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Morning Wood

Hot-or-Not Trends: Long Dresses

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The trend toward the maxi dress isn’t just for red-carpet walkers; anyone can get in on this trend with the right dress style and a cute pair of wedges. Perfect for summer, these long dresses are great for beach-wear, barbecues, or lounging in the park with a good book.

But where did this maxi trend come from, and is it going anywhere soon?

History of the maxi dress

If you go back to pre-Christian-era style — which fashion bloggers rarely do — you’ll find a slew of maxi styles that are related primarily to a conservative view of the female body. Ancient Roman women wore long stolas — typically sleeveless maxi dresses made of cotton or light fabric — that fell to just above the ankle, and accompanying shoulder wraps.

All in all, these were not all that different from what today’s red carpet celebrities wear on a chilly afternoon.

Fast-forward to the women’s rights movement, and you’ll still see the long flowing skirts and dresses worn by the hippies of the 1970s — proof that this trend has very little to do with covering the body, and a lot more to do with the summery, flowery vibe and light, unrestricted feel that accompanies the right maxi dress.

It’s no wonder, then, that celebrities and trend-spotters are buying out maxi dresses like they are going out of style. But fret not, a quick look at history both modern and ancient makes it quite obvious they aren’t headed out of style anytime soon.

How to buy the right dress

One of the first steps to finding the right maxi dress is to shop around. Don’t disdain the style if you can’t find one that’s just right in the first store you walk into.

Like jeans, different brands sell dresses for different lengths and sizes, and to fit different body types. The key is to know which colors, patterns, and fabrics look good on your body, and shop accordingly.

Petite women shouldn’t worry: If you find a maxi that is a few inches too long, get it hemmed! Or consider a great pair of heels to match your free-flowing little number. Most maxi dresses are made for women of average to above-average heights, so petite women may need to find stores that cater to their height range, or a good tailor, in order to rock this style.

At the end of the day there’s a maxi for everyone, whether you are 4′ 8″ or 6′ 2″. Maxi dresses are slimming, stylish, can be dressed up or down, and are more comfortable and breezy than even the best pair of summery shorts. So come on ladies, head out to the mall, the downtown shops, or wherever you go. If the celebrities can rock it, so can you.

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