Women's maxi dresses tend to fall into specific styles with a
high percentage based on the elongation principle. The
halter neck maxi uses an
empire line with the seam directly under the bust, or a focused
waist band insert that joins a pieced top. Many of these
bodices will have simple over the shoulder spaghetti straps or
built up shoulders, but some will be bandeaus or halternecks.
A halterneck bodice is usually finished in one of
a few ways, a wide tie or, narrower
that can also be tied around the neck as a halter.
Alternatively, the bodice may have a
column that runs up to the neck and finishes in several methods.
halter variation is the more sedate cutaway armhole and faced yoke band,
with the back of the dress enclosed.
But beware, this maxi style can move into revealing territory. This long maxi dress
above left costs £65 from NEXT DIRECTORY and comes in
three size ranges, Petite, Regular and Tall.
cut away fairly discreetly at the front armscye, but when the
model turns around there is a large expanse of bare back. If this
is your choice then it's perfect for showing off a golden
tan, a rich black skin, a milk white expanse of cared for well
moisturised skin, or just to keep you cool. However, if
you order a halterneck maxi dress online,
try to ensure you get a back view so you can make your
selection without wasting time if you don't wish to reveal quite
so much flesh. The dress
right and below is in this category - it's
a lovely dress style in a stunning colour, but at first glance
it would be easy to assume the back is cut much like the front
rather than the crossover back shown near right.
There is nothing worse than anticipating your online order
and as soon as you open the item you realise you selected badly
because you failed to see words like 'Dry clean only' or, you thought
the matching cover-up was part of the outfit.
with red pinks such as coral and merlot wine are quite a theme in
maxi wear. Sheer layers also play a part in holidaywear. The
fabric type can add an exotic touch as layers flow and move with
a gentle balmy sea breeze.
The front of the bodice is often a focal point for
embellishment as shown in the red halter left. It may also be
trimmed with self fabric frills/ruffles.
Far Left - Dorothy Perkins Frill Halter Printed Maxi Dress -
Near Left - Littlewoods Ireland - Elements Ring Embellished Maxi
Dress - Stockist Tel: 01 811 22 22.
Halter neck styles can fasten with anything from covered
buttons and loops to high neck choker or tie wraps with trailing
back streamers or sash bows of any width.
It's easy to create variations on the bandeau or empire bra
cup style, and make halter neckline versions that are so vibrant
with richly embellished construction areas of such beauty the
wearer of the dress needs no other accessories.
In the right situation maxis of other types can make
sensational day and evening wear. The large canvas provided by
the extra fabric in a maxi lends itself to bigger patterns and
dramatic border prints.
Right - Vibrant Block Print Pink, Purple & Lemon Maxi Halter
Dress - Oli Clothing.
See how exotic the fabric prints are for some of these halter
neck dresses. Clearly they were intended to be worn in hot
coastal resorts. Above - Monsoon Hawaii Cutaway Armhole
Halter Maxi Dress £180/€305 - Monsoon Ladies SS10.
Note how some dresses have been photographed against an ocean or
hotel background and you soon see that designers have taken
their colour inspiration from tourists' resorts like the
This Photograph below is of a Seychellois market shop trader and is courtesy of the Seychelles Tourist Board. The photo helps
illustrate the cultural diversities that make the essential Creolite conscience peculiar to the Seychelles of the modern
world. These values within the Seychelles are historically
a blend of European, African and Asian influences. The
influences have passed through the Seychellois people and have
created a Creolite culture. That culture brings an invigorating
colour to the daily life of the Seychelles. In this case we see
the market trader by her exotic fabrics which show colours and
prints that are an amalgamation of the Creolite history and
their individual ancestral melting pool.
Any lover of fabrics and textile arts would find this image a
glorious sight - isn't it amazing how similar some of the maxi
dress prints are on this page to the vibrant fabric lengths
hanging on the shop front.
halter bodice has several formats, but may have a column that
runs up to the neck and finishes in a tie. Both the
Monsoon dress above and the animal print right share this halter
Above - Monsoon Summer 2010 - A Maxi dress
exotic enough for sizzling sunshine lazy beach days and balmy
Monica Print £70/€119 - Monsoon Ladieswear.
Near Right - Neutral Animal Print Halter Neck Long Maxi
Dress. Miss Selfridge 2010 - Gossip Girl - Vanessa Leopard Maxi
Urban jungle African tribal patterns give life and energy to
prints this season.
This year it's relatively uncommon to see a real animal print colour
combination like these first two traditional animal print maxis,
which bear a connection to original animal
colours in the wild. For 2009 animal prints gained bright colour,
and by Summer 2010 they merged with tribal tie dye effects to
create a whole
new fabric look.
One successful new animal print colour combination is pink
red merlot mixed with black/grey/white.
These sheer lightweight halterneck long dresses are the glamorous answer to a modern print in plus size
Right - Halterneck Animal Print Maxi Dress, From £65 - Fifty Plus Spring/Summer
2010 Womenswear. Fifty Plus Stockist Tel: 0871 231 2000.
Frank Usher - DV8602 Col 552 Pink Multi Silk Animal Print Long
Halter Dress With Bead Trim - Frank Usher Group AW10 Collection.
This halter neck maxi dress in richer, darker colours is a transition season
piece for Autumn 2010 cruise and occasion wear.
Its not surprising animal pattern prints are being used on
every garment. They look great in long dresses, but equally as
good in body con dresses, tops, bags or swimwear. Colour infused animal prints are easy to
find in beach and holiday wear shops. This tankini, swim briefs
and bikini all provide the facility to work the wardrobe and
team the animal print halter tops with maxi skirts or help a
woman take a short cut dressing, by being the same line as her
low cost budget line swimwear is very inexpensive.
Far Right -
Matalan Coloured Animal Range, Tankini £7, Brief £4 - Matalan
SS10 Swimwear Stockist Number: 0845 330 3330.
Near Right - Animal Pink Print Bikini Top £6, Briefs £5, Tu
Clothing - Sainsbury's Womenswear Summer 2010 - Sainsbury's Tu
Clothing Womenswear Stockist Tel: 0800 636 262.
Left - Red Animal Print Maxi Dress - NEXT Directory - 2010.
You could easily convert this long maxi dress from bandeau to
halter style with a little simple sewing and the addition of
a red or black ribbon tie. The perfect dress for a little Gok
Today the carefully selected maxi dress can move
seamlessly through day into evening wear. The halter neck maxi
dress frequently verges on
being glamorous enough in design, or with embellishment, to double up as
romantic relaxed evening fashion. Designers make good use
of the halter structure to incorporate the centre front neck
support as a focal point for embellishment at the front of the
This white maxi dress is of crinkle chiffon with a heavily embellished motif halter style tie and moulded
cups. Tall women will love to know that this LONG TALL
SALLY maxi dress is
designed to flatter them. All Long Tall Sally clothing is
designed in house, carefully proportioned for women 5' 8" and
above, in sizes UK 8-22; US 4-18; EU 34-48.
Above - Cream Zuri Long Dress - Long Tall Sally High Summer 2010,
Sizes 10-20, £100. Available at
As relaxed holiday wear, a
long maxi dress might be teamed with simple jewellery such as coral, agate, stick pearls,
wood beads, leather chokers, or shell necklaces, rather than
diamonds and diamante of formal gowns.
The degree of relaxation in the maxi
garment will dictate where and when it might be worn, you have
to decide the
point at which you should opt for a more formal form of
structured seamed evening wear, estate jewellery and designer
If you select a wedding maxi dress like the one above, which is suitable for
evening or weddings, then the dress embellishment against
beautiful skin is all you need. This really is a case of less is more
- beautiful pampered skin and lovely embellishment equals
simplicity in wear.
These three white/cream long halter dresses can all be used
as a wedding dress, especially if it were in a hotel or civil ceremony
Left - Monsoon Spring Summer 2010 - White Vivette Dress
Centre - Frank Usher Group SS10 Dusk Collection - Destination
Bridal SS10 - Style No: DT8210 Long Halter Dress With Rose
Right - Monsoon Bridal - Cream Lillianne Dress £225/€350 Eire.
Monsoon Summer 2010.
And don't forget that if it's a low cost wedding you are planning, then a maxi dress may suit your budget far better than a formal
bridal gown costing thousands of pounds. Brides may also find some of the
plain coloured maxis dresses available as occasion wear make
good bridal party wear. For the hottest bridal colour tips for
out my page on Pantone Bridal Colours.
For impact try selecting your halter neck maxi dress in a
stunning solid plain colour. These three blue
long maxis look quite different from each other simply because of the
contrast fabric, or the decorative embellishment.
Despite revealing less body the rich sapphire blue dress
nearest with the heavy beading and cascading skirt is by far the
most dramatic and formal.
Far Left - Star by Julien Macdonald - Blue Printed Long Maxi Dress -
£140 at Debenhams.
Centre - Jane Norman Two Tone Blue Maxi Evening Dress.
Near - Blue Beaded Designer Evening Dress From A Selection At
For many women of course nothing makes them happier than
knowing that their long maxi is also a little black dress. But the
new LBD is really the long black dress - the maxi dress.
Beading is feature of some of these white and coloured
Swarovski bead embellishment is used on the best designer
dresses - Look out for special pieces that use the Swarovski trademark label that states
dresses fall much more into a category where they are
considered to be cocktail dresses or evening maxi dresses,
rather than daywear.
These 3 black dresses focus on
halter and deep cutaway looks starting with low budget dress.
Far Left - Matalan - Et Vous Pleated Maxi Dress,
£14 Matalan SS10 High Summer and Swimwear - Matalan Stockist
Tel: 0845 330 3330.
Centre - Lisa Butcher Models The Long Tall Sally Pakho Dress -
Black Cutaway Halterneck Maxi Dress. The dress can be worn 2
ways. Sizes: S/M/L, £60. Long Tall Sally High Summer 2010
- Available in stores nationwide.
Right - Black Maxi Dress With Ring Strap by Internacionale.
few of these long black maxi dresses will see you through to the
Christmas season 2010. Note that one of the newer halter cuts
for autumn is the crossover inverted 'V-band' halterneck as shown right.
These two black halterneck evening gowns give
just a little more cleavage cover for the cooler
autumn evenings. As nights draw in, so black takes on a more
seductive appeal, and begins to shadow the popularity of whites
the brilliant prints of spring and summer. These two dresses
might be still useful in winter.
Near Right - Glamorous Black Silk Evening Halter
Gown £149 - Full Length Cruise Wear Party Dress Sizes 8-20 -
Elégance Spring/Summer 2010. Elégance Stockist Tel: 0870 990
Far Right - A maxi for taller women from Long
Tall Sally Summer 2010. Jersey Halterneck With
Embroidered Bust Panel - Sizes: XS-XL; £65. Available at
longtallsally.com by phone 0844 573 6885 or in stores
An interesting point about these two black
halter cross strap dresses is that the style is moving toward
the cutaway just below the armhole, which produces a different silhouette.
An Autumn 2010 trend is that the
more modest maxi dresses, will be one answer to some women's
dislike of too much flesh on show. Since a high percentage of
the female population in UK and the USA is over 45 years old perhaps designers could
ponder the real needs a woman expects from a garment.
This strikingly pretty printed 'Darina' dress, pictured left and right
by Diane Von Furstenberg, is also floor sweeping. It has a
crochet macramé racer-back top with bead embellishment. The
racer back is not too risqué and could highlight lovely toned
arms. Bras are easily available for this cut of this dress.
dress concentrates on cutaway armholes
rather than full on décolletage. Just this hint of coverage in the front bodice top may make many women feel more
comfortable, possibly even more elegant
than those baring all.
For some women the chest area can become a problem area
through accident, illness, sun damage, wrinkles, weight loss or
post radiotherapy red veins.
Diane Von Furstenberg is
an experienced designer particularly of elegant dresses. Being a woman
who loves to wear dresses herself, she knows what
women want from clothes. Diane understands that clients young or
old may still require a glamorous dress which remains feminine,
yet covers all the right parts.
The crochet macramé embellished top gives attention getting
facial/chest focus without revealing breast cleavage. Made from 66% cotton, 17% polyester, 12% nylon, 5% metallic the
fabric should be comfortable and remain easy wear. This romantic
elegant sunny designer dress is available from
armhole dresses or
neck styles offer just a little more
coverage for women who prefer to leave total exposure to those
who are comfortable displaying their bust. A cutaway dress
offers exposure, but not all out revelation.
These cutaway armhole dresses are subtle and begin with the
simplest of style based on a
The first green maxi style left, is a very good one as the
drawstrings generally can be pulled tighter to show more skin or
drawn out to cover up flesh. This dress can flow from wide
or narrow shoulder lines easily and is helpful for those with
shoulders that are much wider or narrower than the average
woman. Kylie Minogue was recently photographed wearing a
very similar drawstring halter neckline. This style of
maxi is exceptionally easy to sew yourself.
Near Right - Monsoon Originals Green Latimer Maxi Halter Dress £200/€310
Eire - Monsoon Spring Summer 2010.
Far Right - Yogoego.com CHILLI PEPPER Embellished Silk Maxi Dress £115
- Yogoego.com Womenswear SS10.
few dresses are all between £14 and £40 and can be regarded as a
cheap maxi, but considering their attractive prints good value.
As with any item try them on and you may be very
pleasantly surprised with the look.
An inexpensive maxi dress is ideal for the beach. You can get
sun lotion or al fresco food on it and not fret too much that
purchasing it broke the bank. Every woman can don a maxi dress at the beach and
feel perfectly comfortable whatever their size.
The fresh navy
and white halterneck maxi the model wears comes in
from Fifty Plus Spring/Summer 10.
Fifty Plus Washable Cotton Beach Maxi Dress, from £28, Sizes 12
to 32, - SS10 Womenswear Stockist Tel: 0871 231 2000.
Near Left - Another fresh summery print and an easy online
buy from Boohoo. Halterneck Tribal Print Maxi Dress £25 Boohoo.com - SS 10 Dresses.
Pick up this darker print maxi halter dress right with your weekly shop at
Tesco superstores or get it online.
Right - F&F Blue Peacock Pattern Maxi Dress £15 - Tesco
Clothing - Tesco Stockist Tel: 0800 505555
These long halter dresses below are also made in materials
such as denim and cotton making them more suited as beach and
festival daywear. Remember for continuous weekend wear at a
festival, a darker patterned fabric is less likely to show
spills of drinks and food - or Glastonbury mud!
Below Left - Marisota Denim Maxi Halterneck
Centre Left - NEXT Tropical Maxi Print Dress £40.
Above Centre Right - Reptile Maxi Dress £29, Miss Selfridge -
High Summer 2010 Main Range.
Far Right - Purple Floral Halter Neck Maxi Dress £20 -
Boohoo.com SS 10 Dresses.
pattern of flora and meandering paisley silky prints work
well with frills. Kaleidoscopic fabric prints of
exploding flowers, fireworks or cosmic star and sunbursts are
some of the alternative patterns you can find on fabrics.
Right - This
firework splash bandeau dress (right) has the extra support of a halter
strap and is from chain store BHS. Aqua/Turquoise Halter Neck Printed
£30 - BHS Womenswear SS10. BHS Stockist Tel: 0845 196 0000.
Other variations include the fuller handkerchief hem skirt
right. This one has a
shirred bandeau and is a very cheap maxi dress at just £14 from Matalan SS10 High Summer
and Swimwear. The volume skirt would work well as a maternity
beach cover up. At this price it won't break the bank.
Matalan Stockist Tel: 0845 330 3330.
This raspberry red dress is made from 100% Nylon
(Polyamide), making it an easy care fabric, which is washable by machine
or hand. Even so, you need to take some care because the Nylon mesh
to make light airy tops and dresses, can snag, so learn how to look after it
properly. For instance, Per Una
and Coast brands use mesh nylon in quite a few easy
Nylon really is easy care and will drip dry, furthermore, it requires next to no
ironing if laundered with a cold water final rinse. Always read the care label inside the garment, and
in some good brand delicate washing cleaners e.g., Dreft,
Stergene or Persil Wool & Silk. Although nylon is technically strong, mesh nylon fabric is
by its nature delicate, which is one reason it looks light and
feminine and women love it.
Nylon mesh and similar delicate garments, bras and underwear, benefit from being
put in a pillow slip, or net bag, so the fabric does not catch and
pill during washing. Turning a mesh garment inside out also
gives extra protection from washing abrasion. Personally, I prefer to wash the few nylon
items I own by hand as machines can cause 'piling' all too
quickly. What I do is put a nylon garment to drip dry
on a plastic hanger hooked in the shower/wet room/utility room, rather than using a
tumble drier. If you must use a tumble drier for nylon,
then you must ensure
that the final cycle is cool, and remove the garment the
moment it's finished otherwise creases will set in it. Because the
chemical structure of nylon is similar to wool, you should never
use chlorine based bleach or dry it in direct sunlight as both
effect weakening of the fibre, and especially yellowing of white
and cream nylon. Looked after carefully I am sure this dress
will pay for itself over and over.
Model View of Halter Wave Trim Mesh Maxi Dress £48 - Jane Norman
High Summer 2010. Fabric sweep is not included.
Copyright of images courtesy of Prshots,
Perkins, BHS, Jane Norman, Elégance, Fifty Plus, Evans, Monsoon, Debenhams, Wallis,
River Island, M&Co, Tesco F&F, Long Tall Sally, Matalan,
Harvey Nichols, ASOS,
Oli Clothing, Miss Selfridge, Frank Usher,
Marisota, Internacionale, Yogoego,
Matches Fashion, Boohoo.com, NEXT, Sainsburys, The Seychelles
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