How to adapt a maxi dress for autumn

How to adapt a maxi dress for autumn

I have loved wearing my maxi dresses and skirts this summer. They work very well for me as my legs are not my best feature so I like to keep them covered if possible. I want to continue to wear my maxi dresses well into the autumn and winter so I thought that I would write about how to adapt a maxi dress for autumn. Bare legs can get quite cold at this time of year and I am not quite ready to wear my thick tights. One trick I have learnt to keep my legs warm is to wear a pair of leggings or cropped leggings depending on the length of your dress. I found a good pair that works for me in the sports department of MarksandSpencer. They have a good selection.

Details of above:

Flower print maxi dress JL&P | Red car coat Boden | Wool cape Boden | Cream wool polo neck sweater Uniqlo (US link) | Borg waist bag Boden | Brown lace-up boots Hotter.

A pea or car coat is another great addition to your wardrobe at this time of year. You may not be ready to wear your full-length winter coat depending on where you live.

Selection of car coats:

Another way to adapt a maxi dress for autumn is to add a roll-neck sweater under the dress and a wrap around your shoulders. I have chosen one from Uniqlo. I have quite a few in my wardrobe in various colours and they are very useful as an extra layer of warmth. (UK link) (US link)

Finally, we need to keep our feet warm. Chunky boots are very on-trend and there are plenty of different styles in the shops. I bought a pair at the end of last winter and am very glad that I did. If you do not like the very chunky styles you could choose one of the more classic styles.

Selection of chunky boots:

If you do not already own a maxi or midi dress (if you are petite) there are still plenty in the shops. In the collage above I have used a warm colour palette however there are plenty of cool colours available. I will shortly be showing you how I adapt my pink maxi dress in a future post.

Selection of maxi/midi dresses:


  1. Trudy Jackson
    18th October 2021 / 16:57

    right on trend with the maxi dress, unfortuneately the length does not suit, me, a dress I bought this summer has remained unworn, but I will experiment with your ideas,I already have the your emails.

    • 18th October 2021 / 17:55

      Hello Trudy
      You may find it works with the right accessories or if it is too long you could always shorten it.

  2. 18th October 2021 / 17:05

    Josephine, some very good ideas here, but what about the gap between the dress, the boots and the leggings? Do you feel bare legs are acceptable in ‘une femme d’un certain age’?

    • 18th October 2021 / 17:57

      A good question Kate. I think it depends on the length of the dress and the height of the boots. When I had a try on session I did not like the bare legs gap so I will probably wear with opaque tights. I hope to get some photos of me wearing my pink maxi dress next week.

  3. 18th October 2021 / 17:30

    I like the look of a maxi dress in cool weather and your suggested layering pieces add warmth as well as visual interest, while making the dress look Autumn/Winter appropriate. I’d wear tights, just not heavy ones. That dress is gorgeous. Despite being fair and cool-toned, I’d be tempted to buy it for the lovely fall floral, which does include wearable tones for me – soft pink and aqua!

    18th October 2021 / 18:18

    Josephine, I just learned a few years ago of wearing leggings under a skirts in winter to stay warm. My daughter-in-law is from Maine,USA and she told me to do this. It really wroks. I even buy the one’s with lace at the bottom so just in case someone does see them they are pretty!! LOVE your dress!! Your always so elegant!! Thank you for all the inspiration!!

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