Everything You Need to Know About Plus-size Long Formal Dresses

Everything You Need to Know About Plus-size Long Formal Dresses

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Summary: Designers and brands can extend their stylish outfits into the plus size segment with a little customization. As an inclusive brand, they can earn a loyal clientele by tapping into the vacuum. The right silhouettes, combined with fabrics that flatter both regular and larger sizes, can make all the difference in creating the best-selling plus-size clothing.

In the past, there has been a huge vacuum in the market for plus-size clothing for formal occasions. Not anymore. Brands are offering trendy and equally stylish options for plus-sized individuals as they do for regular sizes. 

Even if you aren’t a brand known exclusively for plus-size women, you can earn a loyal following by making your buyers in this category look confident and stylish. You can also make profits off the goodwill earned by being known as an inclusive brand. 

If you wish to create a niche in the segment, you can focus on plus-size clothing for formal events and weddings. Here’s all you need to know to create a line of clothing in this category.

Flattering Plus-size Dress Silhouettes

Plus-size Dress Silhouettes

Maxi dress 

A must-have in the long formal dress category, the maxi dress can flatter the wearer’s body if tailored correctly. Stick to a defined waist, and don’t let the fit go too loose. A side slit draws attention to the dress’s bulk, while an open neckline offsets its length.

A-line dress

Flattering for most body types, the classic A-line dress gently tapers down after tucking in at the waist. It is best suited for women with heavier stomachs and hips. Add a V-neckline or long sleeves, and you can create a flattering range of wedding dresses for plus-size brides.

Pintuck dress

This beautiful trend is a modern take on the classic A-line silhouette. Instead of tapering down, it features a playful flowing skirt. 

Wrap dress

Also known as the 'faux wrap dress', this silhouette will flatter the body shapes of plus-sized women. It is one of those dresses that embrace the wearer’s curves and adjusts to any body type. Designers should ensure that the dress covers the body well.

Con dress

While it may seem otherwise, a con dress can be a charming evening wear option for plus-sized women. A bodycon dress or a fitted mermaid dress is perfect for flaunting the wearer’s curves too.

Elements to Consider While Styling Plus-size Dresses

Elements to Consider While Styling

Designers can explore a range of elements to make their plus-size dresses for weddings and formal occasions stand out. The magic is in the details. After the fit and the neckline, the sleeves and color can make all the difference. Pay attention to the following:


The V-neckline is a classic that flatters all body types. But for a plus-sized woman, it takes attention away from the hips and stomach. A plunging square neckline works equally well. Wedding dresses that feature these shapes will highlight the wearer’s neck and flatter them in every sense. High-neck styles in plus-size dresses also work for women with larger busts. These draw attention away from the bust and offer coverage.


Long sleeveseven three-quarter balloon sleevesare a wonderful option for brides and bridesmaids who wish to keep their arms covered. Women with heavier upper arms can wear plus-size dresses with angel sleeves, elbow-length flutter sleeves, or drop-shoulder sleeves. 

Embroidery and print

Needless to say, the embroidery and print have to be appropriate for the occasion. But certain patterns are more flattering than others. Avoid clothing with large prints or motifs. Medium-sized does the trick when the print or embroidery is spread over the fabric. You can create a slimming effect by placing statement embroidery or prints on certain parts of the outfit.



The color options for plus-size clothing will depend on the occasion, but most colors work for formal events. Brands can let buyers pick from slimming shades. Black is said to have an overall slimming effect, as are darker shades. Lighter colors, on the other hand, tend to make the frame appear larger. Designers curating plus-size clothes should look at colors like black, purple, brown, and blue.

Fabrics to flatter

Fabrics to flatter

While the overall look of a dress is determined by its silhouette and style, you cannot ignore the importance of fabrics. Certain fabrics like velvet look great in plus-size clothing. Pick one of these for a formal outfit:


Pick a viscose fabric instead of silk. Also known as rayon, viscose fits well and doesn’t stretch. Create plus-size cocktail dresses out of this breathable fabric. It’s fit to be worn throughout the year and drapes well, too.


A perfect fit for plus-size dresses for weddings, satin is made from silk and is considered a luxury fabric. It drapes well with a smooth touch and is lightweight and breathable. The fabric has a glossy finish and is a luxurious option for evening parties.


An all-weather fabric, chiffon is a popular fabric used for plus-size wedding dresses because of its floaty and ethereal appeal. Not only is it breathable and comfortable, but it conceals the figure enough to bring out a flattering form. The fluid drape of this sheer fabric flatters a plus-size dress.


This figure-hugging fabric is a flattering material for plus-size dresses. Obtained from silk, it is soft and comfortable. Its thicker texture lends an overall slimming effect. The luxe nature of this fabric makes it great for evening events.

Brownie points for plus-size dresses

Putting together the right look for plus-size long formal dresses is not rocket science. Designers and brands can extend their stylish designs to plus-size clothing as well and tap the growing market. The right fabric tailored in a style that flatters all body types—not just a limited category—will make for a bestselling design.

Key Takeaways

  • Designers can create flattering plus-size dresses for formal occasions by choosing the right material, silhouette, and patterns.
  • Pick flowy fabrics like chiffon, satin, and viscose. Steer clear of poofy and stiff materials.
  • The maxi dress, with a side slit or a V-neckline that draws attention away from the dress's bulk and length, is a popular choice for cocktail parties and weddings.
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Brands looking to create a plus size range in the long formal dresses segment can find the right fabric suppliers and design partners via the Fashinza platform.  

Book a demo on Fashinza today!


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