Plus size brides-to-be, we’ve just made shopping for the perfect occasion dress easier! Now that you’re engaged, celebrations abound—we’re talking about an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner (to name a few). You might have a few smaller celebrations planned with a various friend and family groups—some might even take place on zoom. There are also those extra wedding-related events like a post-wedding brunch and a honeymoon! For all these occasions, you will undoubtedly need a gorgeous dress—err, likely two or three at least! Thankfully, plus-size dress options run the gamut this year, from feminine designs to casual styles and elegant classics.
“When thinking about wedding-related events, I always say go for the silhouettes that work best for you,” Danielle Williams Eke, 11 Honoré’s design director, tells Brides. “Don’t feel like you have to try something new silhouette-wise. Let the details of the dress and the styling help you stand out for your special day.”
Meet the Expert
Danielle Williams Eke is the Design Director of the luxury size-inclusive retailer, 11 Honoré. With a specialty in extended sizes, Williams Eke pioneers patterns, fits, and silhouettes for the plus-size consumer and spearheads the design team and production of the retailer’s private label, The 11 Honoré Collection.
For a laid-back attire for an engagement party or bridal shower, Williams Eke recommends easy silhouettes like a wrap dress or fluid midi in elevated casual fabrics like stretch linen and textured organic cotton. For dressier looks suited to a rehearsal dinner or wedding-day brunch, she favors figure-accentuating fits including V-necklines, halters, and waist-cinching sheaths as well as unique details such as ruching, asymmetric hems, or a voluminous silhouette.
Ready to shop for a plus-size occasion dress? Discover 33 of our favorites for every style and budget ahead.
The Bridal Shower Midi: Mara Hoffman Adelina Dress
“This flirty off-the-shoulder midi dress by Mara Hoffman is the perfect look for a bridal shower,” Williams Eke tells Brides. “The textured organic cotton gives the dress some added interest. Pair this dress with cute espadrilles and a beautiful statement necklace to highlight your décolleté.”
Best V-Neck: BHLDN Caron V-Neck Crepe Dress
This V-neck dress is perfect for a dressier celebration, be it an engagement party, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner. It’s an excellent second-look style as well if you’re looking for a simpler late-night look.
Best Pearl Dress: Eloquii Pearl Cuff Dress
Pearls always feel unique and sophisticated, with this long-sleeve dress being no exception. It’s a stylish choice for any bride-to-be in favor of unique detailing.
Best Bohemian Design: Reformation Bayley Dress
This midi dress is perfect for brides craving a romantic, boho sensibility—it’s our top pick for an outdoor celebration such as a garden party or alfresco fete.
Best Floral Print: Tanya Taylor Sasha Dress
Between the cheerful floral print and voluminous sleeves, this feminine dress screams festive! Style yours with a delicate sandal as an offset to the voluminous design.
Best Budget: Lulus One Wish White Lace Midi Dress
An all-lace number is quintessentially bridal, and this midi style is the ultimate modern rendition. Even better, it’s under $70!
Best Sleeve Detail: LIKELY Alia Dress
For your moment in the spotlight, no detail feels fresher than a bold puff sleeve. The rounded neckline and flounder skirt beautifully balance the drama, making this dress a modern classic.
Most Romantic: Faithfull The Brand Clement Midi Dress Nadya Floral
No rule says every bridal look has to be white. This floral print dress is incredibly romantic for a bridal shower or luncheon.
Best For Casual Engagement Parties: 11 Honoré Chrissy Shirt Dress
“The 11 Honoré Collection shirtdress is perfect for a laid-back engagement party,” says Williams Eke. “The stretch linen is an elevated casual fabric and makes it easy to wear. This easy silhouette can be styled up with a cute wrap-heeled sandal, statement earrings, and a wide-brimmed hat. The versatility of this dress means you can also wear it for years to come!”
Best Sequin Dress: Mango Sequin Dress With Belt
You’ll shine your bridal brightest in this sequin number! We love it for a festive bachelorette or after-party look.
Best For Summer: A New Day Sleeveless Smocked Waist Dress
For a casual celebration or party in the summer, this sleeveless midi is perfection. It’s feminine and lightweight—two features we love for a wedding celebration in the heat.
Best Something-Blue Detail: Christy Dawn The Dawn Dress
What’s sweeter than a ditsy floral print for a bridal celebration? We love a touch of something-blue, too!
Best Off-The-Shoulder: Torrid Ivory Lace Off Shoulder Bodycon Dress
Classic and elegant, this off-the-shoulder lace dress is perfect for a formal celebration or civil ceremony at City Hall. The perfect modern take on timeless lace.
$70.78 (originally $108.90)
Best For A Zoom Bridal Brunch: Dôen Sterling Dress
What could be better for a virtual party on Zoom than a loungeable dress with special details? The eyelet neckline and puff sleeves will stand out on screen while feeling ultra-comfy thanks to the tented shape.
Best Convertible Dress: Diarrablu Sustainable Uda Dress
For the bride-to-be who loves options, it doesn’t get better than a convertible dress. This one can be tied 19 different ways!
Best Slip Dress: BHLDN Cali Satin Charmeuse Midi Dress
Keep things simple but sophisticated in this satin charmeuse slip dress. If your taste skews minimal, this design is a dream.
Best Floral Bridal Shower Dress: Dolce & Gabbana V-Neck Floral Dress with Ruching
Williams Eke says, “Make a statement at your bridal shower in this Dolce & Gabbana exploded floral dress. This femme dress features ruching making the fit extra flattering and a v-neckline that helps show a little skin. Because of the bold print, I would style this dress simply with an interesting stud earring and a sleek strappy sandal.”
$1,557 (originally $2,595)
Most Timeless: Black Halo Madeline Sheath Dress
If simplicity speaks to you, this bright white sheath is stunning. We love it for a bridal luncheon or engagement party dinner number.
Best Lace Detail: Byron Lars Carissima Sheath Dress
What’s more quintessential than lace for a bride? This belted style gives off modern vibes while feeling timeless and elegant.
Best Black & White: Who What Wear One Shoulder Long Sleeve Dress
Go graphic with a black and white dress for a bridal celebration. This one-shoulder design guarantees a stand-out moment.
Best Dress With Pockets: Amsale Deep V-Neck Dress
If the timeless elegance of this waist-cinching dress weren’t enough, it has pockets! The ultimate detail for sealing the deal.
Most Dramatic For Rehearsal Dinner: Carolina Herrera Raglan Mini Dress
“The rehearsal dinner calls for this chic Carolina Herrera high neck mini dress. The voluminous sleeve with tie details makes this otherwise classic shift dress silhouette stand-out,” says Williams Eke. “I love the idea of pairing this dress with a knee-high boot to accentuate the mini length, a pair of blingy earrings, and a bold lip.”
Best Black Party Dress: H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress
LBD lovers, look no further than this sequined dress for your bachelorette or after-party. The puffed shoulders are fun and on-trend, while the A-line shape is comfortable and classic.
Best Eyelet Detail: Anthropologie Ophelia Eyelet Mini Dress
For summertime celebrations, this eyelet mini dress is breezy and chic. Pair it with flats for a laidback feel, or dial it up with stilettos.
Best Bustier Detail: Hilary Macmillan Bustier Dress
Highlight your neckline and waist in this buster silhouette by Hilary Macmillan. The bodice provides structure, while the skirt flows beautifully with every step.
Best Cocoon Silhouette: Universal Standard Sonya Satin V Neck Dress
Comfort and elegance combine in this satin dress by Universal Standard. The lustrous caramel hue is gorgeous for a party in the fall.
Best For Formal Parties: By Watters Mattea Gown
For the fanciest of bridal celebrations, this full-skirted midi will hit a high note. Romantic details abound, from the shirred sleeves to the dipped neckline and lace accents.
Best Tiered Dress: LOFT Plus Tiered Midi Dress
Even for the most casual parties, a bold pop of color is so fun for brides! In a tiered midi shape, it doesn’t get more effortless.
$79.99 (originally $98)
Best Asymmetric Shape: Coyan Dua Dress
Master easy elegance in this asymmetric dress by Coyan. You can style it in various ways—cinched at the waist or loose and flowy.
Best Wrap Dress: Kiyonna Tuscan Floral Wrap Dress
Springtime brides most certainly deserve a fun floral moment. Enter this wrapped number with sweet puff sleeves and a bow-tie detail.
Most Glamorous: Lavish Alice Satin Corset Dress
You’ll channel old Hollywood glamour in this satin corset dress by Lavish Alice. We love it for a rehearsal dinner or unexpected after-party look.
Best Animal Print: We Are Kin The Juliet Midi
If you thought bridal events and animal prints didn’t mix, think again. Really go for it in this black and white number—it’s unexpected and undeniably bold.
Most Unique: Azeeza Plath Dress
“Opt for a unique wedding day look with this voluminous gown by Azeeza,” Williams Eke suggests. “This 100% silk gazar dress features a high neck that ties in the back and a cascading asymmetrical hem that is sure to bring drama (the good kind) on your wedding day. The high-low hem calls for an exciting shoe, either bedazzled or in a pop color. Finish this look off with a glam drop earring.”
Considering a plus-size occasion dress? We’ve answered three common questions when shopping for this style.
- What is the best plus-size occasion dress? When celebrating your upcoming wedding, you’ll want to choose a plus-size occasion dress that makes you feel comfortable, elegant, and special. This can be a casual cotton midi, lace-adorned sheath, or satin maxi with pretty embellishments. It all depends on your personal preference and style of party.
- Do you have to wear a white plus-size dress for bridal celebrations? Absolutely not! White plus-size dresses are fabulous for feeling your most bridal, but floral prints, bright colors, and sequin styles are equally stylish for various events.
- How do you style a plus-size occasion dress? Every plus-size occasion dress calls for amazing accessories—it’s all about personal preference. A pair of heels works any time of year, whether you prefer a classic and simple design or festive detailing like bows or sequins. Delicate sandals, flats, and sneakers are great for casual spring and summer moments, while stylish boots and booties are great for fall or winter parties.