We’re over the moon to announce that, with summer upon us, full-length robes that hover slightly above the ground are back on-trend. We’re talking about everyone’s favorite summer wardrobe staple, the one and only maxi dress. With a million outfits plaguing our minds, we have to wonder what shoes to wear with maxi dresses?!
We can forgive you if you thought that maxi dresses weren’t anything other than floor-length, black-tie gowns you wear once or twice (because you’re not an outfit repeater!).
But, ankle-length (or longer) dresses are much more than that! Especially knowing the sheer volume of color combinations, patterns, and fabrics that are available on the market at the moment.
Attending a garden wedding? Throw on a flowy, flowery dress with strappy sandals or espadrille wedges and you’re good to go. Going on a romantic date? Wear a silky, satin slip with an open back combined with high-heeled sandals for a sultry, seductive moment.
And, what makes longer dresses even better than short ones – they’re perfect for layering which means you get to wear them all year round (and get your money’s worth!).
Whether you’re searching for the perfect summer statement that’s easy and breezy or an autumn number that combines great with knee-high boots and chunky cardigans, there’s a floor-length, or ankle-length maxi dress for every type of weather out there.
However, we know that you’re overthinking and overanalyzing the footwear that’s appropriate to wear with such dresses, and that’s what we’ve gathered for you. How to style maxi dresses? What shoes to wear with maxi dresses? Read everything you need to know down below!
How to style a maxi dress?
Whether you’re a capsule wardrobe enthusiast or someone who adores surrounding themselves with piles and piles of brand-new clothes (we don’t judge!), you should definitely add a maxi dress to your outfit rotation. Maxi dresses are easy to throw on and off, easy to style, and not so easy to mess up.
Depending on the season and the weather, you can make your maxi dress a statement of the outfit or you can add layers to your maxi dress to make the entire ensemble weather-appropriate.
During the warmer months, for example, you can wear this dress with espadrilles or strappy sandals, throw on a straw hat and a raffia handbag, and look like a million dollars within minutes.
On the other hand, during the colder months, you can throw on a bunch of different layers onto your maxi dress and create a different outfit every single time.
When you’re wearing a flowy, flowery dress, for example, you can add a chunky cardigan, a suede belt, and suede knee-high boots (matching colors, of course) to create an effortless, Christian Girl Autumn moment.
When you’re wearing a knitted dress, you can add a trench coat or a structured winter coat on top, throw on a pair of leather booties with matching leather accessories (a bag, a belt, or even gloves) and you’re good to go!
Or, when you’re wearing a silky, satin slip dress (our favorite), you can go for a cool-girl look with chunky, combat boots and a leather jacket. We’re pretty sure that, even when you’re someone who adores the short, scandalous minis, you can’t go wrong with a floor-length dress that’s styled the right way.
What shoes to wear with maxi dresses?
1. White sneakers for running errands
We’re pretty sure that everything you own goes with white sneakers because they’ve become everyone’s favorite footwear must-have over the past few years.
While there’s nothing wrong with matching the color of your sneakers to the color of your dress (more power to you!), we would suggest going for white sneakers for a simple, sleek look.
We can’t think of a single style of dress that wouldn’t work with white sneakers, but our favorite would either be a flowy, flowery dress such as Borgo de Nor Merle printed-cotton maxi dress or a matching ribbed dress such as Anthropologie The Somerset Maxi Dress.
We don’t even need to give you suggestions for white sneakers because we’re pretty sure you already own a pair (and if you don’t, go for whichever white sneakers speak to you the most).
2. Espadrilles for a comfortable walk around the city
Espadrilles are a summer must-have for a reason. Not only do espadrilles work wonderfully with floor-length summer dresses, but they’re comfortable enough for you to wear all day long without getting bruises or blisters.
Now, whenever you’re wondering what shoes to wear with maxi dresses, don’t shy away from experimenting with espadrilles.
And, given that you’re new to the espadrille trend, we suggest going for neutral, earth-toned espadrilles because they’re the easiest ones to work with. Complete them with a straw hat and a raffia handbag for a polished, put-together look, or allow them to shine on their own without matching them to the rest of the outfit.
3. Espadrille wedges for a signature summer ‘fit
When you’re searching for something comfortable and fashionable, go for espadrille wedges. Espadrille flats are great for running errands, walking around, sightseeing, and doing pretty much anything that requires you to spend the day on your feet.
However, espadrille wedges are an even better option when you need to look like you actually tried. Whether you’re going on a date, meeting someone you want to leave an impression on, or even attending a garden or a beach wedding, espadrille wedges are guaranteed to save the day (and your outfit).
We would go as far as to argue that espadrille wedges are the easiest way to make sure you look like a million dollars when you’re wearing a summer dress – these two are a match made in heaven!
4. Loafers, mules, or ballet flats for an elegant, effortless ensemble
Loafers, mules, and ballet flats might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Truth be told, they might not even be the best shoes to wear with maxi dresses because they’re a little bottom-heavy and they’re somewhere between summer and autumn-appropriate footwear. That being said, they’re great for when you’re going for a monochromatic moment.
Because they’re bottom-heavy, they work great with structured, monochromatic dresses you would wear to the office or a business meeting. An ankle-length, A-line dress combined with matching loafers or mules would look as high-fashion as you might think.
And, a form-fitting ribbed dress or a silky slip dress combined with ballet flats and a blazer would speak volumes of your fashion sense.
5. Strappy sandals to show off a little bit of leg (scandalous!)
We adore barely-there strappy sandals combined with dainty, delicate summer dresses for a girls’ night out.
We’re fond of combining different variations of the two for different events, too – but, there’s something stunning about these two summer staples working together to create the most mesmerizing silhouettes. Barely-there strappy sandals are known to make your legs look longer, you know?
We’re rooting for Jimmy Choo Diosa metallic leather sandals or Gianvito Rossi metallic leather sandals, but we’re obsessed with strappy flats and slipper sandals, too.
6. Ankle booties for a cool girl-approved moment
High-heeled ankle booties are bound to make or break your outfit, depending on how you style them. But, ankle booties are a great way to make your dresses autumn and winder-appropriate without taking away from the beauty of the dress.
And, as a general rule of thumb, boho, free-spirited dresses are the ones that benefit the most from a matching pair of ankle booties. Our favorites at the moment are Gianvito Rossi 70 leather ankle boots (for a block-heel moment) and Mach & Mach Double Bow ankle boots (for a stiletto moment).
Depending on the occasion, you can make whichever high-heeled ankle boots you own work with an ankle-length dress. Don’t worry, as long as you choose matching or complementing colors, you’re good to go.
7. Knee-high boots for a stylish, statement look
Nobody’s surprised to see knee-high boots on here. When we’re talking about the best shoes to wear with maxi dresses during the colder months, we’re definitely talking about knee-high boots.
We suggest going for suede knee-high boots for a softer, more sophisticated look or leather knee-high boots for something a little more sultry and seductive.
Our favorites at the moment are Jimmy Choo wedge knee-high boots, Balenciaga leather knee boots, and Paris Texas croc-effect leather knee boots, but you can get affordable alternatives from Zara, Mango, and ASOS, too.
8. Cowboy boots for a boho, free-spirited vibe
And, we come to the end of the article with everyone’s favorite Western-style boots. We know that flowy, flowery dresses belong with cowboy boots because they complement one another to a tee.
Whether you opt for the shorter, ankle boots or the knee-high ones, we’re sure that you’re going to rock whatever dress you’re wearing.
We’re rooting for Isabel Marant Duerto leather boots, Aeyde Ariel leather cowboy boots, and Reformation Olive Western boots because they’re exactly what our Western dreams are made of.
Also, cowboy boots have been on-trend for quite some time which means you can get them for a fraction of the price at Zara, Mango, or ASOS. Giddy up, what are you waiting for?!