For my latest “Off the Rack” installment, I thought I’d show off a buy that took me nearly a year to work up to. It’s not a splurge, but it is a bit of a stretch…for my fashion sense, at least.
You see, I bought a maxi skirt. Despite the fact that I haven’t exactly advocated the maxi in any of its forms (I even hate the word “maxi”), and despite the fact that a maxi – particularly this specific one, made entirely of silk – is anything but practical for a rainy town like Portland. Frankly, I blame Downton Abbey for convincing me I could pull it off.
So, after trying it on nearly a year ago at Madewell, I finally succumbed to the silk maxiskirt…and on final sale, no less.
It’s a huge style departure for me, but I’m doing my best to limp along. So far, I’ve figured out the following, which I think is useful whether we’re talking maxi skirts or maxi dresses:
- No ballet flats – they make it look far too, well, twee, as the Brits would say. Ankle boots work well, as will certain sandals in the spring.
- A waist is essential. I’m taking a cue from my favorite Downton Abbey ladies here, who do an impressive job of showing off their figures despite seemingly insurmountable quantities of fabric. So, either belt or wear something very figure-conscious on your top half (a buttoned blazer, belted cardigan or a fitted lace tee are my current favorites).
- Something’s got to give. You can’t go completely romantic with this look, or you’ll start to resemble an extra in a period movie. Add edge somewhere – maybe a leather jacket instead of a cardigan, or a tough ankle boot from Frye over something more sweet.
All that sage advice comes from wearing this exactly once, wherein I spent more than an hour trying to figure out how to style it. What works, what doesn’t…it all becomes painfully obvious when it’s staring back at you in a mirror and you’re late for a coffee date, no?