The floor length dress has in the past few years returned to the catwalks with a vengeance. Five years ago, the full-length dress was pretty much dead. Party hemlines were all the rage, and everyone knew exactly where they stood: just above the knee for fun parties, on the knee for behave yourself parties, and below the knee parties for parties you never go to for any longer than an hour.
Then suddenly, a trend for sweeping, bohemian-style maxi dresses was born and hemlines stopped making sense. For some of the best this summer, look at New Look’s range of maxi dresses for high street, high fashion styles.
At the time, the maxi dress had all the hallmarks of a fleeting trend, set to shoot across the catwalk and high-street stores and swiftly disappear. But there was something about it that it didn’t just stay in fashion the next summer. It also began to make appearances in more urban, winter settings. Perhaps it was that getting our legs out had become such a sunnyday cliché that not getting our legs out now looked sophisticated. Maybe it was that this was a fresh, gorgeous way to rock the 70s look in a cool, contemporary way.
What’s especially great about the maxi dress is its ability to be worn in so many different ways. You can wear it for an instant wow factor, a way to signal having made maximum effort (without actually having done so). This year, it’s popular with a belt, or cinched waist rather than the hippy maternity/smock style. Add a bit of waist, and the maxi will sweep away all other competition – a real jaw dropper.