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

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides >> Plus-Size Cocktail Dresses

Elegant Plus Shopping Guide & Editor's Picks:  Plus-Size Cocktail Dresses 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.  Plus size cocktail dresses are often hard to find in local stores, but there are many options on-line.  Classic plus-size cocktail dresses  in lace, silk, chiffon, taffeta and velvet are all very popular for holiday parties.   Young, flirty plus-size cocktail dresses are a favorite with many girls attending proms.   Cocktail dresses with jackets or boleros are often worn by the mother-of-the-bride or groom at weddings and some goods.   Sophisticated plus-size cocktail dresses are popular options for women going on cruises and office parties. No matter what your special occasion you'll finds lots of colors, styles and options available in plus-size cocktail dresses at Elegant Plus.


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

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Special Occasion Clothes @ Draper's & Damon's

Chiffon Shift Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 24W| Editor's Pick
Size 14 - 24W

Draped Sheath  Dress, Plus-Size 14 -24W | Editor's Pick

Red Beaded Lace Party Frock, Sizes 14-20W | Editor's Pick

Tiered Chiffon Jacket Dress, Sizes 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick

Draped Sheath
Size 14 - 24W

Beaded Lace Dress
Size 14 - 20W

  Tiered Chiffon Jacket Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Plus-Size Cocktail Dress Report
[Shopping Resources &  Editor's Picks Below]

Cocktail dresses is one of the most sought after plus-size dress categories. Rarely available in local shops and boutiques, the internet is the go-to source when a woman receives a wedding invitation in the mail, needs the perfect holiday office party outfit, or is packing for that dream vacation cruise.  A little dressier than social occasion dresses, fabrics tend to finer and styles barer.  Longer sleeves and jacket styles are especially popular with special wedding guests such as mother of the bride or groom, grandmothers, and aunts.

Younger women often choose shorter party dresses for prom, homecoming, and other dances throughout the school calendar year creating a demand for more youthful styles as well.

Price points and quality vary tremendously from rock bottom fast fashion to high end luxury designer.  Along with classic black plus-size cocktail dresses, colors from rich jewel tones to lighter pastels and shimmering metallics are quite popular. A big trend during the last year has been white, and full-figured women have embraced it with gusto.  Meanwhile, especially during the Christmas party season and Valentine's Day celebrations, red dresses are among the most popular.

Special occasion dresses often reflect more romantic, vintage styles with feminine lines and soft fabrics, although edgier looks sometimes trend into this category.  Especially during the holidays look for lace and velvet, while spring occasions see more silk and floral patterns.

Women who prefer dresses with jackets or sleeves tend to be older, but recent trends have meant younger styles are available also.

Those looking for upscale, designer looks will want to visit the plus-size designer dress page, as well.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Igigi

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Plus-Size Clothing @ Ashley Stewart

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Alex Evenings @ alight

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ Neiman Marcus

Red Lace Shoulder Dress, Plus-Size 12 - 32W| Editor's Pick

Chiffon High Low Dress, Size 12 - 26W  | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Cape Sheath Dress, 14-22W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Designer: Kay Unger, Jacquard Dress, Size 14-22W| Editor's Pick

Red Lace Shoulder Dress
Size 12 - 32W

Chiffon High Low Dress
Size 12 - 26W

Cape Sheath
Size 14 - 22W

Kay Unger
Jacquard Dress

Size 14 - 22W

Internet Shopping Resources for Plus-Size Cocktail Dresses

Several department stores in recent years have offered extensive cocktail dress collections in women' sizes all year and this plus-size dress category is where several of them really shine.  Dillard's and Lord & Taylor tend to stock styles appealing to older women, including many styles with sleeves or matching jackets, although more youthful styles are being added.  In addition to lace and finer fabrics, beading plays a large role in many of these styles with labels such as Pisarro Nights, Alex Evenings, and Adrianna Papell frequently available. 

Nordstrom has a particularly good and deep collection with contemporary styles a strength. Trendier styles at slightly lower price points are also starting to mix in here, especially during the spring wedding and fall/winter holiday occasion dress seasons.  More moderately priced, but an extensive trendy to contemporary collection is found on-line at Macy's, while JC Penney offers the most accessible price points.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Dresses @ Dress Barn

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Plus-Size Clothing @ Fashion to Figure

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

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

Coral Lace Dress, Plus-Size 16 -24W | Editor's Pick

White Asymmetric Dress, Sizes XL-3X | Editor's Pick

White Chiffon Halter Maxi, 1X - 3X | Editor's Pick

Overlay Dress, Size 1X - 4X | Editor's Pick
More Colors

Coral Lace Dress
Size 16 - 24W

Asymmetric Sheath
Size XL - 3X

White Chiffon Halter Maxi
Size 1X - 3X

Overlay Dress
Size 1X - 4X


On the high, designer end Neiman Marcus carries women's cocktail dresses in sizes up to 24W in two locations on their website.  The most upscale labels such as Carmen Marc Valvo are racked with smaller sizes in the Evening Wear tab.   More contemporary and plus-exclusive labels such as Anna Scholz, Marina Rinaldi, and Melissa Masse are located with the plus women's dresses.   Equally upscale are the offerings at Saks Fifth Avenue which regularly carries Kay Unger, Tadashi Shoji, several fine Italian designers, and also slightly less pricey labels such as ABS by Alan Schwartz.

Some of the catalogs also offer good selections year around, especially for women who appreciate more mature styles.   Ulla Popken regularly has beaded cocktail dresses styles available to size 12 to 34W, with the occasional dress available as large as 38W.  Draper's & Damon's special occasion collection is perfect for cruises and other special events in size 6 to 26W, with petite sizes available as large as 16P.  Meanwhile, the moderately priced and deep special occasion dress offerings at Midnight Velvet frequently has styles unavailable elsewhere for women who appreciate more individualized looks. 


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

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ eShakti

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Shop @ Light in the Box

One Shoulder Chiffon Dress, Size 14 - 28W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Melissa Masse, Print Maxi, Size 1X - 3X | Editor's Pick

Floral Organza Dress, Size 0 - 36W | Editor's Pick

Strapless Tulle Party Frock, Sizes 2-26W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

One Shoulder Chiffon Dress
Size 14 - 28W

Melissa Masse
Print Maxi
Size 1X - 3X

Floral Organza Dress
Size 0 - 36W

Strapless Tulle Party Frock
Size 2 - 26W


Young women will find the affordable cocktail dress styles at  Asos and Forever 21 on trend in size 14 to 24W. Newly extending sizes to include plus, fast fashion retailers Charlotte Russe and Rue 21 also frequently offer trendy, affordable cocktail styles for size 1X to 3X.

Igigi is one of the leading dress plus-exclusive designers and offers a mixture of body con styles, along with more traditional silhouettes, in prints, laces, and jersey in size 12 to 32W.

Those who like a vintage sensibility will find a growing inventory at ModCloth, with more and more options available larger than 3X.   1950's style party dresses, Edwardian romantic frocks, and Old Hollywood starlet looks have begun regularly turning up among the more practical day dresses.   eShakti is a must-stop for glam Mad Men style vintage dresses that can be customized for a small fee to your measurements, with off the rack styles sized 0 - 36W.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Ulla Popken

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Bon Ton

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Dress Barn

Chiffon Dress with Shawl, Size 14 -34W | Editor's Pick

Lace Party Dress, Plus-Size 12 - 28W | Editor's Pick

Metallic Shift Dress, Plus Size 14-24W | Editor's Pick

 Lace Dress, Sizes 10 - 28W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Chiffon Dress with Shawl
Size 14 - 34W

Lace Party Dress
Size 12 - 28W

Metallic Shift Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Dress
Size 10 - 28W


Dress Barn, true to its name, carries an extensive inventory of moderately priced dresses for a wide variety of occasions. Special occasion options, including cocktail dresses and full length gowns, are more plentiful during the winter holiday party season, and spring wedding season.  Those who prefer more fashion conscious looks will find a selection of on-trend dresses at Eloquii in size 14 to 24W.

On-line direct from manufacturer formalwear websites can be a good resource for those who need dressier cocktail dresses at affordable prices.  Light in the Box offers sizes to 26W and a rainbow assortment of colors for most styles, with hem length alterations available for a small additional fee.

Bargain hunters can also often find high-end designer options from past seasons at a fraction or retail from Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Off Fifth.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Unique Vintage

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Retro Vintage Modern Plus-Size Clothing @ ModCloth

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Fashion @ Rue 21

Vintage Tulle Dress, Plus-Size 2X - 4X | Editor's Pick

Jersey Convertible Dress, Plus-Size 1X - 6X | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Floral Organza Party Dress, Size XS - 4X| Editor's Pick

Pleated Chiffon Maxi, Size 1X - 3X  | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

 Vintage Tulle Dress
Size 2X - 4X

Jersey Convertible Dress
Size 1X - 6X

Floral Organza
Party Dress

Size XS - 4X

Pleated Chiffon Maxi
Size 1X - 3X


Finishing Touches

Cocktail dresses like most other formalwear looks best when body smoothing undergarments and shapewear are worn.  This is what give the desired silhouette structure, regardless of body size or shape. While plus specialty shops such as Lane Bryant regularly offer options, some of the deepest inventories are at lingerie specialty shops such as Bare Necessities.

Spanx is a favorite with stars who regularly walk red carpets, and this allows for shapewear built into hosiery.  A variety of strengths and types are available for women size S to 3X.

The largest inventory of dress shoes in a wide variety of heel heights, styles, price points, sizes, and widths can be found at Zappos which offers speedy shipping and returns.  QVC is one of the best resources for both fine and costume jewelry in styles that come in extended lengths and sizes to fit larger customers.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Evans Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Fashion @ Lord & Taylor Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Stylish Plus-Size Fashion @ eloquii Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Izi Dress

Designer: Giles Deacon, Belted Dress,  Plus-Size 10- 28W | Editor's Pick

Beaded Blouson, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | Editor's Pick

Tulle Color Block Dress, Size 14-24W| Editor's Pick

Strapless Party Dress, Size 2 - 26W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Giles Deacon
Belted Dress
Size 10 - 28W

Beaded Blouson Dress
Size 14 - 22W


Tulle Color Block Dress
Size 14 - 24W


  Strapless Party Dress
Size 2 - 26W



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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.





Many special occasions in life call for special dresses.  Plus-size cocktail and party dresses are in demand with young and mature women, alike.


Elegant plus cocktail dresses & evening wear,  hand-selected for full-figured women size 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, L, XL, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X