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Homecoming & Prom Dresses and Gowns

 
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.

Please consult the Elegant Plus Sizing Report for an explanation of the different kinds of cuts  and sizing systems available in formalwear, especially for prom dresses which can come in junior sizing.  Remember a size is just an arbitrary system to give people information about fit.
 


Last Update: September 20, 2017

RELATED
SHOPPING GUIDES

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ Simply Be Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Evening Dresses @ Light in the Box Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Torrid
Embellished Slip Dress, Size 8 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Prom Dress Pick Satin Dress, Size 2 - 26W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Plus-Size Prom Dress Pick
More Colors Available
Embroidered Trapeze Dress, Size L - 6X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Prom & Homecoming Pick

Embellished Slip Dress
Size
8 - 18

Satin Dress
Size 2 - 26W

Embroidered Trapeze Dress
Size L - 6X

Plus-size prom gowns and homecoming dresses are available in the latest colors and styles on-line, even when many formalwear shops have limited selections.  Prom styles are more common in the spring and homecoming styles, which are often less formal, are available in the fall months. Department stores and other retailers that carry plus-size dresses often have less formal and simpler styles, although some regularly carry party frocks.

Styles range from modest, sweet and demure to more daring styles. Young women competing in pageants can also sometimes swap dresses for prom.  Red carpet glamour is making a style impact on many homecoming style trends. An increasing number of schools require shoulders and sometimes even arms to be covered for prom, and a growing number of more youthful options to fit these requirements are becoming available. Both the formalwear with sleeves and military ball tabs at Elegant Plus will have even more modest options. Teens and college women are choosing a variety of lengths from cocktail to formal at both types of events. 
 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Women's Clothing @ Pyramid Collection Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Nordstrom Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus Size Dresses @ Zappos Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothes @ Bloomingdale's
Pink Crushed Velvet Dress, Size 2 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Clover Lace Maxi Dress, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Beaded Fringed Flapper Dress, Size 12 - 18W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Strapless Floral Party Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick

Crushed Velvet
Cold Shoulder Dress
Size
2 - 28W

Clover Lace Maxi Dress
Size
1X - 3X

 Beaded Fringed
Flapper Dress
Size 12 - 18W

Strapless Floral Party Dress
Size
14 - 24W


Some of the most popular colors are pastels, white, vibrant brights, with floral prints more popular for spring proms, while darker and deeper shades of red, blue, black, and metallics coming to the fore for fall homecoming as we move closer to the Holiday Party season.  Some spring prom seasons see more metallics, sequins, and sparkle than others.

The right bras, shapewear, and hosiery are essential for achieving many of these looks. 

Shopping Resources for HOMECOMING & PROM DRESSES

Of the department stores, Nordstrom and  Macy's offer the best plus-size cocktail dress, party dress, and evening gown selection available for young, fashion conscious plus-size women.  Dresses and gowns suitable for proms are moderately priced and may come in either junior plus sizing or women's plus sizes from 14 to 24W.  Upscale designer gowns and dresses from names such as Mori Lee and Mac Duggal appealing to younger fashionistas are regularly available from Dillard's, in and around the more mature formalwear styles regularly stocked there with sizes available up to 28W.  Noticeably upping its style game, Lord & Taylor now offers trendy fashion from lables such as Modamix and Junarose, in addition to formalwear from Mac Duggal and other fashion forward labels for size 14 to 24W.

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Formalwear @ Unique Vintage Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ Lane Bryant Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Dresses @ eShakti Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Forever 21
Embroidered Satin Two Piece Gown, Size M - 2X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Pleated Lace Dress, Size 12 - 28W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Floral Dupioni Satin Gown, Size 0 - 36W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Flounced Gown, Size 1X - 3X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Embroidered Satin
Two Piece Gown
Size M - 2X

Pleated Lace Dress
Size 12 - 28W

Floral Dupioni Satin Gown
Size 0 - 36W
Avg, Petite, Tall
 

Flounced Gown
Size 1X - 3X

 

Those with the largest budgets looking for luxury designer formalwear in size 12 to 18 will have the most luck on the main racks of Neiman Marcus where labels such as Badgley Mischka, Carmen Marc Valvo, Theia, and Lela Rose are regularly available.  Extended sizes from similar designers, and a few options in full plus sizes to 24W from designer brands such as ABS by Allen Schwartz are also available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

For the more budget conscious shoppers Torrid  carries some less formal cocktail styles for those on tighter budgets for size L to 6X all year, with more formal styles stocked for the holidays and spring prom season. Eloquii is stocking more special occasion wear all year that is sophisticated enough for college homecoming and party events, but some of which is appropriate for prom in size 14 to 28W. Fresh party and cocktail styles from Australian trend conscious retailer City Chic have become available to the U.S. market in size 14 to 24W at moderate prices through retailers such as Nordstrom.  Meanwhile, inexpensive party options are frequently available from trendy, fast fashion retailers such as Ashley Stewart for size 12 to 32W.  

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus:  Dresses & Gowns @ Dillard's Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: St John @ Neiman Marcus Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Dresses @ SWAK Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Fashion @ Macy's
Lace Bodice High Low Gown, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Prom & Homecoming Pick St John, Pink Floral Velvet Burnout Gown, Size 2 - 18 | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Crushed Velvet Dress, Size 1X - 6X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available
Silver Sequin Sheath, Size 14 - 22W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Prom Pick

Lace Bodice High Low Gown
Size
14 - 22W

St. John
Floral Burnout Gown

Size 2 - 18

Crushed Velvet Dress
Size
1X - 6X

Silver Sequin Sheath Dress
Size 14 - 22W
 

 

Those who want a vintage or retro flair including swing dresses, flapper dresses, and retro 50's cocktail dress styles will appreciate the selection at Unique Vintage which has a stunning, upscale collection during prom season in size 14 to 32W. 

 ModCloth  also stocks a growing collection party dresses, often with a vintage flavor is size S to 4X.  Fab, curve friendly clothier eShakti that can customize looks for any measurements and heights usually has stylish special occasion and formalwear styles available both through the regular inventory and the wedding tab for size 0 to 36W with sizing adjusted to height.

British plus-specialty retailer Simply Be carries a collection of moderately priced stylish cocktail dresses and long gowns  during the winter party and spring prom seasons in size 6 to 28W.  Their website reflects US sizing and pricing in dollars for easy ordering, in addition to low cost and free, quick shipping.  Cute and trendy cocktail dresses and long gowns are also available from British curvy retailer Asos in size 14 to 24W which is turning into one of the most exciting, fashion forward spots for formalwear at affordable price points. 

 

Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Asos Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Kohls Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ Eloquii Let's Shop! Elegant Plus: Plus-Size Clothing @ ModCloth
Pink Sequin Dress, Size 14 - 22W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Taffeta Party Dress, Size 14 - 24W  | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Two Tone Velvet Wrap Dress, Size 14 - 24W | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick Lace Dress, Size XS - 4X | ElegantPlus.com Editor's Pick
More Colors Available

Sequin Dress
Size 1
4 - 22W

Taffeta Party Dress
Size 1
4 - 24W

Two Tone Velvet Wrap Dress
Size 14 - 24W

Lace Dress
Size XS - 4X
 

 

Direct from wholesale formalwear retailers can be an excellent way to get a celebrity inspired look for much less. Shipping times are usually two to three weeks, but the inventory is huge and extremely affordable.  One of the best is Light in the Box with sizes available from 2 to 26W.
 

Finishing Details

For foundation garments to create the smoothest body lines shop Her Room for plenty of options in sizes as large as 8X.  Hosiery, including fishnet stockings and thigh highs, can be purchased from Hips & Curves in size 1X to 6X. Meanwhile, Zappos will offer the most extensive shoe selection to complete the look.

 

 
 

 

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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.

 

 

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