Miranda Kerr in a floaty maxi dress

Fashion glossary: Dresses

Maxi dress? Shift? Strapless? Peplum?

We're talking dress shapes, of course. If you can't tell your Mermaid from your Fishtail, this quick fashion glossary plus some of your favorite celebrities are here to help!

Maxi Dress

A maxi dress is floor length, normally informal, and made with lightweight, floaty fabrics. No-one wears a maxi better that Miranda Kerr . She's effortlessly beautiful in this picture, which is exactly what the maxi is all about, making it perfect for summer (oooohhh...)


Many people get their mermaids and fishtails confused. As we always say at Get The Look, "If in doubt, #WWBS? (What Would Beyoncé Say). So we turned to the Queen Bey , and she provided us with a breathtaking example of a MERMAID dress.

- FYI, a FISHTAIL is when the 'tail' flows outwards naturally, and is not rigidly constructed in position. Think Morticia Addams' dress.

Shift Dress

Cara Theobold from popular TV show Downton Abbey is wearing a shift dress to a film screening in London. A shift dress is your new best friend, as it skims over any unwanted lumps and bumps, and really shows off your legs. It's a great dress to have in your wardrobe thanks to its suitability for almost any occasion.


Carey Mulligan is defying autumn in this pretty pastel-yellow strapless dress. If you're proud of your arms, or like showing your neck and decolletage, a strapless dress can be the perfect solution. Just remember the golden rule (legs OR chest on display) and don't go too short and fitted or you'll end up looking like a Playboy bunny.


Gabrielle Miller brings some peps to her dress with a little peplum kick. Peplum is that little "skirt" added to the waist area of the dress. It adds a dimension to the dress, ad also helps cover up that infamous tummy area (although Gabrielle definitely doesn't need that!)

More fashion glossaries coming soon!

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