Checking out fashion is most fun in a mall. You see fashionistas, and horrible fashion fails! One item not all pull off too well, is a Maxi dress.

My collection of maxi skirts and dresses keeps growing, including high street brands like Oasis and Warehouse, to non branded amazing finds from souks, and a certain Dubai global Village spree.
The joy of wearing a maxi dress is the immediate feminine appearance, which I can put together in minutes. Now I too have had the days of jeans and a frumpy shirt, while rushing to pick groceries. However now, I know that with a maxi dress and a top knot, I can get away with looking dressy yet casual at the same time.

Some rules of maxi dress shopping that I set for myself.
1. STAY away from from jersey fitted dresses.

Unless you are stick thin with not even a Puppy pouch around your belly, I would strongly stay away from these dresses. Yes Teenagers can easily pull of these dresses. However, being mommy and foodie, I know I can’t. Rather look for a dress which may be fitted around the bust, but flows freely under neath. A quick try on will help you judge the fit. A good rule is, always wear a dress which is loose and becoming to your figure, rather than, too tight and rather call-girl image!

My favorite is a dress like this from asos .

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2. GRAB the dress which has panels.

If you see a dress with symmetrical panels running horizontally along the bodice of the dress, Grab it! This dress immediately gives your body length and has a beautiful finish over all. Be it in jersey, or preferably in Cotton or Cotton wool, the dress can be either dressed down for a summer day, or dressed up with a Bolero and jewelry for a night out.

I am loving this dress available at Indulgy.com

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3. STAY away  from too loud prints.

Unless you will cover the top half with a color block jacket, or the bottom skirt of the dress is plain, stay away from all over loud and large pattern. We are not talking about tiny rosiest and trimmings. Rather such big prints which can pass off as a bed sheet. These dresses rarely do justice to your form, and your profile will seem lost in them.

I am now lusting to grab this dress available for sale on Etsy.

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4. GRAB the dress which is Neutral in color.

A white, black or pale colored dress may look boring to you, and may will you to pass it. However, just think of the possibilities of dressing it with statement necklaces, or patterned scarf. Even a loud jacket can be balanced out by pairing it with the neutral color. So next time, look closely at the plain dresses, and you will see their full potential.

Another amazing neutral find at Etsy is:

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5. STAY away from a dress too long.

Despite the fact that you are shopping for a maxi dress, but purchasing a dress with a hem rolling in the sand, and you must wear at least 3 inches to walk around, is not necessarily a good buy. Unless you plan to wear it only formally with heels, or are going to chop off the length, stay away!

6. GRAB dresses which are made of chiffon.

Chiffon has a natural way of adding grace to any apparel. It is flowing, and thus, automatically qualifies to be stylish and seem high end. You can use the Chiffon dress for both day and night wear, but easily transforming by draping a scarf around your shoulders. A Chiffon dress is truly an investment piece in your closet.

This beauty from French Connection is a must!

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So ladies.. No more are the days to look like a bed sheet in a Maxi dress! Rather, you can even transform these into winter wear by pairing with tights and a sweater.