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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.  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 28, 2017


Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Saks Fifth Avenue Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Customizable Dresses @ EShakti Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Light in the Box
White Dresses

Designer: Marina Rinaldi, White Damask Gown, Size 14 - 20W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Faux Wrap, High Low Gown, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Floral Lace Cape Gown, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Evening & Social Suits

Vintage Style Dresses
Evening Gowns
Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridal Lingerie

  Marina Rinaldi
White Damask Gown
Size 14 - 20W





 Faux Wrap
High Low Gown
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall





Floral Lace Cape Gown
Size 2 - 26W





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 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: Flapper Dresses @ Unique Vintage Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Shop @ Nordstrom

Tulle Midi Dress, Size 2 -26 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Beaded Halter White Tulle Gown, Size XS - 3X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Tulle Midi Dress
Size 2 - 26


Peplum Lace Gown
Size 10 - 32W

 Beaded Halter
Tulle Gown
Size XS - 3X

Tadashi Shoji
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: Special Occasion Jacket Dresses & Evening Suits @ Ashro

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Macy's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Eloquii

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

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

Carmen Marc Valvo, Metallic Burnout Gown, Size 10 - 16 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

White Cape Jacket Dress
Size 6 - 26W

Crochet Lace Shift
Size XL - 3X

 Carmen Marc Valvo
Metallic Burnout Gown
Size 10 - 16

 Bell Sleeve Shift Dress
Size 14 - 28W

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: Vintage Dresses @ Wardrobe Shop Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ TB Dress

Amsale, Tinted Chiffon Gown, Size 0 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Tints & Colors Available

Teri Jon, Jacquard Off the Shoulder Gown, Size 4 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Nataya, Romantic BoHo Vintage Cold Shoulder Wedding Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

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

Chiffon Gown
Size 0 - 18

 Teri Jon
Jacquard Off-the-Shoulder
Column Gown
Size 4 - 18

Flounced Cold Shoulder Gown
Size S - 3X

Mermaid 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: Women's Clothes @ Midnight Velvet

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Wedding Dresses & Accessories @ Nordstrom Retro Fashion @ Unique Vintage Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothes @ Zappos

Faux Pearl Button White Skirt Suit, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

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

Vintage Embroidered Tulle Dress, Size S - 4X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Cold Shoulder Jersey Maxi, Size 1X - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

 Faux Pearl Button
Skirt Suit
Size 6 - 24W

 Wedding Veil

  Vintage Embroidered
Tulle Dress
Size S - 4X

 Cold Shoulder
Jersey Maxi Dress
Size 1X - 4X

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.  The Wardrobe Shop is the go to for the stunning romantic, BoHo, and vintage inspired upscale designs of Nataya with a collection of wedding gowns and dresses in sizes S to 3X.

 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.


Stylish Plus Size Dresses & Separates



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Plus-size clothing featured is hand selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
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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