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Shopping Guide for Plus Size Cocktail Dresses

Wendy is a journalist who has been writing online since 2007 on topics such as plus size fashion, learning languages, and traveling.

Plus Size Model Wearing A Smart Two-Piece Suit

Katya Zharkova Plus Size Super Model

Katya Zharkova Plus Size Super Model

Finding The Perfect Cocktail Dress

Everywoman dreams of finding the perfect cocktail dress that will make her feel confident, sensual and self assured enhancing her best features and disguising her less loved ones. Unfortunately, when you wear a plus size, things get complicated and the hunt for the perfect cocktail dress to leave your friends speechless can quickly become a nightmare.

Going shopping with your slim friends, seeing them trying on small sized beautiful dresses when all that is left for your size are black shapeless dresses can leave you close to depression. But there is no need to despair. Thankfully more and more designers and shops are now catering for those of us who find it difficult to find a dress that hugs our curves in the right places. These days, mainly thanks to the internet you can find lovely fitting dresses in plus sizes for every occasion and budget.

Torrid Plus Size Stripe Skater Dress

Torrid Plus Size Stripe Skater Dress

Torrid Plus Size Stripe Skater Dress

Buy your Plus Size Dress Online

Hundreds of women are discovering the delight of buying their plus size clothes online.  Unlike your local mall which caters mainly for small sizes, online you can find virtually hundreds of stores exclusively carrying plus size fashion apparel and accessories that look good and that are available in your size. 

Over the years the amount of plus size stores available online has grown tremendously, and the quality of fashion available has improved. Plus size stores online are now able to satisfy all tastes, occasions and sizes.

Plus Size Cocktail Dress With Contrasting Side Lace Panels To Give You a Knockout Hourglass Silhouette.

The silky stretch fabric on the front of the dress elegantly flatters your curves while the ruching in the mid-section masks any tummy troubles.

The silky stretch fabric on the front of the dress elegantly flatters your curves while the ruching in the mid-section masks any tummy troubles.

How To Look Good In A Plus Size Dress

Tips for buying a cocktail dress in plus sizes:

  • Choose curve hugging designs that enhance your best areas and disguise the problem ones. For example, if you have a prominent and firm bust, but you don’t have a defined waist; the best design for you is a figure hugging one on top and loose at the bottom. Like the Empire dress on the right. The empire design will bring attention to your bust and take the attention away from your waist and hips.

  • Use different materials to enhance your good areas when choosing a dress. For example a small bust can be enhanced with a ruffled top or a beaded top to bring attention to your upper body.

  • If you have flabby arms it is better to wear dresses with a sleeve to hide the problem area. There are several lengths and styles of sleeves to choose from.

  • When deciding on the colour, try to stay clear of white. If you like light colours go for a slightly tinted one rather than plain white which is harsher on your silhouette.

  • Stay clear of bold, big patterns. I once bought myself a beautifully cut flowery dress. The dress was in the right size and it looked fantastic on the mannequin but when I wore it I was completely drawn by the big red roses that formed the pattern. I looked as if I had immediately gone two sizes up. The lesson to be learnt from this? Be careful when choosing patterned dresses. The pattern can make all the difference to your overall look. If you like to wear patterns it is better to wear small patterns like animal prints or very small flowers preferably in one shade of colour rather than multicolour.

  • Avoid anything that attempts to hide your figure; it will only make you look bigger and shapeless.
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  • Don’t be a fashion victim. As a full figured woman you cannot follow all the latest trends in fashion (let’s be realistic here, no one can follow all the trends). Try to find those trends that translate well into larger sizes and flatter your shape. For example, if you have an hourglass figure, dresses in vintage 50s inspiration are going to work wonders for you. Avoid the 80s inspired shoulder pads if you have a heavy top but go for them if you have a small top and a heavy bottom as they will balance your figure.

Plus Size Little Black Dress

Women's Plus-Size Printed Mesh with Satin Trim Dress

Women's Plus-Size Printed Mesh with Satin Trim Dress

Halter Neck Cocktail Dresses

I love the halter neck style in a dress because it provides excellent support for heavy breasts. The green halter neck on the right is perfect for women who have a round bust and a relatively small waist because it enhances the bust line, shows off a trim waist and falls effortlessly over the hips. The cut has the added bonus that it makes you feel really sexy as soon as you step in it. You can wear it for a cocktail party of even for a more special event. You can wear it with a matching scarf to cover your arms if you are worried about them.

Plus Size Fashion Tips for wearing a cocktail dress

Wrap Dresses

Wrap dresses help you look effortlessly chic without much effort; they are a wardrobe staple,

Simple, yet elegant elements such as a wrap silhouette and 3/4 length sleeves could be the foundations of a flattering dress.

The wrap dress below is a classic wrap dress. Collarless, 3/4 length sleeved true wrap with self-tie belt. 96% Polyester, 4% Spandex for a comfortable wear. This dress also features princess seams that run along the front and back to create beautiful shape. All shapes look amazing in this dress.

Essential Wrap Dress

Essential Wrap Dress in plus size from Kiyonna

Essential Wrap Dress in plus size from Kiyonna

Animal Print Dress

If you like prints, this animal print dress is perfect in all sizes.  The little print allows the eye to perceive the pattern as one solid colour –with an slimming effect- while at a closer look, the animal print adds wilderness and modernity to your look.

Paisley Goddess Dress

This is another of my favourite dresses. I love its goddess style empire bust. Perfect for plus size women with a small bust. The dress is made in a flattering stretchy material and for those who are not fond of the monochromatic look it offers a perfect balance of black, white and shades of grey.

Where to Buy Sexy Plus Size Cocktail Dresses

If you want to buy plus size dresses Be Beautiful, Be Bold, Be You, Trendy Plus Size Women's Fashion at is the best place to find fashionable clothing for young women size 12 to 26. With Torrid style, size is no limit to how fabulous you can be.

Torrid has a unique women’s plus-size fashion line inspired by fashion icons, runway shows, music and pop culture. Now, they have also added to their own collection styles from hot labels like Betsey Johnson and Jezebel. Torrid is the destination for trendy plus-size fashion.

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© 2009 Wendy Iturrizaga


Anil Vishwakarma from Hyderabad, India on October 22, 2020:

Informative post, I really appreciate.

Pineapplege on June 14, 2011:

Those beautiful cocktail dresses displayed here make me feel that i want to attend evening party.

LaurenLL on May 18, 2011:

This is great post, I really appreciate this.

Udreamybridal on September 06, 2010:

This is really a great post. I love the dresses so much. Useful.

prettydarkhorse from US on February 26, 2010:

very nice hub and I like most specially the leopard dress, Maita

More2luv from UK on February 10, 2010:

Great plus size hub here Princessa Many Thanks

Isabelle22 from Somewhere on the coastline on January 20, 2010:

I love the way you write hubs for the larger figure. It is about time somebody did women are not all Twiggys.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on January 19, 2010:

Thanks for all your comments. Happy to hear that you like my selection :)

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on January 18, 2010:

Wonderful selection of dresses Princessa!

Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on January 03, 2010:

Great tips and beautiful dresses. You are so right about the mall. My daughter is not a plus but is very tall and big boned because of it. She is getting to where she cannot find anything. It is driving her nuts.

nikki1 on December 27, 2009:

Hi.. great hub.

JeannieRyan on December 24, 2009:

Great hub, very informative and what beautiful dresses!

SwiftlyClean from Texas on December 24, 2009:

Great hub,Princessa Right for the holiday shopping.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on December 21, 2009:

ethel smith: Yes, they come at a very affordable price.

sweetie1: That's right, one of the main problems is getting the right size, which is difficult if your top size does not match your bottom size.

Sandyspider: glad you liked it :)

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on December 21, 2009:

Very nice hub!

Nicola Mo on December 15, 2009:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Some great tips for us voluptuous girls.

xunlei on December 11, 2009:


sweetie1 from India on December 10, 2009:

Hi princessa,

You have rightly pointed out it is very important to have right size of dress esp when it is formal function. I have seen many ladies trying to fit in the dress rather than the other way round and they are butt of jokes in the party.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on December 10, 2009:

Some lovely dresses princessa and they are reasonably priced.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on December 10, 2009:

H P Roychoudhury: yes, a perfect dress enhances all the best areas and that in itself makes a woman feel confident and happy about the way she looks.

gramon1: That is so right, beauty is not only an exterior thing, it mainly comes from within, confidence and self assurance are the most important points to make someone feel pretty.

Guillermo Ramon from Miami on December 10, 2009:

Beauty is part how we look, part how we feel about ourselves, and part how we feel about others. A beautiful dress makes a woman feel beautiful. This, in turn, makes her beautiful. After all, the number one feature of beauty is the smile!

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on December 10, 2009:

A perfect cocktail dress makes a woman beautiful to be proud and happy – to be looked by everybody with praise and worthy.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on December 10, 2009:

Triplet Mom: you are welcome!

Triplet Mom from West Coast on December 09, 2009:

Wow some really gorgeous dresses. Thanks for sharing!!

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