Thursday, January 7, 2010

maxi-mise your assets

Ahh the maxi. So hot right now, in the fashion stakes. So not if you don’t have the shape.

A maxi dress is great if you’re tall and skinny. Even just tall. Or if you’re pregnant, for that matter. But for the regular girl the maxi does nothing for your figure except highlight the bits you’re usually trying to hide. The maxi hangs from the boobs, and if you’re anything like me where your boobs are proportionally bigger than your waist (a feature that’s usually desirable, because it makes your waist look even smaller) the dress hangs over the waistline without showing off any of the work you do to keep it small. (I'm sure the ladies in these first two photos have model waists - but where are they??)

It then goes on to touch the hips (again, if you are a regular girl where the hips are the widest part – I’m sure Kate Moss doesn’t have this problem), highlighting an area you generally want to disguise. So unless you’re JLo and your ass is your asset, the maxi isn’t doing you any favours.

You get the same problem with the maxi skirt. This time you at least get to highlight your waist, and it will look small compared to what the maxi does to your hips and ass. But hey, at least everyone will notice your child-bearing potential – right?

Generally worn with sandals, unless you’re taking it to a night event – in which case you should team with some wedge or gladiator-style heels – the combination does nothing to give you the illusion of height. With my (what I thought was regular but apparently is short) frame covered in one garment, I look like I’m about 10 years old wearing one of mum’s dresses. And with your feet chopped off at the ankles (with sandals that should have stayed in the desert with Jesus or the Romans) your legs are suddenly stumped. As with jeans, they make these things for the statuesque woman – you’re left with something that’s dragging on the ground and catching in your flip flops.

I hail my legs as the feature part of my body. If anything, I want people to see my legs. They have been complimented a great many times and I spent three quarters of my life plié-ing and jetté-ing to get them this way. (Who knows, they may have been destined for greatness anyway, but 12 year of dance training can’t have hurt.) Why would I hide my pins under great volumes of material when they’re the best thing I’ve got? That’s just craziness!

And what kind of bra can you wear with these things? We already know how I feel about exposed straps, so you can forget regular. Most maxis have the triangle bikini shape, halter, or strapless. Wear your bikini underneath if you’ve actually been at the beach, but I have concerns about wearing swimwear out at night. Invest in something appropriate.

So. This is why I can’t wear the maxi. Love the boho look, I’ve seen people pull it off. But like most fashion, it’s not for everyone. Forget the trend, look in the mirror, and wear what suits.

There are some solutions to the problems I’ve mentioned. Look for material which is floaty and light rather than stretchy and clingy to save it from hugging in the wrong areas. Find something with a definite colour block to define the waistline (see Keira's picture below). You could get a belted or cinched maxi or add a belt for definition (pictures above). Please only do this if you have a waistline to start with – you’re causing yourself more problems if you don’t.

I wonder, is that why the maxi dress has taken off so much?? In our ever-fattening society perhaps something that hangs off your boobs is the answer? Make your maxi a mumu. Hide the problem rather than fix it. Me? I’d rather wear something fitting and keep up the hard work.

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