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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: November 9, 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

Floral Ball Gown, Size 2- 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Embellished Ivory Lace Gown, Size 4 - 20 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Rose Floral Ball Gown
Size 2 - 16

Deco Beaded Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Ivory Lace Gown
Size 4 - 20

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: Luxury Designer Evening Wear @ Neiman Marcus

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

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

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

Teri Jon, Stretch Blue Velvet Gown, Size 10 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Satin High Low Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Gold Velvet Evening Gown, Size 12 - 24W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Teri Jon
Stretch Velvet Gown
Size 10 - 16

Lace Gown
Size 10 - 32W

Satin High Low Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Velvet Evening Dress
Size 12 - 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.


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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ City Chic

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

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

Teri Jon, Flounce Cuff, Bow Shoulder Sheath Gown, Size 4 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Gold Shimmer Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Black Velvet Cold Shoulder Gown, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Nataya, Vintage Romance Gown, Size XS - 3X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman
Flounce Cuff, Bow Shoulder Column Gown
Size 4 - 18

Gold Shimmer Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Black Velvet
Cold Shoulder Gown
Size XL - 5X

Vintage Romance Gown
Size XS - 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 Dresses @ Coldwater Creek

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

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

Embellished Satin Ball Gown, Size 2 -26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Alex Evenings, Champagne Lace Jacket Gown, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Rosette Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Taffeta Ball Skirt, Size 14 -24W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Top Sold Separately

Satin Ball
Size 2 - 26W

Alex Evenings
Lace Jacket Gown
Size 6 - 24W

Alex Evenings
Rosette Evening Dress
Size 14 - 22W

Taffeta Ball Skirt
Size 14 - 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 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: Plus Size Dresses @ Nordstrom

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Fashion @ Zappos

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

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

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

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

Designer: Rene Ruiz, Off-the-Shoulder Gown, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Floral Jacquard Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Panel Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Black Jersey
Maxi Dress
Size 1X - 4X

Rene Ruiz
Off-the-Shoulder Gown
Size 2 - 16


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.

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.  City Chic is another chic style stop that is usually well stocked with fashion conscious formalwear options for size 14 to 24W.


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

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

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

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

Sequin Lace Column Dress, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Bodice Dress, Size 12 - 32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

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

Red Stretch Velvet Gown, Size 4 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Sequin Lace
Column Dress

Size 14 - 22W

Lace Bodice Dress
Size 12 - 32W

Hand Beaded
Mermaid Gown
Size 6 - 26W

Stretch Velvet Gown
Size 4 - 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. 

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.






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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.