The Truth About Sundress And Maxi Dress

If you have questions about the sundress and maxi dress, this guide has the answers you need.

Although both dresses are one of the most popular clothing items for women, people rarely know the difference between them.

As you read on, you’ll see what makes a sundress and maxi dress unique, how to style them, and the similarities not many people know about. This new information can help you improve your style and satisfy your fashion curiosity.

So, let’s get started.

What is a sundress?

sundress and maxi dress

A sundress is a casual dress made from a light and airy fabric such as cotton, chiffon, or linen.

It is often brightly colored or patterned and is considered to be appropriate for warm-weather.

Most sundresses are sleeveless with thin or spaghetti straps. But some have very short sleeves, and the overall outfit is loose-fitting.

You can find them online or in walk-in stores around you and choose a print or style that suits your color tone.

SEE: What Makes A Sundress A Sundress? 

What is a maxi dress?

sundress and maxi dress

A maxi dress is a long, flowing dress that extends to the ground.

It is an informal garment that provides an elegant and sophisticated look. It has a firm fitting around the upper body and a loose flow towards the lower end of the body.

Maxi dresses have found their way into events that require a little dressing up. They are a popular choice for special occasions like summertime weddings and graduation parties.

You can find them in various styles, including strapless, sleeveless, and sleeves of varying lengths. They are also available in fabrics like silk, chiffon, and cotton.

Is a sundress different from a maxi dress?

Yes, it is.

Although a sundress and a maxi dress have a few things in common like:

  • They are both flowy
  • Comfortable
  • And perfect for summertime.

There are still some differences we cannot turn a blind eye to.

How is a sundress different from a maxi dress?

These next points will help you see the difference between both dresses:


The sundress is made of thinner, more breathable fabrics like cotton or linen.

Conversely, the maxi dress can be made of different fabrics, including polyester, silk, and jersey. It is often heavier and not as breathable as the sundress.


Most sundresses hit anywhere from mid-thigh to below the knee, while the maxi dress usually reaches the floor or just grazes the ground.


Sundresses often have thinner straps or no straps at all. They are designed to be more casual, whereas maxi dresses may have thicker straps, cap sleeves, or no sleeves.

They are also more likely to have a formal look.


The sundress is more casual and appropriate for daytime occasions such as picnics or days at the beach.

The maxi dress is often seen as more formal or dressy and is great for an evening out or a wedding.

SEE: Fabric Types You Need to Know [+ Pictures]

When should you wear a sundress or a maxi dress?

A sundress and maxi dress are both casual summertime wear. 

They are less constricting and help you feel comfortable in warm weather.

Which is better, a sundress or a maxi dress?

There’s no clear winner.

The reason is that it depends on your body type and what look you’re going for. If you want to show off your legs, go for a sundress.

If you want a more flowy, romantic look, go for a maxi dress.

Sundress vs maxi dress vs dress

There are various types of dresses available on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which is right for you.

Here is a quick guide to help you choose between a sundress, maxi dress, and regular dress:


A sundress is a great option for an informal occasion.

It is made from light fabric such as cotton or linen and is often brightly colored or printed. These dresses are knee-length or shorter, making them perfect for warm weather.

Maxi dress

A maxi dress is a longer version of a regular dress.

It reaches the ground or ankle and it is often made from a heavier fabric such as silk or satin.

Maxi dresses are a good choice for some formal occasions or for those who want extra coverage.


A dress is a one-piece garment that has a bodice and skirt.

It covers a woman’s body and flows to her knee or extends beyond her ankle.

It is the most versatile option and fits into formal and informal occasions. You can find them in different fabrics, such as cotton, silk, or satin.

Maxi dress vs gown

Before you confuse a maxi dress for a gown, here’s the difference:

Maxi dress

As mentioned earlier, a maxi dress is a type of long dress that extends to the floor, usually with a slit up the front or side


A gown is a more formal type of dress, often with a train or other elaborate details.

It has a low-cut neckline, skirt, and bodice and bares the arm.

Both garments are suitable for formal and semi-formal occasions. But a gown is more appropriate for formal events like graduations and high-profile gatherings.

SEE: Create Your Unique Style With Tips on How to Be More Fashionable

Style tips for a sundress

Sundresses are the perfect go-to for a casual, effortless look. Here are some styling tips:

  • A sundress is more casual than a maxi dress, so it might not be appropriate for a wedding or other formal event. 
  • Style appropriately by wearing heels and jewelry to look formal and a sandal or flat shoes to look casual.
  • Use accessories like a straw hat and sunglasses, which are perfect for a day at the beach. Meanwhile, a clutch and statement earrings can dress up a sundress for a night out. 
  • A sundress is a perfect opportunity to show off some skin. However, ensure you are protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

How to style a maxidress

You cannot go wrong if you style your maxi dress with these tips:

  • Wear a maxi dress with a pair of wedges or heels to add some height.
  • If you want to wear a maxi dress for a more casual look, pair it with some flats or sandals.
  • Accessorize your outfit with some jewelry or a scarf.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and patterns.
  • Wear your hair in a loose updo, or let it down to allow some air.

SEE: Find From Simple to Grand Evergreen Gift Ideas for Women


Can you wear a sundress or maxidress to a formal event?

Yes, if it’s a maxi dress. 

But not very formal events like a graduation ceremony or a product launch event at the office. As mentioned earlier, don’t wear a sundress to a formal event.

What top can you wear with a maxidress?

A button-up top. 

It will provide some structure and definition to your look while allowing you to show off the beautiful silhouette of your dress. 

Can you wear a hat with a sundress and maxidress?

Yes, you can. 

The key is to choose a hat that complements your overall look. A straw sunhat or fedora would be a great choice for a sundress, while a wide-brimmed felt hat would be ideal for a maxidress.


Conclusively, a sundress is a casual dress that is perfect for a day spent outdoors, while a maxi dress is a more formal option that is ideal for some evening events. 

Both dresses have their unique charms and can be dressed up or down to suit the right occasion. 

So, next time you’re stuck wondering what to wear to a casual outing, remember that either a sundress or a maxi dress would be a great choice.

Thanks for reading.

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