Elegant Plus

Serving Savvy Web Shoppers Since 2002

Fashion Flash &
 Weekly Trend Reports
 

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

Plus-Size Clothing Internet Shopping Guides
>> Plus-Size Evening Gowns & Cocktail Dresses Appropriate for Military Balls

 
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: September 26, 2017

RELATED
SHOPPING GUIDES

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ City Chic Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Dresses @ TB Dress Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Dillard's
Satin High Low Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Bell Sleeve Mermaid Gown, Size 2 -26W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Lace Column Gown, Sizes 14-24W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Gown Editor's Pick

Satin High Low Gown
Size 14 - 24W 

Bell Sleeve Mermaid Gown
Size 2 - 26W
 

Lace Column Gown
Size 14 - 24W 

Attending a military ball is an honor that many take seriously.  Whether you are the date of a service member, or a member of the military yourself finding the right dress is important.

Military ball gown styles tend to be simpler and more conservative than other types of evening gowns or cocktail dresses such as red carpet, prom or homecoming dresses.  Those happening during the holiday season, especially for New Year's Eve, can be especially formal affairs, but for many both cocktail and full length dresses are acceptable choices.

Sleeves and higher necklines are not unusual in this formalwear type, but not mandatory. Consequently, some more formal mother-of-the-bride dresses may also be appropriate. Red and other bold colors, classic black and navy, and blue are always favorites. 

Like any other type of formalwear, the dresses and gowns worn for military balls require proper undergarments to achieve the right, structured silhouettes. 

The right hosiery and other accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and bags are also important pieces to the ensemble.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Nordstrom Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Dresses @ Saks Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Formalwear @ Forever 21 Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Eloquii
Ruffled Stretch Velvet Sheath Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Carmen Marc Valvo, Embellished Halter Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Black Cape Gown, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Ruffled Off-the-Shoulder Dress, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick 
More Colors Available

Ruffled Stretch Velvet
Sheath Dress
Size 14 - 24W 

Carmen Marc Valvo
Embellished Halter Gown
Size 2 - 18

Black Cape Gown
Size 1X - 3X
 

Ruffled
Off-the-Shoulder Dress
Size
14 - 28W

 

 

Shopping Resources for Plus-Size Dresses Appropriate for Military Balls

For those who don't wish to go through the special order process of a bridal or formalwear boutique which can lead to waits of up to 3 months, a number of options are available on-line for plus-size formalwear.

Department Stores

Several of the upscale department stores are especially good for plus-size formalwear all year, if you are willing to shop on-line.  Dillard's consistently offers some of the most conservative styles with plenty of options with jackets or sleeves, in addition to barer styles in size 0 to 24W.  Price points range from more moderately priced options from labels such as Adrianna Papell to more luxury gowns from Tadashi Shoji, Mori Lee, Terani Couture, and Madeleine Gardner.

Nordstrom also stocks a deep inventory of mid priced range formal gowns and cocktail dresses all year with super fast, free shipping and returns making last minute purchases easy. The women's plus-size section is well stocked and ranges from size 14 to 24W, while even more selection and options from more upscale labels are available out in the main collection in size 0 to 18.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Vintage Style Fashion @ Modcloth Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ Simply Be Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Fashion @ Catherines Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Designer Dresses @ Teri Jon
Chi Chi London, Vintage Lace Dress, Size 2 -  26 W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Beaded Cocktail Dress, Size 6 - 20 | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Chiffon Gown, Size 16 - 34W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Stretch Velvet Cold Shoulder Gown, Size 14 - 20 | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Chi Chi London
Vintage Lace Dress
Size 2 - 26

Beaded Cocktail Dress
Size 6 - 20

Chiffon Gown
Size 16 - 34W 

Teri Jon
Stretch Velvet
Cold Shoulder Gown
Size 14 - 20

 

Lord & Taylor has a collection appealing to more mature full-figured women, including styles with sleeves, capelets, or jackets for sizes up to 24W.  More youthful styles are also available, especially during the prom season.

Those with the largest budgets will find the best selection at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.   Saks has more available for full figured women to size 18 in their main collection (available only on-line) with designer offering from brands such as Kay Unger, Teri Jon, Theia, and Tadashi Shoji.  Neiman Marcus is better stocked for smaller plus women with their main collection formalwear, designer racks that include names such as Monique Lhuillier, and Badgley Mischka in sizes up to 18, with occasionally a selection of gowns for women size 14 to 24W from labels such as Marina Rinaldi, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Kay Unger in their Special Sizes: Women collection.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Lord & Taylor Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ eShakti Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Evening Gowns @ Light in the Box Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ ASOS
Lauren Ralph Lauren, Black Jersey Jumpsuit, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Floral Ball Gown, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick One Shoulder Jersey Gown, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Embroidered Tulle Gown, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

LAUREN Ralph Lauren
Cold Shoulder Jumpsuit
Size 14 - 22W 

Floral Ball Gown
Size 0 - 36W
Avg - Petite - Tall

One Shoulder
Jersey Gown
Size 2 -
26W

Embroidered Tulle Gown
Size 14 - 24W

 

Formalwear Specialists

Unique Vintage has an entire department devoted exclusively to formalwear with names such as Mac Duggal, Terani Couture, Mori Lee and others regularly available in full-figured sizes.   Price points range from moderate to upscale for sizes 0 to 30W. Meanwhile, Sydney's Closet is one of the oldest plus specialty on-line retailers of formalwear on the internet with cocktail and full length gowns available in size 14 to 44W.  Other plus dress specialists offering extended sizes include the very popular Kiyonna label especially well known for their lace and jersey gowns in size 10 to 32W, and Igigi with a contemporary California feel to cocktail and formalwear for size 14 to 36W.

Low, direct from manufacturer prices are available from several websites that often will allow you to adjust measurements for petite and tall sizes for a small fee, as well.  One of the most popular is Light in the Box.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Nordstrom Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Evening Wear @ Macy's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Plus-Size Fashion @ Kiyonna Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formal Gowns & Dresses @ Dillard's
Ruffled Cocktail Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Satin Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Lace Bodice Gown, Size 10 -32W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Draped Shoulder Gown, Sizes 14-24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Ruffled Cocktail Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Satin Gown
Size 10 - 32W

Lace Bodice Gown
Size 10 - 32W

Draped Shoulder Gown
Size 14 - 24W
 

 

More Formal Dress Shopping Resources

As it's name suggests Dress Barn specializes in dresses. While a majority of their offerings are geared to working women, there is usually a small selection of cocktail and formal dresses and low to moderate prices in classic to contemporary styles available, especially during the holiday party and summer wedding seasons.  Sizes run from 2 to 24W, with petites available to 16P. 

More youthful, budget friendly options can often be found at ASOS  and City Chic, both in size 14 to 24W.  Torrid also occasionally has a handful of more formal dresses for size L to 6X.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Eloquii Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Designer Formalwear @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Special Occasion Fashion @ Coldwater Creek Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Dress Barn
Sequin Wrap Dress, Size 14 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
St. John Collection, Hand Beaded Capelet Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick Draped Velvet Cocktail Dress, Size 6 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Embellished Sleeve Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Military Ball Editor's Pick

Sequin Wrap Dress
Size
14 - 28W

St John Collection
Hand Beaded Capelet Gown
Size 2 - 18

Velvet Cocktail Dress
Size
6 - 24W

Embellished Sleeve Dress
Size 1X - 3X

Eloquii has begun stocking more formal and cocktail options beyond the holiday party season and is known for their youthful, contemporary vibe for size 14 to 28W.  Meanwhile Simply Be has a deeper selection during the holidays and wedding seasons at moderate price points in trendier styles for size 8 to 28W.  For those who enjoy a vintage or retro feel, there are increasing numbers of formal and cocktail options available at ModCloth in size 0 to 30W.

Finishing Touches

Those looking to purchase shapewear and items such as bras and hosiery from the same location will have the best luck at some of the plus specialty stores such as Ashley Stewart, Avenue, and Lane Bryant.

Along with the department stores already mentioned above, Zappos, has one of the most extensive selections of dress shoes and sandals with quick and easy free shipping returns. Evening hand bags are also available.
  

 
 

 

Advertisement:

 

 

 

ElegantPlus.com 2002-2017


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.