Elegant Plus Size Formal Gowns & Cocktail Dresses for the Red Carpet, A Curated Collection @ Elegant Plus, Size 12 +

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

Elegant Plus Editor's Picks:  Red Carpet Plus-Size Dresses & Gowns in 12 +

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. Elegant Plus has a size-inclusive policy and makes every effort to include stylish selections in every category for our full size range of 12 to 34w!  Plus size formalwear for red carpet affairs hand selected by the Elegant Plus Style Editor.

RETAILER SPOTLIGHT:

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Izi Dress

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Alyce @ Blue Gala

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Evening Wear @ Neiman Marcus

Long Sequin Gown, Red Carpet Editor's Pick @ Elegant Plus, Size 12 +

Size 0 - 30

Beaded Lace Gown, Size 2-26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Event Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Sequin Tulle Gown, Size 0 - 24| ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

Carmen Marc Valvo, Draped Halter Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Primavera Couture  Dresses sizes 0-18 at Bluegala.com

Beaded Lace Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Sequin Tulle Gown
Size 0 - 24

 Carmen Marc Valvo
Draped Halter Gown

Size 14 - 24W

Plus-Size Red Carpet Gowns Report
[More Editor's Picks Below]

A growing number of plus-size empowerment events include the glam of Red Carpet entrances.  Feeling special with cameras flashing while posing in front of sponsorship boards is part of the fun before a night at a formal event.  Some events require long formal gowns, while at others cocktail dresses are acceptable. In either case, many women love to sparkle and bask in the love and attention. 

Looks tend to be older and more sophisticated than for prom and homecoming, and flashier than wedding party styles.  There is some overlap with styles frequently chosen for both military balls and some pageant circuits.  Special gala events for New Year's Eve can also sometimes skew more glamorous.  This is the formalwear shopping category where labels are often the most upscale and luxurious.

High end, designer runway fashion is where many design trends first appear. Looks can also be inspired from the red carpets at national entertainment industry shows such as the Oscars, the Grammy's, and other televised awards shows.  Gala events such as the annual Costume Institute Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art also influence formalwear styles.  Full-figured women do attend these high profile red carpet events also, sometimes as celebrities and other times as more behind-the-scenes power players within the industries and social circles for which these events are geared.

Styles are often highly structured, body conscious, and detailed with fine fabrics and embellishments.  Bare looks prevail, but recent style seasons have seen more sleeves coming into fashion.

Internet Shopping Resources for Red Carpet Worthy Formalwear in Size 12 +

The spring wedding season and holiday party season see several department stores stocking more formalwear than at other times of the year.   The most upscale options with high end designer labels such as Monique Lhuillier, Tadashi Shoji, Kay Unger, and Marina Rinaldi will often turn up at Saks Fifth Avenue (on-line only), Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom in sizes up to 24W.  Women who wear size 12 to 18 will find many more formalwear options shopping the main evening wear collections at both, including some petite styles.

Meanwhile, Neiman Marcus offers their most upscale designer labels such as Marchesa, Carmen Marc Valvo, Badgley Micshka, St. John, and Lela Rose in sizes 12 to 20 in their main evening wear collection.  Use the size finder to locate the styles available in your size. The "Women's" or plus-size department carries labels such as Kay Unger, Marina Rinaldi, Melissa Masse, and Anna Scholz.

Those who can wear smaller plus-sizes in the 12 to 18 range will also find luxury options from labels such as Escada, and other global fashion week designers available from from time-to-time in the misses sections at the European runway designer super-sites Luisa via Roma, and Marissa Collections.  Finally, if you are willing to do some looking luxury boutiques can offer some treasures.  Shoptiques brings together some of the best across the country, including those frequented by socialites and celebrities such as Gregory's.

Many of the formalwear designers available through Blue Gala are equally expensive and luxe.  The size finder in the side bar tops out at size 18, but a surprising number of labels are available as large as a 30.  Look for Terani Couture, Alyce, Night Moves by Allure, Tony Bowls, Blush, and Primavera Couture for red carpet worthy evening gowns and cocktail dresses.

Celebrity designer formal dresses are available for a fraction of their upscale retail costs at Rent the Runway.  Plus-size options to 22W, in regular and tall sizes, frequently include well known names such as Theia, Kay Unger, David Meister, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Badgley Mischka.

Rachel Pally's easy-to-wear jersey styles frequently turn up on less formal celebrity red carpets.  Sizing is both generous and extra long with options to 3X.  Igigi will also offer red carpet worthy gowns, especially during the holidays, in sizes up to 32W.

For those on tighter budgets, direct from manufacturer formalwear sites bring costs down to close to wholesale with much shorter order delivery wait periods than ordering through most bridal shops.  More and more looks are either inspired by celebrity red carpets or are of styles appropriate for red carpets.  Most come in a wide assortment of colors with the ability to tweak measurements such as hem lengths for a small fee, with off-the-rack sizing to 26W available in a majority of styles.  Some of the best include Light in the Box, Izi Dress, and Amor Moda.

Finishing Details

The silhouettes of more elaborate formalwear cannot be achieved for any size woman without the help of the correct undergarments and shapewear.  Many celebrities swear by Spanx and will wear multiple pairs simultaneously under designer gowns to get the look they want.  We recommend the extensive selection available from Classic Shapewear that carries a wide variety of styles and types with sizes as large as 10X.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Night Moves Formalwear @ Blue Gala

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

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Dillard's

Jeweled One Sleeve Gown, Size 0-32 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Jersey Evening Gown, Sizes 12-32W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick


Stretch Ruched Taffeta, Size 14 -22W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick


Long Sequin Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available 

Jeweled
One Sleeve Gown
Size 0 - 32

Jersey Evening Gown
Size 12 - 32W

Stretch
Ruched Taffeta Dress
Size 14 - 22W

Long Sequin Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Izi Dress

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Saks

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Terani Gowns @ Blue Gala

Organza High Low Gown, Sizes 2-26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

Strapless Satin Gown, Sizes 2-26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
 

Designer: Tadashi Shoji, Lace Peplum Dress, Plus-Size 14-22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Strapless Satin Gown, Size 2-20 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Gowns Editor's Pick

Organza High Low Gown
Sizes 2 - 26W
Custom Sizes Available

Strapless Satin Gown
Size 2 - 26W
Custom Sizes Available

Tadashi Shoji
Lace Peplum Dress
Size 14 - 22W

Strapless Satin Gown
Size 2 - 20

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Evening  Dresses @ Izi Dress

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Red Carpet Looks @ Rent the Runway

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Neiman Marcus

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Style Clothing @ ModCloth

Off the Shoulder Evening Gown, Size 2-26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
 

Anna Scholz, Cut Out Dress, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Designer: Melissa Masse, Body Con Dress, Plus-Size 1X - 3X| ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Satin Cocktail Dress, Size 0 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet  Editor's Pick

Off the Shoulder Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Anna Scholz
Cut Out Dress
Size 14 - 22W

Melissa Masse
Body Con Dress
Size 1X - 3X

Satin Cocktail Dress
Size 0 - 16

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Womens Clothing @ Bloomingdale's

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Allure by Night Moves @ Blue Gala

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Evening Wear @ Neiman Marcus

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

Ralph Lauren, One Shoulder Column Gown, Size 0 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Black Sequin Jumpsuit, Size 0 - 32 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

St. John Collection, Column Dress, Size 2-16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Velvet Evening Gown, Size 2-26W| ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Event Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Ralph Lauren
One Shoulder Gown
Size 0 - 18

Black Sequin Jumpsuit
Size 0 - 32

St. John Collection
Jeweled Column Dress
Size 2 - 16

Velvet Evening Gown
Size 2 - 26W
Custom Sizes Available

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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 formalwear and plus-size dresses for full-figured women sizes 12+