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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.


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Last Update: July 5, 2016



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

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Formwalwear @ unique Vintage

High Low Green Color Block Gown, Size XS - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Illusion Bodice Chiffon Gown, Size M - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

High Low Color Block Gown
Size XS - 4X

Vintage Beaded Long Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Illusion Bodice Gown
Size M - 4X

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

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.

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Fashion @ Asos

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

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

Designer: St. John, Teal Satin Gown, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Red Capelet Gown, Size 14 - 24W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Silver Beaded Column Gown, Size 0 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in Navy

Floral Organza Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

St. John
Satin One Shoulder Gown
Size 2 - 16

Capelet Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Beaded Column Gown
Size 0 - 18

Floral Organza Gown
Size 14 - 22W


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.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Dillards

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Teri Jon

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Fashion @ Wardrobe Shop

Plum Vintage Beaded Gown, Size 14 -24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Teri Jon, Tulle Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Green Lace Gown, Size 10 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Vintage Bell Sleeve Gown, Size S - 3X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Vintage Beaded Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman
Tulle Gown

Size 2 - 18

Lace Gown
Size 10 - 28W

Vintage Bell Sleeve Gown
Size S - 3X


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: Eveningwear @ Light in the Box

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

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

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

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

Alex Evenings, Cameo Pink Lace Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Komarov, Ruffled Chiffon Gown, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Off-the-Shoulder Cape Gown, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in Black

Tulle Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Alex Evenings
Pink Lace Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Ruffled Chiffon Gown
Size XS - 3X
Petite to XL

Off-the-Shoulder Cape Gown
Size 14 - 28W

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.


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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Full-Figured Fashion @ Evans

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Fashion @ Zappos

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Fashion @  Pyramid Collection

Marina Rinaldi, Black Capelet Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Applied Floral Shoulder Gown, Size 12 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Pleat Front Maxi, Size 1X - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Green Velvet Gown, Size 2 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Marina Rinaldi
Capelet Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Applied Floral Shoulder Gown
Size 12 - 22W

Black Jersey Gown
Size 1X - 4X

Green Velvet Gown
Size 2 - 28W


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.


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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Torrid

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

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

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

Satin One Shoulder High Low Dress, Size 12 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in Black

Embellished Neck Chiffon Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

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

Beaded Gown
Size 6 - 26W

Satin One Shoulder
High Low Dress
Size 12 - 28W

Embellished Neck
Chiffon Gown

Size 14 - 24W

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 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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Plus-size clothing featured is hand selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships.
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