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

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides
>> Plus-Size
Evening Gowns

 

Elegant Plus
Evening Gowns

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:  March 8, 2017

 

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Beaded Drape Back Gown, Size XS - XXL  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
 

Chiffon Illusion Bodice Gown, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Petal Chiffon Gowns, Size 14 - 24W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Beaded Drape Back Gown
Size XS - XXL

Chiffon Illusion Bodice Gown
Size XS - 3X

Petal Chiffon Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Curvy women need evening dresses and gowns for a variety of special occasions throughout their entire lives. Consequently styles can range from youthful and trendy to red carpet sophisticated to mature.  Occasions can range from prom to weddings to black tie gala events such as New Year's Eve and military balls.

Styles do vary not only according to age and tastes of the wearer, but also by social event.  Celebrity red carpet events such as the Oscars and the annual Costume Institute Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art can heavily influence trends in this category, especially pageant gowns, homecoming and prom dresses. 

Classical music performers often need long evening gowns for concert attire, especially if they are soloists, but also sometimes members of quartets or orchestras, as well.  This is also true of some women who sing jazz or other musical genres.
 

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Painted Floral Gown, Size 14 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

High Low Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

ZAC Zac Posen, Yellow Strapless Ball Gown, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Deco Beaded Bolero Gown, Size 6 - 26W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Painted Floral Gown
Size 14 - 36W

High Low Gown
Size 14 - 24W

ZAC Zac Posen
Strapless Gown

Size 2 - 16

Deco Beaded Bolero Gown
Size  6 - 26W
Petite to 16P

 

It isn't unusual for plus-size women of all ages to prefer extra arm coverage, although younger women are the most likely to be comfortable in more revealing styles. However, gowns with sleeves are coming back into style for all ages, partially due to the fashion influence of the Duchess of Cambridge, although more sophisticated, mature looks are still the norm.  Some events have the option of either long evening gowns or shorter cocktail dresses which are on a separate page.

Wedding parties often require full length formal gowns including both bridesmaids and the mother-of-the bride.  Fabrics range from laces in a variety of colors to light chiffons and tulles.  Winter fabrics can include velvet, jacquard, heavy satins, and metallic fabrics.

Formalwear often sizes smaller than regular plus sizes, so be careful to check size charts and don't feel badly if you need to go up one to three sizes.  Shapewear under formal gowns is almost a must to achieve the proper structures and silhouettes.

 

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Teri Jon, Navy Belted Lace Gown, Size 14 - 20W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

St John, Sequin Cap Sleeve Gown, Size 0 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Strapless Color Block Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Chiffon Gown, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman
Belted Navy Lace Gown
Size 14 - 20W

St John
Sequin Cap Sleeve Gown
Size 0 - 18

Strapless Color Block Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Chiffon Gown
Size XL - 5X

 

Shopping Resources for Plus-Size Formalwear

The internet plus-size special occasion dress collection at Nordstrom is especially good for off-the-rack options to size 24W with the largest selections available during the spring prom and wedding seasons, and holiday party season.  Price points range from moderate to slightly upscale with styles suitable for a number of occasions ranging from prom, bridesmaids, and gala events.  Dillard's has the most mature styles, many with jackets or sleeves.  A growing number of high end designer gowns from labels such as Mac Duggal, Terani Couture, Mori Lee, and Tadashi Shoji are available here, in addition to more moderately priced options.  Some styles are available extended to sizes 26W and 28W.  They also have the largest inventory of higher end designer formalwear from similar labels for size 12 to 20 on the main rack.

Lord & Taylor carries styles mainly appealing to more mature women, and a good selection for events such as cruises, office parties, and wedding guests for sizes 0 to 24W.

 

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

Embroidered Tulle Gown, Size 2 -22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Laser Cut Out Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Pale Blue Lace Ribbon Gown, Size 10 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Beaded Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Embroidered Tulle Gown
Size 2 - 22W

Laser Cut Out Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Ribbon Gown
Size 10 - 24W


Saks Fifth Avenue is still the best source for designer gowns from labels such as Marina Rinaldi, especially during the holiday party season. For luxury labels such as Marchesa Notte and Badgley Mischka in size 12 to 16 there is a growing inventory on the Saks main racks in extended misses sizes.

 Neiman Marcus will often carry top shelf designers such as Carmen Marc Valvo and Kay Unger in sizes up to 24W during the holiday shopping season, and even more luxury designer options out in the main shopping area for full-figured women size 12 to 18.  Look for luxury labels such as Carolina Herrera, Lela Rose, Oscar de la Renta, and St. John.

Meanwhile, eveningwear designer Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman offers their complete collection of upscale formalwear available in sizes up to 20W directly from their website.

 

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Lace Gown, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Designer: Badgley Mishka, Floral Tulle Gown, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Mac Duggal, Navy Embellished Jersey Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Red Embellished Collar Chiffon Gown, Size 14 -22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Gown
Size XL - 5X

Badgley Mishka
Floral Tulle Gown
Size 2 - 16

Mac Duggal
Navy Embellished Jersey Gown

Size 14 - 24W

Embellished Collar
Chiffon Gown
Size 14 - 22W

 

Unique Vintage has a new formalwear section with thousands of designer evening gowns in size S to 6X. And easy search tool helps locate dresses available in your size.  Expect to see labels such as Mac Duggal, Nina Canucci, and Madison James.  Although many styles are more youthful as "prom" suggests, in fact there are many more sophisticated styles available for other types of black tie events, as well.

Simple, inexpensive options are available all year from Dress Barn in size 14 to 24W, in addition to a few of the cataloguers such as Midnight Velvet.  Plus specialty retailers such as Ashley Stewart will sometimes have less expensive options, especially during the Spring Wedding and Winter Holiday Party seasons in size 12 to 32W.  Meanwhile, contemporary plus fashion newcomer Eloquii has regularly included moderately priced special occasion dresses for size 14 to 28W.

 

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Lace Maxi, Size 8 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Ruffled Cold Shoulder Chiffon Maxi, Size XL - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Floral Dupioni Gown, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Beaded Yellow Gown, Size 6 - 26W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Maxi
Size 8 - 28W

Ruffled Chiffon
Cold Shoulder Maxi

Size XL - 3X

Floral Dupioni Gown
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

Beaded Gown
Size 6 - 26W

 

 

Internet direct wholesale to consumer websites such as Light in the Box can help to keep formalwear costs down with custom made dresses in a rainbow assortment of colors to 26W that are delivered with shorter wait times than most local bridal shops. 

Voluptuous women will find options from Kiyonna  in size 10 to 32W.   Lane Bryant also carries formalwear from other brands and labels on-line for size 14 to 28W.  Some of their designer capsule collections from names such as Lela Rose, Isabella Toledo, and Christian Siriano have also included formal options especially close to the holiday party season.  Torrid often has options in the winter party and spring prom seasons in affordable, fashion forward styles for sizes L to 6X.  Upscale plus dress specialist Igigi is back and under new ownership, promising new formalwear styles for sizes 14 to 36W.

Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call can be a good spot to scoop up bargains from well known formalwear labels in sizes up to 24W.

 

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Tadashi Shoji, Lace Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Ruffled Cold Shoulder Satin Gown, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Color Block Gown, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Gothic Lace Corset Dress, Size 0 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji
Lace Gown

Size 14 - 24W

Ruffled Cold Shoulder
Satin Gown

Size 2 - 26W

Color Block Gown
Size XS - 3X

Gothic Lace Corset Dress
Size 0 - 22W

 

 

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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.