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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. 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. 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.


Last Update:  January 24, 2018


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Occasion and Formalwear @ JD Williams Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Light in the Box Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Macy's
White Dresses

Lace Trim Chiffon Gown, Size 8 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Beaded Tulle Wedding Gown, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Bell Sleeve Sheath Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Evening & Social Suits

Vintage Style Dresses
Evening Gowns
Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridal Lingerie

Lace Trim
Chiffon Gown
Size 8 - 28W



Beaded Tulle
Wedding Gown

Size 2 - 26W 



Lace Bell Sleeve
Sheath Dress

Size 14 - 24W



Babydolls, Chemise & Robes
Resort, Cruise, Honeymoon
Designer Formalwear
Tadashi Shoji
Mac Duggal
Terani Couture


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 with destination or more casual weddings planned are also more frequently buying white, ivory, and tinted dresses off the rack from mainstream retailers and department stores which reduces wait times to almost nothing.

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: Retro & Vintage Dresses @ ModCloth

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Dresses @ Kiyonna Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Customizable Dresses @ EShakti Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Shop @ Nordstrom

White Satin Tea Length Dress, Size XS - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

White Chiffon Dress, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Embellished Lace Column Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

White Satin
Tea Length Dress

Size XS - 4X


Ivory Lace Gown
Size 10 - 32W

 White Chiffon Dress
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

Lace Column Gown
Size 14 - 22W


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: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Eloquii

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Special Occasion Jacket Dresses & Evening Suits @ Simply Be Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Igigi

White Lace Bell Sleeve Sheath, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji, Eyelet Lace Dress, Size 2 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

White Crochet Lace Cold Shoulder Dress, Size 8 - 28W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Contrast Trim White Lace Dress, Size 12 - 32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Lace Bell Sleeve
Off-the-Shoulder Dress
14 - 28W

Tadashi Shoji
Eyelet Dress

Size 2 - 16

Crochet Lace
Cold Shoulder Dress
Size 8 - 28W

Contrast Trim
White Lace Dress

12 - 32W

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.

Tadashi Shoji is one of the best known formalwear designers on high end red carpets and global fashion week cat walks who extends sizing for full figures.  The bridal collection frequently has options available up to size 18, while the women's collection designed for sizes 14 to 24W will often offer white and pale pastel dresses appropriate for brides.  Styles have heavy romantic and vintage influences that are especially appealing to many brides.


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Gowns @ Tadashi Shoji

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Teri Jon Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ TB Dress Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Amsale Formalwear @ Nordstrom

Tadashi Shoji, Cut Out Chiffon Embroidered Gown, Size 0 -16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Teri Jon, Lilac Lace Column Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Amsale, Blush Low Back Crepe Gown, Size 0 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Tadashi Shoji
Embroidered Cut Out Chiffon Wedding Gown

Size 0 - 16

 Teri Jon
Lilac Lace Column Gown
Size 2 - 18

Mermaid Gown
Size 2 - 26W

Low Back Crepe Gown
Size 0 - 18

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 Theia, Lela Rose, Zac Posen, Badgley Mischka, 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. 


JD Williams regularly carries formalwear in lace or with beading, and pale tints and pastels are especially well represented in warmer months, although classic whites, champagnes, and pale silvers will often be available during the winter party and gala seasons. Joanna Hope's designs are especially well represented, including wedding gowns, in both long formal and shorter cocktail lengths for sizes 6 to 28W.

 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.    Meanwhile, indie plus designer Kiyonna offers a small, but beautiful, collection wedding dresses and gowns to size 32W. 




Stylish Plus Size Dresses & Separates




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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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Elegant plus-size formalwear and plus-size dresses for full-figured women size  12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30