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No, I'm not talking about my credit cards, dear readers (thank you, stimulus check!) in today's title. I'm talking about the latest, greatest persisting trend in fashion: the maxi dress. For those of us with less-than-perfect gams, the maxi dress is a great way to stay cool and stylish without feeling self-conscious in a shorter hemline. Even if you do have a great body, the maxi dress gives off a relaxed vibe that says, "Sure, I could show off everything in a short, tight dress, but that's not my scene, man. I'm much too cool for that." All the cool kids are wearing 'em.

The key to wearing a maxi dress well, though, is fit. A giant tent-like piece of cloth will flatter no one, but buying the right style for your body type will ensure a flattering silhouette. I'm totally in love with the brown diamond print Rachel Pally version at right, from Pink Mascara. I think it's great for petite frames because the spaghetti straps and shirred waistline give definition to one's shape, while Pally's signature modal knit fabric will cling and curve in all the right places.

Anyone who's a fan of P
ally knows that all this fabulousness does not come cheap. This dress will set you back $220. But be shrewd with your online shopping and you can often find her pieces at steep discounts on sites like Bluefly and Chick Downtown.

For a more economical choice, I like this halter version from Forever 21, at left. It comes in green, black, and purple and has - wait for it - pockets! Oh how I love dresses with pockets.

The back is entirely open and the halter ties at the neck, making it a great choice for the beach or any super-casual get
together. The halter styling makes this ideal for athletic figures, and the solid colors are sure to create a long, flattering line.

And did I mention it's only $36? Yeah, that's pretty great, too.

And what about shoes? Well, as much as some teeny-tiny fashionistas love to pair chunky platforms with these dresses (I'm looking at you, Rachel Zoe), I'm a firm believer in wearing flats with long dresses.

The current crop of strappy gladiator sandals are a perfect complement to these long hemlines. But don't let the hemlines be too long. Anything brus
hing the ground should be hemmed to right at the ankle line, otherwise the look become a bit sloppy.

And finally, if I had a big ol' pot of money hanging around (or another one of those stimulus checks!) I'd be all over this maxi dress from Diane von Furstenberg. Unlike the others, it has even more coverage on the back than the front. So retro and chic!

Available on Net-a-Porter for the low, low price of only $650 (yikes!), this version is all silk and has a ultra flattering v-neck and self-fabric tie waist. I'm totally loving the vibrancy of the print, too, which would flatter so many different skin tones.

Oh, Diane, you always know what a girl wants!

I'm also personally a big fan of maxi-dress versions from INC International Concepts at Macy's and Vince's Ikat Maxi, available at Bloomingdale's. Ooh - that makes five maxis altogether...one for every day of the week! Perfect.


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