There’s something about a soft, airy maxi dress that gets us in touch with our earthy, hippie sides (without the whole hairy legs thing…although, technically, you could get away with it in a maxi. Just sayin’). We simply can’t help but embody that mellow, “it’s all good” attitude when draped in this flowy fashion. So, naturally, the maxi dress is our #1 summer wardrobe staple.

Before you roll your eyes at our peace signs and aviators, consider this: throwing on a maxi dress is stress free, instant chic. Because really, on those lazy summer days, we often want minimal effort in the prep department.

Oh, and did we mention they are ridiculously comfy? Picture this: you’re frolicking through tall grass or dashing along hot sand. Sorry love, but a tight, short mini dress just won’t cut it.

This summer, choose a maxi dress to truly glow, relax in comfort, and go with the flow.

1. Maxi Dress with an Empire Waist

maxi dress empire waist

An empire waist is, hands down, the best slimming solution out there. Add its flattering shape up top to the elongating effect of any maxi, and you are sure to look enviously long and lean. Try: pairing this maxi dress with your favorite pair of sandals or dressing it up with hot heels for date night. Macy’s has a stellar selection of empire waist maxis.

2. Maxi Dress with Flair

maxi dress with flair

Heading to a funky summer festival? Try a maxi dress with a handkerchief hem. With this style, laid back and down-to-earth meets flirty and graceful. Stroll along the beach, looking carefree and lovely as can be. Drape a cardigan sweater over your shoulders to stay warm during that nighttime movie in the park showing. Shop Neiman Marcus for adorable maxis with flair.

3. Sultry in Stripes!

striped maxi dress

Going for a look a little more, well, foxy? Make a statement with a striped, deep v-neck maxi dress.

A design of black and white stripes decorates the bodice of this dress, adding a mix of sophistication and sexiness. Pair it with a black or white linen blazer to make it all the more dramatic. Nordstrom has an extensive selection of sexy striped maxis.

4. Retro- Style Maxi Dress

retro maxi dress

Nothing says retro quite like a maxi dress. It’s the perfect choice for that beach bonfire. Find retro maxis at Zappos or Kohl’s.

5. Tank Maxi Dress

tank maxi dress

Made of rayon, this comfy and cute dress can be worn alone (perhaps with a fedora hat) or dressed up with eye-catching pieces of jewelry.

With a scoop neckline similar to a basic tank top, this dress has an elasticized band at the waist for a relaxed look that flows gently. Both simple and elegant, its slit up the side makes a bold statement. Look for this maxi dress style at Nordstrom.

6. A Twist on a Classic

Shirtdress Maxi Dress

If you have any intention of becoming a maxi kinda girl, you really must own this shirtdress style. It comes complete with buttons down the front and a matching belt at the waist. Essentially, it’s a longer version of the classic! For affordable, chic maxis in this style, check out Target.

7. A Vision in Paisley

paisley maxi dress

A flattering v-neckline with a pastel pattern of paisley sets the tone for summertime bliss. With flats, sandals, or heels, this maxi dress is always a hit. Find them at Macy’s.

8. Colorblock Is In!

blue colorblock maxi dress

One color? Boring! This snazzy piece will spend way more time out in the world than ignored in your closet. Popular color combos: black and pink, blue and white, or pink and white. For a quirky contrast, wear it with a patterned handbag. Check them out Kohl’s and Neiman Marcus.