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Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides >>  Plus-Size Red Carpet Dresses & Evening Gowns

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

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.  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.


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Last Update: October 28, 2015



Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Nordstrom

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Fashion @ Lord & Taylor

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Evening Wear @ Unique Vintage

Designer: Theia, Winter Floral, Two Piece Ball Gown, Size 2 - 16 @ Elegant Plus, Size 12 +
Designer: Theia
Size 2 - 16

St. John, Hand Beaded Liquid Satin Gown, Size 4 - 16| Red Carpet Event Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Designer: Calvin Klein, Faux Leather Panel Sheath Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | | Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

Madison James, Gold Sequin Gown, Size 16 - 22W | Red Carpet Editor's Pick

St. John
Hand Beaded Liquid Satin Gown

Size 4 - 16

Calvin Klein
Faux Leather Panel Sheath
Size 14 - 22W

 Madison James
Gold Sequin Gown

Size 16 - 22W

Plus-Size Red Carpet Gowns Report
[Shopping Resources & 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 black tie and 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.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Saks Fifth Avenue

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Evening Wear @ Teri Jon

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Formalwear @ Sydneys Closet

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

Designer: Kay Unger, Beaded Gown, Size 2 - 18 | Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Teri Jon, Floral Applique Midi, Size 8 - 18 | Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

Lace Bodice Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 32W | Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

Velvet Stripe Gown, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick

Kay Unger
Sequin Lace Gown
Size 2 - 18

Teri Jon
Floral Appliqué Midi

Size 8 - 18

Lace Bodice Gown
Size 14 - 32W

Velvet Stripe Gown
Size 14 - 24W

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, Terani Couture, Mac Duggal, Kay Unger, and Marina Rinaldi will often turn up at Saks Fifth Avenue (on-line only) 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.

Less pricey, sparkly gowns from labels such as Adrianna Papell are gaining in popularity, while the lower priced diffusion lines from Ralph Lauren and  Calvin Klein can turn up some beautiful options for size 14 to 24W.  Many of these are available from Macy's and Dillard's.

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.

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

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

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

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

Lace Panel Sheath, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

Lace Gown, Sizes 2-26W | Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available 

Designer: ABS by Allen Schwarz, Cut Out Midi, Size 1X-3X, Editor's Pick

Designer: Melissa Masse, Paisley Print Maxi, Size 1X - 3X | Red Carpet Gowns Editor's Pick

Lace Panel Sheath
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Gown
Size 2 - 26W
Custom Sizes Available

ABS by Allen Schwartz
Cut Out Midi
Size 1X - 3X

Melissa Masse
Print Maxi
Size 1X - 3X


Teri Jon is a boon for women in the size 12 to 18 range with sophisticated cocktail and long formal gown styles. Meanwhile, far less expensive and youthful vintage inspired styles from Chi Chi London can be a fun option.  British retailer ASOS offers red  carpet inspired fast fashion styles for those who want the look without the price tag in size 14 to 24W.

Dillard's has begun stocking designer gowns from names such as Mac Duggal, Terani Couture, and Tadashi Shoji in among their more moderately priced eveningwear.  Many styles have sleeves here, for those that prefer a little extra coverage in size 14 to 28W.

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. 


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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Trendy Clothes @ Asos

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

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

Satin Jersey Color Block Gown, Size 2-26W | Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available 

Sequin Trim Plunge Back Jumpsuit, Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick

Designer: Badgley Mischka, Strapless Satin Ballgown, Size 0 -16 | Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Retro Rose Print Dress, Size 4 - 26 | Red Carpet  Editor's Pick

Satin Jersey
Color Block Gown

Size 2 - 26W

Sequin Trim
Plunge Back Jumpsuit
Size 14 - 24W

Badgley Mischka
Satin Ball Gown
Size 0 - 16

Retro Rose Print Dress
Size 4 - 26

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. Quality and fit is not as high as the premium labels and designers mentioned above, but prices are also small.  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.  Two of the best include Light in the Box and Izi Dress.

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 Her Room that carries a wide variety of styles and types with sizes as large as 10X.


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

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

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

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

Designer: Lafayette 148, Print Sheath, Size 16 - 24W| Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Faux Suede Shift, Size 14 - 28W | Editor's Pick

Mac Duggal, Red Lace Gown, Size 14 - 26W | Editor's Pick

Fuzzi, Animal Print Dress, Size 16 - 22W | Red Carpet Event Editor's Pick

Lafayette 148
Print Sheath
Size 16 - 24W

Faux Suede Shift
Size 14 - 28W

Mac Duggal
Lace Gown

Size 14 - 26W

Animal Print Dress

Size 16 - 22W



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All Editor's Picks and plus-size clothing featured are hand- selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
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Elegant plus-size formalwear and plus-size dresses for full-figured women size 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, L, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X