The Best Maxi Dresses For Spring

Newer followers won't be as aware of my sunshine uniform. For about five days of every seven I live in maxi dresses with either flats, block heels or (if I can get away with it) trainers. I snapped these photos recently and rather than just fixate on the splendour of this Ganni dress (find it here if you fancy) I thought I'd do an edit of all the dresses that've been bookmarked so far in 2018. Lets go!

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

Before I launch into the round up I thought I'd tell you about my first experience buying with Moda Operandi. I'd seen the brand come up in other influencers' feeds but I'm always a bit shy to buy from a new website and also thought most of the stuff was super expensive and out of my price range. However, I've figured out what it's good for and how it's a bit different to other online premium-brand websites...

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

It seems (I don't know how) to do lots of pre-orders. So for example I ordered this Ganni dress a month in advance which was brilliant as their products usual come in small batches so can be really hard to find (also as a tip you get 10% your first order which was helpful because it isn't the cheapest). I signed up to their newsletter and have since found myself on their site loads. They do have a lot that's not really me (quite OTT luxe) but they also have an eye for decent boho/relaxed brands I really like. So a genuine "I tried this out and like it" recommendation, I think it's worth a gander - check out the whole site hereNow I'll go through my fave brands and explain when/why they're good - will come back to Ganni as I found a couple of bargains, stay with me ...

It might be useful if I tell you a little bit about my body shape as then it'll help you work out what'll work for you. I'm quite short so assumed maxi dresses would drown me. Then I figured out, like anything, it's about finding the right fit. My waist is my best feature so I look for styles that'll cinch in there. I don't like my legs much so try so cover them up as much as poss. I passionately hate my arms so look for styles that'll either float over them or are cut in a way at the shoulder that works (scuba necklines and spaghetti straps on dresses that are then fitted around the bust and waist work). I am a C cup and don't really like looking busty so would never wear anything that accentuated my chest. Hope that helps...

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

So first, Free People. Now, I spent a lot of time thinking you needed to be thin to shop there. I also questioned the quality. In the last couple of years I've completely rediscovered them and this year have already bought three things from them and have a billion pieces on my wish list. Here are the best ones so far:

I bought this dress in the red, but it comes in a billion colours here. I like it because it's drawn it at the waist and has puffy arms. It also feels really flattering with the neckline, all in all am thrilled with it. The quality is great. I've got my eye on this chambray style dress - the waist and the shoulder cap detail are brilliant for me. I really love the Flora Dress; the fit and colour is flattering for a lot of shapes and sizes too.

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

Next, probably zero surprise is And Other Stories. Newer followers may not know that I have a lovely little partnership with them where I can choose a few pieces every month. I like to think that's because they saw quite how much I wore the brand as I'm an enormous fan. In particular their maxi dresses are just really good. You can see from older posts like this, this and this that I've worn them for ages, but here are my favourites from this season...

Now I'm going to do a separate post on how to wear leopard print but suspect by the time I do it this one will have sold out. It's great, a shape I know as have another dress in the same and would bet on feeling ace in. This multicolour one deserves some attention, look how beautiful the pastel colours are on it! The pink and purple dress has been a favourite with all the bloggers, I didn't get it but have it on the wish-list -such a flattering fit for my shape. The red one I have ordered already for next month and finally this striped one is just gorgeous and having tried on it in store you can also wear it open like a kimono which could look awesome with a tee and jeans.

outfit links = fake tan marks, models own /dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

ASOS' own brand are really good for summer/spring stuff and I buy a lot from there. They've just started a range called ASOS Design which I've already bought a few pieces from. This cherry print dress was £35, I did question the quality from the website but it's really good value! I also absolutely love this green print dress, the buttons on the side are really good (and it's stretchy around the waist so no risk of tight buttons). I got it because I'm going to Goodwood for the first time and reckon with a little pill box hat it'd do for a 30s outfit.

As a couple of bargain every day dresses try this spotted one for £35 and this striped one for £25, both really good buys. On the other end of the scale this rather special rose embroidered dress is £180 - amazing for any wedding, christening of bah mitzvah. Another thing ASOS have done well is replicating RIXO style dresses that are everywhere but very expensive. At first I felt bad about the copycatting but was then alerted to ETRO who have been doing this style for years - and are pretty annoyed with RIXO themselves. So, I now think of it as "ripple effect trending" and this dress is basically the same but a third of the price.

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

As promised I said I'd find you Ganni for less and here we go: this one is £92 on The Outnet. I use this site a lot when looking for a designer/premium piece. They inevitably have a further offer on too, although that said you do need to get a speed on when you buy something as their stock isn't very deep. That particular dress also comes in rose print, a friend has it and it's gorgeous, here. Check out all their maxis here - I've sorted them in price point for you too and here is a brilliant Alice and Olivia dress for 80% off (!!).

Whilst talking about slightly more expensive dresses (and I mean slightly, H&M these days is the same price for gods sake), do consider Cefinn dresses - great if you have to buy work outfits and want something that transitions well into "rose in the sun after the office). This green dress has been worn by a few celebs whose outfits I rate (Willoughby, Markle, Froggart, etc) and this one is brilliant - in fact I just bought it for smarter office days. Equally please never forget Sezane, the beautiful French brand. Their maxi dresses are gorgeous - this black one is my current fave.

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

Last but not least, some pure high street. Mango has upped its game which you'll know unless you've been under a rock. This safari style dress is singing to me at the moment, I'm going to have to get it. They have some lovely floral print ones too, not too dissimilar to my Ganni one, try this or this. If you don't already have a red polka dot dress in your life this one is excellent (have friends of all sorts of shapes who have it). Finally this taupe dress is brilliant for summer in the office.

outfit links = dress (also in black here) / boots / sunglasses / bag / green ring

Lastly, I can't not talk about Philip. Philip is my bag, newer followers won't know that I name all my handbags. I don't have that many as I get a bit freaked out when I have too many of something - and the designer bags I own have been purchased after months of saving/deliberating. The pochette metis is something I've wanted since my days at Vestiaire Collective. It's very pricey but when I did my tax return and saw what I'd achieved last year I decided to treat myself. 

They're very hard to get - and therefore resell for more than you buy them for as they're so rare (which is what tipped me over the edge to buy one, see here). I finally found one thanks to Philip in the Louis Vuitton concession at Selfridges (who gladly put me on the waiting list after months of being told by others I'd never source one). It was £1300, so the most expensive thing I've ever bought. But they resell for up to £2000 so I feel like I can justify it. Have to say, it's a brilliant bag - I use it a lot. Find them here second hand, or contact Selfridges LV here (ask for Philip).

Photography by Claire Menary.  This is a standard footer on all blog pieces; some links used in this post may be created with an affiliate tag meaning I will receive a small % of any purchases made as a result of clicking on them. This does not cause any price difference for you, the consumer.

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