All The Maxi Dress Styling Inspo You Need For Effortless Summer Outfits

Summer is in full swing, and we hope you're already diving headfirst into all the activities summer has to offer. Whether you're spending your days at the beach, out at brunch, shopping around, or going on hikes, we bet you're a busy bee this season. We wouldn't be surprised if the last thing you want to spend too much time on is planning outfits. Lucky for you, there's a simple one-and-done outfit solution for every summer activity imaginable: the maxi dress.

That's right, maxi dresses are back this year, and TBH, we don't think they'll ever go out of style. Maxidresses are our favorite effortless summer outfit for a few reasons. First, they're the perfect head-to-toe outfit option for those days when you just need to throw something on and head out the door. They're also super versatile and easy to dress up or down depending on what the day has in store for you. Maxi dresses offer nearly endless styling options, but we're all about easy options this summer, so here are our favorite maxi dress styling tips to give you effortless outfits all summer long. 

Belt a loose boho dress at the waist

A loose maxi dress is one of our favorite styles because it gives you plenty of room to move around without feeling constricting. If all your maxi dresses are loose, though, you might find yourself wanting more shape on some days — this is where a little belt action can come in handy. On the days you want to show off your curves, go ahead and give your maxi dress a cinched waist for an effortlessly elevated look.

Wear a sweater over it on chilly days

If you live somewhere where the weather is a bit chillier, some days may be too cold to rock that sleeveless maxi dress on its own. When that's the case, pair your favorite maxi dress with a light sweater. This can also help break up your outfit a little bit, and you can tie your sweater at the waist for extra shape if you want. 

Make a statement with contrasting colors

Summer is the best season to embrace bold, bright colors, and maxi dresses offer a super easy way to showcase your colorful style. Grab a couple of maxi dresses in your favorite bright colors and pair them with bright contrasting colors in a sweater, jewelry, shoes, or handbag for an instantly eye-catching ensemble. 

Match an accessory to your dress

If you're unsure about how to color coordinate your accessories to an ultra-colorful maxi dress, there's a simple trick: pick one color in the dress and pair it with an accessory that matches that color. For example, the low-back dress above looks stunning with the hot pink handbag and pink barrette. 

Pastels are a great understated choice

If bright colors aren't your cup of tea, there are other subtler color options that still stay away from neutrals. Enter pastels. We love soft pastel maxi dresses because they give a stunning yet understated vibe. Bonus points if you have matching accessories for a full-on pastel monochrome outfit. 

Or you could capitalize on bright colors

On the other hand, if you love bright colors, let yourself go bold with whatever maxi dresses you pick. Hot pink is a stunning option for summer, as is a good lime green, electric yellow, or bright blue. Find a bright maxi dress with a pattern (like polka dots) to really go the extra mile. 

Wear a knit maxi dress over a bikini

Need a simple coverup? Get a maxi dress coverup! A knit maxi dress makes for a stunning, sexy layer to wear over your bikini on beach days. On the other hand, if you want to wear a maxi-length crochet dress out on the town, pair it with a bandeau and some boy shorts or a slip underneath.

Wear with sneakers on active days

Who said you can't wear a maxi dress on a hike? Not us. We say you can look stylish even on your most active days. The key here is just choosing good footwear for whatever activity you have planned. Wear a pair of cute sneakers with your favorite black maxi dress for an activewear look that'll make you the most stylish person on the trail.

Black accessories make for a great incognito look

Want to remain anonymous during your day out on the town? Wear your favorite neutral-colored maxi dress and pair it with black accessories. Sunglasses are a must here, and you can wear your hair down for added incognito appeal that'll have passers-by wondering if you're a celeb trying to stay on the down low. 

Puffed sleeves make for a delicate ensemble

If you've jumped on the nap dresses train at all, you probably have an array of maxi dresses in your closet ready to go. But if you don't already have one with puffed sleeves, it's time to change that. Wear a maxi dress with puffed sleeves on the days you want to fill a wicker basket with produce from the farmer's market before cooking up a storm. 

Make it a little edgy

Don't be fooled, though — maxi dresses aren't only for the girly girls among us. If your style tends toward the edgier side, there's a maxi dress for that, too. Darker colors and prints will serve you well here, as will a pair of Doc Martens, a black fedora, and some sunglasses. 

Cutouts can help you keep cool

On the hottest of hot days, even a breezy maxi dress can feel like too much fabric. When that's the case, you'll want to have a maxi dress with cutouts on hand. Some side cutouts will give ample room for welcome airflow, or you could find a maxi dress with slits up the side of the skirt if that's more of your vibe. 

Dress it down with a button-down and sandals

Need to make your maxi dress 'fit super casual? There's a way to style that — pair it with a button-down and your favorite sporty sandals. The dress still elevates the outfit enough to make you look put-together, while the button-down and sandals give it a welcoming, carefree vibe. 

Give it a bohemian vibe

If your style is more boho-chic, no worries — you can wear maxi dresses, too. Accessories are key here. Opt for a chunky head scarf, lots of necklaces and rings, and that pair of Birkenstocks you've had in your closet for years. Wear a front-tied blouse over the dress (like in the photo above) for a casual bohemian look all your friends will be copying.

Pair it with a sun hat

On the days when you want to go full tropical girl, you'll definitely be busting out the maxi dress — but don't forget some sun protection! If you want a functional accessory, we love to pair a sun hat with a maxi dress to keep your face shaded while you're out and about.