A few summers ago the maxi made an appearance, after a decade off duty. What a relief. Comfy yet flattering (yes even on petites), the maxi bridges that awkward time of year when opaque tights look wrong… but bare legs guarantee goose bumps. Here's our pick of the best.
[Relevant: The one dress every woman needs]
1) A bit of teal
LKF (little known fact), one of the most flattering colours on all skin tones is teal (bluey green). It's the exact opposite of the pink our cheeks flush, so it brings out any natural colour in your face. Which makes this maxi's big print surprisingly easy to wear. M&S, £99 available at www.marksandspencer.com
2) Belt it up
Belt up, and ta da! The maxi is so no longer such a sack-si. This is a good trick for curvy figures, and Preen's beautiful texture mix and super soft jersey warrants the price tag. One you'll wear forever. Preen, £390 available at www.my-wardrobe.com.
3) Lose your marbles
Marbling is having a moment, didn't you know. And unlike other, louder prints, it's subtle enough to wear all over. Gap's marbled marvel is equally happy on holiday or lazing around in the city. Gap, £59.95, www.gap.eu
4) Boho chic
Tapping into the tribal trend is Milly's retro halter. Picture this with gladiator sandals, and plenty of blingy accessories. August evenings sorted. Milly, £448, available at www.my-wardrobe.com
5) Do the 'swish'
There's quite a bit of drama here, what with those swishy lines and big watercolour flowers. This is a perfect shape for petites - just add wedges for instant willowyness. Banana Republic, £165, www.bananarepublic.co.uk
6) Fun and flirty
Ditsy florals, flippy frills — what more do you want? ASOS nails a catwalk trend, at a real life price. Pass the self tan. ASOS, £60, www.asos.com
7) The cover-all
The maxi is a godsend for the mum to be, giving your bump a regal quality (and niftily shrouding swollen ankles). Get a proper maternity one like French Connection's Grecian cut, so the hem isn't hooked up at the front. French Connection, £95, available at www.asos.com
8) The 'Kate Middleton'
For all you Kate Middleton wannabes, we've tracked down this elegant draped number from LK Bennett. With a little more structure than most maxis, and super flattering long sleeves, this is a safe bet for smart evening. LK Bennett, £185, www.lkbennett.com
9) The bombshell
Oh Hello… This minx of a scarlet sheath is a classic example of showing just enough. And if anyone knows about fit, denim supremos Acne do. Acne, £170, available at www.my-wardrobe.com
10) The show stopper
Feeling a red carpet moment coming on? Us too. Halston heritage does a great line in 70s silkiness, like this show stopping fuchsia column. Halston Heritage, £472, available at www.my-wardrobe.com