Spring Shopping Guide: Maxi dresses
I have been searching for the perfect maxi dress for what seems like years. It has to have a great print (which might be part of my problem--as I said the other day, I have trouble with prints) and a comfortable fit, but it has to be fitted enough to not make me look like a house. Granted, I'm a bit taller than average and thus can pull off the length, but so can Nicole Richie, and she's only like 5-foot-2. Anyway, after so many summers of slim pickings, this year maxi dresses are everywhere. Of course, now there are almost too many options.

This Missoni dress is strapless, so you can't really get away with wearing it to work (unless you layer a tee or tank top underneath). Then again, if you can afford to spend nearly four grand on a dress, you probably aren't going to be too concerned about where you're going to wear it.

If a floor-length Missoni print isn't decadent enough for you, there's always Pucci. Again, not really a daytime look (although this one does have straps), but could work for everything from neighborhood brunch to a yacht in St. Tropez.

I really like this Temperley dress because the ivory-and-white color scheme keeps things simple, even though the print is large scale. The shape is incredibly easygoing and laid-back, which is what I really love.


TIBI always has great prints, and this Papillon halter dress is no exception--it's really an abstract, enlarged butterfly motif. It's also 100% silk, which makes it incredibly luxe.

Diane von Furstenberg also makes amazing prints, and those in her spring collection were exceptionally great. This dress manages to combine a groovy wallpaper print with a slim but still loose silhouette, and it's versatile enough to work for day or night.

I saw this dress, also by DVF, on a pregnant woman at Morandi, which is just testament to how it works for all kinds of body types--it's her signature wrap dress, lengthened by a few inches and rendered in a gorgeous printed chiffon. (And, by the way, it's almost sold out here, but I saw a bunch of them last week at Bloomingdale's in Soho.)

Roxy can always be counted on for breezy, California-girl tropical prints. The Moorea dress has a batik print that's a little bit Hawaii, and a little bit Morocco, but very bohemian all around. I like that the simple shape isn't overwhelmed by the mix of prints.

Orange is not for everyone, but this Jaclyn dress from Delia's has a feminine cut, and I like the tropical feel of the print.

Luckily, one of my favorite dresses is also the least expensive: this Mossimo dress from Target. The print is adorable, the fit is great, and the price--$22.99--can't be beat.

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