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Your Favorite Internet Shopping Guide to Stylish Curvy Clothes: Size 12 +

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides
>> Plus-Size Classic Style Dresses

 
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: July 16, 2017

RELATED
SHOPPING GUIDES

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Knit Pocket Dress, Size 12 - 30W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Crinkle Shift Dress, Size 2 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Classic Dresses Editor's Pick
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Flutter Sleeve Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Knit Pocket Dress
Size 12 - 30W
 

Crinkle Shift Dress
Size 2 - 24W
Petite to 18
 

Flutter Sleeve Dress
Size
S - 3X
 

 

Classic style plus size dresses tend to have simple silhouettes, and come in classic colors and patterns.  Tailored lines are not unusual, although some are designed in easy-to-wear knits. Especially appealing to sporty types, those who prefer clean lines, and women who like to shop styles with long-lasting appeal, this type of dress is available at a variety of price points. Many plus-size designers offer fashion in modern classic styles. 

The style of classic plus-size dresses can range from casual to work attire to occasion dressing. Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and silk are not unusual. Some of the most classic silhouettes include fit and flare styles, wrap dresses, shift and sheath dresses, shirt dresses, and jersey t-shirt dresses.  The Little Black Dress for special occasions is the quintessential modern classic.

Colors are frequently dark or neutral, but seasonal color trends also play a part in this style category. Black, navy blue, red, khaki, and white are all classic staples.  When patterns are used it's not unusual for menswear inspired patterns such as plaid or stripes to be chosen.  Other classic prints are inspired from both preppy fashion, florals, and vintage repertoires.

 

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Burgundy Trellis Print Dress, Size 14 - 36W| ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Embroidered Cut Out Shift, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Mixed Striped Shirtdress, Sizes S-3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Flounce Hem Cotton Knit Dress,  Sizes 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Trellis Print Dress
Size
12 - 30W

 Embroidered Cut Out Shift
Size XS - 3X
Avg - Petite

Mixed Stripe Shirt Dress
Size S - 3X

Flounce Hem
Cotton Knit Dress

Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

 

Shopping Resources to Help You Find Just the Right Classic Dress

Available at a variety of price points, plus-size designer options are most readily available from department stores.  Some of the most upscale labels such as St. John are only available in extended misses sizes above size 12, while others such as Lafayette 148, Marina Rinaldi, and Kay Unger design lines specifically for fuller figures to 24W, all of which are regularly available at Saks Fifth Avenue.  

Leading, upscale formalwear and special occasion designer Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman devotes a spotlight section to their extended size cocktail dresses and evening gowns in sizes up to 20. Designs are characterized by fine fabrics including silk, clean modern classic lines, and exquisite tailoring.

Eileen Fisher is one of the most popular upscale, designer labels with simple, classic lines in natural fibers such as linen, silk, organic cotton, hemp, and fine wools.  Dresses tend to have loose easy silhouettes

 

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Eileen Fisher, Organic Linen Cotton Plaid Shift, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Tahari, Black Chiffon Dress, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Paisley Print Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Knit Tank Dress, Size S - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Eileen Fisher
Organic Linen Cotton
Plaid Shift
Size 1X - 3X
 

 Tahari
Black Chiffon Dress
Size
14 - 22W 

 

Paisley Print Dress
Size S - 3X

Knit Tank Dress
Size S - 3X
Petite to XL
 

 

Better, mid range designer diffusion labels with a classic flair often are work appropriate with classically tailored lines.  Look for labels such as MICHAEL Michael Kors, LAUREN Ralph Lauren, CHAPS Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein. Indie plus designers such as Melissa Masse, Rachel Pally, and Karen Kane (Size 2 to 24W) will also often work in classic silhouettes and colors which can be purchased through many of the better department stores such as Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor. Some of the best styles available from plus specialty designer Kiyonna are in jersey wrap and sheath silhouettes to size 10 to 32W.

Those who prefer stylish, upscale knits will enjoy the looks from Nic + Zoe for size XS to 3X, while more structured tailored styles are available from Tahari for size 2 to 24W.  Classic retailer Talbots stocks both casual and work appropriate styles, many of which are in natural fibers such as linen, silk, and cotton.  Noteworthy is their commitment to plus petites with many styles available from size 2 to 24W in both average and petite proportions.

 

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Striped Jacket Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Knit Wrap Dress, Size 1X - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Lace Dress, Size XS - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Ruffled Navy Chiffon Shift, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Striped Jacket Dress
Size 14 - 24W
 

Knit Wrap Dress
Size XL - 5X

Lace Shift
Sizes S -
3X 
Petite to XL
 

Navy Chiffon Shift
Size 14 - 22W

 

Catalogs and chain retailers also often a variety of casual to work appropriate and less formal social occasion dresses with modern classic vibe. Dress Barn is a leader in classic to contemporary dresses with a much deeper selection available on-line in women's sizes than in most retail locations in size 2 to 24W.  New York & Co is worth a stop not only for their tailored work styles at affordable price-points, but also for the Eva Mendes capsule collection in size 0 to 18.

 The newly resurrected Coldwater Creek line is now available exclusively on the internet with the modern classic collections loved by their loyal fans.  Dresses finish below the knee in simple silhouettes, classic colors and patterns, and quality fabrics in size S to 3X.

 

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Vince Camuto, Embellished Plum Cocktail Dress, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Embroidered Striped Shirt Dress, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Knit Dress, Size S - 2XL | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Embroidered Knit Dress, Size S- 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Vince Camuto
Embellished Cocktail Dress
Size 14 - 22W
 

Embroidered Striped
Shirtdress
Size 14 - 28W

 

Knit Knee Skimmer Dress
Size
S - 2XL

Embroidered Knit Dress
Size S - 3X
Petite to XL

 

North Style has a modern classic vibe with a small collection of unusual dresses in size S to 3X, while their sister catalog Serengeti offers more casual options in the same size range. Lands End is one of the best resources for casual styles with a preppy flavor with sizing available in misses, petite, and tall in size 0 to 18, and women's in size 14 to 26W. 

Those looking for special occasion dresses with a classic flavor will want to stop by Draper's and Damon's for sizes up to 24W.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus Size Dresses @ Avenue Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Clothing @ Lands End Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Macy's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Women's Clothing @ Simply BE
Multi Stripe Maxi, Size 14 - 32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Knit Fit & Flare Dress, Size 0 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
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Calvin Klein, Black Chiffon Overlay Maxi, Size XL -3X  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Jewel Trim Jacket Dress, Size 6 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Multi Stripe Maxi
Size 14 - 32W

Fit & Flare Dress
Size 0 - 26W
Petite & Tall to 18

Calvin Klein
Black Chiffon Overlay Maxi
Size XL - 3X

Jewel Trim Jacket Dress
Size 6 - 28W

 

On-line retailer, eShakti has a growing collection of sleek, modern classics with a faintly mid-20th century vintage flavor in sizes to 36W.  Catherine's is beginning to stock some looks with cleaner, more modern lines in size 16 to 34W, with plus petite sizes sometimes available in dresses in size XL to 5X.  They carry options for casual, resort, work, and special occasions at moderate price points with frequent sales and coupons available directly from the website bringing their looks down into more budgets.   Their sister retailer, Lane Bryant, has the 6th & Lane line which also tends toward cleaner, classic to contemporary lines in higher quality fabrics for work in size 14 to 28W.

 

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Grey Lace Dress, Size XL - 5X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Color Block Sheath Dress, Size 14 - 20W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Denim Shirt Dress, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Knit Skimmer Dress, Size 1X - 6X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Lace Dress
Size XL - 5X

Color Block Sheath Dress
Size 14 - 20W

Denim Shirt Dress
Size 6 - 24W
Petite to 16P

Knit Skimmer Dress
Size 1X - 6X

 

Value Priced Shopping Options

Those looking for inexpensive, yet classic looks will find good inventories at Avenue in easy care fabrics for size 14 to 32W.  Styles are mainly appropriate for work, but a few more casual and party styles are also available. 

Those looking for plus petite sizes at value prices will have good luck at Blair (Size S to 3X, Petite to 2XL) , and Bedford Fair and Old Pueblo Traders (Size 6 to 28W, Petite to 20P).

Flash sale sites such as 6PM can often turn up options at steep discounts from labels such as Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Vince Camuto.  Meanwhile Saks Off Fifth and Last Call are both great resources for tailored, luxury labels such as Lafayette 148 and Eileen Fisher at deep discounts.

 

 
 

 

 

 

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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.