Monday, June 3, 2013

Marianne: Good Stripes, Bad Stripes.

Y'all, maxi skirts sound like the best idea ever. Like basically wearing pajamas. BUT I GIVE UP. I have tried a million different skirts and they all look awful on me. I think the problem is that in order to stay up, maxi skirts have to cling to my butt/hip area, which is my problem area. And then they cover up my legs, which are relatively slender. It's just bad math. Case in point, I tried this Target Maternity Maxi Skirt:

My thought was that it would be great for post-baby too. Throw on a t-shirt and I'd be relatively pulled together, but still comfortable. BUT IT WAS AWFUL ON ME. I meant to get a picture before I returned it, but I had technical difficulties. And before you blame the stripes for this one:

Stripes aren't to blame. Typically someone who is more bottom heavy like I am would be warned away from them, especially when pregnant, but I have actually lived in stripes for almost the entire time. The key is the cut. I have decent legs, so covering them up in a long striped maxi skirt is about the least flattering thing I can do. Ever.

So that's my maxi skirt rant. One more note on wearing horizontal stripes when you're curvy, to pull off stripes in general, I think you need to keep it short and fitted. Like this $18 Old Navy Maternity dress, or my #1 favorite Asos Maternity Breton Stripe Dress. Not pregnant? You can go a little looser with the cut. There are a million adorable options out there, like this adorable Olivia Moon dress, or a classic French dress like this one (on sale!).

Maxi skirts just don't work on me, period. They cling to my widest parts and cover my best parts. Maxi dresses still work if they are cut right, which is a subject for my next post. What do you think? Can you work the maxi skirt? They seem so comfortable and easy that I'm jealous of you if you can.


  1. Maxi skirts and maxi dresses work on me because I'm super tall and my stomach and hips are probably my flattest/thinnest parts. My legs aren't particularly skinny so as you said, you've got to flaunt your greatest attributes!

    1. You've got the perfect figure for them! I really wish I could make them work.

  2. I never thought they would work for me because I'm pear shaped, but my legs are not my best feature, so I tried one out this weekend. It's black and white and gray horizontal stripes of varying thicknesses (usually not a good look for me either) and I paired it with a white button front shirt tied at the waist and I got TONS of compliments on it. I think the shirt tied at the waist accentuated my waist, which is my smallest part for sure.

  3. I live in stripes, too. Sometimes I have to force myself away from striped clothing in stores. Then I say "Why? I love them." and start trying more on. I think I have 15 marinieres (I can't bring myself to part with them either, when they start becoming now I have a lot of striped pajama tops etc :)) several sweaters, and several skirts:
    I got a couple of long, strapless,striped cotton dresses from Forever21 last year. They were basically a long, loose tube with: elastic around the top bit- to keep it up- elastic around the waist, and floor length.

    I cut off most of the top part-the elastic above-the-boobs, in other words. I left the waist elastic to continue to serve its purpose of...waist-line elastic. There were a few inches of fabric above it- leftover from my "I'll just cut this part off" which I just knotted at the waist. Result: a shin-length striped cotton maxi skirt.

    the dress was $10 and the stripes and cotton were perfect, but it wasn't working on me as a dress, so I felt fine about taking scissors to it. I'm also no seamstress, so it was going to have to be basic tailoring, and yet wearable when I was done hacking. It's like a t-shirt for the legs, now. :)

    so if you see an elastic-waisted dress you like- suss it up with one eye closed and wonder if you can't make a skirt out of it. Also the "smocked" topped bandeau dresses could be got in larger sizes, to fit around your tummy- then just trim and hem the bottom to the length you want.

    Also, I do find that there's maxi and maxi. Maxi-to-the-floor-and-beyond personally makes me look like I'm stepping in a hole, trips me up, and often requires maxi-heels as well, which kill the casual look I'm usually interested in. So I think "long" can be good enough- juuuust at that point of the skinny part of the shins, showing ankle..but not too low to the ankle as to look frumpy. Or just skimming the instep. And a not-too-wide-hipped cut to the skirt. The other important part to making a maxi skirt to look right is getting the proportions of your top/shirt/tank/blouse/mariniere correct. And sandal/sneaker type.

  4. Awe! I think you look great in both dresses!

    xo, tasha
    twenty-something blog