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

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides
>> Plus-Size Fashion for Red Carpet Events

 
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: August 6, 2016

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SHOPPING GUIDES

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Fashion @ Lord & Taylor Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Evening Wear @ Unique Vintage
Designer: Tadashi Shoji, Embroidered Gown, Size 2 -16 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick Designer: LAUREN Ralph Lauren, Animal Print Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick Mac Duggal, Lace Bodice Gown, Size 20 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji
Embroidered Gown
Size 2 - 16
 

LAUREN Ralph Lauren
Animal Print Dress

Size 14 - 22W
 

Mac Duggal
Lace Bodice Gown

Size 20 - 26W
 

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. 

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, the Emmy'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.  Some of these gala events are daytime luncheons and award dinners that require less formal styles than the more famous televised events. A few ultra-talented, famous faces in recent years have included Queen Latifah, Gabourey Sidhibe, Melissa McCarthy, Christina Hendricks, and Octavia Spencer. 

Looks tend to be older and more sophisticated than for prom and homecoming, and flashier than wedding party styles.  Fun and whimsical styles can also be favored, especially by younger women. 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 occasionwear shopping category where labels are often the most upscale and luxurious.

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 Clothes @ Last Call Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Saks Fifth Avenue Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Dillard's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Style Clothing @ ModCloth
MYNT 1792, Bell Sleeve Shift Dress, Size 14 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick Designer: ABS Allen Schwartz, Cut Out Gown, Size 10 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick Beaded Sheath Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Black Cold Shoulder Wide Leg Jumpsuit, Size XS - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet  Editor's Pick

MYNT 1792
Bell Sleeve Shift
Size 14 - 26W
 

ABS Allen Schwartz
Cut Out Gown
Size 10 - 24W 

Beaded Sheath Dress
Size 14 - 24W
 

Cold Shoulder
Wide Leg Jumpsuit
Size XS - 4X

 

 

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), Dillard'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 as well, including some petite styles.  Upscale formalwear labels such as Mac Duggal and Madison James are often available as large as size 30W from Unique Vintage.  This site can be exceptionally slow to load and navigate but it is worth the patience and effort for a truly unique collection in extended full-figure sizing.

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 Lord & Taylor.

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 Dresses @ Light in the Box Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Macy's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Designer Dresses @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ ASOS
Satin Scarf Gown, Sizes 2-26W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Embellished Cold Shoulder Cocktail Dress, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick Designer: Carmen Marc Valvo, Peplum Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Gowns Editor's Pick Split Back Cape Dress, Size 14 - 24W |  ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
Also Available in Navy

Satin Scarf Gown
Size 2 -
26W 

Embellished
Cold Shoulder Dress
Size 1X - 3X
 

Carmen Marc Valvo
Peplum Gown
Size 2 - 18
 

Split Back Cape Dress
Size 14 - 24W
 

 

Teri Jon is a boon for women in the size 12 to 20 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 with extended sizes up to 26 frequently available through ModCloth.  British retailer ASOS offers red  carpet inspired fast fashion styles for those who want the look without the price tag in size 0 to 24W, with younger celebrities such as the Obama sisters spotted in looks at public events.  Curvy fast fashion retailer Eloquii has been spotted on celebrity red carpets recently with custom designs for full-figured stars.

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 @ Nordstrom Rack Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Designer Fashion @ Saks Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Nordstrom Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Evening Wear @ Teri Jon
Designer: ABS Allen Schwartz, Tulip Sleeve Gown, Size XL - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick
Also Available in Coral Red
Marina Rinaldi, Diacano Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick St John, Geometric Knit Dress, Size 0 - 16| ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Event Editor's Pick Teri Jon, Lace Shirtdress, Size 2- 20 | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Events Editor's Pick

ABS Allen Schwartz
Tulip Sleeve Gown

Size XL - 3X
 

Marina Rinaldi
Diacano Gown
Size 14 - 22W
 

St. John
Geometric Knit Dress

Size 0 - 16
 

Teri Jon
Lace Shirtdress

Size 2 - 20
 

 

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.  One of the best is Light in the Box.

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 which is consistently available in extended sizes at Lane Bryant, 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: Plus-Size Designer Clothes @ Lord & Taylor Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Dresses @ Dillard's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Eloquii Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Vintage Dresses @ Wardrobe Shop
Mac Duggal, Cut Out Gown, Size 14 -18W | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Event Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
High Low Evening Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Off the Shoulder Dress, Size 14 -28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Nataya, Vintage Tiered Dress, Size S- 3X | ElegantPlus.com Red Carpet Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Mac Duggal
Cut Out Gown
Size 14 - 18W

High Low Evening Gown
Size 14 - 22W
 

Off the Shoulder Dress
Size 14 - 28W 

Nataya
Vintage Tiered Dress
Size S - 3X
 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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