Choosing Fabulous Plus Size Evening Wear

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dressy-tops-and-jeansDays are gone when plus-sized women had to be disappointed while buying a beautiful dress as they had to adjust with whichever design and style in dresses that were available for their sizes. Today’s designers create well-fitting lovely dresses for plus-size customers. However there is not any one size in the fashion world where you can start looking for plus size dresses; actually, it depends a lot on the designer and the shop. Some shops take 18 as a plus size, while some others go down even up to 12 to consider it as plus size. You can get more stylish alternatives like tea length plus size dresses partly because of the rise of plus-size celebs like Dana Elaine Owens and models like Natalie Laughlin. It is because of these famous women that the world of fashion and style is now open for plus-size women too.

Various Plus-size Body Shapes and Dressing Them

It is well-known that every woman has her own body shape and it is important that she should dress up to suit that shape. Remember that there is not any one size that fits everyone. Plus size is classified in five categories like apple, pear, rectangular, hourglass and petite.


Apple Shape

An all-over-round shape is called apple shape where the waist is usually wider than bust, hips and shoulders. It is also called inverted triangle shape because of the narrower hips and legs than the top portion.


Dressing an Apple Shaped Body: As heavier part is around the stomach and upper body in an apple shape, emphasis should be given on hips and legs while buying a dress. Here, fabrics that are loose fitting like silk and cotton, and small and simple patterns rather than big and flashy ones should be chosen. Small patterns give an illusion of length rather than width. Also darker colors are desirable for apple shape because they make the body look smaller than its real size. Another great way to create an illusion of slimness is to wear dresses having folds in the stomach part. Keep away from styles that sport pockets or pleats, or gather around the waistline.

Pear Shape

Pear shape means bottom heavier than top, commonly with slim neck, and narrow back and shoulders. Typically this shape has medium sized bust and waist, and most of the weight is held in rear end, thighs and calves. Because of this, this shape is also called triangle shape, wider at the bottom and thinning towards the top.


Dressing a Pear Shaped Body: As the upper part of pear-shaped body is small, it should be accentuated by the dress you choose. A dress emphasizing on the neckline, for example, will draw attention from the bottom part or small shoulders and neck. A halter style neckline is perfect for this, where the neck is wrapped by straps for support, comfort and style. Also spaghetti straps and strapless designs can be appealing styles for the pear shape, as they will put more attention to shoulders and make the body look more balanced.

Regarding the waistline, an empire fit where the waistline is higher up, almost below the bust, is the most flattering for pear-shaped women. A-line dresses that fit more on the top portion of the body are best for pear shape because it draws more attention to shoulders, bust and waist, from the heavier lower portion.

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Rectangular Shape

In a rectangular shape, curves are limited or even none. The shape looks like going straight up and down, with an average size of bust, undefined waist, full neck and back and usually thin legs and arms.


Dressing a Rectangular Shape Body: You should be careful while choosing plus size evening wear for a rectangular shape about styles that can give illusion of curves on the usually curveless shape. For this purpose, A-line dresses are the most appropriate, as they flare out towards the bottom to give illusion of curves in the lower body. Length should be just above or at the knee, but not longer so that it will emphasize the shapely legs.

Hourglass Shape

Hourglass is the most feminine, and therefore most desirable, shape of all for any woman whether she is slim or plus-sized. Medium to large hips and bust, and a waist that is around ten inches less than them are the characteristics of hourglass figure.


Dressing an Hourglass Shaped Body: Finding a dress for hourglass figure is quite easier. Especially if the dress is form fitting, focusing more on the narrower waistline, it is very appealing. These include wrap dresses, belted styles and tie waist. While choosing neckline, make it a point to choose U-neck or V-neck which will add length to the body and emphasize waistline more. Length just above the knee or a little longer will also emphasize the smaller waistline.

Petite Shape

Sometimes more than the shape, a woman’s height should be taken into consideration. Petite women are usually less than five and a half feet in height and should be careful while choosing dresses.


Dressing a Petite Body: If in addition to being petite, the woman is plus-sized, dresses appearing too large should be avoided. Try to seek a dress containing draping that will skim across the body easily and reveal some movement unlike being too clingy or tight. Horizontal stripes should also be avoided by petite but plus-sized women that make them look wider than they actually are. Also it is advisable to go with small prints and plain designs because they will enhance a plus-sized petite figure. Flashy, oversized patterns may look overwhelming, resulting in an unattractive look for this specific body type. If you are shorter and are looking for a statement to make with an outfit, choose a plain dress which will achieve that and pair it up with accessories like a necklace or a larger pair of earrings.

We are fortunate to have a lot more options for plus-sized women than before. It just needs practice and experimenting to achieve a stylish look, and also an understanding what looks good on our particular body shape. Take a look at an extensive array of plus-sized dresses and also plenty of useful tips at


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