Our style pick: City Chic Cocktail dress Glowing Sequin Long Sleeve Sheath Dress from Nordstrom:
Weddings, cocktail parties, business dinners; no matter what the special occasion, my first thought is, without fail, “But what will I wear?!” And, of course, the more special a special occasion is, the more pressure there is to look perfect from head to toe. Breathe, ladies. This guide to plus size formal dresses for special occasion outfits will help you steal any spotlight!
1. Cocktail dresses
Cocktail dresses walk the line between formal and casual and are usually both elegant and comfortable, shorter than an evening gown, and dressier than daywear. Think Pretty Woman before she flung the snail across the restaurant.
2. Plus Size Formal Dresses
These are typically worn at the most formal of the formal events, such as evening weddings and other nighttime events. Generally floor length, these plus-size formal dresses gowns are usually embellished with sequins, gems, lace, and other adornments.
Since these dresses can be very expensive, sites like Rent the Runway are a great option for the budget minded Curvinista.
Our style pick: Lady Black Tie Amber Gown in Mauve: https://ladyblacktie.com/amber-gown-mauve/
Pantsuits are super versatile and can be worn to both formal and informal events, depending on the style. For example, a tuxedo-esq pantsuit is perfect for a formal wedding, while a grey thin stripe pantsuit with red heels gives off a provocative, edgy vibe at a cocktail party.
Our style pick: R & M Richards Plus Size Sequined Lace Pantsuit & Shell from Macy’s
4. Business dinner dresses
If the first word to enter your mind when you hear “business dinner” is boring, you’re not alone! However, even if you work for a super conservative company, you can still let your personal style shine through. Finding out if the dinner will be business casual (such as a holiday cocktail party) or business formal (such as a sit down dinner to seal a million dollar deal) will help you choose just the right outfit to convey a combination of both professionalism and a sense of fashion.
When in doubt, pick skirts or dresses that are either at or slightly above the knee (such as a pencil skirt). Solid colors or subtle patterns are usually best instead of bright splashes. Your outfit should fit close to your body without being too tight and sleeveless dresses or tops should be worn with a sweater or jacket over them.
Our style pick: Eloquii Flare Sleeve Scuba Dress
5. Church dresses
While many churches have relaxed their dress codes in recent years, I personally still like to make an effort when I praise the Lord! Jeans, tank and spaghetti strap tops, as well as low cut, backless, see-through, or very short pieces are usually frowned upon. Modest is best, but that does not mean you have to look dull! Keep dresses and skirts at or below the knee and make sure to bring a shawl or jacket if you don’t have at least cap sleeves on top. Jewelry should be tasteful and not overly eye-catching.
Our style pick: Calvin Klein Plus Size Round Neck Bell Long Sleeve Sheath Dress from Dillard’s
Need professional help finding the perfect outfit for your special occasion? Plus size stylists such as Nikki Frenney-Wiggins, Steffany Bready-Edwards, and Susan Moses understand the curvy form like no other, offer both in-person and virtual styling sessions, and know exactly what will look best on you!
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