I’ve had maxi skirts in my closet for quite a long time now. I’m not going to lie, when I first got them I had no idea what to do or how to wear a maxi skirt. After maybe 10 years of having them in my closet, I think I’ve made my fair share of mistakes styling them, buying the wrong ones, etc, so now I can share my wisdom (JK). After all this time, I think I also learned a few outfit formulas and styling tips to always nail it with my maxi skirt outfits. That’s why I decided to write this blog post about how to wear a maxi skirt and hopefully inspire you to create your own version of any of these maxi skirt outfits with things you already have in your closet.
Ready to learn how to wear a maxi skirt? Let’s go!
In a hurry? Go straight to what you are looking for:
- What is a maxi skirt?
- What’s the right length for a maxi skirt?
- Types of maxi skirts
- How many do you need in your closet?
- Care instructions for maxi skirts
- How many do I have
- When to wear a maxi skirt?
- How to wear long skirts casually
- Long skirt outfit ideas + styling tips
- How to style a pleated maxi skirt
- How to wear a maxi skirt for Summer – Outfit formula
- How to wear a maxi skirt for Winter – Outfit formula
- How to style a plain maxi skirt
- How to style a printed maxi skirt
- How to style a maxi skirt for Fall – Outfit formula
- How to convert a maxi dress into a maxi skirt
- Final thoughts
- Related posts you may also like
Estimated reading time: 17 minutes
What is a maxi skirt?
Maxi skirts are also known as long skirts. They are pretty much what the name estates. It’s simply defined as a skirt whose length ends under the calf but above the ankle.
What’s the right length for a maxi skirt?
There are 3 traditional lengths; slightly above the ankle, at ankle level or slightly below.
I personally like them when they sit exactly below the ankle (this length makes them more versatile and you can wear it with different heels). There is one exception however. If you always plan to wear your maxi skirt with high heels, then you definitely have to make sure the length is a little bit longer (1 inch max).
I don’t think they are comfortable when they touch the floor because you end up stepping on them and you can’t see your shoes when you walk. When you wear your long skirts with flats, the length should be at the ankle or slightly below. More than that it’s uncomfortable and it doesn’t look good. You don’t want the hem getting dirty when you are walking, plus it looks very sloppy.
Types of maxi skirts
There are many different types of long skirts. Printed, plain, high-low, pleated, layered, a-line, and many others. The one you decide to get will ultimately depend on your style and for which occasions you want to wear it. Also, it’s important to consider where they sit on your waist. I usually gravitate towards high waisted ones (bonus points if it has an elastic waist band!), just because they are very comfortable and flattering.
I don’t want to come in here and say wear this or that according to your body type. I think there’s enough about that out there. Wear whatever makes you happy and whatever makes you feel beautiful and comfortable in.
I have enough body issues myself to come here and tell you what to do with yours. I’m working on it and hopefully I’ll make it to the point one day where I can wear whatever the heck I want without tearing myself apart if I see cellulite through the fabric. WHATEVER! Be happy and love yourself. These things don’t matter ;)
Sorry about that little parenthesis, but I just had to say it.
How many do you need in your closet?
One. Just one.
Yes. Just one.
You can wear it all year round and style it for many different occasions. My advice is that you try to get a plain one, nothing too crazy that can transition well in between seasons and that won’t go out of style. Remember that you want to invest in pieces you can have in your closet for a long time and that you create many different looks with.
Care instructions for maxi skirts
It depends on the fabric, but usually you can wash them on gentle cycle and let them air dry. At least that’s what I try to do. I honestly don’t like taking stuff to the dry cleaners (I make exceptions with very few pieces like my white blazer), so I try to keep it simple with my maxi skirts and only buy the type I can wash myself. I only have one at a time, but we’ll talk about that below.
How many do I have
As I mentioned earlier, I always have one maxi skirt at a time. You really don’t need more than one. Also, if what you have is a maxi dress, you can also make it look like a maxi skirt with a small style hack, I swear it doesn’t involve scissors (I’ll teach you how below).
I’ve managed just fine with just having one and I always wear it all year round.
Since last September, me and my husband sold everything we owned and started living in Airbnb’s full time all over the US. We basically live out of a suitcase, so I really had to downsize A LOT!
Maxi skirts are so versatile, that I decided to keep the one I had. It’s a printed one I’ll share some looks with it below. My point is that maxi skirts are such a closet staple! I recommended having a midi skirt or maxi skirt as a part of your Summer Capsule Wardrobe and I will definitely recommend it for a Spring Capsule wardrobe. Even though you can wear it all year round and it can be part of your minimalist wardrobe.
When to wear a maxi skirt
You can wear a maxi skirt all year round as you are about to see. They are so versatile that you can wear the same maxi skirt with a t-shirt and sneakers and then wear it with a sweater, booties and a jacket for Winter.
This closet staple transitions very well in between seasons and you can wear it for so many different occasions. Seriously! From a birthday party, to run errands and even for date night. It all depends on how you accessorize it and what you pair it with.
How to style long skirts casually
The easiest way to style a long skirt casually is to wear it with flat sandals or sneakers and a T-shirt. It’s so simple. Honestly, if you don’t know what to do with your maxi skirt start with this. Any time you want to wear your maxi skirt casually style it with:
- A cami and flat sandals
- A white T-shirt and sneakers (any T-shirt, even a graphic one will work here)
- Feel free to add a denim jacket if you want to
- You don’t have to go crazy with the accessories since you are styling it casually
- If you want to style it casually for colder seasons, then wear a long sleeve top, a turtleneck or a crewneck sweater and still wear it with sneakers
Feel free to create different versions of these looks by changing the color of your top, style of shoes and of course, if you want to dress it up a little bit with accessories like a hat, necklace, earrings or a nice bag.
Long skirt outfit ideas + Styling tips
I’ve had 3 maxi skirts over the past 6-7 years. Right now I only have one. I usually buy a decent quality one so I can keep it around for longer. I’m sharing some photos below of 3 different maxi skirts. I just want to make clear that I still preach to have just one and I never had those 3 at the same time, I’ve always had just one. These photos were taken over the past 7 years, so be nice to me LOL.
I would still wear all of these looks though. I would probably change little things like my hair or the sunglasses, but that’s the good thing about having a classic, timeless style. I rarely look back and think ‘WTF was I thinking!?’ and when it happens it’s because I was trying to be someone else and not true to myself.
Ok, so here are a few tips on how to style a maxi skirt for different occasions and seasons:
How to style a pleated maxi skirt
This is the pleated skirt I had for the longest time. I would still have it if it wouldn’t have been for an unfortunate incident in the dry cleaners. Yes, they completely ruined it and I had to get rid of it. Not sure what happened there, but it was a sad day when I picked it up and somehow the first layer was completely gone. They kind of burned it I think. It was sad because I paid like $200 for it and it was from Anthropologie.
Anyways…. A pleated maxi skirt is a great option if you are only going to have just one. Bonus points if it’s high waisted and has an elastic waist! It will make it even more comfortable. I really like this color because I could dress it up or down as you are about to see, it was great for the Holidays and I could style it all year round!
I was hesitant with the color when I first saw this maxi skirt, but I made the right decision. A color like this goes with everything and it was very easy to style. I suggest getting a champagne color, or if it’s too much for you, then stick to neutrals like black, navy, grey or green.
How to wear a maxi skirt for Summer – Outfit formula
The outfit formula for how to wear a maxi skirt for Summer is pretty simple:
T-shirt + Sneakers or flat sandals + Maxi skirt + Accessories
You can create many version of this look with different T-shirts, sandals and accessories and you can add a denim jacket or extra layer whenever you need to.
In order to recreate any of these looks just take out each piece of the outfit formula and start mix and matching the pieces together. Keep in mind that your ‘hero’ or constant piece will be the same maxi skirt. I always say this, but if you take everything out of your closet you will be able to visualize things a lot better! And always remember to take photos of the looks you create so you have them ready for next time you need to get dressed for any type of occasion.
I also styled the same maxi skirt for an event with a T-shirt but I wore it with heels and a denim blazer instead of a denim jacket. It’s a little bit dressier and you can try the same for a different occasion. Here’s that super old photo:
How to wear a maxi skirt for Winter – Outfit Formula
To wear a maxi skirt for Winter you just have to style it with boots, a long sleeve top and a warm jacket. You will most like have to wear tights, warm accessories and your Winter coat on top of course. The outfit formula would look like something like this:
Long sleeve top or sweater + Jacket + Maxi Skirt + Booties + Warm accessories
(of course accessories can be a scarf, hat, gloves, etc. It depends on the occasion. Also, don’t forget that if it’s too cold you can always wear tights. No one will ever know!)
Another way to style it for colder months is with a crewneck sweater like I did here:
I wore it with sandals because I think it was for an event as well and added a couple of necklaces to dress it up a little bit. It was such a comfortable look. Feel free to create your own version with any crewneck or turtleneck sweater you have in your closet. This particular outfit is great for Spring, Fall and even a chilly Summer night.
How to style a plain maxi skirt
I loved this maxi skirt so much but I didn’t wear it often because it was too long and for some reason it couldn’t be hemmed. I tried in different places and there was something about the shape of the hem and they said if they cut it, it would ruin it, so my hands were tied when trying to style it casually (although I tried with the espadrilles).
A long skirt like this one is a great option too because it’s so plain and simple that you can do anything with it. People tend to underestimate simple pieces. They can never be too boring if you style them the right way.
You can wear it with any T-shirt and espadrilles, or with a dressier top and sandals. As I mentioned earlier, I could only wear with heels (which is not my preference), so I didn’t get to style it in many casual ways, but if you have a similar one you can wear it with flat sandals and sneakers. Just make sure them hem hits right below your ankle.
How to style a printed maxi skirt
This is the only maxi skirt I have right now and I love it so much! The print is so chic and it’s actually dark blue but I noticed that if I wear it with black it can also look black, as you can see from the photos. Last month I wore with a navy tank top and sandals (sorry I didn’t take photos) and it looked blue, so I was like, well this is a HUGE win when it comes to styling it in the future. It’s high waisted and it comes with a waist tie that you can remove. You could even replace it with a leather belt and create even more looks. It looks great with or without the belt.
It’s unfortunately sold out, but I found a few printed ones you may like:
As you can see, my go-to outfit formula is to style a maxi skirt with a t-shirt, sneakers and a denim jacket. It just never fails!
Also read: 70+ outfits with a jean jacket for every season
How to style a maxi skirt for Fall – Outfit formula
Here’s another outfit option with the same printed skirt. The outfit formula for how to style a maxi skirt for Fall looks like this:
T-shirt, top or sweater + Moto jacket + Maxi Skirt + Sneakers or Booties
You can create many different variations of this look following the outfit formula. Just use different tops or jackets and don’t forget this would also look great with booties. In order to make your maxi skirt look like the perfect Fall piece, you just have to add pieces that are common during this season.
Sometimes it helps to take them out so you can visualize what you have way better. So, for example if you want to style it for Fall take out: booties, wool hats, a moto jacket, oversized sweaters, your scarves and even a flannel shirt because you can unbutton the last 2 buttons and make a front knot. Then mix and match the pieces together, ideally try them on to make sure the whole look works and take photos so you remember the fabulous outfits you put together for later!
How to convert a maxi dress into a maxi skirt
There’s one last option if you don’t have a maxi skirt and it’s not in your budget to get one or you just don’t want to; use a maxi dress instead! The only thing you have to do is to layer it with a button down shirt or a crewneck sweater:
I always apply this style hack to maxi dresses and midi dresses. This is especially useful when you are traveling or if you live out of a suitcase like me. You can layer it with a sweater and add a belt, use a cardigan and button it, use any button down shirts you have and tie it around your waist. It’s a style hack you should never forget! It’s seriously one of the best ways to maximize what you already have in your closet.
Here’s an example of how I did with a midi dress. It’s the same trick: (you can check out that post here)
I hope you learned how to wear a maxi skirt today. It is my number one goal to show you all the ways you can maximize the things you already have in your closet. It’s so fun!
Imagine having a closet that’s functional, filled with high quality pieces that you love, know that fit perfectly and are so versatile that you’ll never run out of outfit ideas. That’s why I always recommend learning about minimalist wardrobes, capsule wardrobes and investing in basic pieces that will never go out of style.
Believe it or not, every single thing you own takes valuable space off your mind. It’s better to have less things that you actually like and use. You’ll save so much money because eventually you won’t shop that often and it’s also way better for the environment. It’s also a huge plus to always look and feel good and not waste time every day getting dressed in the morning.
I hope you learned something new today and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments or contact me directly on Instagram. I’m always here to help!
Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you have an amazing day ahead.
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Related style posts you may also like:
- Capsule wardrobe VS minimalist wardrobe – Step by step guide on how to clean up your closet
- How to build a Summer Capsule Wardrobe
- List of sustainable brands for next time you need to go shopping – Organized by category
- Learn how to style other basic pieces like:
- A little black dress
- A jumpsuit
- White Sneakers
- A white T-shirt
- A button down shirt
- A white blazer – 10 white blazer outfits for 2021
- A midi skirt
- A long cardigan
- A sweater dress