Best plus size dresses: From formal styles to party-ready designs, the frocks you need to know

Up your style this summer with the best plus size dresses

3 models wearing the best plus size dresses
(Image credit: Future: Karen Millen / River Island / Simply Be)

The best plus size dresses will ensure that fuller figure shoppers can dress in style this summer. From chic occasionwear looks to office-appropriate designs, we round up the curve-loving frocks you need to know about. 

If you're a fan of the best plus size clothing brands, then many of the styles on this list might already be in your closet. The plus size fashion market has come a long way, and while in previous seasons, the best plus size dresses were few and far between, fast-forward to 2022 and there are some seriously good options available. 

When it comes to selecting the best plus sizes dresses for your body type, you will want to consider whether you have an hourglass body shape, a pear-shaped body or an apple body shape - as no two plus size women (like with all women) are the same. As a general style guide, look for shapes that nip you in at the waist and glide over midriffs and hips for a sleek silhouette. 

Best plus size dresses selected by a fashion editor

black and white print dress

(Image credit: H&M)

1. H&M+ Long Chiffon Maxi Dress

Best plus size dress


RRP: $39.99 / £29.99
Sizes: L-4XL

This season is full of floaty dresses that are as comfortable as the best loungewear. One of the most stylish dresses to hide a tummy, a trapeze silhouette fits across the shoulders and back before gliding effortlessly over the rest of your frame. 

This silhouette has become somewhat of a mainstay for Scandinavian clothing brand H&M, and the black and white print ensures this is a timeless, wear-all-year buy. Easily dressed up or down (just switch up your shoes and add some jewelry), this dress can work well for work or play. If you're more of an hourglass shape and are worried about drowning your curves, add a slim waist belt to this look to rework the silhouette. 

Many women avoid dresses in the summer due to thigh rub, but you can slip a pair of the best anti chafing shorts under this loose look and no one will ever know. 

long blue formal evening dress

(Image credit: Marina Rinaldi)

2. Marina Rinaldi Long Triacetate Dress

Best plus size formal dress


RRP: $1,335 / £815
Sizes: European: 17-33

Marina Rinaldi is one of the best plus size designer brands. An Italian clothing brand, Rinaldi is part of the Max Mara family and specializes in high-end fuller-figure fashion. From casual separates to designer-led evening wear, Rinaldi is one of the few plus size brands with global store locations too. Great tailoring, on-trend designs and plenty of color and print, while its pieces are more expensive, the brand does offer excellent quality, with capsule wardrobe basics that will last for years. 

This blue evening gown is cut to skim the figure, whilst highlighting curves. Experts in plus size, the waistline is cut higher up the torso to elongate your legs and create an hourglass silhouette, nipping you in at your smallest part. The sweetheart-style neckline takes on a square finish for a modern take on the bust flattering look. In bold blue - a welcome change to black for formal dressing, keep the rest of your look simple with minimal jewelry, silver heels and a discreet, coordinating clutch bag. 

pink one shoulder broderie anglaise plus size dress

(Image credit: Simply Be)

3. Simply Be One Shoulder Broderie Anglaise Dress

Best plus size party dress


RRP : £120 (UK only)
Sizes: 10-32

Looking for the best pink dresses? Then look no further than this gorgeous one-shoulder wonder. A great summer party number, it features pretty ruffle detailing, one of the major fashion trends for 2022. The self-fabric tie belt will help to cinch you in and highlight an hourglass body shape, while the tiered bottom hem will balance out fuller hips. 

As this dress is one shoulder, make sure to invest in the best bras with adaptable straps, or one of the best strapless bras to give you the support you need.

sage green tulle dress

(Image credit: Coast)

4. Coast Sage Green Tulle V-neck Dress

Best plus size bridesmaid dress


RRP: £139 (UK only)
Sizes: UK:18-26

If you're on the hunt for the best bridesmaid dresses, we feel your pain. It can be a hard task to find one look that fits and suits all, as you want your bridal squad to feel great on the big day. This gorgeous sage-colored dress taps into the trend for the best green dresses this season, while the tulle layer adds romance and elegance to the dress. A universally flattering silhouette, this dress fits up to a UK size 26 and is available from a size 8, so if you have bridesmaids at all different sizes, this dress should do the trick. Available in three colors, the V-neckline flatters a bust, while the high sitting waist creates a gorgeous hourglass silhouette. 

plus size one shoulder wedding dress

(Image credit: ASOS)

5. True Violet Plus Bridal One Shoulder Maxi Gown

Best plus size wedding dress


RRP: $264 / £160
Sizes: US: 14-24 / UK: 18-28

The wedding dress trends 2022 have really delivered when it comes to fashion-forward bridal styles. Marrying an A-line skirt with a sleek one-shoulder design, this straight-to-market iteration delivers modern styling and classic elegance with ease.

And if you're after a plus size wedding dress that won't break the bank, then ASOS has a great selection of varied styles, with 36 of them plus size specific. Remember you can up-style a plain wedding dress too. A great base, speak to a local seamstress (or do it yourself) and add trims and beadwork to a straight-to-market wedding dress to put your stamp on it. 

blue tiered dress

(Image credit: Simply Be)

6. Simply Be Blue Tiered Frill Shirred Maxi Dress With Tie Strap

Best plus size summer dress


RRP: £45 (UK only)
Sizes: 10-32

Looking for a great plus size dress for your next summer vacation? This sweet maxi dress with tiered hem design is bang on trend and ideal for warmer months. The top tie shoulder detail adds a playful finish and this frock can be easily worn over any of the best white t-shirts for added coverage. 

If rocking this look on holiday, team with your best sandals, or add in the best white trainers for a relaxed, everyday look. Need an extra layer? This light blue hue makes it just right for teaming with your best denim jacket too. 

plus size printed kaftan

(Image credit: 11 Honore)

7. Camilla Long Kaftan With Buttons

Best plus size maxi dress


RRP: $849 (international shipping available)
Sizes: One Size

For the most glamorous of poolside looks, or a plus size maxi dress that can take you from day to evening, look no further than Camilla. Renowned for prints and kaftans, this is the brand that will seal the deal on your lounger look. Featuring an animal-inspired print and jeweled neckline, this 100% silk kaftan is guaranteed to keep you cool in soaring temperatures. 

With a more polished finish, this is one of the best plus size dresses to pack for vacation or wear for summer evening events. Team with your best sunglasses and sparkly sandals for a chic finish. And as it's made from silk, while it might look like a great cover-up for your best plus size swimwear, you'll actually want to avoid getting this beauty wet. 

tulle and embroidered beige gown

(Image credit: Nordstrom)

8. La Femme Lace & Tulle Off-Shoulder Gown

Best plus size prom dress


RRP: $508 / £439.71
Sizes: US: 14W-24W

Plus size prom dresses should offer drama and elegance and we think this design has it in droves. A full tulle skirt with a side slit for ease of movement. This beautiful blush hue teamed with dark embellishment makes this stand out from the crowd. The off-the-shoulder detail works well with the fullness of the skirt and the streamlined bodice will help to contour curves. You'll easily be the belle of any ball. 

beaded dress in pink

(Image credit: River Island)

9. River Island Plus Pink Sequin Embellished Shift Mini Dress

Best plus size cocktail dress


RRP: $204 / £110
Sizes: US: 14-24 / UK: 18-28

In a pastel pink design, this glamorous plus size cocktail dress looks far more expensive than its price tag. Embellished fully in tasseled beading, this thigh-grazing frock will swing as you sway, making it an ideal number for shimmying on the dancefloor. While we are all for comfort, this detailed and delicate frock does demand heels, although if you want to have a more relaxed and youthful feel, you could just about get away with the white sneakers.

green and white printed dress

(Image credit: Karen Millen)

10. Karen Millen Plus Size Watercolour Crinkle Tiered Maxi Dress

Best plus size wedding guest dress


RRP: $290 / £169
Sizes: US: 14-20 / UK: 18-24

Wondering what to wear to a wedding this summer? The plus size occasionwear dress market has come along way and whether you're looking for designs with or without sleeves, there is a figure-flattering look for you.

This green dress with abstract print features a summer-ready, floaty sleeve, offering arm coverage while keeping you cool. With a tiered hem for that boho feel and a gathered waistline to highlight curves, this romantic dress is ideal for watching a couple say 'I do'.

Team with a neutral shoe such as pointed-toe pumps or a wedged sandal for a smart finish. 

pink asymmetric hem dress

(Image credit: Phase Eight)

11. Phase Eight Edith Burnout Dress

Best plus size mother of the bride dress


RRP: $290 / £160
Sizes: US: 12-26 / UK: 16-26

Looking for the best mother of the bride outfits or the best mother of the groom dress? Phase Eight has a great selection of occasionwear looks up to a size 26 and often with the right level of arm coverage to match (should you require it). The partywear specialist also carries a stylish selection of fascinators and hats that will coordinate with plenty of pieces in the range - check out our guide on how to wear a hat if you need some extra help.

This pink burnout dress features an asymmetric hem, ideal for elongating your silhouette. The tie at the back of the dress helps to nip you in, gently highlighting your curves. The front wrap style is flattering on all bust sizes and the pink is a nod to one of the biggest fashion color trends 2022 has to offer.

green printed wrap dress

(Image credit: The Hour)

12. The Hour Wrap Jersey Dress

Best plus size wrap dress


RRP: $363.32 / £295
Sizes: UK: 12-26

One of the best indie clothing brands for plus size fashion, The Hour specializes in tailored looks and smart silhouettes for curvier figures. Available in sizes 12 to 26, The Hour has a host of looks that are ideal for summer outfits for work, from the best blazers to sleek midi dresses that will up your office looks in a flash. 

This faux wrap dress gives you all the benefits of the flattering fit without the fuss of tying the dress. The draped detail over the stomach makes this a great one for skimming your middle. With long sleeves and a V-neck (that isn't too deep), this pretty printed dress also has pockets (hurrah!) and is available in four colorways. A great wardrobe essential you can dress it up or down depending on occasion. 

maxi beach shirt dress

(Image credit: ASOS)

13. Esmee Plus Maxi Beach Shirt Dress

Best plus size beach dress


RRP: $43 / £26
Sizes: UK: 18-26

When it comes to the beach cover-ups, learning how to wear oversized shirts can be a game-changer. Giving you multiple looks in one, this floor-sweeping style offers comfort and glamour. Ideal for throwing on over your best swimsuit to head to the beach, this shirt can be worn half-buttoned over your best leggings or summer-ready cut-off denim shorts too. 

To add extra luxe to this look, layer up on delicate gold chain necklaces for bohemian beachside style, add your best designer sunglasses and grab your favorite rattan bag. 

Rivkie Baum
Fashion channel editor

Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with twenty years' experience in the industry. Rivkie studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, and fell in love with styling and journalism, and has covered fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York, as well as shooting editorial all over the world.

Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has appeared on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.