Maxi dresses are something I've never really considered for myself, in particular because they're either jersey creations designed for someone with a flatter-than-flat stomach (e.g. half the topshop maxi's) or they compensate for their length by being very, very low cut. Eek. I have small shoulders so those ones normally end up displaying the whole of my bra as well as what they are supposed to show off.
Whilst perusing the ladies' fashion on bonmarché (a site I would never look at usually) I spotted a few gems in the dresses section. I think the styles and patterns would suit people of most ages without being age inapproriate or overly frumpy. It would also save a lot of sun-cream applying time for me in the summer; shoulders, arms and you're off! A lot less worry and a lot more comfort (can you tell I can't wait for summer?!)