Last year, when nearly every celebrity was spotted wearing tiny pleated skirts and street style stars showed off their own micro-sized outfits, we, too, felt compelled to invest in an itty-bitty mini. But, as cute the trend looked, we soon realized it wasn’t for everyone — especially those hoping to add practical pieces to their everyday wardrobes. We missed our good old maxiskirts and wondered when, exactly, they would make their comeback.
Well, thankfully, fashion is cyclical, and designers are already saying yes to longer lengths. Sprinkled throughout the Spring 2023 runways, the maxi was revived, thus becoming the item worth investing in this season. Stitch Fix partner and stylist Allison Bornstein — known for her “three-word approach” to style — says she spotted the trend in a variety of collections, including Khaite, Tibi, Altuzarra, and Givenchy.
“Styles varied from long, denim A-line skirts to knitted skirts and layered slip skirts,” she tells InStyle over email, adding that celebrities are also on board with the look. “Even fan-favorite fashion icons such as Kendall Jenner and Jennifer Lopez have been spotted wearing the trend right off the runway.”
It’s not just the extra coverage that makes maxiskirts a must-have (although that is a plus, especially during those not-hot-but-not-cold transitional months). This piece is extremely versatile, which is what makes it such a smart investment.
“Sometimes, trends are hard to jump on when you feel like you have nothing in your wardrobe to go with them, but the maxiskirt is a great way to apply a trend to an everyday wardrobe,” says personal stylist and image consultant Christina Stein. “Swap out your favorite pair of denim for a denim maxiskirt — it’s just enough to feel like you have a brand-new look without taking you out of your comfort zone.”
Stein also points out how shoppers are able to pick from a mix of styles and textures, including leather and sequins, to suit their own aesthetic. “You name it, you can find a maxiskirt that can quickly become a part of your personal style,” she says.
As for some maxiskirt outfit ideas? Jodi Kahn, Neiman Marcus’s vice president of luxury fashion, tells InStyle that wearers should lean into that “long, lean, tailored silhouette.”
“The Row gave us lots of inspiration back in September of how chic this could be,” she says.
Bornstein, on the other hand, recommends playing with proportions to create “contrast and tension.”
“I often advise clients to style a maxiskirt with something simple and fitted on the top — for example, a bodysuit or a simple tank top,” she tells us. “Then, add something boxy like a leather shacket. I love the idea of creating long lines to create an exaggerated proportion.”
It’s also important to make this trend feel like you, which is something that Greivy, style expert and content creator, says you can achieve through embellishments and accessories. “Textures and prints can add more of a personalized feel, as well as adding accessories, like fun belts. Layering can be so fun,” she says, noting that she’s worn her fair share of maxis. She also says this is one trend that works for everyone and doesn’t leave people out.
“Maxis can be worn by all body types. They can be dressed up or down, paired with blazers, cropped jackets, platform sneakers, cowboy boots,” she explains. “The possibilities are endless, without sacrificing style.”
Still, whether lengthening hemlines means an end for minis is up for debate.
“I think we’ll see a slow phase-out of the micro-mini we’ve seen so much of for the past few seasons in favor of this slightly more demure silhouette,” Kate Davidson Hudson, U.S. executive and editor in chief of LuisaViaRoma, tells InStyle. “Functionally, it’s a bit easier to wear. Aesthetically, it dovetails better with the more reserved fashion zeitgeist of the moment.”
Bornstein, on the other hand, disagrees.
“I think that there is room for both maxis and minis,” she says. “I love fashion because we don’t have to dive fully into one trend or be focused on what is ‘in’ and ‘out.’ I love the prep-school look, which includes classic items such as pleated miniskirts, and also love the idea of maximalism and exaggerated silhouettes in fun, adventurous shades and textures.”
However, maxis have proven to be timeless and if you’re someone who enjoys channeling the fashion of past decades, the throwback style might be for you.
“Dig up some old Gweneth Paltrow photos in maxi sets, Jennifer Aniston red carpet walks in the ’90s, or, more recently, a pregnant Rihanna rocking maxiskirts in such an iconic way,” recommends Carolyn Bosco, the founder of the shopping app OuiShopp. “You’ll want in on this.”
Cult Gaia Pelli A-Line Satin Maxiskirt
Shop now: $558; neimanmarcus.com
Prabal Gurung Poplin Tulle Ruffled Maxiskirt
Shop now: $1,692; luisaviaroma.com
Diarrablu Seur Wrap Skirt
Shop now: $135; nordstrom.com
Reformation Winnie Skirt
Shop now: $175; reformation.com
UO Winona Satin Maxiskirt
Shop now: $59; urbanoutfitters.com
Farm Rio Pink Folk Party Layered Skirt
Shop now: $245; farmrio.com
A.W.A.K.E. MODE Rectangle-Panel Denim Maxiskirt
Shop now: $510; modaoperandi.com
REMI x REVOLVE Lucy Maxiskirt
Shop now: $80; revolve.com
Free People Godet Girl Mesh 1/2 Slip
Shop now: $50; freepeople.com
Modern Citizen Keira Ribbed Knit Skirt
Shop now: $94; moderncitizen.com