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Time to snap a maxi dress off the sales rack

If you think you’re too late to try the airy maxi dress, don’t worry — summer was late too.

If you think you’re too late to try the airy maxi dress, don’t worry — summer was late too.

In fact, now’s the time to pick one up if you don’t already have one; end-of-season sales have a lot to offer at great prices. And you don’t have to be genetically blessed with a model figure to wear one.

“Look for something that skims your figure rather than clings,” advises style expert Afiya Francisco of TheStyleHouse.ca. If you’re a little tummy conscious, an empire waist works nicely in your favour because it helps conceal less-than-taut abs.

If you have more of an apple body shape, look for a style with minimal gathers where the waistband meets the skirt, and make sure the skirt isn’t too full.

Voluminous skirts are also a “don’t” if you’re petite, Francisco adds.

If you have a generous bustline, or wear size 12 or better, shun spaghetti straps and strapless versions, which will make you look heavier than you are. Instead look for dresses with wider straps or halter necklines; they’ll provide a little support and more flattering proportions.

When it comes to stepping out in your maxi dress, “gladiator sandals and oversized sunglasses are ideal for day,” according to Francisco. Simplicity is key when it comes to accessories, so think bangles or dangly earrings or a statement necklace. A slouchy tote also strikes the casual note.

For evening, Francisco suggests a clutch and sandals with heels to dress things up.

An unfussy beauty look is best with the maxi-dress trend. New York-based Canadian celeb hair stylist Harry Josh points to Cameron Diaz and Helena Christiansen as examples of today’s uncomplicated approach.

According to Josh, a consultant for John Frieda hair care, a shoulder-length cut with lots of layers is key. Through damp hair, distribute mousse such as Frizz Ease Take Charge Style Managing Mousse.

Once hair is dry, add some random waves with a one-inch pro curling iron if you want more texture. With blowdryer and round brush, smooth hair around the face and allow a soft sweep across the forehead. “It’s sexy when women shake hair out of the way to see,” says Josh. Back-comb a little at the crown for lift and finish with Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier firm-hold flexible hair spray.

 
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