Plus Size Dresses: The Official Shoppers Guide


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There’s something about a dress that speaks of softness and femininity. It adds the requisite touch of elegance and versatility in any woman’s wardrobe. A proper dress can be all that you need to boost your confidence and turn heads at your workplace or any event. Dresses should definitely make you feel special and powerful in your day to day life. Instead of the monotonous jeans you put on over the weekends and the weekday office pants – try spice things up with these interesting plus size dress options and tips.

Plus size-dresses don’t just mean bigger sized dresses. There is more than just size that comes into play. Dresses tailor-made for the plus-size figure appreciates both structure and style. A well-structured dress is one that is tailored in a manner that appreciates the intimate wardrobe needs of the plus-size woman and provides for them. Most plus size women often have wide waistlines, fuller breasts, and voluptuous hips. Thus the ideal dress should look to play up or play down some of these features for an alluring look.

Style speaks to the details, general design, and appearance of the dress. It incorporates concepts such as colors and hues, patterns, type of fabric, presence of details such as ruffles or ruching, and the like. Style also entails the individual’s persona – their likes and dislikes in what they would prefer to wear and how they would want to fashionably present themselves to the world.

Picking a dress that is well appreciative and all-encompassing of these features may take some time and a keen eye to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. However, it need not be frustrating and time-consuming if you are aware of what exactly you should look out for, and what to totally avoid. So the next time you hit the mall, be sure to mind these tips.

Fashion Tips to Consider When Selecting Your Plus-size Dress

1. The Fit

The fitting of your dress is a crucial element in optimizing your natural curves. There is nothing wrong with highlighting your curves. Curves are an embodiment of femininity and are very pleasant to spot on anybody’s frame.

Here, you must make sure that the particular dress actually fits well – that it is not too small or too big. Small dresses tend to squeeze you making you very uncomfortable and nearly unable to breathe. They give an unattractive ‘bulging effect’ to your thick areas such as your belly and your thighs. On the other hand, exceedingly big dresses do not flatter your curves but instead make you look undefined like a bag of potato chips. Don’t try to remove every impression of curves on your body. Curves are beautiful and should be embraced.

2. The Fabric

The type of fabric is also fundamental in choosing the perfect dress. Go for light fabric that tends to skim over your curves as opposed to those that stick to them. Fabrics that flows and skims over your body, help highlight your curves to the necessary extent. It does not give a bulging impression which is a great plus. Avoid fabrics that are stiff; these fabrics do not conform to your natural body frame and, quite frankly, appear as stark lines drawn across or against your silhouette.

Additionally, stay clear of bulky fabrics as they add unintended bulk to your mid-section and shoulders- generally your whole frame. This may make you look bigger than you already are. Instead, go for fabrics that have considerable stretch in them. Stretch is every curvy girl’s best friend! This is ideal to help you feel comfortable in your dress. Fabrics such as silk and materials such as lace, sequin, metallic, chiffon, or textured can be great considerations to try.

3. The Detail

Look at the details of the dress- is it plain? Is it embellished? Or has a unique print? Does it have any unique cuts and neck lines? Does it come with any unique accessories? Details are what make you fall in love with an outfit. It adds life and character to what may have been a seemingly ordinary dress. Picking something that is unique, will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. It gives you an edge.

Bearing in mind the occasion you will be spotting your new look, you can look to find a uniquely stitched dress, an embroided dress, something vintage or something with a unique colour. Details can also be in the cuts such as deep V-necks, open backs, crossed-straps and cold-shoulder pieces. Go for something rare but be careful not to over do things.

Up-to-date Plus-Size Dresses for Your Day to Day Life

There is always a dress for every occasion. Plus-size apparel brands have increased over the decade leading to more stylish, affordable, and unique dress options for all plus-size girls. Be it school, work or a weekend indoors, these plus size dresses are tailor-made to suit your every need. If you are looking to find plus size dresses that don’t look like your shopping for your Grandma, here are a few you can consider.

Work Place Dresses

  • The Peplum Dress – You simply can’t go wrong with this dress! This design gives definition to your upper waist and has a near empire waist effect. The rest of your tummy region remains well-hidden under the ruffles of the peplum. Preferably opt for a knee-length dress as opposed to a long or very short dress. Recent designs have modified this design to include longer asymmetrical peplum cuts which also look bold and stylish.
  • The A-Line Dress – This is another dress a Plus-Size girl must-have. It has been praised for its sophistication and flattery of the female frame, making it ideal as office wear. It is structured to synch you at the upper waist and flow out in the lower half. This helps draw attention away from your belly region, by playing up the flare at the bottom.
  • The Sheath Dress – This dress is relatively straight. It beautifully skims over your frame, highlighting your curves to a decent extent. It often is short thus also highlighting your legs and voluptuous hips; however, you can find modern variations of the same that incorporate greater length, full sleeves, and even an accompanying duster jacket.

Evening Dresses

For a lively night out with your friends or significant other, go for bold designs and cuts. Opt for a piece that can make you the object of attention throughout the evening.

  • A mini-Dress Mini dresses are amazing as their short length tend to vividly highlight your legs and partially your thighs. Go for something that fits well as opposed to baggy or oversized mini-dresses. Avoid any slits for a short dress as that may be too revealing. Instead, go for a defined neckline and a no-sleeve outfit.
  • A lace-Dress – lace dresses are a bit more sophisticated, not too wild but definitely elegant. If this is the look you are going for, a form-fitting lace dress that flaunts your curves will do just fine. Alternatively, you can go for a laced-embroidery on the upper body of your dress and solid color at the bottom.
  • Midi-styled dresses – These dresses visually elongate you, giving an impression of a slimmer taller frame. A significant plus is that they allow you to flaunt your curves, in a more sophisticated manner. Preferably, go for solid- colors with this design as opposed to translucent materials which may take away all the focus from your curves.
  • An off-the-shoulder fit and flare dress – fit and flare dresses are great in defining your upper body. As the name suggests it fits your upper body and flares at the bottom. This design flatters your boobs, which draws the eye to your chest area. It also highlights your shoulders and arms and minimizes any visible bulk at your middle-section.

We also have some fashion ideas to consider in our top picks.

Casual Dresses

  • Maxi-Dresses – Whether beaded, off-the-shoulder or one with thigh-high slits at the side, Maxi-dresses still remain an all-time favorite. Most maxi dresses are usually free size due to their enormous stretch and can be worn by any body size. They are extremely comfy and their ankle sweeping length helps to visually elongate your frame – making you look slimmer.
  • Shirt Dresses These are very stylish and comfortable. Most shirt dresses for plus size women tend to synch just a little bit at the upper waist, thus flatter your figure. Go for shirt dresses that you can throw a belt on or are designed with a defined waist just below your boobs.
  • Shift Dresses These dresses offer both freedom and comfort to anyone wearing them. They were designed to help women easily move around (shift) and thus are free-flowing and lack waist definition. Again, this is good for just chilling in the house or going to your local grocery store. The beautiful thing about this dress is how it can be manipulated in various ways- you can throw on thigh-high boots, pip-toe heels or sandals depending on what you fancy. Also, you can easily accessorize with a belt, scarf or jewelry to spice things up a bit.
  • Swing Dresses – These are rather loose dresses that are not form-fitting and basically do not define your upper waist. They are comfy if you want to stay at home and watch Netflix the whole day, but not quite flattering to go around in.
  • Sweater dresses – These dresses are invaluable especially during cold weather or the winter season. However, they risk adding bulk to your frame thus giving a ‘bulging effect’. Steer clear from sweater dresses that have wide knit-patterns and very heavy knitting material. They may be counterproductive to what you want. Instead, go for closely-knit patterns and thinner knitting material for an appealing outfit.

Events and Special Occasion Dresses

Embellished gown with a ruched design – A ruched design is an exquisite trick that helps flatter your belly area and distract the eye from the size of your midsection. Ruched designs draw attention to their detail and flow of fabric, and not to the body part they sit on. Go for dresses that have ruched designs around the belly area, preferably mid-way your tummy region or just above it.

We also wrote an in-depth article about how to find the perfect plus size wedding dress!

5 Best Ways to Style Your Dress

Having considered what designs and trends may be fashionable and up-to-date for your plus-size frame, it’s important to discuss how you can wear your new dress. Remember, it’s not what you wear but how you wear what you wear that makes a difference. Here are some of the things you should consider when styling your dress.

1. Undergarments

Girl, you should never compromise on this. Undergarments are what make or break any outfit – they can make an amazing dress appear sloppy and flabby or inversely, make a simple dress appear grand and fabulous on you. Don’t be afraid to make the investment. Go for quality undergarments that are stylish, functional, and durable.

  • Buy a shapewear that will best smoothen out your curves and give you the needed support.
  • Invest in a high-quality bra that properly lifts and holds your boobs in a desirable manner.
  • You can buy Spanx or quality panties that help smoothen out your lower abdomen.

2. Jewelry

Any dress can be taken from average to best with the right jewelry. Drape a classic neck-piece or bracelet and matching earrings and see for yourself! Jewelry helps complement and complete an outfit. It need not be bold and drastic, simple pieces can also do the trick. If your outfit is loud and bold opt for more subtle pieces of jewelry. If your dress is simple, with very minimal detail, you can maximize on bold and bulky necklaces, pendants, bangles, bracelets and earrings.

3. Shoes

Accentuate your outfit, with proper shoes that help play up your dress. Go for matching colors and patterns if possible. Throw some boots into the mix and unique heels, something that does not compete with your dress but rather complements it.

For more styling options, you can check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEGmOnpOvRM or visit https://www.macys.com/shop/plus-size-clothing/plus-size-dresses?id=37038 for trendy plus-size ideas.

Closing thoughts

Being plus-size is fabulous. There is a wide array of fashionable dresses and unique styles tailor-made to meet your every fashion need. Whether you are short or tall, outgoing, or reserved; minimal or more exuberant in your style- there is an assortment of options to choose from. I hope the content above was helpful and informative – as they say, knowledge is power! Know better, dress better. Also, don’t forget to check out our top picks!


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