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Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides >> Plus-Size Vintage Style Dresses

Elegant Plus Shopping Guide & Editor's Picks:  Plus-Size Retro and Vintage Style Dresses in Sizes 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 12, 2015




Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Fashion @ Amazon

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

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

Retro Red Silk Dress, Sizes 0-36W | Editor's Pick
Silk Dress Size 0 - 36W

Bird Print Dress, Size 14 - 22W | Editor's Pick

Teal Jacquard Party Dress, Sizes 14-24W | Editor's Pick

Fringed Dropped Waist Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick


Bird Print Dress
Size 14 - 22W

Jacquard Party Dress
Size 14  - 24W

Fringed Drop Waist Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Plus-Size Retro & Modern Vintage Dresses Report

Plus-size dresses style influences are coming from many different vintage eras, both through modern high fashion designer collections using the past as points of reference and through movies and television shows set in other eras. Whether it's Mad Men 1950's and 60's bombshell chic with faint echoes of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, the beaded glam of the 1920's Gatsby style, or the aristocratic romanticism of Downton Abbey, the modern interpretations are often fun and slightly nostalgic.  The mod pop art style of the 1960's, the bohemian free spiritedness of Woodstock, and disco nights of the 1970's are all turning up in style trends today. Major museum fashion retrospective exhibitions such as those put on by The Metropolitan Museum of Art also play an important role in vintage style influences.

Authentic plus-size vintage dresses are almost impossible to find, although many silhouettes are very flattering to the fuller figure. Fortunately, the current interest and re-interpretation of retro fashion for a modern vintage flavor is making many of those dress styles available in larger sizes at a wide variety of price points. 

Some eras are more suited to cocktail dresses and evening wear, while others are perfect matches for day dress and career styles. Certain style eras are also particularly popular with very specific style tribes and sub-sets, while others are entering mainstream fashion.  Interpretations are often available for both the young, trendy fatshionista, and her more mature counterparts as the vintage style influence enters the mainstream.  Some of the more glamorous and romantic vintage styles are making the biggest impact in wedding and formalwear.


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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Monroe & Main

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

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

Mod Print Shift, Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick

Metallic Silver Jacket Dress, Size 6 - 24W | Editor's Pick

Color Block Fit & Flare Dress, Sizes 4-22W | Editor's Pick

Retro Faux Suede Shift Dress, Size S - 3X | Editor's Pick

Mod Print Shift
Size 14 - 24W

Cocktail Jacket Dress
Size 6 - 24W

Color Block Fit & Flare Dress
Size 4 - 22W

Faux Suede Shift
Size S - 3X


Shopping Resources for Plus-Size Dresses with Vintage Flair

Modcloth is quickly becoming the style leader in this sector with dress options expanding from 1950's New Look fit and flare silhouettes to other eras.  Swing dresses, vintage prints, romantic Victorian and Edwardian nostalgia, and bohemian styles are turning up more and more frequently from indie designers with small production runs, so act fast if you see something that you like. Both day dresses and special occasion styles suitable for trend conscious shoppers, they have a growing collection of options in sizes up to 3X, 4X and a few 5X styles.

eShakti is also a must-stop for those who appreciate retro and vintage silhouettes and prints.  Mainly in natural fibers, they too are expanding their collections from mainly 1940's and 1950's references to other periods.  An extensive collections that changes frequently this is another spot for day dresses suitable for casual, career, and occasions.  Everything is available in their full size range from 0 to 36W, with easy customization options available for a small fee including sleeves, necklines and hem lengths.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Women's Fashion @ Pyramid Collection

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

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

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

Fringed Lace Tunic Dress, Size 6 -28W | Editor's Pick

Hell Bunny, Swing Dress, Plus-Size 2x - 4X | Editor's Pick

Vintage Silver Grey Lace Dress, Size XL - 5X | Editor's Pick

Chi Chi London, Organza Cocktail Dress, Size 2 -26 | Editor's Pick

Fringed Lace Tunic Dress
Size 6 - 28W

Hell Bunny
Retro Swing Dress

Size 2
X - 4X

Silver Grey Lace Dress
Size XL - 5X

 Chi Chi London
Organza Cocktail Dress
Sizes 2 - 26W


The Pyramid Collection catalog offers an unusual collection of vintage inspired fashion that often can have a goth, steampunk, or Ren Fair flavor in addition to excellent options for summer festival fashion steeped in the 1960's. Many styles are available up to a 3X; be sure to read individual product sizing as some are 3X = 20, and others 3X = 28W.

Contemporary plus-specialty designer Kiyonna has long been a favorite for both their vintage inspired lace cocktail dresses and free flowing jersey maxi dresses suitable for BoHo princesses in sizes to 32W.  Upscale designers Rachel Pally and Melissa Masse are also excellent resources for maxi dress styles with retro flavors in sizes to 3X. 

Unique Vintage carries a mix of mid 20th century style day dresses including swing, wiggle, and classic 1950's New Look silhouettes, in addition to beaded Flapper Dresses from the 1920's in sizes up to 4X.  Meanwhile, curvy lingerie retailer Hips & Curves regularly stocks clothes with a Goth, Renaissance Fair, and Steampunk vibe in size XL to 6X.

Those on tighter budgets looking for daytime looks that are appropriate for work will find the Eva Mendes celebrity capsule collection at New York & Company both vintage infused and affordable with sizing from 0 to 18.  Even more options are available through a subscription with Gwynnie Bee in size 10 to 32W where members can borrow from their extensive closet for a low monthly fee.


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

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

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Women's Fashion @ Bon Ton

Aqua Floral Jersey Fishtail Dress, Size 10 - 28W  | Editor's Pick

Retro Glam Lace Dress, Size 1X - 4X| Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Plaid Swing Dress, Size 12 - 30W | Editor's Pick

Calvin Klein, Drop Waist Fringed Sweater Dress, Size 1X - 3X | Editor's Pick

Aqua Floral Jersey Dress
Size 1
0 - 28W

Retro Glam Lace Dress
1X - 4X

Plaid Swing Dress
Size 12 - 30W

Calvin Klein
Drop Waist
Fringed Sweater Dress
Size 1X - 3X


For plus-size cocktail dresses with a romantic vintage feel, the major upscale department stores such as Nordstrom and Dillard's regularly stock labels such as Alex Evenings, Pissarro Nights, and Patra.  Dillard's has also begun stocking luxury formalwear, including many long gowns with sleeves, from labels such as Terani Couture, Mac Duggal, and Mori Lee which frequently have vintage style influences in size 14 to 28W.

Meanwhile, Saks Fifth Avenue is a source for plus-size evening gowns from designers such as Tadashi Shoji who frequently design a similar feel, and the vintage bohemian label Johnny Was that offers casual day dresses in silk can be found from Neiman Marcus

Finishing Touches

Shapewear is absolutely essential for achieving the silhouettes of many vintage styles.  This isn't about looking thinner so much as achieving structure, smooth body lines, and a particular shape.  One of the best collections for plus-size women is available from Avenue for size XL to 4X.  Those looking for vintage style corsets will find a gorgeous selection especially for voluptuous figures at Hips & Curves with select style fitting as large as 6X.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Designer Clothing @ Saks Fifth Avenue

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

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

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Lord & Taylor

Tadashi Shoji, Red Lace Cocktail Dress, Size 14 - 22W | Editor's Pick

Vintage Style Cocktail Dress, Size 12 - 26W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Marina Rinaldi, Gold Sequin Gatsby Party Dress, Plus-Size 14 - 22W | Editor's Pick

 Vince Camuto, Floral Sheath Dress, Size 14 - 22W | Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji
Red Lace Cocktail Dress

14 - 22W

Cocktail Dress
Size 1
2 - 26W

Marina Rinaldi
Sequin Gatsby Party Dress
Size 14 - 22W

Vince Camuto
Floral Sheath

14 - 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 dresses for full-figured women size 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, L, XL, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X