One Trend, Two Generations: The Strapless Maxi

One Trend, Two Generations: The Strapless Maxi
Welcome to the third ‘One Trend, Two Generations’, a series my Generation Y stepdaughter and I, a proud Generation X’er, created to show how one trend can be worn by two different generations.So far, we’ve featured denim shorts and the lace with stripes trend. Now we’re turning our attention to the ever-popular maxi dress. But not just any maxi, a strapless maxi.

At 18-years-old, with a enviable figure and gorgeous features, most every trend looks great on Tori. Strapless dresses, dresses with spaghetti straps or cut-outs, and backless dresses all suit her age and her figure.

This leopard strapless maxi is no exception.

Tori bought it in San Francisco at H & M last spring for $20.00. It has smocking at the bust and the material is a soft jersey. I think it looks fantastic on her! She wore it with big gold earrings and her hair down…

and on another day with her hair up in a bun. Tori turns lots and lots of heads in this dress, to be sure!

In both instances, she wore bright red lipstick, a great complement to the leopard print and her deep blue eyes.

I can’t remember the last time I wore something strapless that wasn’t a swim suit. I really don’t do strapless. But then this Gap dress caught my eye and I figured, why not give it a go?

It’s a convertible dress. It can be worn either as a maxi, a tea-length dress, or a maxi skirt depending on how you fold the top.

More than anything, I like the print of this dress. It’s so vibrant and cheery.

But as far as strapless maxis go for this 45-year-old, I prefer to wear them this way: Covered Up!

While I have fleeting moments of confidence while bearing my shoulders, décolleté, upper back and arms in this dress, I mostly feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

For me, there is just so much skin showing, I can’t help but feel exposed and wonder if I might also be turning heads but for the wrong reasons!

I’ve concluded that I will leave strapless dresses sans cover-ups to the younger generation. It’s not for me unless I wear a cardigan, shirt or jacket over it, which defeats the purpose of a strapless dress.

I am glad I gave the trend a whirl, though. And it was fun to dress up with Tori.

With fashion, sometimes there is only one way to find out if a trend is for you…and that’s to wear it!

Are you wearing strapless dresses this season?
xo, Adrienne



  1. July 9, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    I just love this dress on you A! I think it is SO incredibly flattering and you look gorgeous as ever! Much love, xoxo

    • July 9, 2013 / 2:49 pm

      Thanks, Tori. I know you love it on me…I just wish that I loved it on me!
      Having such fun doing these posts with you!

  2. July 9, 2013 / 2:20 pm

    Tori needs no particular commenting – she just looks fantastic. I like the strapless maxi on you, but would like it better with your gorgeous hair down for some coverage, and to sort of “balance” it I think. Actually, in looking back over the photos, I even like Tori’s hair down with the strapless slightly more than the bun. I love the print and cut of your dress a lot!
    I’ve never worn strapless, even at 18, so at this age, so it’s highly unlikely I’ll start now.

    • July 9, 2013 / 2:51 pm

      I agree with you. My hair down definitely gives me more coverage and is more casual feeling, too. I did wear my hair down the other day with it but we didn’t take photos of me alone so I had to use some other ones. I wore my hair in a bun because it was 100 out and my hair was not freshly washed. I used my emergency bun!

      I can’t recall ever wearing strapless dresses either except to proms and such. They are very fussy – always having to pull and yank on them. And don’t even get me started on those horrible strapless bras!

    • July 9, 2013 / 7:28 pm

      K, I found a photo of me and Tori where my hair is down and it looks much, much better. I added it into the post. If you check back, let me know what you think. I believe you’re right!

    • July 10, 2013 / 6:12 am

      Of course I checked back and it does look much better with your hair down. It really is an exceptional print, and you know I’m not too fond of print. I too, hate strapless bras.

  3. July 9, 2013 / 2:28 pm

    You both look gorgeous. I agree with Kathy about the hair, but only because the bun seems too “done” with such a soft, flowing style. I understand what you mean about feeling too exposed. I’ve never been comfortable in strapless or spaghetti strap anything unless I’m at the pool.

    • July 9, 2013 / 2:54 pm

      I’m with you and Kathy. Hair down is better.
      The pool and the beach are the only places I feel okay with strapless and spaghetti straps. I don’t think that will every change even if I do push-ups every day of my life!

  4. July 9, 2013 / 2:29 pm

    no, strapless dresses look terrible on me as do spaghetti straps dresses…my shoulders and arms are not slim enough..especially now that I’m lifting so much weight everyday…but I wish I could wear them…I like the strapless + denim shirt combo, it’s a great idea!

    • July 9, 2013 / 2:57 pm

      It’s a tough look to wear…and one I am not comfortable with though my husband really loves it. Men love to see skin!
      I like the denim look best too. I think it would even look cute on Tori.
      Hope the international move is going well, B!

  5. July 9, 2013 / 2:36 pm

    I have one but like you it looks best on me with a little cover up. Cute post…love the photo at the end.

  6. July 9, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    I love this series, and I love your own self-analysis here – it doesn’t matter what the rest of us say, you just didn’t feel great with your shoulders exposed, so you covered them up – that’s smart style, imho! : > You’re both gorgeous.

    • July 9, 2013 / 7:12 pm

      You’re right, Patti. I didn’t feel great. I felt like I was trying to regain my youth…too hard. I will keep the dress and wear it again because I like the pattern and color scheme, but only with a shirt or cardigan.

  7. July 9, 2013 / 3:22 pm

    Men and strapless dresses… they’re just hoping for a wardrobe malfunction! 😉

    I’m thinking of wearing a long strapless dress to a wedding this summer in Santa Monica the invitation specified “Formal”. I am usually tailored, covered and short length. It will be too hot for any cover up. I’m hoping multi-strands of pearls will give me the balance we all seem to want, and need.

    I like the jeans jacket look on you too – because you LOOK more comfortable.
    Go strapless when you feel good about it. 🙂


    • July 9, 2013 / 7:15 pm

      Is that it? You’re very likely right about those men who love strapless dresses.
      I do think a necklace on the big side, or hair down would be enough of a distraction from all the bare skin.
      Have a great time at the wedding!
      I agree…I really do look more comfortable with the denim shirt on. I was more than a little out of my comfort zone without it!

  8. July 9, 2013 / 7:46 pm

    I love this series. Since my daughter left home I do not have a young voice helping me with my outfits and I really miss it. We can learn a lot from our daughters about fashion. You both look like you ar having fun!
    You both look great.

  9. July 9, 2013 / 8:02 pm

    Tori is a really stunner, but you both look fabulous!

  10. July 10, 2013 / 4:10 am

    You both look adorable. Each dress is unique with great patterns. Congrats too on your modeling debut with Redbook. : ) xo

  11. July 10, 2013 / 6:44 am

    I wore a brightly striped, strapless maxi that I picked up as an impulse buy at T.J. Maxx to a cook-out recently. I feel very comfortable wearing the dress, but I can’t say that I love the way it looks on me. I can wear it to work with a cover-up (a short-sleeved sweater I picked up at Ross) and a bra, so it’s certainly a colorful, useful addition to my wardrobe… Just wish it was more flattering. I think I need one with a top more like Tori’s. Maybe one that takes advantage of the current wide chevron trend.

    This series is so wonderful for a variety of reasons, my favorite of which is that you both look like you’re having so much fun! If it ever ceases to be fun, stop doing it immediately – but until then, keep ’em coming!

  12. July 10, 2013 / 8:21 am

    I think you both look gorgeous in your strapless. But like you Adrienne I tend to only keep strapless for the beach (just a little too self-conscious now 😉
    Also buying your Macadamia hair masque as recommended in your article 😉

  13. July 10, 2013 / 11:04 am

    Such beautiful maxi dresses. You both look gorgeous.

  14. July 10, 2013 / 6:37 pm

    That’s a pretty dress, Adrienne. I don’t do strapless much either.

  15. July 11, 2013 / 5:17 am

    Two gorgeous ladies rocking that sexy style maxi….good job Adrienne!!!


  16. July 11, 2013 / 11:39 pm

    I love strapless maxis, but sometimes, depending on my mood I feel overexposed.

  17. July 22, 2013 / 6:24 am

    The strapless looks fantastic on both of you!
    When I wear one, I prefer a light-weight scarf to give me a hint of coverage.

  18. Jenn
    April 4, 2014 / 2:50 am

    I stumbled across your blog whilst looking for things for my mum to do when she’s in Paris this year… I have to ask — what brand are your sandals? And can you buy them online? I know this is an old post, but you never know your luck in a big city 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 4, 2014 / 6:40 am

      Hi Jenn!
      I bought those sandals at TJ Maxx about a year ago. I love them! They are Michael Kors. Maybe try eBay?

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