Unexpected Ways To Wear Your Maxi Skirts

They go with more than just tank tops!

Sometimes when we have trusted-and-true pieces in our closet, it's hard to realize all the interesting, out-of-the-box potential they hold if only we experimented. They're our workhorses, and so we have formulas figured out that work every single time we pull them out of the closet. Why would we ever mess with such a good thing?

Well, if any of you are feeling so bold, I've got a few ideas on how to shake things up in the wardrobe area. And the piece I'll be toeing the line with? The maxi skirt. While, yes, it looks adorable with crop tops, button downs, and chambrays, it has so much more to offer! Below are 9 unexpected ways to wear your maxi skirts. 

1. Use A Cardigan As A Shirt

At a loss what to pair a bold, structured maxi with? If a button up feels too formal and a tee feels too casual, try taking a thin cardigan and using it as a blouse. Introducing that option to the roster doubles your choices. 

2. Go Nuts With Volume

We've been taught over and over that if you have one voluminous thing, you need to balance it out with something skin tight so as not to look like you're drowning. To that I say: Nonsense. Go nuts with volume! In this example we have flowy sleeves that compete for attention with the skirt, but it works because it's cropped at the tummy, giving you a strategic line that avoids making you look like you're too fabric-heavy.

3. Use Cropped Sweaters With Some Structure

While crop tops are amazing with maxi skirts (see above,) the look changes yet again when you choose a crop with some structure. It makes things appear more angular, slightly more edgy, and a dash more interesting. 

4. Or Use Baggy Sweaters

Flipping to the other side of the coin, if you use a slouchy sweater that hits you around the hips, you give off this casual, "this old thing?" vibe. It's fun because of its contrasts, and bold because of the heavy amount of fabrics involved. But you can't deny it's streetstyle factor, can you?

5. Layer Them Underneath Tunics

Tunics were all the rage this year, and to give them a break from the usual legging or jeans combo, try layering them on top of maxi skirts. Bonus points if you choose a skirt with some texture, like one that's sheer or fashioned out of lace. 

6. Or Underneath Maxi Dresses

Or take the hem even lower and try layering a maxi/midi dress on top of your skirt, letting just the ends peek out as an opportunity to add more color or print to your look.

7. Don't Be Scared Of Proportion Layering

When you play with proportions, it's all about the lines. The socks hit mid-shin, and the skirt hovers just inches above that. Then the coat or cardigan hovers just a bit more above the hem of the skirt, creating interesting sections in the outfit that drag the eye down, but doesn't make the woman look over-burdened with layers. It might take some finagling at first, but practice makes perfect. Sometimes a piece is too long or too short, but you'll know what feels bag-lady and what feels right!

8. Layer It On Top Of Dresses

Your dresses are shirts too, if only you layer your skirts on top of them! This is also a great rule of thumb if you have one of those sheer skirts that were popular last summer - instead of pairing them with a slip, just pop them on top of a maxi dress.

9. Monochrome-d Out

Did yourself in one color and look incredibly chic as a result: If you have a skirt that comes in one hue, try to create a monochrome look around it. The end result is playful and completely on-trend. 

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: marlenkomar.com