Once you have gone maxi, you won't go back. For most women, myself included, summer dressing can be tough and long skirts are the answer. Here's why: Pants are out of the question; too tight to be breezy and cool enough. Shorts when paired with a tank top are cool and comfy, but that means showing a lot of skin. I'm no puritan, but sometimes it just feels like a bit much to have all my arms and legs naked, and I live in the Northeast, where it cools down on summer evenings, enough so a cardigan on top is still chilly when legs are bare. And let's just say there are those days I just haven't gotten around to shaving my legs (again). 

A maxi skirt is the solution to all these problems. You can wrap them around your legs at dusk and at night when the mosquitoes start biting and to keep your legs warm. They cover up stubbly calves with pretty fabric. They are miles more comfortable than any pair of pants, ever. And you can wear a bordering-on-sexy, low-cut tank top (or even a bikini top, depending on the venue) and still feel modest-ish.

If you don't like the way your legs look, they can hide what you don't want to see in a pretty, relaxed way — though I happen to love my legs and wear short-shorts all the time and still adore my short skirts. 

If you have a short waist and long legs, you can wear the waist pulled up a bit and let it flow over your hips; if you have a long waist, you can let the skirt sit on your hips; you can wear them with flats and heels (and you can conceal bare feet under them if the skirt is long enough — I do this all the time as I hate wearing shoes in the summer). 

Maxi skirts are the best. Some beautiful, eco-friendly and sustainable versions can be found below. If you haven't worn a maxi skirt in the summer, you are missing out!

striped maxi skirt from Amour Vert

Made in California from organic cotton, this striped maxi skirt from Amour Vert is a bit shorter in the front, making walking easier. At only $63, this timeless style will last the rest of the summer-long (and into early fall).  

silk maxi skirt from Eileen Fisher

This beautiful silk maxi skirt from Eileen Fisher is lined with eco-friendly modal and gets great user reviews. The bright yellow band at the bottom is so summery!


handmade maxi skirt by SoulRole

Ultra-simple with a pop of bright purple, this handmade maxi skirt by SoulRole is made from a fabric that's a mix of organic cotton and soy (very soft) with a bit of spandex for stretch. With a yoga-style waistband that flips up and down, you could wear this as a strapless dress too. 

Liyah skirt from Frock LA

The Liyah skirt from Frock LA is made in California and colored with vegetable dyes. It's also dead sexy, flowy and the perfect way to show off your tan. 

All-American maxi skirt

The All-American maxi skirt, made from linen (naturally sustainable, as the fabric is made from flax, which requires no pesticides, herbicides or irrigation), is dyed, cut and sewn in San Francisco. 

maxi skirt by Stewart + Brown

This 100 percent linen, made-in-USA maxi skirt by Stewart + Brown has a short slit at the front (which you can't see here), to give you plenty of room to walk. 

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Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Why maxi skirts are secretly awesome
Easy, breezy, and most importantly, comfy — long skirts are a fun and simple way to get out of the same-old shorts-and-tee routine.