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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: December 20, 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 @ Dress Barn

Ellen Tracy, Classic Black Cocktail Dress, Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Navy Blue Beaded Drop Waist Flapper Dress, Sizes 14-24W | Editor's Pick

Ivory Floral Lace Sheath, Sizes 4-24W | Editor's Pick

Ellen Tracy
Classic Cocktail Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Beaded Drop Waist Dress
Size 14  - 24W

Ivory Floral Lace Sheath
Size 4 - 24W

Plus-Size Retro & Modern Vintage Dresses Report
[Shopping Resources & More Editor's Picks Below]


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 @ Dillard's

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

Contrast Collar Knit Swing Dress, Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick

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

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

Striped Skater Dress, Size 1X - 3X | Editor's Pick

Contrast Collar
 Knit Swing Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Cocktail Jacket Dress
Size 6 - 24W

Pearl Trim Ponte Knit Sheath
Size 14 - 24W

Striped Skater Dress
Size 1X - 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: Vintage & Retro Plus Size Clothing @ ModCloth

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

Drop Waist Black Lace Tea Dress, 1920's, Size 2 -28W | Editor's Pick

Swiss Dot, Tulle Cocktail Dress, Size S - 4X | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Chi Chi London, Champagne Gilt Lace Cocktail Dress, Size 2 -26 | Editor's Pick

Red Beaded Collar Belted Day Dress, Size 14 - 24W | Editor's Pick

Dropped Waist
Black Lace Tea Dress

Size 2 - 28W

Swiss Dot
Tulle Cocktail Dress
Size S
- 4X

Chi Chi London
Champagne Gilt Lace Dress

Size 2 - 26

 Belted Beaded Collar Dress
Sizes 14 - 24W


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. The formalwear collection includes labels such as Mac Duggal.   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.  Youthful, fast fashion retailer Torrid often has a vintage edge including both 1950's swing styles and looks with darker, goth edge.  With the popularity of the BoHo look over the last year, 1970's maxi dresses can also turn up for size XL to 6X.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Retro Style @ eShakti

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 @ Eloquii

Pleat Chiffon Drop Waist Dress, Size 0 - 36W  | Editor's Pick

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

Polka Dot Bodice Swing Dress, Size 14 - 28W | Editor's Pick

Classic Shirt Dress, Size 12 - 24W | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Pleat Chiffon
Drop Waist Dress
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

Floral Jacquard Dress
16 - 22W

Polka Dot Bodice
Swing Dress
Size 14 - 28W

Classic Shirt Dress
Size 14 - 24W


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 Her Room.  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

Johnny Was, Rayon-Silk Velvet Maxi, Size 1X - 3X | Editor's Pick

Varisty Sweater Dress, Size 12 - 26W | Editor's Pick

Rachel Pally, Jersey Maxi, Plus-Size 1X - 3X | Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

 Vince Camuto, Embossed Velvet Sheath, Size 14 - 22W | Editor's Pick

Johnny Was
Rayon Silk Velvet Maxi

1X - 3X

Varsity Sweater Dress
Size 1
2 - 26W

Rachel Pally
Jersey Maxi

Size 1X - 3X

Vince Camuto
Embossed Velvet 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