The Best, Most Flattering Plus Size Dresses You’ll Want To Wear All Summer Long

There's a flattering silhouette for every body type.

Plus size dresses on Instagram models

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

If you've had a look at your social calendar and have been met with an overwhelming amount of events; BBQs, a day at the races, yet another high school friends wedding - you're not alone. At this point you're probably frantically Googling 'is it okay to wear the same dress to every single occasion?' and while of course the answer is yes, that doesn't mean you should. Luckily there are some great plus size dresses available, from high-street brands to luxury designers, to wear to almost every occasion you've got lined up.

For some, the warmer months are a chance to wear your favourite mini dress or skirt after a long slog of hibernation. For others, the summer can seem like a daunting time of year, where the comfort of hiding underneath oversized jumpers and cosy loungewear has been ripped from us. The good news? More and more brands are embracing the diversity of body shapes and sizes and although we still have a long way to go, it seems we're finally making headway in the department of catering for everybody (no pun intended).

Let the quest for the perfect dress that makes you look and feel great, commence. From the best floral dresses to the best slip dresses, here are the most flattering plus size dresses you can wear all summer long.

SHOP: The Best Plus Size Dresses

Karen Millen Plus Size Caped Cap Sleeved Tailored Midi DressKaren Millen
Price: £175.20 (was £219)

Starting off strong with this vibrant red number from quintessential British designer Karen Millen. This dress is more suitable for weddings because of its short cape feature that hangs over the shoulders (oh, the drama) and the classic pencil style. Also, a pop of red is always welcome.

Rixo Kimmy Midi DressRIXO

We know that waistcoats are having their moment right now, and Rixo's Kimmy dress looks just like a smart waistcoat and midi skirt, but it's actually a dress. This dress makes for the perfect look to wear to a wedding, garden party, or even just the office.

This dress couldn't be more perfect for a sunny day with its bold mustard colour and pleated fabric. We love the super flattering V-neck style that shows just the right amount of cleavage. For the ultimate summer look, pair with some colourful droplet earrings and heels that are equally as bright.

Anthropologie The Tommie Cap-Sleeve Midi Shirt DressAnthropologie

The Tommie dress is one of Anthropologie's top rated, which makes complete sense when you look at the functional design of it. With a form-fitting smocked waist and a full zip, this dress is extremely complementary - and it's easy to get on and off too. Think of it as the older sister, or maybe more sophisticated cousin, to a classic shirt dress.

Ralph Lauren Belted Cotton-Blend Tiered DressRalph Lauren

This feminine and luxurious Ralph Lauren dress is sure to wow this summer. It has rolled sleeves, dropped shoulders and a tiered skirt so you can look put together without putting in much effort - which is exactly the kind of dress we're all about. Plus, Ralph Lauren's sizing goes up to a UK 28.

Reformation Annabelle Silk DressReformation

Do you need a dress that's more fancy? Voila. This maxi silk dress is absolutely stunning and it has that perfect material that cinches you in. Available in two different colours; sable, which is the most perfect ivory colour we've ever seen, and night garden, which is black with intricate brown details. 'Sable' is the clear winner for us, unless you're heading to a wedding, then this one might be a little too close to white.

DÔEN Ischia Shirred Cotton-Blend Voile Midi DressNet-A-Porter

In case you haven't heard, DÔEN is the brand founded by two sisters which has been seen on the likes of Selena Gomez and Kaia Gerber. Its Ischia midi dress has ethereal puffed sleeves and shirred panels down either side to help flatter your figure. The intricate tie neckline is also relatively modest too.

Ralph Lauren Floral Stretch Cotton Midi DressRalph Lauren

If you're all about exaggerated prints and flowers for spring, this Ralph Lauren dress is a great option. The midi length offers a graceful silhouette, while the stretch fabric ensures both comfort and a flattering fit. The neckline on this dress is also super flattering and shows just the right amount of skin.

Ganni Cotton Poplin Tie String Mini DressGanni

We all know the viral Ganni peplum top that's already been seen everywhere (including ASOS, who have a really similar style). The tie-front blouse is currently the style of the season, and this dress leans into that with its design and signature Ganni puff sleeves. Pair with cowboy boots, and you've got yourself a signature summer look.

Karen Millen Figure Form Asymmetric Strap Midi DressKaren Millen
Price: £79.20 (was £99)

If you have a black tie event on your summer social calendar a Karen Millen midi dress is the way to go. With an symmetric strap design in a contrasting black, the dress will sit off the shoulder, but is stretchy enough for you to still be able to move in it. It's a timeless design that you're likely to wear year after year.

What style of dress is most flattering?

You want a dress that's going to flatter your body shape, rather than something that's going to be unflattering, or even worse, drown your silhouette. A classic style many people tend to gravitate towards is the A-line, as these have the ability to look great on a variety of body types as they hug the waist before flaring out, which creates a balanced shape.

Wrap dresses, shirt dresses and anything with shirring or detailing around the middle are also universally flattering as they cinch in at the waist and can be adjusted to emphasise the middle part of your body if you want it to. Ultimately, your occasion wear should make you feel confident and sexy (and ready to make awfully boring small talk).

Should I choose a patterned or plain dress?

The dresses-should-be-timeless part of me wants to say plain, but the you're-young-have-fun part of me wants to say just go for it with something outrageously patterned or floral. It really is up to you. Patterned dresses will add a playful touch to your look that's perfect for days when you want to express your bold personality and stand out.

Meanwhile plain dresses (as in one solid colour and most definitely not boring), can effortlessly transition from day to evening with ease. Plus, they allow you to have more fun with the accompanying accessories, whether that be a chunky necklace or a colourful bag.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to make a statement, go for a patterned dress. If you prefer a more classic and understated look that you can dress up or down, opt for a dress that's a little more plain.

Main image credit: Instagram/@stephanieeyeboah @itslaurensmithy @calliethorpe

Gemma Lavers is a Fashion Writer at Bauer Media, writing for brands like Grazia, heat and Closer. Gemma specialises in all things clothing and enjoys outfit planning (especially for holidays), scrolling social media for the next trend and shopping (probably for a new coat).

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