Humor Magazine

The Mystique of the Maxi Dress

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes

My birthday is coming up next month, and because celebrating in my full birthday suit is a little bold for my taste, I’m in the market for a cute birthday dress to commemorate my last birthday before turning a quarter-century old. In a fit of pre-birthday masochism, I’ve decided that I’d like to finally find a maxi dress that doesn’t make me look like the Statue of Liberty.

Who says you can't welcome immigrants in something flattering?

Who says you can’t welcome immigrants in something flattering?

I’m no stranger to sting of maxi dress rejection, but this time I’m going to be more persistent. There’s no reason a maxi dress shouldn’t be hanging in my closet right now. Every day I see regular women of all shapes and sizes wearing maxi dresses with their trendy accessories looking gorgeous, and I want to be one of them, but I think I have the age-old problem all desperate people are familiar with: I want it too badly.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only time a woman can find a cute, figure-flattering maxi dress is when she’s not looking for one. These maxi dresses are like pixies of fashion. Every time I’ve seen a woman buying a maxi dress, she’s always been apprehensively clutching the hanger and length of the dress that would drag on the floor with this look of pure astonishment on her face like, “I can’t believe I finally found a maxi dress. Is this real? DON’T GET TOO CLOSE LADY, THIS IS MINE!”

Let me illustrate this phenomenon with a brief scenario:

A woman will be at Target for no other reason than to buy cereal, face wash, and a perhaps bag of M&Ms and the latest copy of Cosmopolitan if the checkout line is long enough to permit some candy and magazine perusal. After bypassing the carts, she strides past the clothing department with no intention of browsing whatsoever when the loveliest maxi dress she’s ever seen will catch her eye. “Surely this will make me look like a Grecian statute of a woman hiding a baby bump like all maxi dresses do!” she’ll reason, but a tiny voice inside will convince her to find her size and go to the fitting room. There in the dimly lit room full of discarded bras and inside-out pairs of jeans, this unsuspecting woman, who was just taking care of a mindless errand, will be rewarded with the discovery of a stylish maxi dress that doesn’t make her look like Kim Kardashian when she was eight months pregnant.

Now, let me describe the scenario that occurs when someone who wants a maxi dress (me) goes shopping specifically for a maxi dress:

Almost at the dresses… I can see their skirts sweeping the floor. I’M COMING FOR YOU, MAXI DRESS OF MY DREAMS! So many to choose from, what’s the fitting room limit? I don’t want to be that girl. Okay, I’ll try this one, that one, OH THIS ONE IS GOING TO LOOK GREAT I’M SO EXICTED, I’m not sure about this one, but I’ll give it a try, aaaaaaaaaaand, okay this one too. There’s bound to be a winner in here! I’M GOING TO OWN A MAXI DRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fitting room, here I come!

Dress 1: Um, where is my body? I had a body a few minutes ago. Instead of hourglass or pear, I now have a pipe cleaner body type.

Dress 2: Fee-fi-fo-fum, I’m not tall enough to wear this. The bottom of this dress is bound to get stuck somewhere, rip, and leave me standing in my underwear on a day when I was in the mood to wear my casual “nothing to see here folks” undies. (Why is full ass coverage so relaxing sometimes?)

Dress 3: How can this be?! I really saw myself in this one! How can this dress actually look like this when I can see myself in it looking good!?

Dress 4: Oh good, when I walk in this my lower body looks like a baby hippo trapped in a bolt of fabric. Not cute.

Dress 5: If only I went to more sacrificial offerings, I would have somewhere to wear this garment.

Maybe I’m simply not ready to dive into the draped world of maxi dresses. Maybe I don’t look as bad in them as I think or do, or maybe everyone looks bad in them, and I’m just more attuned my own personal looking badness than I am to other people’s. Maybe I’m still a little turned off by the fact that when I hear the word “maxi,” instead of picturing a long, flowing dress, I’m reminded of a long, flowing period that necessitates a maxi pad.

Nevertheless, something compels me onward; the promise of owning a shapeless dress with that highlights my décolletage and also hides my pale, stubbly legs is too enticing to ignore.


I know you’re out there somewhere maxi dress, and maybe this season I’ll finally find you.

Ladies, do you love or hate the maxi dress? Am I missing out? Gents, I’m sorry for the maxi pad reference, and what your thoughts on the maxi dress? Not enough leg?

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