Elegant Plus

Serving Savvy Web Shoppers Since 2002

Fashion Flash &
 Weekly Site Updates
 

Your Favorite Internet Shopping Guide to Stylish Curvy Clothes: Size 12 +

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides >> Plus-Size Black Cocktail Dresses

Elegant Plus Editor's Picks:  Plus-Size Black Cocktail Dresses in Sizes 12 +

Please be advised that all of the "Editor's Picks" featured in this section are hand-selected by Elegant Plus.  Although every effort is made to keep featured products current, retailers can sell out of popular styles before the Editor has had an opportunity to update the page.  All selections are available at time of posting and purchases can be made directly from the retailer on the associated shopping link.  All of the shopping guides include designer selections which are noted with the designer's name in descriptions.

 

Subscribe to the Newsletter to receive weekly notification of updates.

Last Update: April 6, 2016

 

RELATED SHOPPING GUIDES

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Nordstrom

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Lord & Taylor

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Style Dresses @ ModCloth

DESIGNERS

Tadashi Shoji, Black Lace Sheath Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Cold Shoulder Cocktail Dress, Size XL - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Fringed Flapper Dress, Size XS - 4X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji
Lace Sheath

Size 14 - 24W
 

Cold Shoulder Dress
Size XL - 3X

Fringed Flapper Dress
Size XS - 4X

Plus-Size Black Cocktail Dress Report
[Shopping Resources Below]

The classic "Little Black Dress" is the basic must-have dress for any woman's closet.  A perfect choice for any number of social occasions including dinner dates, art gallery openings, evenings at the opera, or that last-minute invitation to an old friend's cocktail party.  For women who have careers that require socializing after hours, having a few of these gems in their closet is a must.

They're also the perfect choice for formal dinner nights on cruise and resort vacations.  Performers are sometimes required to wear black dresses during concerts, especially in the classical music world. It's also becoming increasingly more acceptable to wear black to weddings even for members of the bridal party.

Younger women often choose chic, sophisticated cocktail length dresses for proms, homecoming and other special occasions on the school calendar with black a favorite. 

Cocktail dresses are usually more upscale than their sisters worn as club wear, although price tags run the gamut from inexpensive to upscale and luxury designer wear.  Popular fabrics include chiffon, lace, and during the holiday season, velvet.

 Silk has become more difficult to find and tends to be used in only the most expensive dresses. Beading sprinkled across bodices and in intricate patterns is also common in better quality options.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Plus-Size Fashion @ Ashley Stewart

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Macy's

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Coldwater Creek

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Formalwear @ Unique Vintage

Black Peplum Dress, Size 12 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Crochet Trim Lace Shift Dress, Size XL - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in White

Tiered Chiffon Party Dress, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Retro Wiggle Dress, Size 1X - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Peplum Dress
Size 12 - 26W

Crochet Trim Lace Shift
Size XL - 3X

Tiered Chiffon Party Dress
Size 6 - 24W
Petite to 16P

Retro Wiggle Dress
Size 1X - 4X


More readily available during the holiday season, plus-size cocktail dresses are difficult to find at any time of year. Consequently scooping up one or two to keep in reserve for those special events is a common strategy when just the right one to suit and flatter full-figures becomes available.  This is especially true of beaded and sequin styles popular as club wear all year.

This modern classic is useful for many occasions, but it's the truly great Little Black Dress that can go from work to the opera with just simple change of accessories. For sleek, simple sophistication pearls are the classic choice, but choosing jewelry that expresses your style and personality is the way to stand out.  Statement necklaces in bold colors have also been immensely popular in recent years.  Shoes are another area in which personal style plays a role. Keep them classic and subtle,  or make them pop: your choice.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Plus-Size Fashion @ Forever 21

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Eloquii

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Torrid

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Plus-Size Fashion @  Talbots

Lace Panel Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Size: 14 - 24W

Mixed Lace Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Available in More Colors

Wrap Slip Dress, Size 20 -30W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Classic Black Ottoman Knit Dress, Size 2 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Panel Dress
Size S - 3X

 

Mixed Lace Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Wrap Slip Dress
Size 20 - 30W

Classic Ottoman
Knit Dress

Size 2 -24W
Petite to 22W

 

Foundation garments are often key to achieving a particular silhouette.  Shapewear such as body briefers, waist nippers, and bras that either lift or minimize in addition to straps and cuts appropriate for necklines are key components. Bare legs are increasingly unacceptable with special occasion dresses and can be pegged to the lady-like style influence of the Duchess of Cambridge. Hosiery companies such as Spanx build in shapewear with pantyhose, but other options such as thigh highs and garters can be more comfortable although still more popular in Europe than the U.S.
 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Neiman Marcus

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Dillards

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ eShakti

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Kiyonna

Designer: Lafayette 148, Black Pleated Maxi, Size 1X- 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Calvin Klein, Fit & Flare Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Illusion Bodice Dress, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Cut Out Shoulders Faux Wrap Dress, Size 10 -32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lafayette 148
Pleated Maxi

Size 1X - 3X

 

Calvin Klein
Fit & Flare Dress

Size 14 - 22W

 

Illusion Bodice Dress
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

Cut Out Shoulders
Faux Wrap Dress

Size 10 - 32W

Shopping Resources to Help You Find the Right Plus-Size Black Cocktail Dress

Cocktail dresses are easier to find on the internet than in most brick-and-mortar stores, especially after the Christmas Holiday party season.  During the winter velvets and beaded or sequin dresses are some of the most popular.  Lace dresses have been especially important in cocktail dress styles in recent years.  Lighter chiffons, silks, and jersey knits are also frequently used. During the holiday season plus-size black cocktail dresses will turn up places that otherwise carry more casual or career apparel.  The following resources are useful all year.

Several department stores are must stops for better cocktail dresses.  Macy's and Nordstrom carry some of the most youthful and contemporary styles, in addition to more sophisticated labels such as Betsy & Adam, Jessica Howard, and Pisarro Nights. Lord & Taylor and Dillard's have a slightly more conservative feel with many options with sleeves or jackets.    All the department stores carry up to size 24W. 

Saks Fifth Avenue regularly offers the most expensive and sophisticated designer labels including Kay Unger and Marina Rinaldi.  Tadashi Shoji can also be found here on occasion, as well as ABS by Allen Schwartz and Eileen Fisher.  They also, along with Neiman Marcus, carry an especially deep collection of high end designer cocktail dresses in size 12 to 16/18 out on their main racks with names such as St. John Collection, Carmen Marc Valvo, Badgley Mishka, Monique Lhuillier, and many other regularly available in full-figured sizing.

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Designer Evening Wear @ Neiman Marcus

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Saks Fifth Avenue

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Monroe & Main

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Light in the Box

David Meister, Black Lace Sheath, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Designer: Pamella, Pamella Roland, Beaded Crop Top & Black Dress, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Mesh Inset Dress, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Lace Party Dress, Size 2 -26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

David Meister
Lace Sheath

Size 2 - 16

 

PAMELLA Pamella Roland
Beaded Crop Top & Dress

Size 2 - 18

 

Black Mesh Inset Dress
Size 6 - 24W

Lace Party Dress
Size 2 - 26W


More mature and sophisticated women will find selections available from retailers such as Coldwater Creek and Draper's & Damon's especially as the holiday shopping season is in full swing.  Both carry sizes from 4 to 24W. Meanwhile, Dress Barn, as their name suggests, makes dresses a priority.  Moderately priced, there are always a few LBD in stock in sizes to 24W. 

Fun flapper and vintage swing dresses are specialty at Unique Vintage in size XS to 4X. Meanwhile, Asos has developed into a go-to shopping hot spot for contemporary special occasion fashion at moderate prices for size 0 to 24W. Inventory changes quickly here, so grab what you like when you see it.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Bon Ton

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Zappos

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Avenue

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Fashion @ Rue 21

Embroidered Lace Shift Dress, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Lace Sheath Dress, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Knot Front, High Low Dress, Size 14 - 32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Strapless Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Embroidered Lace Shift
Size 1X - 3X

 

Lace Sheath
Size XL - 5X

 

Knot Front
High Low Dress

Size 14 - 32W

Strapless Dress
Size S - 3X

Youthful Styles

Young and trendy fashionistas on a budget can sometimes find options at Fashion to Figure, especially during the holiday season.    Meanwhile, fast fashion plus specialty retailer Ashley Stewart carries some of the  most body conscious styles with styles selling out quickly and new styles in on a regular basis for size 12 to 26W.

Those with a little bit more money to spend will want to check out the options at ModCloth and eShakti, both of which have retro vintage flairs.  The latter is noteworthy for its extended size range to 36W and ability to make easy alterations for talls and petites for a small fee.

Eloquii offers chic, fashion forward looks that can sometimes include more cutting edge cocktail looks such as jumpsuits in size 14 to 28W.
 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Ashley Stewart

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's  Clothing @ Ashro

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Dress Barn

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Lane Bryant

Flutter Sleeve Banded Jersey Dress, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Beaded Sheath Dress, Size 6 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Embroidered Dress, Plus-Size 4-24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Dress, Size XL - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Available in More Colors

Flutter Sleeve
Banded Jersey Dress

Size 14 - 22W

 

Beaded Sheath
Size 6 - 26W

 

Embroidered Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Dress
Size XL - 4X


Value Priced

Direct from wholesale manufacturer e-commerce sites for special occasion and formalwear can help keep costs down on styles you would normally find in a bridal shop.  Order times are much shorter than special ordering from most local boutiques, and will usually arrive in two to three weeks.   Customizations are also usually available for small fees. Styles can run the gamut from appropriate for prom and homecoming to more sophisticated styles appropriate for the mother-of-the-bride.  Keep in mind, these retailers usually make to order and consequently most styles are available in black even when pictured in other colors.  Some of the leading shopping sites in this category are: Light in the Box and Izi Dress.  Most dresses are available to a 26W, but be sure to check your measurements and compare to sizing charts for fit.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothes @ SWAK

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Saks

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Special Occasion Apparel @ Drapers & Damon's

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Asos

Fit & Flare Dress, Size 1X - 6X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Available in More Colors

Marina Rinaldi, Illusion Bodice Dress, Size 16 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Long Chiffon Evening Skirt, Size S - 3X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Sequin Chiffon Frock, Size 14 - 24W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Fit & Flare Dress
Size 1X - 6X

 

Marina Rinaldi
Illusion Bodice Sheath

Size 16 - 22W

 

Long Chiffon Evening Skirt
Size S - 3X
Petite to XL

Sequin Chiffon Frock
Size 14 - 24W

Extended Sizes


Some of the plus specialty retailers such as Ulla Popken and Catherine's are also reliable resources for women who wear sizes 12 to 34W, with some petite plus styles available. 

French full-figured chic is available to the U.S. market in sizes up to 38W from La Redoute.  Look for labels such as Tallissime, Laura Clement, and Lovedrobe. Torrid has an edgier feel and is the most likely to carry black dresses appropriate for clubbing in sizes up to 6X.

Sydney's Closet, a plus specialty bridal and prom boutique, has more upscale and formal options in size 14 to 32W. 

Also of note, are indie designers Kiyonna which is especially well known for their lace offerings in size 0X to 5X. SWAK is the trendiest in the super size category and usually has a black dress or two suitable for cocktails in size 1X to 6X.

A surprisingly good resource for extended sizes is the ever-changing inventory at Amazon.  Easy to use search tools on the side-bar help sort according to size with options often available as large as 44W.
 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothes @Igigi

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Dillards

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Macy's

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Nordstrom

Classic Fit & Flare Dress, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Beaded Handkerchief Dress, Size 14 - 22W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Belted Jumpsuit, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Beaded Sheath Dress, Size 14 - 24W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Fit & Flare Dress
Size XL - 5X

 

Beaded Handkerchief Dress
Size 14- 22W
 

Belted Jumpsuit
Size 1X - 3X

Beaded Sheath Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Advertisement:
  Stylish Plus Size Dresses & Separates
 

About Us | Frequently Asked Questions | Privacy Policy
International Plus-size Clothing Shipping Directories: Canada

 

 

ElegantPlus.com © 2002-2016

 


All Editor's Picks and plus-size clothing featured are hand- selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships.

 

 

TAGS:  # DESIGNER CLOTHING | # SPECIAL OCCASIONS | # DRESSES | # CRUISE & RESORT | # WEDDING GUESTS | # CLASSIC | # TRENDY

 

 

Elegant plus cocktail dresses & evening wear,  hand-selected for full-figured women sizes 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, L, XL, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X