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Plus Size Long Formal Dresses
types of dresses for women
Dresses, dresses everywhere, not a name I know. Have you felt this way, looking at all the different types of dresses available in the stores? There are hundreds of different kinds of dresses – in every style imaginable. Let us check out the most important types of dresses.
1 Aline dress
This dress basically follows the Aline silhouette – ie flowy from the shoulders. It can also have a fitted defined waist but the hem is always flared giving the whole silhouette the shape of a capital letter A.
2 Tent dress
A shapeless tentlike full dress, that hangs loose from the shoulders; it has a baggy silhouette and is usually worn short. The airy billowy dress is a favourite as a summer wear
3 Yoke dress
This is a type of dress with a shaped top portion of the bodice which is separate from the bodice. The yoked dress can have a front yoke or back yoke or both
4 Empire line dress
This is a high waist dress that has a fitting bodice till just under the bust and then a flowy silhouette
5 Shift dress
This is a short sleeveless dress that skims the body without a fitted waist
6 Dirndl dress
This is a european traditional dress originally worn by peasants there;The dress has an apron with lacing on the back or front
7 Sheath dress
A close fitting dress usually ending near the knee. Usually there will be a slit in the back so that you can walk comfortably
8 Low or drop waist dress
This is a loose fitting dress with the skirt seam being somewhere near the hip rather than at the waist length.
9 Tunic dress
This is a loose fitting dress ending near the hips or near the knee , usually with slits on the side seams
10 Princess seam dress
This is a dress with a princess seam down the bodice
11 Blouson dress
This is a dress with a fitted/clinched waist which will cause the top portion to have a billowing effect
12 Shirt waist dress
This kind of dress resembles a shirt in the top portion, with a collar and an open front button placket.
13 Wrap around dress
This is a style of dress with an Asymmetrical closing. This dress usually has one side wrapped over the other side and usually has a tie which closes the front opening
14 Peasant Dress
This is a dress originally worn by the peasants in Europe, with raglan sleeves or very loose sleeves
15 Baby doll dress
A baby doll dress refers to a short sweet dress with a fitted bodice ( at times a bralette) and loose gathered skirt . This is usually is used as a nightgown. A dress with gathers above the waist and long sleeves is also referred as a baby doll dress. Check out the tutorial to make a baby doll dress
16 Body con dress
This refers to a tight fitting body hugging dress made of a stretchy fabric. It usually ends near or above the knee.
17 Cocktail dress
This is a short dressy dress meant for attending semi formal functions.
18 Debutante dress
This is a white gown typically worn by debutantes on their first ball.The white formal full length gown is usually accompanied by white kid gloves
19 Skater dress
This is a dress that has a fitted bodice and a very flared circular skirt. They have an Aline silhouette with a very defined waist
20 Camisole dress
This dress resembles the camisole worn as a slip or nightgown. A camisole dress is a longer version of this and is usually worn over tops
21 Pinafore dress /Jumber dress
This is a collarless, sleeveless low cut dress which is worn over tops / blouses.
22 Granny dress
A granny dress is a loose fitting dress with long sleeves. This dress usually has ruffles or flounces and a high collar
23 Harem dress
This is a full length dress with a flared cut narrowing down to a narrower hem. It is usually made in a flowy fabric
24 Trumpet dress / Mermaid dress
A trumpet dress has a fitted bodice till the knee or just below the knee where it flares to the hem
25 Maxi dress
This is an informal full length / ankle length dress usually made with a flowy fabric
26 Apron dress
Apron dress is a sleeveless dress with a bib and a skirt attached to it just like an apron
27 Sweater dress
A sweater dress is a long sweater that can be worn on its own as a dress. It is usually knee length
28 Swing dress
A swing dress has fitted top portion near the bust and then flaring to a knee or above knee length hem.
29 Tutu dress
Tutu dress is a tutu (gathered skirt made with tulle fabric ) with a bodice attached
30 Sun Dress
A sundress refers to any dress which is casual and suitable for the summer. They are usually made in flowy lightweight breathable fabrics
31 Little Black Dress
This refers to a short dress made in black.Usually this is a fitting dress which is short
32 Coat dress
A coat dress resembles a overcoat with lapels and openings
33 Corset dress
This is a dress that is fitted around the bust using a corset . The corset shapes the body with lacing
34 Balloon Dress
A balloon dress refers to a dress with a hemline turned inwards so that the bottom edge looks like a blown up balloon
35 Bouffant dress
This is a full length gown with lots of ruffles
36 Fit and flare dress
This is a dress which is fitted in the top portion and then flares gradually towards the hem. This effect is usually achieved with panels
37 Handkerchief hem Dress
This type of dresses have an asymmetrical hem which looks as if a handkerchief is held from the middle
38 Gathered dress
This is a dress with a gathered waist
39 Kaftan Dress
Kaftan is a loose fitting dress with billowing side seams; it is sewn as one with bodice and sleeves and usually ends near the ankles or feet. Check out the pattern and sewing tutorial to make a Kaftan
40 Pillowcase dress
This refers to a dress made for kids with fabric from a single pretty printed pillowcase and some fabric straps to tie them to the neck.
41 Slip Dress
A dress which simply looks like a slip you wear inside as an undergarment. A slip dress is usually worn as an overgarment
42 Shirt dress
This is a longer version of the shirt with collar and an opening in the front (full or partial)
43 Ball gown
Ball gown is a formal full skirted gown
44 Party dress
This is a generic name for a dress worn for different kinds of parties. Basically it is an elaborately made dress
45 Off Shoulder Dress
A dress without straps or shoulder joining seams and sleeve caps; the shoulder is laid bare with the sleeves and the bodice cut off at the shoulders. When this kind of dress has a shoulder seam with only the top of the sleeves cut off, it is called a cold shoulder dress
46 One shoulder dress
A dress with straps or shoulder joining seams only on one shoulder; the shoulder is laid bare on one side.
47 Strapless Dress
This refers to a dress without straps holding the dress together at the shoulders. It is a form fitting style of dress
48 Halterneck Dress
A dress that features a halterneck.
49 Draped Dress
A Dress with additional fullness pleated gathered or held to one side or both sides.
50 Xray Dress
This is a see through dress made with sheer/transparent fabrics like lace chiffon organza etc. It is usually worn with a slip underneath or strategically placed fabric lining/ embroidery/fabric patches or body stockings underneath to cover modesty.
Best plus size clothing shops for curvy girls
Plus-size clothing is often quite hit and miss. The sizing is either totally out of whack or the designs just, well, leave a little to be desired… Oh, and to top things off, they’re normally way more expensive. Greeeattt.
As @sarabrowndesigns explains of her usual shopping experience, “One of my biggest annoyances is the fact that the high street has options, but they’re not the options I want.” So when we find a label that consistently nails the curvy fashion brief, we find it particularly worthy of sharing.
Best plus size clothing:
- ASOS Curve
- Pretty little Thing
- River Island
- New Look
- Simply Be
- Never Fully Dressed
- Chi Chi London
Especially if those brands are offering more than just smock tops, kaftans, and other shapeless garms that so often seem to be associated with curve sections. Who said that everyone size 16 and above automatically wants to hide their shape? Where are the options in different fabrics and finishes, different hem lengths and trends?
After years of looking, we’ve found shops that do a good blazer (and workwear in general), great formal dresses, cute midi skirts, and even excellent denim, so you don’t need to compromise on fit or style.
Scroll down for the best brand and shops for curvy and plus-size clothing in the UK.
1. ASOS Curve
Best for: Versatile pieces
ASOS Curve is always going to be our number one curvy girl shop. It’s our first destination whenever we’re in need of a new outfit, because we know they will always come through with the classics and more trend lead pieces. With sizes ranging from 16-30, we wish more retailers would follow suit. On top of that, they also have so much choice. There are a slew of different options updated each week, and glorious flash sales, meaning this should always be one of your first port of calls for online shopping.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
£58, ASOS Curve
BUY NOWLounge maxi cable knit cardigan in cream
£45, ASOS Curve
BUY NOWMidi skirt with thigh split in tan and black non print
£22, ASOS Curve
BUY NOWLeather look parka with borg lining in sage
£75, ASOS Curve
Best for: Affordable prices
PrettyLittleThing’s plus-size range came onto our radar after curve blogger, Chloe Elliott, sang their praises. Not only have the brand extended their sizing to a 26, but as Chloe points out, they are offering something we have never seen in plus-size ranges before. While we like trying things on to make sure the fit is right, the good thing about PLT is that you can make a generous order (without going broke), try them on at home and return anything you don’t love. The thing is, you will probs love it all.
From stretchy, comfy basics like sweatpants and cycling shorts, to sexy going-out clothes like sheer organza tops and vinyl trousers, PLT has you covered.Plus Basic White Low Arm T ShirtPRETTYLITTLETHINGprettylittlething.com£8.00BUY NOWBlack ribbed cycling shortsPRETTYLITTLETHINGprettylittlething.com£10.00BUY NOW
Best for: Trend pieces
In times of crisis we turn to the Boohoo plus range. Not only is the entire line incredibly affordable, but we just love that they offer the exact same clothes in bigger sizes. Just because we are a bigger size, doesn’t mean we want to spend our life in kaftans, am I right? I mean, it’s boggling that other stores don’t do this to be honest, but thankfully some brands are opting for more inclusive offerings.
They’ve got everything you need to stock your whole wardrobe, from denim and knitwear (try their oversize baggy cardis), to sundresses and date-night tops.Seamed Cargo Denim JoggerBOOHOO PLUSboohoo.com£14.40BUY NOW
Best for: Classic styleADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Not many people know that Mango have a plus size range but it’s really worth a look. While the other famous Spanish retailer, Zara, only goes up to a size 18, Mango offers their high quality designs up to a size 26. And, in our experience, their quality also goes the distance. While the pieces might be trend-inspired, their winter coats last us for years on end, meaning it’s easier to justify spending a little more on a piece you love.
If you’re looking for something slightly different to your usual plus-size offering, check out Violeta by Mango. They’re great at cool fashion-forward pieces like puff-sleeve minidresses, sequin skirts, and leather shackets, which you won’t find at most other high-street retailers.Back bow sweaterVIOLETAmango.com£35.99BUY NOWWool handmade coatVIOLETAmango.com£99.99BUY NOW
Best for: High quality
Elvi is a brand that we first discovered through ASOS Curve and it’s quickly become one of our favourites. It’s a mix of high quality wardrobe staples and high fashion pieces that you wouldn’t expect from a plus size brand. Our favourite thing are their skirts, from pleated and metallic to faux leather, they have everything. Plus they have some pretty cool collaborations, like Hayley Hasselhoff.
Why not pair one of their breezy kimono dresses with beautiful leather sandals and a straw bag? Or, match their sequinned microdress with sky-high disco platforms.Slip skirtELVIelvi.com£44.00BUY NOW
6. River Island
Best for: Seasonal buys
When the River Island Plus range finally launched, it didn’t disappoint. Although the selection isn’t as large as ASOS, the well curated line goes up to a size 28. This should be your go to shop for each seasons key trend pieces. Our favourite River Island finds right now? Their dresses. Whether you’re after a cute party dress, or a versatile midi to wear to the office, they’ve got something for every occasion.
RI Plus has become our go-to for embellished denim, bright tailoring, and fun night-out dresses. Why not pull out all the stops in head-to-toe denim, topped off with heels and a pearl bag?ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOWBeige leopard print frill mini dressRIVER ISLAND PLUS, £55riverisland.comBUY NOWBlack high rise Mom jeansRIVER ISLAND PLUS, £40riverisland.comBUY NOWGreen floral ruffle mini dressRIVER ISLAND PLUS, £42riverisland.comBUY NOWNavy wrap tie waist topRIVER ISLAND PLUS, £28riverisland.comBUY NOW
7. New Look
Best for: Affordable prices
Props to New Look for being one of the first shops to carry a plus size range. Their ‘Inspire’ line, has been relaunched as their ‘Curves Range’ and we can tell you, it’s giving ASOS Curve a run for its money. The best part? It’s affordable pricing. New Look are high street favourites because you can fill your basket with on-trend pieces without breaking the bank.
They also stock a host of other cool curve brands, like Wednesday’s Girl, which is perfect for silky slip skirts and floral jumpsuits. We’re eyeing up their green and pink floral slip skirt to wear on our next park picnic.Pink Spot Tiered Peplum Top
£17.99, New Look
BUY NOWBrown Leopard Print Denim Mini Skirt
£25.99, New Look
BUY NOWRed Leopard Print Smock Dress
£22.99, New Look
BUY NOWPale Grey Weekend Logo Sweatshirt
£17.99, New Look
8. Simply Be
Best for: Variety
Simply Be is a plus size treasure trove. You want a sports bra, they got it. Swimsuit, they got it. Wide-fit boots, you’ve come to the right place. In short, they have everything. Plus, their sizes are just as fab, which is a huge win. Ranging from a size 12-34, this is one of the most inclusive fashion sites you will find.
Right now, we’re stocking up on denim and florals, which they’re great at. Skirts, minidresses, and summery jackets – it’s all putting us in the mood for a pina colada on a rooftop somewhere.Floral Print Tiered Smock DressSIMPLY BEsimplybe.co.uk£22.00BUY NOWBalloon Sleeve Utility ShirtSIMPLY BEsimplybe.co.uk£26.00BUY NOWBlack Lottie Wide Leg JeggingsSIMPLY BEsimplybe.co.uk£22.00BUY NOWBleach Tie Dye Oversized Denim JacketSIMPLY BEsimplybe.co.uk£45.00BUY NOW
Best for: Timeless piecesADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Like all good plus size brands, this is another one we discovered through ASOS Curve. Their focus? Quality, without compromise. Owned by Vero Moda, it goes without saying that this label offer the latest trends but what you might not know is just how flatting and tailored their cuts are. You will be sure to find some classic pieces to update your wardrobe from here.
Junarose is great for elegant, timeless classics that you’ll wear for years to come. This is a great first stop when you’re on the hunt for grownup, work-appropriate clothes that you can also wear on the weekends.Voluminous sleeves knitted jumperVERO MODAveromoda.com£32.00BUY NOWPrinted maxi dressVERO MODAveromoda.com£45.00BUY NOWLong sleeved knitted jumperVERO MODAveromoda.com£40.00BUY NOWVmjudy normal waist slim fit jeansVERO MODAveromoda.com£24.00BUY NOW
Best for: Stylish prints
Beginning as a one woman business selling at Portobello and Spitalfields market, Never Fully Dressed is a UK fashion success story and a brand that’ll become your go-to destination for the perfect summer dress. It’s curve range, which goes up to a size 26, is filled with modern designs that have a cool edge. Their unique prints make each dress such a stand out item, it’s a challenge not to add them all to cart. You can never have too many statement dresses right?Multi Tiered Harriet Mini Dress – CurveNEVER FULLY DRESSED, £30neverfullydressed.co.ukBUY NOWBlack Viscose Kira Dress – CurveNEVER FULLY DRESSED, £79neverfullydressed.co.ukBUY NOWMoon Leopard Green Midi Dress – CurveNEVER FULLY DRESSED, £39neverfullydressed.co.ukBUY NOWMulti Sassy Cheetah Contrast Midi Dress – CurveNEVER FULLY DRESSED, £49neverfullydressed.co.ukBUY NOW
11. Chi Chi London
Best for: Evening and formal dresses
If you’ve been looking high and low for a full-on, no apologies party dress, you have come to the right place. From embellished, to lace, to metallic, to rockabilly, these dresses are definitely not for wall flowers. And, honestly, finally! It’s about time curvy gals can shop equally fierce dresses suitable for clubbing, sipping cocktails at the bar, or even for cute date night dinns.