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

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

Elegant Plus Editor's Picks:  Evening Dresses in Size 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.

 

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Last Update: April 21, 2016

 

RELATED SHOPPING GUIDES

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

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Embroidered Tulle Strapless Gown, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji Color Block Lace Gown, Size 14 - 22W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Embroidered Tulle
Strapless Gown

Size 2 - 26

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Color Block Lace Gown

Size 14 - 22W

Lace Bodice Chiffon Gown
Size M - 5X

Plus-Size Formal Evening Gowns Report
[Shopping Resources & Editor's Picks Below]

Plus-size 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.
 

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

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David Meister, Metallic Print Gown, Size 2 - 16| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Designer: Carmen Marc Valvo, Sequin Lace Gown, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Floral Chiffon Gown, Size 14 - 24W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

David Meister
Metallic Print Gown
Size 2 - 16

Carmen Marc Valvo
Sequin Lace Gown

Size 2 - 16

Floral Chiffon Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Tadashi Shoji
Sequin Chiffon Gown
Size 14 - 24W

 

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

Anna Scholz, Georgette Print Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Lace S houlder Gown, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Ribbon Gown, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Sequin Trim Black Poncho Gown, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Anna Scholz
Long Georgette Print Dress
US Size 12 - 24W

Lace Shoulder Gown
Size XL - 5X

Lace Ribbon Gown
Size 6 - 24W

Sequin Trim Poncho Gown
Size 16 - 34W

 

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.

 

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

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

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

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

Jersey Cape Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in Black

Pleated Gown, Size 4 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Color Block Mermaid Gown, Size 2 -26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Mac Duggal
Beaded Bodice Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Jersey Cape Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Pleated Gown
Size 4 - 24W

Color Block Mermaid Gown
Size 2 - 26W


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 16.  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 18 directly from their website.

 

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Red Jersey Gown, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Corset Dress, Size S- 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Marina Rinaldi, Embellished Black Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Strapless Chiffon Gown, Size 12 - 30W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Red Jersey Gown
Size 1X - 3X

Lace Corset Dress
Size S - 3X

Marina Rinaldi
Embellished Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Strapless Chiffon Gown
Size 12 - 30W

 

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.  Meanwhile, contemporary plus fashion newcomer Eloquii has regularly included moderately priced special occasion dresses for size 14 to 24W.

Plus formalwear specialist Sydney's Closet designs cocktail dresses and evening wear for weddings, proms, and black tie affairs in size 14 to 32W.  Styles range from youthful to more mature.  Meanwhile popular internet dress retailer ModCloth has been adding more formal styles with a vintage or retro flavor at moderate prices for size 0 to 26W.  More moderately priced options are available from Asos for size 14 to 24W in contemporary and vintage influenced styles with a youthful appeal.

 

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

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

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

ABS by Allen Schwartz, Green Pleated Gown, Size 14 - 22W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Beaded Gown
Size 6 - 26W

Navy Beaded Jacket Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Embellished Column Gown
Size 14 - 22W

ABS by Allen Schwartz
Pleated Evening Gown
Size 14 - 24W

 

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.

Internet direct wholesale to consumer websites such as Izi Dress and 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.  Target has also added a collection of value priced, mainly tulle, bridesmaid dresses and gowns for those looking for simple, pastel evening styles in size 2 to 26W.

Voluptuous women will find options from Kiyonna  in size 10 to 32W. 

 

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Teri Jon, Silk Gown with Sequin Overlay, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Gown, Size 10-32W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Alex Evenings, Portrait Collar Gown, Size 14 - 22W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman
Silk Gown
with Sequin Overlay

Size 2 - 20

Lace Gown
Size 14 - 28W

Lace Column Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Alex Evenings
Portrait Collar
Gown
Size 14 - 22W

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All Editor's Picks and plus-size clothing featured are hand- selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
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TAGS: # DESIGNER CLOTHING | # SPECIAL OCCASIONS | # DRESSES | # WEDDINGS

 

 

Elegant plus-size formalwear and plus-size dresses for full-figured women size 12, 14, 16, 28, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, L, XL, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X