The New Maxi Dress

The New Maxi DressMaxi, $92; Scarf, $65; Sunglasses, $165; Sandals, $60; Tote, $156

We head out for our big trip to Europe in less than two weeks, and I’m in full prep mode. Since my goal is to fit everything into my carry-on (you can see our packing video here for tips), I need pieces that are simple and versatile. It’s also going to be extremely hot, so items that will keep me cool but still appropriate are a must.

When I started to think about multifunctional items, my mind went right to the maxi dress. I love the ease of a maxi, and for what I need they seem perfect, but the cut of so many of them do not work for me. If the dress features an elastic waist, I instantly look three months pregnant. Something about where it hits me does nothing but emphasize my midsection, which frankly isn’t that bad. God forbid I eat a tray of cheese and drink some wine, I’ll look ready to pop.

So I started to look for alternative styles and came across this maxi dress. It’s exactly what I was looking for: light, breezy, chic and easy to dress up. The cut is perfect because it mimics an a-line and falls off your bust. Meaning I can eat to my heart’s content without showing off a food baby. I ordered it in this dark midnight blue, but it’s available in a dozen colors. The subtle high-low hem gives it lovely movement and practically allows you to walk without tripping on your skirt. I plan on wearing it as both a cover-up and a simple dress for sightseeing days.

On those days spent wandering, I’m wearing these sandals by Franco Sarto. I mention them a lot because they are so comfortable. If you have an upcoming warm weather vacation, definitely consider picking them up. I like them in the dark tan since it’s a rich neutral that will go with everything and make packing simple.

I wanted a simple stray bag for shopping and to keep our items organized for mornings at the pool. I found this bag by Hat Attach on Shopbop. It’s a little more than what I wanted to spend, but I think I’ll get my money’s worth out of it by the end of the summer.

When we travel, I don’t pack my better jewelry. I just wear a simple wedding band and faux diamond studs. I would be devastated if I lost anything, it’s not worth the risk. Accessories are also cumbersome when space is at a minimum. For this trip, I decided to go full Jackie-O and to bring along a few silk scarves to wrap around my hair.

I love the colors in this paisley print scarf by Tory Burch. It will add some color and interest to the otherwise simple pieces I’m packing. This style scarf is called a neckerchief, so it’s slim and narrow. It’s ideal for wrapping around a ponytail or tying to the handle of your bag.  Finally, sunglasses are a must. I love these Ray- Bans with a hint of blue. They add a pop of color without being too over the top.

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

  1. I don’t know where your sight-seeing will take you, and perhaps you know about this already, but some historical venues, especially cathedrals, will not permit access if your shoulders are bare or your dress is not beyond your knees. So carrying a scarf or wrap that you can drape over your shoulders is a good idea. (disclaimer: at least that’s what I remember from visiting Europe in 11th grade…. too many years ago to mention)

    1. Hey Kelly!

      Same! I remember being in Rome before college and we all carried a cardigan or wrap on days we were visiting the churches. This is something I plan on wearing for our time in Croatia, where it is going be really hot. We don’t have plans to visit any venue with a strict dress code there, it’s more of a resort stop for us. But a great remember, thanks!

  2. I love the headscarf idea but I have been a bit nervous to try it. Do you think you could do a video soon to show us how to do it?

    1. Hey Debbie,

      We’re not able to address every size and shape in every post, however we do try our best to speak to everyone across the broad spectrum of the site. This dress is only available in standard “missy” sizing so a small would fit you in the shoulders and bust, and you can just take them hem up from there.

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