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Elegant Plus Shopping Guide & Editor's Picks:  Wedding Gowns in Size 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:  March 28, 2016


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Saks Fifth Avenue Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: David's Bridal @ Amazon Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Light in the Box

Designer Formalwear

Designer: Theia, Petal Gown, Size 0 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Jewel Illusion Mermaid Gown, Size 16 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Storybook Wedding Dress, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Petal Appliqué Gown
Size 2 - 18

 Jewel Illusion Mermaid Gown
Size 16 - 24W

Storybook Wedding Dress
Size 2 - 26W

Plus-Size Wedding Dress Report, Size 12 +
[Shopping Resources & More Editor's Picks Below]

Brides come in all different age brackets.  Some are first time brides with visions of big, over the top fantasy weddings characterized by elaborate ball gown.  Others are beach or afternoon garden affairs. Marriages for older or second time brides are often celebrated with simpler or more casual looks.  Evening or church suits are very popular, or gowns with with jackets or illusion sleeves.

 Theme weddings are frequently influenced by fantasy or period costume movie and television events such as The Great Gatsby, Downton Abbey, or Game of Thrones. Vintage dresses with a Bohemian or retro 50's style are among the most popular.  With this diversity in tastes and traditions, classic white is no longer the only color of choice with more and more brides opting for ivory, champagne or blush, and tinted and colored gowns.  Even colors such as crimson red and black are being worn. (For non-pastels, see the other plus-size evening wear pages.)

Plus-size brides still have a difficult time finding wedding dresses to suit their needs, but options are getting better especially for those who are looking for more formal gowns which were once virtually impossible to find.  Most formal dress shops can order larger sizes, but waits can be up to 12 to 15 weeks.  Direct from wholesale sites that have sprung up on the internet in recent years have shortened the wait time considerably, giving brides plenty of time for final alterations and fittings with a local tailor. 

Those looking for dresses and gowns for full-figured member of the wedding party will want to check out the mother-of-the-bride selection, and bridesmaid dress pages. 

Finishing touches often include designer shoes and undergarments with shaping technologies.   Traditional wedding accessories such as veils, garters, wraps, hosiery, and jewelry can help make a look uniquely your own and the day extra special.

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Shop @ Nordstrom

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Retro & Vintage Dresses @ ModCloth Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Dresses @ Kiyonna Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Flapper Dresses @ Unique Vintage

Designer: Tadashi Shoji, Embroidered Sequin Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Embroidered Satin Wedding Dress, Size 2 -26 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Ivory Lace Illusion Sleeve Gown, Size 10 - 32W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

BoHo Vintage Style Wedding Dress, Sizes S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

  Tadashi Shoji
Embroidered Sequin Gown
Size 14 - 22W

Embroidered Satin Dress
Size 2 - 26

 Ivory Lace
Illusion Sleeve Dress
Size 10 - 32W

 Tinted Vintage Style Gown
Size S - 3X


Please note that most formal evening wear is sized in misses, rather than women's plus, and can run smaller than to what you are used. Women's (plus) sizing uses a "W" at the end of the size number, while Misses does not.  For example size 14W is women's/plus and size 14 is Misses. Misses sizing can cause you to need two to three sizes larger numerically than women's sizing. This is normal as they are different cuts, and tailoring will provide the perfect fit for your unique body shape.  Always check size charts, get someone to help you with taking your measurements, and order the size that matches most closely your measurements where the garment style fits most snuggly to the body. 

Formalwear also fits and looks best when the right shape wear is worn underneath.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Special Occasion Jacket Dresses & Evening Suits @ Ashro

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Evening Wear & Cocktail Dresses @ Dillards Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Macy's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Neiman Marcus

White Cape Dress, Size 6 - 26W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

3/4 Sleeve Lace Tulle Wedding Gown, Size 0 - 36W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

White Lace Shift Dress, Plus-Size XL - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Designer: Teri Jon, Off -the-Shoulder High-Low Gown, Size 4 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

White Cape Dress
Size 6 - 26W

 Lace Tulle Gown
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

 Lace Shift Dress
Size XL - 3X

 Teri Jon
High-Low Dress
Size 4 - 16

Internet Shopping for Plus-Size Wedding Gowns & Dresses

One of the biggest contributions to wedding shopping provided by the internet is the direct access to factory manufacturers by individual brides which can save hundreds of dollars on dresses for the entire wedding party.  Most of these sites offer formal dresses and gowns up to size 26W, with alterations for petites and talls, and larger sizes available for a small fee. Mainly displayed in either white or ivory, many are available in other colors and tints. They can also be an invaluable resource for bridal accessories such as veils, gloves, shawls, and sashes. Shipping times to the U.S.A. are often quite quick and free. One of the best is Light in the Box.

Plus-size brides planning formal weddings will want to stop by one of the oldest plus-exclusive wedding boutiques on the internet, Sydney's Closet.  Committed to designing styles that fit and flatter voluptuous bodies and displaying options on full-figured models, wedding dresses often come as large as 34W. Samples in size 16W - 18W go on sale for deep discounts here, also.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Amsale Formalwear @ Nordstrom

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Teri Jon Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Flapper Dresses @ Unique Vintage Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ TB Dress

Amsale, Strapless Silk Chiffon Gown, Size 12 - 24 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Tints & Colors Available

Teri Jon, Blush Tulle Lace Applique Gown, 4 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Chiffon Three Quarter Sleeve Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Antique Lace Gown, Sizes 2-26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Strapless Silk Gown
Size 12 - 24

 Teri Jon
Tulle Lace Appliqué Gown
Size 4 - 16

 3/4 Sleeve
Lace Chiffon Gown
Size S - 3X

 Lace Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Options from department stores and internet formalwear shops can be options for less formal brides.  Available off-the-rack, shipping times are quite quick leaving plenty of time for alterations.  Often simpler and more affordable than more elaborate formal gowns these can be good choices for women who are planning more casual weddings. 

Neiman Marcus has a Wedding Shop that can be a resource for the curvy size 12 to 18 woman who is looking for something special from labels such as Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, and Carmen Marc Valvo to name a few that regularly pop up. Even more options can often be found out on their main evening wear rack in both white and tints.  Saks Fifth Avenue can also have some luxury label finds for the full-figured size 12 to 16 crowd with names such as Marchesa Notte, Monique Lhuillier, and Escada dresses regularly available.

Dillard's will often stock upscale and designer formalwear styles suitable for older or second time brides in champagne, cream, and ivory.  Many have matching jackets, sleeves, or illusion bodices. Expect to find upscale labels such as Terani Couture, Tadashi Shoji, and Adrianna Papell.  Sizes here run from 0 to 28W.

While Nordstrom has an entire wedding department with dresses up to size 18, many of those are available in-store only.  However, the on-line wedding accessory section is one of the best available with jewelry, head pieces, veils, shoes, wraps, and clutches available to coordinate with wedding gowns and reception looks. White and other color formal gowns can be purchased directly plus-size Encore department to size 24W and we have from time-to-time spotted lovely options in silk and options from designers such as Tadashi Shoji and Monique Lhuillier. 


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Evening Wear & Cocktail Dresses @ Dillards

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Dresses & Accessories @ Nordstrom Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Bridal @ Sydney's Closet Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothes @ Midnight Velvet

Lace Jacket Dress, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Wedding Veil | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Styles Available

Lace Chiffon Gown, Size 24 - 32W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

White Satin Peplum Wedding Suit, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

 Lace Jacket Dress
Size 14 - 22W

 Wedding Veil

  Lace Chiffon Gown
Size 24 - 32W

 Satin Peplum Suit
Size 6 - 24W

Amazon is a surprising resource bringing together both large, well-known retailers and indie boutique owners in one easy to shop place.  Options and brands are constantly changing but it isn't unusual to find plus-size wedding dress styles from places like David's Bridal ready to ship immediately.

For the more eclectic or vintage bride some unusual spots to look Unique Vintage which offers both Art Deco flapper dresses and 50's style New Look silhouettes in plus to size 4X.  Check the "Prom" tab for formalwear from moderately priced to upscale evening wear labels such as Mac Duggal, Mori Lee, and others.  Don't let the name fool you as more sophisticated designs with a high end vintage feel are also available for sizes up to 30W.  This can be an especially good place to find gowns in pale tints such as blue, silver, champagne, and blush.   eShakti has begun offering a special occasion and bridal collection, often in finer fabrics such as silk, lace, and tulle, which can be customized with sleeves, neck lines, and hem length for a small extra fee in sizes 0 to 36W.

Meanwhile, vintage and retro inspired internet retailer ModCloth has been growing both it's plus collection in sizes up to 26, and it's special occasion dress collection.  For those planning a less formal wedding with a romantic or vintage flavor this shopping spot can be a find.

Second time and older brides looking for evening suits will want check out the options at Women's Suits.  African-American focused cataloguer Ashro also regularly has an excellent collection of evening suits and jacket dresses in shades of white in stock in size 6 to 26W.  Meanwhile, indie plus designer Kiyonna offers a small, but beautiful, collection wedding dresses and gowns to size 32W.


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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