Winter to spring transition: how to style maxi skirts

isabella stewart gardner museum boston yellow maxi skirt dress

BP wedges in “natural” (back in stock!) Maison Jules top (last styled here)

I had the opportunity to tour & shoot at the beautiful Isabella Stewart Gardner art museum this morning before it opened to the public – photography was previously not allowed throughout this museum, so it was a special treat! Nick was an art history minor so could easily lose himself amidst the paintings, whereas I loved the architecture and greenery of the stunning indoor courtyard.
isabella stewart gardner art museum courtyard boston yellow maxi dressIt was a balmy mid-60s today, so I decided to pull out a very sprightly piece that still provided full coverage for warmth. I love my maxi skirts and dresses, but don’t wear them too often in cooler weather since they usually have summery connotations. To make this sunny piece more seasonally-appropriate (and also to dress it down for casualwear), I added a warm, knit sweater and a cropped jacket in coordinating neutral colors.
how to style maxi skirts petites yellow spring casual outfit

This maxi skirt from my friend is beautiful all-around, but will likely need alterations on someone my size and height both at the waist and in the length. For reference, the waist of an XS measures 16″ across the waist and 41″ long (costly to get hemmed due to the amount of material). how to style a maxi skirt dress petite spring casual outfitYou can barely see them in these photos, but my cork wedge sandals from last year just got re-stocked again in the “natural” color! I wore them for hours walking around today – they are great for several inches of extra height with barely any added weight on the feet. They do run narrow so I’d suggest going up half a size. See more pictures of them styled in these blog posts. isabella stewart gardner art museum boston italian courtyard garden


33 thoughts on “Winter to spring transition: how to style maxi skirts

  • Reply Alexa Johnson March 13, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Great photos!

  • Reply Feyi A March 13, 2016 at 11:18 pm
  • Reply Mei Liang March 14, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Such beautiful photos! The yellow maxi skirt matches so well with the garden and it almost gives a tropical feel. Love the outfit! 🙂

    Pieces of Mei

  • Reply Esraa Bassiouny March 14, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Wow, that place looks magical.
    I am really weary on wearing maxi skirt with me being petite. I have this belief that it would make me look shorted. Do you have any idea on how to wear them correctly?

  • Reply Tara | The Mix March 14, 2016 at 6:19 am

    This skirt is gorgeous on you, I love the color!

  • Reply Sasa Zoe March 14, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Beautiful maxi<3

    Shall We Sasa

  • Reply Gabriella March 14, 2016 at 7:30 am

    You look phenomenal! And how exciting being able to shoot in that museum, it's such a gorgeous place. And that skirt! I need it. I can't get over how beautiful it is.

  • Reply Linda Tran March 14, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Lovely outfit!

    A couple questions: do they allow pictures at the museum now or was it just an exception for you & Nick? (I plan on visiting it next week!)

    Also, when you buy maxi skirts, do you buy whichever you like and then make alterations on it? I'm almost 5'1" and always have a hard time finding maxi skirts that aren't too long because I don't really wanna go through the hassle of making alterations to the skirt. Have you found maxi skirts that weren't too long? Or are they generally long and you have to make alterations? (PS. Any recommendations to stores that sell maxi skirts would be lovely as well.)

    Thank you in advance!

  • Reply Hiromi March 14, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Wow, beautiful setting! And gorgeous outfit as always, Jean 🙂

    Hiromi |

  • Reply MacKenzie Haley March 14, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I love the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! What a treat to go in before hours and shoot pretty pictures!

    Xo, MacKenzie

  • Reply Keri H March 14, 2016 at 10:18 am

    These pictures are gorgeous!! Love the yellow maxi with that sweater. Lovely combo <3

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  • Reply Thuy | Dress Up, Chow Down March 14, 2016 at 10:35 am

    You are killing it in that skirt!

  • Reply Mariel Lopez March 14, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I love this combination! And the setting for the photos was beautiful. As another person commented, it's a little hard for us petite to find maxi skirts for our size (I had to cut the only onw I had). But, they are so cute! And I live in the Caribbean so is those kind of wear year round. Love your blog!

  • Reply Leah Gervais March 14, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Beautiful, Jean! I am a long time reader but this is somehow my first comment/ question…

    What do you think of maxi dresses/skirts at work? My office is business casual so I think a nice enough skirt (like the one you're wearing here) would be acceptable, I'm just trying to think of ideas to dress up the rest of my outfit so that it is still polished and professional. I think maxi skirts are modest and nice enough for work, I just have trouble making them look polished for an office. What do you think? Thank you!

  • Reply Dice March 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Beautiful photos!

  • Reply Julie Hiller March 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Stunning pictures! I love that color on you! Your hair also looks incredible! How do you get so much volume?

    Lifestyle by Joules

  • Reply affecionada March 14, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Beautiful photos!

  • Reply Deasy Noel March 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    The pictures are so beautiful! I have been looking everywhere for a yellow skirt / dress and this looks like the perfect skirt.

  • Reply Caitlin M. March 15, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Gorgeous outfit! That yellow looks gorgeous on you!

    xx, Caitlin

  • Reply mwong March 15, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Slightly tangential question: you posted an alternative to the blue and white floral maxi dress from Nordstrom. I found the post to the Nordstrom version, but what was the alternative? Thanks!

  • Reply Ale Bellaire March 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Beautiful pics and clothes but maxi skirts for us, petites, are difficult for us to wear. Fitted ones are a better but those bigger ones make us look stubby 🙁 and if wearing a big one then the top should be fitted.

  • Reply Grace March 15, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I love maxi skirts – but I can't even think my feet would be bared at this time of the year…Anyway, you look amazing 🙂

  • Reply Vera March 15, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    These photos are incredible & I LOVE your skirt.

    Blonde in Cashmere

  • Reply Jean March 16, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Yes they allow photography for everyone now! I was so happy to hear the news. And yes I often get maxi skirts and dresses altered – unfortunately it's just part of being short. Sometimes you can find extra short length ones that are designed to be "ankle" on regular height ladies, and some brands do make maxis in petites sizing (even then I still have to alter usually), but I don't like to limit myself to just shopping those styles. I think LOFT and Old Navy are two brands that usually sell maxi items in petites sizing online.

  • Reply Jean March 16, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Hi Leah! I think if others at your office are wearing it and it truly is casual, then go for it maybe with a nice blouse tucked in or a cropped jacket topped over it. I wouldn't recommend wearing a maxi to a true business casual office though, if it's the same type of business casual I have in mind!

  • Reply Jean March 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Julie! The thing I find helps the most is to clip up the crown area right after towel drying it, and letting it either air or get blown dry that way. Curling in general also helps fluff it up for volume!

  • Reply Jean March 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Hmm, I don't remember sharing a similar to the Eliza J one since that one is still available! Do you remember when that was?

  • Reply Leah Gervais March 16, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I suppose you're right, they just don't fit in a true office setting. Wishful thinking I guess! Thank you!

  • Reply Jean March 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Jean do you have any other similar links for the maxi skirt? The morning lavender one is sold out and I can't find maxi skirts that are flowy like this without being pleated!

  • Reply mwong March 17, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Unfortunately, I don't remember!? I tried going through some of your old posts, but couldn't find it. I think it might have been one of the sales and you suggested some items (not things that you bought)…Thanks, though!

  • Reply Pamela Gonzalez March 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    These photos are AMAZING! Love that skirt!
    I just discovered your blog and am definitely following, keep it up girl! xx

  • Reply Cassandra at AyeMiLady March 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I love that refreshing pop of sunshine!

  • Reply Kamehana April 15, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Yay! The yellow maxi is back in stock!!

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