What to Wear With Maxi Skirts in Spring and Summer

The Best Shoes and Sandals for Warm-Weather Maxis

Shot from behind of woman walking down old street in a red maxi skirt and white tank top.
John Kieffer/Getty Images

For some women, maxi skirts and dresses are only relevant every 5 or 10 years or so when they're declared "hot" by the press once again. For the rest of us, they always have a place in our wardrobes.

Whichever camp you fall into, you probably appreciate the soft, relaxed, and romantic vibe that maxi skirts create. But you also don't want to feel as if you're tied to one look by wearing them with the same shoes over and over again.

Why Wear a Long Skirt in Spring and Summer

The great thing is, maxi dresses and skirts are far more versatile than you might think. In addition to the fact that they work with a wide variety of tops and shoes, they also work well in any season -- assuming, of course, that they're made from fabric that is appropriate for the weather.

What Shoes to Wear With Long Skirts

Here are the shoe styles that work well with full, flowing maxis as well as the best and worst picks for narrow, fitted maxi skirts. 

Flat Sandals

For a lot of women, this one's really kind of a no-brainer because it's so natural when you slip into a really long skirt to feel bohemian, and thus, reach for the first pair of beaded or shimmery flat sandals you can find. They're a great choice!

If the design of your maxi skirt isn't very complex (solid color, simple shape), then let your sandals determine the vibe of the whole outfit.

For example, if it's a sophisticated, Mediterranean look you're after and your skirt is more form-fitting than it is flowing, sandals with wide bands and ankle collars will establish the tone of the outfit.

If you're trying to dress up a more casual skirt with a fuller cut, then your best bet is to opt for thin-strapped thong sandals, with or without delicate beads or rhinestone embellishments.

On the other hand, if your maxi skirt already conveys a certain vibe or style, then simply pick sandals that will complement and not compete with it. So, let's say you have a maxi skirt with a large or bold tribal print. In this case, you could go for a pair of flat sandals with woven bands or wooden beads -- but avoid anything too bold on its own or you run the risk of trampling the effect of the maxi itself.

Wedge Sandals

Wedge sandals are a warm-weather favorite, and even though they can be difficult to pull off with certain mid-length and longer skirts, they work really well with maxi skirts and dresses because the additional length helps to balance the heft of wedge heels.

Espadrilles

From traditional flat styles to higher-heeled sandals with a Spanish flavor, espadrilles and maxi skirts are a match made in heaven. But if you want to ensure that it doesn't look like you're wearing slippers, be sure that you're showing just a bit of leg. If you're skirt is too long to show any skin, then opt for espadrilles with heels. Styles that feature ankle wraps or ties are especially nice with maxi skirts.

High Heels

There aren't many heels that don't go with maxi skirts -- especially when it comes to high-heeled sandals.

Chunky heels, ankle straps, wedges, stilettos, strappy sandals -- all will work great, as long as they're well-suited to the style of the skirt in question.

As far as heeled pumps go, certain toe shapes tend to work better than others. For example, open, pointy, almond, and peep-toe heels are generally more flattering with maxi skirts than round-toed pumps. There are always exceptions, of course, but the main reason for this is that rounder toes with really long skirts and dresses are a bit too reminiscent of little girls in Christmas dresses and Mary Jane flats. For most adults, it's just too much.

If you really love pumps with round closed-toes, look for styles that have low-cut vamps, so that some skin will be exposed.

Shoe Styles to Avoid with Maxi Skirts and Dresses

  • Loafers or other full-coverage flats don't work well with maxi skirts and dresses due to the fact that they're either too masculine or make long skirts seem frumpy.
  • Low-heeled clogs of the comfort variety aren't a good match for such feminine skirts and dresses, however, higher-heeled fashion clogs are okay for cooler weather.
  • Sneakers, especially cross-trainers, walking or running shoes, don't generally play well with maxis. Although, you may have seen the successful combination of streamlined canvas sneakers (think: Keds) with narrow maxi skirts for a kind of a cute and casual, preppy look. Give it a try if it's a look that appeals to you.