Style by Claire Lopez

Midi or Maxi – which are you?

“Can I help, Mummy?” These are the words that should engender a warm glow to the heart, but instead strike dread into it. Because children and cooking is scary stuff. Two children and cake making is an even more dangerous exercise and I shall not be attempting it again – EVER. Cocoa, flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, knife blade…. you know the traditional ingredients you expect to see in a cake. How did a small piece of a kitchen knife end up in my son’s birthday cake? Courtesy of him grinding it into the cake mix in the Magimix while the motor was running, despite repeated requests not to touch the knife. A delicious chocolate cake now with some iron filings added. Then to add insult to injury, my three year old decimated the baked cake, voraciously clawing away at the metallic sides while my back was turned, upping the iron content in her body and ensuring that the whole exercise was a total waste of time (I had tried to salvage the situation by baking the caking and had planned to use it as the bottom tier of a Star Wars masterpiece for my son’s birthday – only to be seen but not eaten. Now it is not even to be seen. Total waste of time and effort.)

This is a sign that I am to hang up my cake baking boots and stick to shop-bought from now on. My lovely children, much like the lovely soggy weather, are wasting my time. And this Noah’s Ark amount of rain that has fallen over the past few days is really dampening what should be high-summer spirits. Really what I should be writing about is wellies and waterproofs, but that is just too depressing so here is some escapism in the form of more summer dresses. This week it is all about the longer length though with the season’s midis and maxis.

With a season that is all about the stripes, it is inevitable that stripe maxi’s abound:

M&S has this Striped Maxi Dress £35 but there is limited stock and sizes. The good thing about the chevronned stripes is that these are more flattering as they work to draw the eye-line downwards rather than horizontally.


Hush also has this Smocked Maxi Dress £50 with these elongating vertical stripes.[1]

If you are big busted, then a bandeau style is not for you and you will need something you can wear a bra under like this Full Skirt Maxi Dress £99.50 from Boden. A flattering neck and waist-line plus slimming vertical stripes are what you need. It also comes in plain black if stripes aren’t your thing. The good thing about Boden maxi dresses is that they come in different lengths and this one is available in regular and long but for some reason not petite.


While at the cheaper end of the spectrum, Boohoo has this Patricia Stappy Zig Zag Maxi £18.


Plain coloured maxi’s will also be very slimming because you are wearing one colour head to toe. If you are vertically challenged then a maxi dress that doesn’t drag along the ground can be tricky, but Boden does have this Jersey Maxi Dress £89.50 which comes in petite as well as regular and long. This is the navy but there is also black and a whole host of prints – although not sure they are as nice as previous years. This style is great because it cinches you in under the bust and then skims over the bottom half, perfect if you are conscious of your middle or bottom half.


Warehouse has this more fitted style which is apparently a midi dress but is definitely not midi length at all: High Neck Midi Dress Warehouse £29. Available in lots of colours: blue, black, grey, green. A good maxi dress if you are on the petite side.


There is a lot of boho out there too so to ignore it would be wrong – here goes: Oasis Cube Cold Shoulder Maxi £50 is something I like the idea of but just not sure it would stand the test of time.


Boohoo also has this Mia Floral Woven off the Shoulder Maxi Dress £20. Maybe a bit too flamenco but there is something I quite like about it.


While maxi means no leg shaving required and a total camouflage of the bottom half, it’s more fashionable cousin definitely requires more leg prep. There are lots of striped midi styles around like this Stripe T-shirt Dress Warehouse £35 which has the benefit of being much less body con than most of the midi dresses out there.


Hush also has this Solana Dress £45 which comes in stripe and also black and blue. The stripe would be perfect for now, while the black would be something that could take you well beyond summer with some tights and ankle boots.[1]


This Printed Midi Shirt Dress £18 La Redoute is a total steal and would be great for work. A very on-trend purchase at a great price.


If you want a little dress you can throw on for holiday then this Split Side 90’s Dress Warehouse £49 is a fashionable choice. Plus you could dress this up with some block heels and a necklace, add a denim or leather jacket for the evening and a clutch bag and you are set. Think I may have just talked myself into this one… It does also come in lemon. Definitely not.


Similar is this Cupro Midi £49. Nice slimming v neck but a fabric that will not take kindly to sun cream streaks so best kept for, well best.


Oasis has this V Neck Midi Dress £31.20 (was £39) which comes in orange and black and would be great for holidays.


So it may be pouring, I may now have to re-make an entire cake but these dresses have certainly lifted my spirits. Here’s hoping they do yours too.



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