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 25, 2017
Size 14 - 22W
One Shoulder Ruffle Gown
Size 4 - 16
Beaded Bodice Gown
Size XS - 2X
Plus-size beauty pageants have
grown in popularity as part of the self-esteem
boosting "Size Acceptance Movement." Fun,
glamorous and an opportunity for larger women to
shine and feel beautiful, they usually showcase
women sizes 14+ in traditional pageant
competition. Most are mainly evening gown
Miss Plus America Pageant
the most famous, but there are other plus
pageants held locally throughout the U.S.A.
with the majority in Southern states. A
fair number are also organized for older
full-figured women who find the pageant circuit
sophisticated and with a hint of
glam, pageant gowns are designed to light up the
stage while showcasing a contestants gorgeous
curves. Sparkling embellishments, sequins,
and form fitting gowns are much sought after
Standing out on stage requires something bold
and unique, and many contestants spend hundreds
of dollars for just the right look.
Mermaid and ball gown styles are quite popular,
in addition to more traditional column and
a-line silhouettes. Some prom dress styles
can be appropriate.
Achieving the proper silhouettes under
formalwear, even for larger figure types
requires the right structured foundation
garments. Winning a pageant can also
sometimes be in the details such as having the
right pair of coordinating accessories and shoes
A growing number of glamorous offerings are
which stocks thousands of prom and formalwear
styles in size 0 to 32W. One of the oldest
plus specialty bridal shops on the internet also
regularly offers pageant worthy gowns with
plenty of sequins, beading, satin, and tulle
designed especially for more voluptuous figures.
Those looking for higher end, more unusual
resources can find formal dresses and gowns in
extended sizes from upscale retailers such as
in sizes up to 18, and
in sizes up to 20.
Several of the major department stores can be
fantastic resources, especially during the
holiday party season and spring wedding season
when formalwear is in high demand for other
types of occasions. Look for
designers such as Adrianna Papell, Mac Duggal,
Terani Couture, and Tadashi
Dillard's in size 14 to
can be the source for some truly upscale, luxury
evening wear out on their main selling floor in
size 0 to 18 from designers such as Theia,
Carmen Marc Valvo, Lela Rose, Carolina Herrera,
Haltson, and more.
Direct from manufacturer websites that ship
internationally can also be a resource for low cost
Light in the Box
is one of the most popular. Trendy
retailers such as
also carry more affordable gowns that can sometimes be
appropriate for local pageants in size 14 to 24W.
The right shapewear
is absolutely essential for pageantry to smooth
body lines and provide the proper structure for
the silhouettes of the gowns. Basics are
are always available at
Eloquii for size 1X to 3X, but the
best selection is at the lingerie specialty
retailers such as
which carry a wide variety of brands and styles
in sizes up to 8X.
stockings are always available at
Hips and Curves
in both plus and plus petite sizes up to 6X.
Meanwhile, full pantyhose in day sheers and
colors are regularly available at
Just My Size
in size XL to 6X.