Creating a great wardrobe is all about having quality clothing that fits in it. No matter your shape, size or skin tone, you'll always look great in jeans, suits or dresses made from durable materials that fit your plus size formal dress size.
Some women, however, have a hard time feeling confident in their clothing choices—especially dresses. Looking great means dressing for your body type and drawing attention to what makes you feel good about yourself. This guide will help any woman find the plus size dresses that best suit her curvaceous figure and style.
Plus size dresses come in many different styles. Each highlights or de-emphasizes one or more features. Here, we'll break down the most common types of dress styles and help you determine which one is right for your figure and curves.
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The A-line dress silhouette creates an hourglass impression. An A-line dress is fitted at the top and torso, then flares out in a triangular fashion at the waist. This style truly fits women of all shapes, especially plus sizes - whether you're considering a plus size starting at a size 12, 14, or 16.
Over the past few years, you've probably seen several dresses with ruffles at the waist. Known as a "peplum," this style is perfect for creating a curvaceous, hourglass figure. While the underlying construction of a ruffle dress is similar to a sheath dress, the added ruffle partially wraps around the natural waist and flares out a few inches. This makes the waist appear smaller compared to the shoulders and hips. This means that ruffled dresses are suitable for people with oblong or oval figures, who want the waist to balance with the rest of the body. This is a fitted dress for plus size women.
Women with a fuller figure should opt for oversized A-line dresses made from stronger fabrics like cotton, rayon, denim, and polyester, rather than flowy, body-hugging options like silk and satin. The stiffer material retains the shape of the skirt, making its flattering features suitable for a variety of body types.
Also, check out this article on the best slimming dresses for fuller body types.
These dresses fit close to your bust rather than your natural waist, emphasizing your upper body rather than your lower body. This dressing style is suitable for women with oval, rectangular or triangular shapes, as it draws attention upwards while draping nicely in the lower bust area. High-waisted dresses come in a variety of lengths, from short tunics and mini dresses to flowy floral-print versions that resemble maxi dresses and sweep the floor.
Comfortable, effortless shift dresses are perfect for the woman who likes casual cool style. This type of dress does not have a built-in waistline, but falls directly from the shoulders. Shift dresses are great for women with shoulders that are the same width as the waist or wider than the waist, such as oblong and apple shapes. These can be a variety of materials, including knitted sweater dresses.
A corset dress was a garment worn in the 17th and 18th centuries, with panels that could wrap part or all of the torso. These "corsets" may or may not have boning or shape to emphasize the waist, but they usually have lace detailing on the back. The bodice and/or lace construction allows the panels to gather at the waist, push up the bust and loosen at the hips, creating an exaggerated hourglass shape. Because this dress style physically enhances your figure, it's perfect for any body type, but it's an especially flattering plus-size dress style!
Off-the-shoulder dresses are designed to show off your plunging neckline, and have sleeves that are usually at least an inch thick and wrap around your shoulders rather than front to back. This effect adds weight to the upper body, making off-the-shoulder dresses ideal for women whose balanced shoulders are narrower than their hips. Wearing an A-line off-the-shoulder dress can also create an hourglass figure for women with rectangular shapes.
The high waist cinches just under the bust, not at your natural waistline. This emphasizes your upper body and is a great choice for women with triangular, rectangular or oval body types.
Just because you've found the right silhouette doesn't mean you've made a decision! Choosing the best plus size dresses also involves finding flattering shades and matching your outfit to the occasion.
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