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Your Favorite Internet Shopping Guide to Stylish Curvy Clothes: Size 12 +

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides
>> Plus-Size Pageant 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.



Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Dillard's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Unique Vintage
Blue Embroidered Lace Column Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick White One Shoulder Ruffle gown, Size 4 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Beaded Bodice Gown, Size XS - 2X | Elegantplus.com Editor's Pick

Embroidered Lace
Column Gown

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 events.

The Miss Plus America Pageant  is 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 empowering.


Sleek, sophisticated and with a hint of red carpet glam, pageant gowns are designed to light up the stage while showcasing a contestants gorgeous curves. Sparkling embellishments, sequins, bright colors, and form fitting gowns are much sought after features.  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

Shopping Resources for Plus-Size Pageant Gowns

A growing number of glamorous offerings are available at Unique Vintage 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 Tahari in sizes up to 18, and Teri Jon 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 Shoji at Nordstrom and Dillard's in size 14 to 28W. 

Meanwhile, Neiman Marcus 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 gowns.  Light in the Box is one of the most popular.  Trendy retailers such as ASOS and City Chic also carry more affordable gowns that can sometimes be appropriate for local pageants in size 14 to 24W.

Finishing Touches

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 Her Room which carry a wide variety of brands and styles in sizes up to 8X.

Thigh high 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.


** The Editor's  Pick Portion of this page has been discontinued.






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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.