Life is full of celebrations, and the larger your family or group of friends, the more celebrations there are to attend. From bridal showers to bar mitzvahs, determining what to wear is hardly simple. From the venue to the host’s style to what others will be wearing, there are many factors to consider when getting ready to be a guest, but it can be much simpler than it seems. With trendy dresses, like a maxi dress (or two or three) in your wardrobe, you can be ready for any special event. All it takes is the right accessories and a bit of inspiration. 

We’re here to help with the inspiration part (of course, we have plenty of beautiful accessories as well to help you build your styling closet). We’ll show you how to dress up and how to style a maxi dress for the next wedding, work event, or reunion you have on your calendar. With these ideas in mind, you will have everything you need to take your maxi dress outfit to the next level. For further options, visit Karen Kane today for a better visual into how we style our maxi and midi dresses


What You Need to Dress Up a Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are often thought of as casual wear, but in reality, they have much more of a range than that. Our versatile maxi dress is available in a wide variety of styles, fabrics, prints, and shapes. Shop our cute plus size dresses to find a stylish and comfortable fit for any occasion. Plus, the maxi length alone helps them appear more formal. Beyond the actual dress, though, the level of formality a maxi dress can achieve when worn is largely due to how it is styled. 

When it comes to dressing for special occasions, it’s all about how you style the complete look. Even a strappy silk dress can turn casual when it’s paired with sneakers and a moto jacket. And even a breezy maxi can become worthy of Cinderella herself when paired with sparkly shoes and jewels. 

Just as Cinderella needed her fairy godmother to be fit for the ball, there are a few things you need to be able to dress up your maxi dresses for any special event. 

Long slieved maxi dress with floral print


The shoes you pair with an outfit can instantly make it more dressy or less dressy. To go with a maxi dress, in particular, you’ll want more than just flat sandals if you want to dress it up. A pair of wedges, embellished or metallic sandals and heeled sandals in versatile neutral shades will all come in handy during the spring and summer. During the fall and winter, swap the open-toe shoes for booties and pumps. 



For more formal events, it’s fitting to wear more formal outerwear. A blazer, a fitted coat, and a tailored cardigan are all wardrobe essentials that will go a long way in regards to formality when worn over a maxi dress. 



Finally, jewelry will help dress up any casual style. Pieces that feature gemstones and precious metals such as silver and gold can easily take a maxi dress from day to night or from informal to formal. So, fill your jewelry box with an assortment of dressier necklaces, bracelets and more that can transform an outfit as fast as you can clasp them.    


How To Dress up a Maxi Dress For…

With your styling closet at the ready, you can put together an outfit as soon as you receive an invitation. Follow these tips to dress up a maxi dress for everything from a baby shower to a holiday party.  


A Baby, Bridal, or Wedding Shower

All of these daytime events are the perfect place for a maxi dress. We suggest choosing a maxi dress in a light color and feminine print such as florals to match the vibe of the day. This tropical print dress and this paisley print dress, which both feature a viscose fabric blend that is flattering and just the right level of fancy, are great options. You can enhance the feminine feel of either frock by adding a belt to cinch it in at the waist.

Dress up your casual style with heeled sandals, wedges, or ballet flats, and carry a purse that matches the color of your dress, or features a seasonal texture like straw in the summer or velvet in the fall. For any celebration, jewelry is an essential accessory as well. It can take any maxi dress from day to night or from casual to celebratory.

Black dress with long sleeves and orange belt


A Ceremony

There are plenty of ceremonies, be it a wedding or a baptism, that call for a special dress code, especially if they take place within a church, chapel, or synagogue. For these occasions, a maxi dress can provide the right amount of conservative coverage. Avoid deep necklines and sleeveless styles, and instead, reach for a short-sleeve or three-quarter-sleeve option. You can always add a cardigan or blazer to a sleeveless style as well to meet the dress code. 

For a complete look that’s ideal for a baptism or other special ceremony in the spring or summertime, consider pairing this cream linen dress with a matching linen blazer. Step into matching tan heels or wedges for the final piece of this chic monochromatic outfit.  


A Celebratory Dinner

Graduations, anniversaries, and birthdays mean plenty of occasions to patron a nice restaurant or host a celebratory dinner at home. Whether you are going out or staying in, honor the occasion with a dressed-up look. This maxi dress features an eye-catching v-neckline and sweeps the floor in fanciful fashion. Pair it with a pendant necklace to highlight the silhouette and block heels that allow the dress to float an inch above the floor.  


A Charity Event  

Navy is a wonderful color for daytime or nighttime events and is easy to dress up. So, when you’re invited to a charity auction, tea, or dinner, let this navy number be your new go-to: the cuffed-sleeve maxi dress. Dress it up with silver shoes and statement jewelry such as this necklace and this ring. Post-event, swap your silver shoes for sandals and put the necklace in a safe place, and you could easily head to the park or the store. 


A Holiday Party   

The holidays are a chance to break out the glitz and glam, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to make a statement. A great black maxi dress can turn into a party-ready frock when you pair it with the right accessories. This means sparkly earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, fun hair accessories such as velvet headbands or glam hairpins, and classy shoes. Yes, your shoes can still stand out even when you’re wearing a maxi dress. Enjoy the blank canvas that a black maxi gives you and reach for all those beautiful baubles you’ve been waiting to wear. 


A Work Event

An important meeting, presentation, networking event, or even an interview is a great chance to break out a sophisticated maxi dress. This sleeveless artisan dress is just the versatile option you need to attend all your work events. You can dress it up by pairing it with a cardigan, coat, or blazer. This tweed blazer, for instance, will put a professional spin on the dress in an instance, especially when you add pumps and a structured leather tote. 

For a workday full of meetings, an outfit that is both comfortable and presentable is key. In a conservative work environment, we suggest pairing a black or grey maxi with this streamlined cardigan and this silver necklace for a subtle dose of sparkle. If your workplace is more creative or laid back, you can swap the cardigan for a cropped denim jacket in a fun color or print and the necklace for a pair of hoop earrings. 


A Wedding

A wedding is a wonderful time to reach for a wedding guest dresses and tap your styling closet for dressy accessories. For an outdoor wedding, a printed maxi is perfect. It will offer an appropriate amount of coverage with a celebratory flair and have just enough spin for the dance floor. For a more formal fete, a black maxi dress in a chic fabric is the way to go. You can’t go wrong with this v-neck side slit dress. Whether the wedding is outdoor or indoor, style your maxi with a great pair of heels, strappy, embellished, or classic, and a pair of drop earrings. Regardless of your size, we have the perfect cocktail wedding guest dresses for you to embody the classic elegance of a maxi dress. Shop our petite wedding guest dresses and plus size wedding guest dresses to step out in style as wedding season approaches.

Keep the rest of your jewelry simple: a dainty necklace and a few everyday rings. You will feel polished, beautiful, and have all the movement and comfort you need. 

Wherever you are going and whatever you are celebrating, a maxi dress can meet you there, even if it is just for a vacation outfit. Follow these tips to dress it up, and you will feel confident walking into any room. Looking for more dress options? Check out our newest blogs for helpful tips on what is a midi dress and how to style a midi dress. No matter the occasion, Karen Kane has you covered!