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.
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.
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.
More Colors Available
Size 14 - 22W
Jersey Halter Dress
Size 1X -
Designer dresses are becoming easier to find in
larger sizes as big department stores begin
stocking fashion in sizes larger than twelve.
High-end designers are still harder to find in
plus, but more and more major designers are
offering mid-level, ready-to-wear, diffusion, and
capsule collections in extended sizes. Plus-size dress resources
include small boutiques, department stores,
capsule collections for major retailers, and
home shopping networks.
Sizes over a 24W are still extremely rare, but
increasingly available even in the major
department stores at more moderate to moderately
upscale price points. In the upscale luxury
market it is still rare to find larger than a size 16/18,
with women's sizes capped at 22/24W. Labels to
look for at the luxury price point include
Marina Rinaldi, the size 12 to 24W sister label
to Max Mara, Lafayette 148 for career,
sportswear, and occasion looks, and Tadashi
for cocktail and dinner dresses.
designer dresses are available on-line than in
most in store locations.
Styles run the gamut from contemporary, casual
looks suitable for weekend and vacation wear to
cocktail dresses and
formalwear for gala events, holiday
parties, and weddings. A growing number of
work appropriate styles
are offered in designer collections in larger
sizes as women's roles in professional spaces
Capsule designer collaborations in recent years
have included Lela Rose, Chistian Siriana,
Prabal Gurung, and Isabel Toledo at
Lane Bryant, with dress styles quick to sell
may be among the most famous formalwear
designers to offer plus-sizes thanks to the
success of his muse, Oscar winning Octavia
Spencer. Gala and cocktail dresses with a
vintage flavor are his specialty at surprisingly
affordable off-the-rack price points.
Available more widely during the holiday party
season, a selection is frequently available at
several of the major department stores all year.
The most diverse and deep
collections of plus-size designer dresses are
available mainly through major department
stores. Sizes are available from 14 to
offers contemporary casual to career appropriate
daywear options from upscale labels such as
Marina Rinaldi, and Lafayette 148.
More moderately priced contemporary labels such
as Joan Vass, Eileen Fisher, Rachel Pally, and Johnny
Was are also frequently well represented. Free
flowing maxi dresses, easy-to-wear shift
dresses, and knits make up much of the dress
inventory, oftentimes in natural fibers such as
silk, linen, and cashmere. Looks can range from upscale
contemporary to slightly bohemian. The
buyers here focus on resort and career wear for
more creative fields. Formalwear options include
looks from Marina Rinaldi in size 14 to 24W, in addition to
extended misses sizes in the 12 to 18 range out
on the main racks from designers such as St. John, Theia,
Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose, Teri John, Badgley
Mischka, and other famous luxury labels.
Saks Fifth Avenue
is equally upscale with a growing collection of
contemporary designers appealing for resort and
casual career wear, in addition to the more
formal luxury styles frequently worn by
socialites and executives for which they are
known. Labels such as Nic + Zoe, Joan
Vass, and Rachel Pally are the more moderately
priced inventory appealing to busy professional
women, while luxury labels such as Basler,
Marina Rinaldi, and Lafayette 148 are still well
represented in sizes up to 24W. As would
be expected, the cocktail and formalwear
collection suitable for gala events includes
some of the most upscale labels to offer
extended sizes. Saks has begun filing
misses size options in the 14 to 18 size range
with the dresses and gowns in women's sizes
under the "Plus and Extended Sizes" tab.
Labels such as Carmen Marc Valvo, Theia, David
Meister, and Tadashi Shoji are regularly joined
by harder-to-find designers such as Rene Ruiz,
Chiara Boni La Petite Robe, and Basix Black.
has an especially deep plus-size dress
collection with an increasing number of labels
pushing up to the 26W to 28W range.
Designer options here tend toward the more
moderately upscale part of the market with
modern classic diffusion labels such as LAUREN
Ralph Lauren, Vince Camuto, and RACHEL Rachel
Roy making up a bulk of the designer collection
for daywear. Celebrity designers with a
trendy vibe such as Rebel Wilson's X Angels
label, and Melissa McCarthy's Seven7 line are
also frequently stocked at moderate price
points. The most upscale collections are in the
formalwear category with more unusual designer
lines from labels such as the hand pleated
cocktail collection from Komarov, and glamorous
evening gowns from Mac Duggal.
is an on-line, plus-size dress mecca with
options available for most age brackets.
That having been said, designer offerings are
mainly limited to many of the major designer
diffusion labels already mentioned in addition
to names such as classic Calvin Klein and
trend-conscious Jessica Simpson. Pisarro Nights and Patra beaded cocktail and
formalwear is also regularly available here.
Weekend and limited time mark-downs and sales
is especially well stocked for cocktail and
formalwear styles with jackets and sleeves.
One of the most likely department stores in
which to spot a Tadashi Shoji dress, other
designers often include formalwear designer
names such as Mori Lee, Terani Couture, and Mac
Duggal at moderately upscale price points, and
slightly less expensive designers such as
Adrianna Papell. Most are available up to
size 24W, but occasionally slightly larger sizes
are stocked, especially in long formal gowns.
perhaps less well known than
for designer collaborations, but instead of
limited edition capsule collections, they
instead have on-going diffusion lines.
CHAPS from Ralph Lauren with its modern classic
to contemporary aesthetic is perhaps the best
known, but Dana Buchman and SIMPLY VERA from
Vera Wang are also regular staples at Kohl's.
Celebrity designer collections include LC Lauren
Conrad and Jennifer Lopez in sizes up to 3X.
Floral Print Available
Also Available in Plum
LAUREN Ralph Lauren
Cold Shoulder Dress
Coral Silk Shift
Size 1X -
Size 14 -
Kimono Wrap Dress
Size 10 -
Department stores with Extended Misses
Sizing: 12 to 18
A handful of department stores have quietly
extended their on-line misses designer dress
inventories to include sizes 14, 16, 18, and
occasionally 20. Keep in mind that misses
sizing runs slightly smaller than the women's
numerical counterpart. Many women find
they need to go up approximately one numerical
size in most labels. For example a woman
who wears a 14W may need a misses size 16.
Additionally, those with arm fit issues may find
sleeved dresses too snug, and exceptionally
busty plus sizes may find most bodices too snug.
All that having been said, if you are a lucky
"in betweener" this size extension is a boon in
the designer dress selection available to you.
This is especially true of the most upscale and
The best inventories can be found at
which emphasizes more conservative and covered
Also well worth a browse are
Saks Fifth Avenue.
Use the easy size finder tools available at most
to sort through and find your size. The
designer capsule collections featured
frequently include more styles in sizes up to
XXL than in true women's plus size.
More Colors Available
More Colors Available
Cold Shoulder Dress
Size 1X - 3X
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Cap Sleeve Shirt Dress
XL - 3X
Knit Asymmetric Sheath
Size 2 - 16
RACHEL Rachel Roy
Floral Scarf Dress
Size XL - 3X
a growing resource of moderately priced indie
designer dresses with smaller runs that sell out
quickly so be sure to grab something quickly if
you like it. Many designs have a vintage or
retro feel with sizes XS up to 5X. Styles
range from cute day dresses to more
sophisticated evening looks.
another resource for labels such as DKNYC,
Rachel Pally, Calvin Klein, Vince Camuto, and
Kiyonna, among many others with the added
advantage of extra quick free shipping and
returns. Why not pick up a new pair of shoes
while there, too?
Plus Specialty Retailers
Plus-size specialty retailers are
beginning to feature designer capsule
collections and some other designer brands.
Making the news most recently,
has been featuring a gorgeous collaboration with
upscale designer Isabel Toledo who counts among
her clients Michelle Obama. Dresses for
urban working women with polish and panache in
sizes 14 to 28W are available on-line and at
select store locations. Later in 2015,
high end New York Fashion Week designer Lela
Rose will be offering a softer, more romantic
collection here using her signature watercolor
floral prints in dresses and separates
exclusively for Lane Bryant customers.
carries many of these labels in addition to a
diffusion collection from British plus specialty
designer Anna Scholz in size 8 to 28W.
Direct from Designer Websites
Although many are carried in
larger retail locations, some designers also
have their own web sites. Often this can
be the best place to see a designer's full
The partnership with Macy's went so well that
has launched her own website showcasing her
entire line for extended sizes. A strong
contemporary vibe in resort to work wear style,
the aesthetic uses simple silhouettes combined
with colors and fabrics that pop for sizes S to
is a well known lifestyle brand worn by many
celebrities. Easy shapes in jersey make
most of her line perfect resort and travel wear.
With the ability to dress up or down, many
pieces have been seen on red carpets. Her
White Label collection is available in sizes 1X
to 3X and can run exceptionally long, so expect
hemming for the perfect fit.
McCarthy's Seven7 line also has a more
casual, contemporary vibe with bold prints and
bright colors part of her signature style.
Maxi dresses and flowing styles with kimono
sleeves are common, for size S to 4X.
designs upscale core black knit pieces along
with separates and dresses with a contemporary
vibe. Popular for work, this label is
available in size S to 3X.
Nic + Zoe is known for knitwear
which can include contemporary dress styles
appropriate for day wear in size S to 3X.
Kiyonna is one of the
best known indie designers specializing in
plus-sizes at moderate price points. Unusual in
that both are available from sizes 10 to 32W,
they also are particularly well known for their
offers chic, modern classic jersey wrap dresses
and more body conscious wiggle dresses with a
retro vibe, along with maxi dresses and lace
cocktail dresses. They design mainly in solid
colors with black, classic red, and navy blue
forming the core palette with additional colors
that change seasonally. Plus
specialty dress designer
Igigi is back
under new ownership in 2016 with their strong
contemporary California aesthetic, remaining
true to their "Made in the USA" values for size
14 to 36W.
Lauren offers a small selection of their
extended size styles directly from their
website, although many more are available from
the department stores. A similar
situation is true at
which is known for it's more classic and
tailored collections to size 24W.
for Teri Jon is regularly stocked by the
luxury retailers, but the best selection of
their extended size cocktail and formalwear (to
size 20) is available directly from their
Rounding out the more
upscale options is
which is one of the best known designer labels
for plus-size cocktail dresses, evening gowns,
and wedding dresses.