Which off-the-shoulder maxi dresses are best?
Off-the-shoulder maxi dresses are versatile enough for various occasions, including formal gatherings and romantic dates. These dresses are elegantly designed, comfortable and meant to flatter the wearer. If you’re looking for the best off-the-shoulder maxi dress, check out the Blencot Casual Floral Lace Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress.
What to know before you buy an off-the-shoulder maxi dress
Unlike mini dresses, which usually end just above the knees, off-the-shoulder maxi dresses are much longer. Most either stop just above the ankles or brush the top of the foot. If you want something a little shorter, consider a midi dress since this type reaches below the knees but stop before the ankles.
Off-the-shoulder maxi dresses usually rely on three specific measurements: the bust, waist and hips. Most of these dresses follow a standard sizing chart and range from size 0 to size 18.
Maxi dresses are a staple in any wardrobe. They are easy to wear and can flatter nearly any body type. But that doesn’t mean any fit will do. Here are a few styles to consider based on your body type:
- Curvy figure: Find a maxi dress that lightly skims your frame, but avoid those that are more form-fitting. One that flows will work nicely. Also, choose one with thick straps or no straps.
- Large bust: Look for a fitted maxi dress with a well-defined waistline or cinched-in silhouette. Avoid deep V-necks and go for thicker straps.
- Smaller bust: Choose a two-toned dress or one that has ruched details. This will give the illusion of a larger bust.
- Petite, slim figure: A longer maxi dress that hugs your curves will flatter your frame the best. Thin straps and the off-the-shoulder look are great options.
- Petite, curvy figure: Pick a dress with an empire waistline and, if desired, add a thin belt to emphasize your legs.
One of the most recognizable waistlines in any maxi dress is the A-line or empire waist. Many more modern designs have this type of waistline and an off-the-shoulder look.
Another looser option is the tunic maxi dress. These garments flow nicely all the way down from top to bottom. Some also feature ruffles at the bust and waist, giving the dress a more casual look.
What to look for in a quality off-the-shoulder maxi dress
The most commonly used fabric in off-the-shoulder maxi dresses is cotton. This material is lightweight and breathable, making it a great option for almost any weather and situation.
Some off-the-shoulder maxi dresses consist of polyester or have a polyester and cotton blend. Polyester is durable, moisture-wicking, smooth and soft. It’s also versatile and can be dyed in nearly any color. There are also maxi dresses made from knitted jersey fabric. Choose this single knit option if you are looking for something stretchy and soft with a textured look.
For more formal occasions, consider choosing a maxi dress made out of silk or satin. Those that feature lace along the hem or neckline are also good for semi-formal and formal events.
Off-the-should maxi dresses come in many colors and patterns. Some have a solid color, while others are two-toned. If the dress features more than one color, expect both colors to complement each other or be in different shades. For example, a two-toned red maxi dress could be a medium shade of red at the top and wine red at the base.
When it comes to patterns, some maxi dresses take inspiration from typical spring dresses. That is, they have bright colors or floral patterns. Some incorporate other design features, such as lace or a slit, for a more sensual or flirty appearance. More casual designs might feature a decorative bodice or a loosely flowing hemline.
Besides this, certain off-the-shoulder maxi dresses incorporate a decorative belt or ribbon at the waist for aesthetic purposes or an adjustable fit. A few come with pockets to store small belongings, such as keys, a wallet or a phone.
Neck and sleeves
Since you’re going for an off-the-shoulder look, expect to find the sleeves and neckline further down. This style elongates the neck, shows off the shoulders and results in a sophisticated or elegant silhouette. Usually, the sleeves will rest somewhere between your shoulders and elbows. A lot of these dresses use elastic to keep them in place. Some have a pull-on closure you can tie instead.
If you’re wearing a strapless bra, you might need to use safety pins to connect the bra and the dress together. For the most part, though, an off-the-shoulder maxi dress will stay in place just fine without additional help.
How much you can expect to spend on an off-the-shoulder maxi dress
Most off-the-shoulder maxi dresses cost $30-$100. A more formal garment, or one from a luxury brand, could cost $100-$300.
Off-the-shoulder maxi dress FAQ
When’s the best time to wear an off-the-shoulder maxi dress?
A. You can wear this type of dress virtually anywhere, anytime. Since they leave much of the neck and shoulders bare, these dresses are best for warm weather. If you have a more elegant dress, such as one with lace or made from silk, you can wear it to formal outings. And if you have a more spring-like dress with a relaxed silhouette, you can wear it out on the town or to the beach.
What goes with a maxi dress?
A. For casual settings, wear sandals instead of heels. Choose sandals that add some height, so you don’t step on the hem of the dress. Alternatively, opt for ankle boots for a more fashion-forward look. In more formal settings or cooler weather, pair the dress with a blazer or structured coat and a belt.
What’s the best off-the-shoulder maxi dress to buy?
Top off-the-shoulder maxi dress
What you need to know: Available in six fun colors, this elegant dress flows beautifully and is perfect for semi-formal or casual activities inside or outside.
What you’ll love: Soft and comfortable, this bohemian-style dress consists of swiss dots and lace. It features a cute ripple pattern and flares out at the hem. It’s perfect for the beach, weddings, first dates and cocktail parties.
What you should consider: It’s long, so you’ll need to wear heels to avoid tripping on it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top off-the-shoulder maxi dress for the money
What you need to know: This casual maxi dress has a tunic waist, deep pockets and vintage look that’s perfect for casual settings.
What you’ll love: Available in 21 different colors, this cotton and spandex maxi dress is lightweight, stretchy and breathable. It has a modest slit and is designed to flatter the collarbones and shoulders. It can also be worn in one of four ways, including off-the-shoulder, with one shoulder and tube style.
What you should consider: The silhouette is not as flattering on those with a more petite frame.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This formal maxi dress has a high slit and off-shoulder bell sleeves that give it a sensual look and make it perfect for evening wear, parties and special occasions.
What you’ll love: Constructed mostly from lace, this dress has a deep neckline, ruffled sleeves and mermaid silhouette, making it perfect for those with more of an hourglass figure. It has a convenient side zipper that makes it easy to put it on and take it off. The slit also has an adjustable zipper that changes the overall look of the dress.
What you should consider: The sizing is a little off, so double-check the measurements.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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