need evening dresses and gowns for
a variety of special occasions throughout their entire lives.
Consequently styles can range from youthful and
trendy to red carpet sophisticated to mature.
Occasions can range from prom to
black tie social events such as
New Year's Eve
Styles do vary not only according to age and
tastes of the wearer, but also by social event.
red carpet events such as the Oscars
and the annual Costume Institute Ball at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art can heavily influence
trends in this category, especially
Classical music performers
often need long evening gowns for concert
attire, especially if they are soloists, but
also sometimes members of quartets or
orchestras, as well. This is also true of
some women who sing jazz or other musical
It isn't unusual for plus-size women
of all ages
to prefer extra arm coverage, although younger women
are the most likely to be comfortable in more
revealing styles. However,
gowns with sleeves
are coming back into style for all ages,
partially due to the fashion influence of the
Duchess of Cambridge, although more sophisticated, mature looks are
still the norm. Some events have the
option of either long evening gowns or shorter
which are on a separate page.
Formalwear often sizes
smaller than regular plus sizes, so
be careful to check size charts and don't feel
badly if you need to go up one to three sizes.
formal gowns is almost a must to achieve the
proper structures and silhouettes.
The internet plus-size special
occasion dress collections at
are especially good for off-the-rack options to
size 24W with the largest selections available
during the spring prom and wedding seasons, and
holiday party season.
has the most mature styles, many with jackets or
sleeves. Meanwhile, the most youthful and budget
friendly styles are available at
Saks Fifth Avenue
is still the best source for designer gowns from
labels such Tadashi Shoji,
Kay Unger, and Marina Rinaldi.
will often carry top shelf designers such as
Carmen Marc Valvo in sizes up to 24W during the
holiday shopping season, and even more luxury
designer options out in the main shopping area
full-figured women size 12 -16.
For truly special upscale evening
gowns in the hundreds to even thousands of
is the go-to source. Good options for
prom, red carpets, and black-tie gala affairs
are all there. The size finder in the side
bar is both unreliable and limited, as some
brands offer as large as a size 30. It's
worth the extra effort to sort through the
options by designer if you want
something unique and stunning.
Labels to look for include Terani Couture, Night
Moves by Allure, Alyce, and Blush, but others
also offer dresses in extended sizes.
Internet direct wholesale to
consumer websites such as
can help to keep formalwear costs down with
custom made dresses in a rainbow assortment of
colors to 26W that are delivered with shorter
wait times than most local bridal shops.
Budget shoppers will also appreciate the
designer options from
Rent the Runway
which can be borrowed for a fraction of retail
for special events in sizes up to 22W.
Voluptuous women will find
sizes to 32W. Meanwhile the plus-size
formalwear selection from
offers sophisticated styles appealing to younger
women in sizes up to 30.