For the past couple of seasons, the long dress (also known as “the maxi”), has been the star of the show on Spring Summer and Autumn Winter catwalks alike.  And while some trends endure the notorious fickleness of the fashion industry only to disappear without a trace, long dresses appear to be here to stay.

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Earlier this month the crème de la crème of Hollywood graced the Golden Globes’ red carpet in floor skimming, elegant gowns.  But these were no fail safe, black tie frocks; these were a new crop of gowns, adorned in lace and brilliant embellishment, panelled in all the right places, and of course, long sleeved.  The lack of skin on show doesn’t mean that sex appeal has been forgone, quite to the contrary – this new style of long dress is worn as if it was indeed a second skin.  La Redoute’s selection of long dresses are affordable yet beautifully made, and will make you feel far more glamorous (and warmer!) than you would in any short, strappy number.

 

As lovers of dresses, when it comes to winter the thought of exposing our legs is somewhat….chilling….yet we still want to feel elegant and feminine.  Long dresses – and especially long sleeved long dresses – are the perfect alternative for our winter festivities.  Long sleeves are made for long dresses with sexy cut outs, sheer panels, and sparkling sequins, proving that sleeved look in definitely not a boring one.

Until recently even the most brave street-style fashionistas avoided floor-length gowns during the day, considering them too theatrical and impractical for daytime.  Nowadays, the longer dress – being so comfortable, easy and flattering - is a versatile piece that will take you through from day to night.  Wear with flat boots and casual womens coats for a day time lunch-date, and then jazz up with a pair of killer heels for a night on the town.   There is also the misconception that petite girls cannot wear dresses that go anywhere below the knee as excess material can swamp a short statue.   However worn correctly, maxi dresses and skirts can be as flattering for petite girls as they can be fashionable; it’s all about the balance.

Here are La Redoute’s top styling tips:

- Wear heels!  Long garments can make you appear shorter as the amount of material takes the focus away from your true shape.  For petite girls, heels are a must. 

- Get the balance right.  When opting for a maxi, consider the scale of the skirt.  Floaty?  Team with a tight fitted top.  Closer cut?   Pair with a looser fitted top such as a cropped top or a sweater.

- Clash shapes. Women’s coats for the past few seasons have been all about making an impact.  When wearing a maxi chose an oversized, lighter jacket which will still make a statement but won’t make you look like you’re drowning in material.  During the day, pair a long dress with an out fitted denim jacket or an army jacket; for night time, a cropped, boxy sequin number will look fabulous.