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

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides
>> Plus-Size Classic Style Dresses

 
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.
 


Last Update: April 17, 2017

RELATED
SHOPPING GUIDES

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus Size Dresses @ Ulla Popken Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Women's Fashion @ Soft Surroundings Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Women's Clothing @ NorthStyle
Polka Dot Dress, Size 12 - 30W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Cotton Surplice Dress, Size 2 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Classic Dresses Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Indigo Palm Print Dress, Size 4 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Polka Dot Dress
Size 12 - 30W
 

Cotton Surplice Dress
Size 2 - 24W
Petite & Tall to 18
 

Indigo Palm Print Dress
Size
6 - 24W
Petite to 18P
 

 

Classic style plus size dresses tend to have simple silhouettes, and come in classic colors and patterns.  Tailored lines are not unusual, although some are designed in easy-to-wear knits. Especially appealing to sporty types, those who prefer clean lines, and women who like to shop styles with long-lasting appeal, this type of dress is available at a variety of price points. Many plus-size designers offer fashion in modern classic styles. 

The style of classic plus-size dresses can range from casual to work attire to occasion dressing. Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and silk are not unusual. Some of the most classic silhouettes include fit and flare styles, wrap dresses, shift and sheath dresses, shirt dresses, and jersey t-shirt dresses.  The Little Black Dress for special occasions is the quintessential modern classic.

Colors are frequently dark or neutral, but seasonal color trends also play a part in this style category. Black, navy blue, red, khaki, and white are all classic staples.  When patterns are used it's not unusual for menswear inspired patterns such as plaid or stripes to be chosen.  Other classic prints are inspired from both preppy fashion, florals, and vintage repertoires.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothes @ Nic + Zoe Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Serengeti Catalog Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ eShakti Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus Size Clothing @ Talbots
Nic + Zoe, White Shift Dress, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Smocked Crinkle Dress, Sizes S-3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Gingham Check Dress,  Sizes 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Embroidered Lace Shirtdress, Size 2 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Nic + Zoe
Shift Dress
Size XS - 3X

Smocked Crinkle Drss
Size S - 3X
 

Gingham Check Dress
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

 Embroidered Lace Shirtdress
Size 2 - 24W
Avg - Petite

 

Shopping Resources to Help You Find Just the Right Classic Dress

Available at a variety of price points, plus-size designer options are most readily available from department stores.  Some of the most upscale labels such as St. John are only available in extended misses sizes above size 12, while others such as Lafayette 148, Marina Rinaldi, and Kay Unger design lines specifically for fuller figures to 24W, all of which are regularly available at Saks Fifth Avenue.  

Leading, upscale formalwear and special occasion designer Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman devotes a spotlight section to their extended size cocktail dresses and evening gowns in sizes up to 20. Designs are characterized by fine fabrics including silk, clean modern classic lines, and exquisite tailoring.

Eileen Fisher is one of the most popular upscale, designer labels with simple, classic lines in natural fibers such as linen, silk, organic cotton, hemp, and fine wools.  Dresses tend to have loose easy silhouettes

 

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Belted Knit Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Joan Vass, Border Stripe Shift, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Lace Trim Sheath, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Safari Dress, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

 Belted Knit Dress
Size S - 3X
 

 

Joan Vass
Border Stripe Shift
Size 1X - 3X

Lace Trim Sheath
Size 14 - 24W

Safari Shirtdress
Size 6 - 24W
Petite to 18P
 

 

Better, mid range designer diffusion labels with a classic flair often are work appropriate with classically tailored lines.  Look for labels such as MICHAEL Michael Kors, LAUREN Ralph Lauren, CHAPS Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein. Indie plus designers such as Melissa Masse, Rachel Pally, and Karen Kane (Size 2 to 24W) will also often work in classic silhouettes and colors which can be purchased through many of the better department stores such as Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor. Some of the best styles available from plus specialty designer Kiyonna are in jersey wrap and sheath silhouettes to size 10 to 32W.

Those who prefer stylish, upscale knits will enjoy the looks from Nic + Zoe for size XS to 3X, while more structured tailored styles are available from Tahari for size 2 to 24W.  Classic retailer Talbots stocks both casual and work appropriate styles, many of which are in natural fibers such as linen, silk, and cotton.  Noteworthy is their commitment to plus petites with many styles available from size 2 to 24W in both average and petite proportions.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ Drapers & Damons Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Kiyonna Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Dillard's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Dresses @ Coldwater Creek
Godot Lace Dress, Size 8 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Flounced Knit Wrap Dress, Size 1X - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available 
Shift Dress, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Color Block Trapeze Dress, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Godet Lace Dress
Size 8 - 22W
Petite to 16P
 

Flounced Knit Wrap Dress
Size 1X - 5X

Shift Dress
Size 1
X - 3X

Color Block Trapeze Dress
Sizes XS -
3X 
Petite to XL
 
 

Catalogs and chain retailers also often a variety of casual to work appropriate and less formal social occasion dresses with modern classic vibe. Dress Barn is a leader in classic to contemporary dresses with a much deeper selection available on-line in women's sizes than in most retail locations in size 2 to 24W.  New York & Co is worth a stop not only for their tailored work styles at affordable price-points, but also for the Eva Mendes capsule collection in size 0 to 18.

 The newly resurrected Coldwater Creek line is now available exclusively on the internet with the modern classic collections loved by their loyal fans.  Dresses finish below the knee in simple silhouettes, classic colors and patterns, and quality fabrics in size S to 3X.

 

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Yellow Geometric Print Sheath, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Striped Midi Dress, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick White Crochet Trim Sun Dress, Size 8 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
 
Knit Knee Skimmer Dress, Size S - 2XL | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Nipon Boutique
Geometric Print Sheath
Size 14 - 24W
 

Striped Midi Dress
Size 14 - 28W

 

Crochet Trim Sun Dress
Size 8 - 26W

Knit Knee Skimmer Dress
Size
S - 2XL

 

North Style has a modern classic vibe with a small collection of unusual dresses in size S to 3X, while their sister catalog Serengeti offers more casual options in the same size range. Lands End is one of the best resources for casual styles with a preppy flavor with sizing available in misses, petite, and tall in size 0 to 18, and women's in size 14 to 26W. 

Those looking for special occasion dresses with a classic flavor will want to stop by Draper's and Damon's for sizes up to 24W.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Simply BE Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Clothing @ Lands End Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Macy's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus Size Dresses @ Avenue
Striped Cami Dress, Size 6 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Print Fit & Flare Dress, Size 0 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Prints / Colors Available
Calvin Klein, Bell Sleeve Sheath, Size 14 - 22W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Piped Zipper Dress, Size 14 - 32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Striped Cami Dress
Size 6 - 28W 

Fit & Flare Dress
Size 0 - 26W
Petite & Tall to 18

Calvin Klein
Bell Sleeve Sheath
Size 14 - 22W

Piped Zipper Dress
Size 14 - 32W 

 

On-line retailer, eShakti has a growing collection of sleek, modern classics with a faintly mid-20th century vintage flavor in sizes to 36W.  Look for labels such as Liz Claiborne, George Simonton, and Isaac Mizrahi on QVC in size 0 to 28W.

Catherine's is beginning to stock some looks with cleaner, more modern lines in size 16 to 34W, with plus petite sizes sometimes available in dresses in size XL to 5X.  They carry options for casual, resort, work, and special occasions at moderate price points with frequent sales and coupons available directly from the website bringing their looks down into more budgets.   Their sister retailer, Lane Bryant, has the 6th & Lane line which also tends toward cleaner, classic to contemporary lines in higher quality fabrics for work in size 14 to 28W.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus Size Dresses @ Dress Barn Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Women's Clothes @ Bedford Fair Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Zappos Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ SWAK
Green Faux Wrap Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Challis Shirt Dress, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Striped Dress, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Tulip Hem Halter Dress, Size 1X - 6X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in Black

Faux Wrap Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Challis Shirt Dress
Size 6 - 24W
Petite to 16P

Striped Cap Sleeve Dress
Size 1X - 3X

Tulip Hem Halter Dress
Size 1X - 6X

 

Value Priced Shopping Options

Those looking for inexpensive, yet classic looks will find good inventories at Avenue in easy care fabrics for size 14 to 32W.  Styles are mainly appropriate for work, but a few more casual and party styles are also available. 

QVC carries the Liz Claiborne line known for it's simple, classic appeal in sizes up to 28W.  Those looking for plus petite sizes at value prices will have good luck at Blair (Size S to 3X, Petite to 2XL) , and Bedford Fair and Old Pueblo Traders (Size 6 to 28W, Petite to 20P).

Flash sale sites such as 6PM can often turn up options at steep discounts from labels such as Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Vince Camuto.  Meanwhile Saks Off Fifth and Last Call are both great resources for tailored, luxury labels such as Lafayette 148 and Eileen Fisher at deep discounts.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Dresses @ Last Call Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Nordstrom Rack Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus Size Dresses @ Nordstrom Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ Drapers & Damons
Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Color Block Plisse Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Black Sheath Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Embellished Pink Chiffon Jacket Dress, Size 8 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Color Block Plisse Gown
Size 14 - 22W
 

Sheath Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Embellished Chiffon
Jacket Dress
Size
8 - 24W

 

 

 

 

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Plus-size clothing featured is hand selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships. Although Elegant Plus earns a small fee on all purchases, it is a completely free shopping resource for the consumer, and many times we are able to provide links that offer consumer discounts and free shipping offers upon landing on the partner retailer's site.