping a light wash denim jacket to a dark wash denim shirt, accessories and boots, can radically change the mood of an outfit.
Petite Maxi Skirt from Wallis – sold out. Wine Autumn Lace Maxi Skirt
Oasis Falls Denim Jacket with pretty embroidered detail
Dorothy Perkins Petite /zip Shearling Gilet
Dorothy Perkins Petite Chinchilla Gilet
How do you maximise your maxis? And do you have a favourite out of the two looks?
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