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shopping guides include designer selections which are
noted with the designer's name in descriptions.
Last Update: April 25, 2017
Ruffled Shoulder Maxi
Size 14 - 24W
White Floral Border
Size 8 - 28W
An especially strong trend on
high-end runways this year, floral dresses are a reliable annual
the warmer spring and summer months. Some years winter florals
(generally darker grounds and cooler palettes) also play
a role in fashion in colder climates.
Florals start to trend back in most years for
Valentine's Day and are in full bloom by
Easter. Tropical prints are also especially popular during
the winter cruise and resort
beach vacation season. Furthermore, some women who favor a more romantic look
or BOHO styles
will also choose them all year as
a wardrobe staple.
Sub-trends within the
floral look are what will make flower prints
distinctive from year to year, in combination
with dress cuts and fabric types. These can
include applied floral elements, ruffles, lace,
embroidery, and specific color palettes along
with particular varieties of flowers, and a
variety of density and scale to the pattern.
Print types can range from photo-real digital
prints to more artistic or painterly looks. Many
designers also draw from vintage textile and
wallpaper patterns when choosing floral designs.
Traditional floral patterns can include roses,
bold tropical flowers such as hibiscus, or tiny
ditsy prints similar to Liberty prints.
Scarf prints often incorporate floral elements,
as do many traditional folk patterns. More
contemporary looks might include watercolor and
paint brush style flowers, or patterns in black
and white that suck the color out of the
plus-size women often look for floral print
dresses as wedding guests, for graduation
parties, and for family celebrations for Easter
and Mother's Day. Popular in the summer for
more casual parties such as backyard barbecues,
cotton sun dress and maxi dress styles
are excellent choices. Afternoon garden weddings
often find both guests and bridesmaids clothed
in colorful flower prints.
Flower prints can be used in every style from
trendy to classic and interpreted to suit most
tastes. More formal
styles are usually in finer and lighter fabrics
such as silk, chiffon, or floral laces.
While sleeves are becoming more common in all
dress styles, sleeveless styles are the most
readily available. For cooler environments
or for those who prefer more arm coverage, layering a cardigan or
shrug in a complementary solid
color is the usual solution. Styles range
from open weave crochet to cropped solids. A few
come with a coordinating jacket or sweater, but
mixing and matching your own opens more styling
Casual styles can be worn with flats, wedges, or sandals.
Special occasions may call for heeled dress
pumps or designer shoes. Coordinating handbags and
jewelry can help create a signature look
through pops of color or pattern mixing.
While dresses are very popular,
they can be remarkably difficult to find in most
local brick-and-mortar stores. Even retailers
that carry extensive plus-size inventories
on-line, very often have very few in stock to
try on in store. Fortunately, as
e-commerce has evolved shipping is not only
quite quick, it is increasingly free with
minimum purchases that are low and manageable.
Although hem-lines are coming
down, many younger women still favor shorter,
above the knee styles. Both department
stores such as
Nordstrom and trendy retailers such as
carry a good selection in sizes to 24W with
silhouettes ranging from swingy shifts to curve
Fast fashion newcomers
a variety of silhouettes from body conscious to
swinging tunic dresses, with floral patterns
included in lace and prints when they are particularly in style in
size 14 to 28W.
Coldwater Creek has a romantic vibe with
artisan detailing that often includes floral
dresses for casual to occasion wear for size 4
to 24W. Young fashionistas who wear extended plus-sizes
will want to check out retailers such as
(1X to 6X) and
(XL to 6X). Meanwhile, their
more upscale sister site
offers many contemporary designer styles in
florals in both cocktail, work wear, and maxi
lengths for size 14 to 36W.
Tailored career designers
such as Ralph Lauren and Jessica Howard can be
found at department stores such as
Lord & Taylor
Those looking for Bohemian designer dresses will
have good luck at Neiman Marcus with the silk
floral maxi dresses from
Johnny Was in sizes up to 3X. This
is also the place to look for high end,
designer cocktail dresses in floral
jacquards from labels such as Theia, Lela Rose,
and Carmen Marc Valvo in sizes up to 18.
Cataloguers such as
Draper's & Damon's
also often have a good selection at moderate
price points in size 2 to 24W.
has a romantic to bohemian vibe with floral
printed laces and maxi dress styles frequently
part of their collection in size 2 to 28W.
Serengeti often carries
crinkle, twist dresses in flower prints in size
S to 3X.
Value priced options are
frequently available from the especially deep
collection on-line at
Trendy retailers such as
Rainbow Shops keep prices low for bargain,
fast fashion shoppers in sizes up to 3X. Those
looking for designer options at deep discounts
will have the best luck at sites such as
Last Call and
Those wearing larger than a 24W will
have good luck at
which stocks as large as 38W, and
which offers up to size 32W..
Retro fit and flare, cotton and
lace floral dresses are most reliably available
(S to 4X)
(0 - 36W).