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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. 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.

 


Last Update:  May 4, 2017

 

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SHOPPING GUIDES

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

White Beaded Tulle Gown, Size XS - 4X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
 

Beaded Navy Off-the-Shoulder Gown, Size 16 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Pink Beaded Chiffon Gown, Size 2X - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Beaded Tulle Gown
Size XS - 4X

Beaded Navy
Off-the-Shoulder Gown
Size 16 - 22W

Beaded Chiffon Gown
Size 2X - 4X

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: Plus-Size Fashion @ Igigi

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

La Femme, Plum Purple Long Sleeve Gown, Size 8 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Beaded Shoulder, Navy Jersey Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Painted Floral Gown
Size 14 - 36W

La Femme
Beaded Long Sleeve Gown
Size  8 - 18

Deco Beaded Gown
Size  8 - 26W
Petite to 16P

Beaded Shoulder
Navy Jersey 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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Teri Jon, Silver Lace Gown with Chiffon Sleeves, Size 4 - 20 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Sequin Gown, Size 6 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Bodice Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman
Lace Gown
with Chiffon Sleeves
Size 4 - 20

David Meister
Floral Gown
Size 2 - 16

Sequin Gown
Size 6 - 28W

Lace Bodice Gown
Size 14 - 24W

 

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 Fashion @ Eloquii

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

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

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

Tie Waist Halter Gown, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Bodice Gown, Size 16 - 34W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Off-the-Shoulder Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Off-the-Shoulder
Tulle Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Tie Waist Halter Gown
Size 14 - 28W

Lace Bodice Gown
Size 16 - 34W


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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Karen Kane, Cold Shoulder Maxi, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Designer: Carmen Marc Valvo, Blue Halter Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

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

Karen Kane
Cold Shoulder Jersey Maxi
Size 1X - 3X

Carmen Marc Valvo
Halter Gown
Size 2 - 18

Pleat Chiffon Floral Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Lace 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.  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
More Colors Available

Border Hem White Crepe Gown, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Contrast Bead Waist Gown, Size 14 -24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Floral Off the Shoulder Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Maxi
Size 8 - 28W

Border Hem Crepe Gown
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

Contrast Bead Waist Gown
Size 14 - 24W

Floral
Off-the-Shoulder Gown
Size 14 - 24W

 

 

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.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ Ashley Stewart

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Formalwear @ TB DRESS

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

Floral Chiffon Maxi, Size 12 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Off-the-Shoulder Gown, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

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

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

Floral Chiffon Maxi
Size 12 - 26W

Off-the-Shoulder Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Fitted Lace Gown
Size M - 5X

Tadashi Shoji
Lace Gown

Size 14 - 24W

 

 

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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.