aDressed | Gap Inc.’s blog

Exclusive news about Gap Inc. + our brands

Going with the flowy: maxi dresses hot for summer

DesignJames R. Sanders, Gap Inc. blogger2 Comments

This throwback look is all about vintage-style prints and silhouettes full of 1970s spirit. Versatility and easiness help make this trend a popular choice, and it's probably the most practical one to style — especially during those sultry summer months.

The maxi-dress trend started and flourished in the '70s, serving as a staple in the counterculture movement. Like most fashion fads, celebrities helped its popularity explode. Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell were two of its top influencers.

To get you started with your summer shopping, we've curated a collection of some of our favorite maxi dresses inspired by designers who've incorporated boho into their spring/summer collections.


The printed maxi is never going out of style, so any of the selections below would be investment pieces. For their spring/summer collections, designers used prints in a new and exciting way, sparking interest among buyers and bloggers everywhere. Even the most traditional and couture-based designers interpreted the maxi trend with prints, lace, and overlay that would make even the most daring fashion editors swoon.

Left to right, from top: Leaf-Print Cross-Back Patio Dress from Banana Republic; Convertible Tube Maxi Dress from Old Navy; BR Heritage Blue Floral Patio Dress from Banana Republic; Jersey Tank Maxi Dress from Old Navy; Printed Slip Maxi Dress from Gap; Printed Cressida Dress from Athleta; Stripe Panel Maxi Dress from Gap; Convertible Tube Maxi Dress from Old Navy.



The solid maxi is a classic. While designers didn't produce many, if any solid offerings, the selections below have you covered. Print versus solids is an age-old debate in fashion, but designers will generally let one rule over the other. Prints are considered more exciting and edgy, whereas solids are classic and demure. But, depending on the color, they can still turn heads.

Left to right, from top: Heritage Linen Patio Dress from Banana Republic; Serenity Dress from Athleta; Knit V-Neck Patio Dress from Banana Republic; Seamed Tank Maxi Dress from Gap; Trapeze Dress from Banana Republic; Cressida Dress from Athleta.



With the popularity of several different collections — not to mention the epic sheer gown Beyoncé wore to this year's Met Gala — sheer is back. And the maxi is one of the best ways to interpret that particular trend. Because maxis are generally made with lighter fabrics, they make perfect coverups for lounging on the beach.