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Elegant Plus Editor's Picks:  Full-Figured Premium Label Designer Fashion in Size 12 +

All Editor's Picks clothing featured is hand- selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our extensive network of fashion business partnerships. Options available in all size ranges, although we specialize in hard-to-find sizes 12 and over.  Elegant Plus Sizing Report  Plus size designer clothing is increasingly available, but still difficult to find outside the major department stores.

 

RETAILER SPOTLIGHT:

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  St. John Designer Pants

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Designer Plus-Size Fashion @ Saks Fifth Avenue

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Luxury Designer Clothing in Extended Misses Sizes @ Nordstrom

Melissa Masse, Lace Cocktail Dress, Size 1X-3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick, Sizes 12 +
Dress: 1X - 3X

Designer: Lafayette 148, Lambskin Jacket, Size 1X-3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Stizzoli, Pink Waterfall Cardigan, Plus-Size 14 -24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

St. John Collection, Sequin Bodice Ball Gown, Size 4-16| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Melissa Masse @
 Bloomingdale's

Lafayette 148
Lambskin Jacket

Size 1X - 3X

Stizzoli
Waterfall Cardigan

Size 14 - 24W

  St. John Collection
Sequin Bodice Ball Gown
Size 4 - 16

Plus-Size Designer Clothing: Trends & Editor's Picks

Luxury Label Designer Clothing Report for Sizes 12 +

 The public is becoming more aware of attitudes within high-end fashion through the plights of popular full-figured celebrities such as Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson who regularly have difficulty finding suitable labels on par with their peers for red carpet and other public appearances. Yet, designer clothing in larger sizes is becoming increasingly available at all levels and price points from lower priced diffusion and capsule collections to better label bridge wear from well known designers.  Some of this is spurred by the celebrities, themselves, although many times the public declaration of designing a plus-size collection to solve the problem never materializes into reality.

The lack of fashion for larger celebrities has, however, provided the opportunity for some size-positive, upscale designers to make names for themselves.  Some of the best examples include Tadashi Shoji dressing Academy Award winning actress Octavia Spencer and, most recently, Theia stepping in to design for Gabourey Sidibe at the 2014 Oscars.  Luxury labels such as Burberry have increased sales through high-profile dressing of the immensely popular, full-figured singer Adele with signature style shoes and accessories the most accessible to fashionistas of all sizes.  Christina Hendricks also had trouble earlier in her career finding appropriately high level fashion in her size for red carpet events. Now considered a fashion trend-setter in her break-out Mad Men role, she is able to regularly find fashion from top level names such as Alberta Ferretti,  Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana, and Badgley Mischka.

Dresses and formalwear appropriate for red carpet events and black tie affairs, upscale career wear, and casual resort wear are all available in this category, suiting lifestyles of executives, socialites, and well-heeled celebrities. Natural fibers such as silk, linen, cashmere, and leather along with other fine fabrics  combine with quality craftsmanship and design to provide distinctive fashion that makes a statement.  Fit is generally exceptional. Price points can range in the hundreds to thousands in the category.  For those with more limited budgets, investing in designer shoes, accessories and bags can upgrade a look.

Misses Extended Sizes

A limited number of very high-end, famous designers have also extended sizes beyond 10 or 12 to Misses 14 - 16 - 18 and XXL in premium collections, but these can be extremely difficult to find. Specialty websites that are authorized to offer collections straight off the prestigious global fashion week runways are some of the best resources and, while scarce, the on-line sorting and search functions makes the shopping process easier.  These include Luisa Via Roma and Marissa Collections. Designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Rick Owens have made size inclusivity a part of their high fashion runway shows, mixing larger models with the more common ultra-skinny. Luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom also will offer premium labels in larger, extended styles on-line. Size 14's in recent years have been increasingly difficult to find, but certain designers such as Michael Kors regularly still top out at a fourteen. Labels such as Akris, St. John, Armani, Gaultier, Gucci, Acne, and Ralph Lauren consistently offer up to a size 16 which are found racked in the main collections. Harder to find, but still available, are options from names such as Escada, Max Mara, Valentino, and Burberry.  A few size 18 and 20's can be found here and there.

Women's Plus-Sizes

Some of these department stores also have separate plus collections where women's sizing to 22 or 24W is more the norm and both plus-exclusive and mixed sizing designers are available. Particularly deep and unusual premium plus-size collections are available from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, with more bridge and mid-tier designers mixed in at other on-line shopping destinations such as Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom.  Long-time supporters of fuller figures include designers such as Carmen Marc Valvo, Badgley Mischka, David Meister, and Kay Unger who are frequently available from Rent the Runway in sizes up to 22W.  Upscale formalwear and cocktail dress designers such as Mac Duggal and Terani Couture can be readily found on-line from Blue Gala and Unique Vintage. Sizing tends to run small in formalwear, but with sizes up to 30 even the most voluptuous can find high end cocktail and black-tie gala attire.

Equally pricy, and custom designed for larger bodies, popular premium plus designer labels include Marina Rinaldi, Anna Scholz, and Lafayette 148 in sizes up to 24W.  Department store buyers are also more pro-actively searching out designers who might be willing to design in larger sizes exclusively for them. Some find success, while others struggle with the transition from designing for more stereo-typical fashion bodies and only stay in the plus market for a season or two. 

Sizing

European sizing is also common.  For reference a European 46 - 48 = US 16.  U.K. and Australian labels run one size smaller than U.S. and Canadian labels.  Italian labels run smaller than other European sizes with the same numbers.

More than almost any other category, sizing can both run small or generous, depending on the label.  Tailoring for the perfect fit is well worth the investment at these price points, and considered the norm.  Fine fabrics, original designs, in addition to quality craftsmanship are the hallmarks of the top tier of ready-to-wear in fashion. While natural fibers are common, synthetics of exceptional hand and quality are also used.

 

Bridge Wear, Boutique, Diffusion, Lifestyle, and Capsule Collections >>>

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All Editor's Picks and plus-size clothing featured are hand- selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships.

 

 

 

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 Elegant plus size designer clothing  for stylish full-figured women sizes 12+