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Maximizing the Maxi Skirt and Dress

The maxi is one of this season's hottest looks and is a flattering style for many different types of figures. One of the greatest things about maxi skirts and dresses is that they're very versatile and can be styled multiple ways, giving you many different outfits with just one new fashionable piece and items that you already have in your closet.

To maximize the potential of your new maxi, keep the following ideas in mind.

- Modify the middle. Belts instantly change the look of both maxi dresses and skirts and will give you the look of a completely new outfit in seconds. Experiment by pairing belts of different colors, thicknesses and materials with your maxi.

- Suit up. A blazer worn over top a maxi dress or with a maxi skirt paired with a tee or blouse can give you a brand new look. Try boldly patterned jackets with solids or small prints and solids with wilder designs. The blazer-and-maxi look doesn't just have to be dressy. A fitted denim blazer can look hip and fashion-forward when worn over top of your favorite maxi style.

- Tie one on. A strapless maxi dress or one with a simple scoop neckline can be reinvented with a pretty patterned scarf. You can tie it in a neat knot around your neck for a polished look or let it hang loosely for a laid-back summer look.

- Pin it up. You can give your maxi dress or skirt a quick alter compliments of some safety pins. Gather the front into some small bunches of fabric and secure it with the pins, being careful to conceal them on the inside. Pair your dress or skirt with some super cute summer sandals that you want to show off and then hit the town.

- Layer, layer, layer. Another great way to style a maxi dress is by wearing a pretty blouse, stylish tank or hot halter over top. This works best with a maxi topped with spaghetti straps or a strapless bodice.

Whether you belt it, cover it or dress it up to go out on the town, your maxi dress or skirt is sure to become one of your favorite pieces in your wardrobe. Get creative and have fun inventing new ways to wear it; as always with fashion, there's no wrong way to style a maxi, so long as your look flatters your body and makes you feel fabulous.

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