March 23, 2023

Women Fashion

Never be Caught

8 best plus-size wedding guest dresses for summer

As people are getting vaccinated and the world is slowly starting to return to a sense of “normalcy” (whatever that is), many of the weddings that were supposed to take place in 2020 will be held this summer. If you’re like me, the thought alone of going anywhere post-pandemic—let alone a fancy event like a wedding—is really stressful. I’ve been wearing nothing but pajamas and sweats for the past year, and now you expect me to put on makeup? A dress? Heels?!

As a plus-size woman, I’ve scoured the interwebs for exactly what to wear to a wedding or any other formal occasion this summer. From airy maxi dresses to fit-and-flare frocks, these 11 plus-size dresses are equal parts fashionable and figure-flattering.

Pro tip: To prevent uncomfortable chafing, I cannot wear a dress without bike shorts or Bandelettes underneath. One of our writers also loves BodyGlide, which is a gel that works to prevent skin from rubbing and sticking. No matter what dress you buy, I recommend investing in one of these to prevent a night of misery and burning. You’ll thank me later.

1. This ruffled midi dress

Strut into style with the best plus-size wedding guest dresses for the summer from Old Navy.

Strut into style with the best plus-size wedding guest dresses for the summer from Old Navy.

Perks of shopping at Old Navy: It’s cheap (most of the time), it has frequent sales, and the clothes—which come in a wide range of sizes—tend to last. The popular retailer also offers a bunch of wedding-appropriate dresses, like this floral find.

With a solid 4.2-star rating, the rayon dress has a relaxed fit and a removable tie belt to define your waist and enhance your curves. The ruffled V-neck and elbow-length puff sleeves make this dress fun and playful yet not too fancy—ideal for a backyard or beach wedding.

Get the Waist-Defined Ruffled Tie-Belt Plus-Size Midi Wrap Dress from Old Navy for $46.00

2. This T-shirt swing dress

Amazon plus-size T-shirt dress

Credit: Amazon

You can wear this dress well beyond the wedding day.

Not everyone is comfortable wearing tight dresses—I get it. Even though I’m a firm believer you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your body, sometimes you just want to wear something you can relax in. Enter this dress, which I like for those times when you want to look fabulous without tugging at your outfit all night. The playful cold shoulder shows a hint of skin while the flowy cut provides comfy coverage. And it has pockets. Sold.

More than 5,600 reviewers on Amazon give it an average 4.4-star rating for its relaxed fit and versatility. The dress comes in 35 colors and patterns and in women’s sizes 14 to 26. It’s easy to dress up with some statement jewelry to make it more “wedding-friendly.”

Get the Nemidor Women’s Cold Shoulder Plus Size Swing Dress from Amazon for $24.99

3. This sexy tie-front dress

Eloquii maxi dress

Credit: Eloquii

Go bold or go home with this Eloquii dress.

This dress from Eloquii gives off big goddess energy, with its flirty cutouts and full sweeping skirt. Made of rayon with a waist seam with back elastic and cuffed, elastic sleeves, the maxi dress is made for a plus-size body—which is rare, as most plus-size clothes are just straight-size clothes, but bigger.

Available in women’s sizes 14 to 28, it also comes in six gorgeous colors and patterns. Sure, there’s the standard black option, but you could also go for eye-popping emerald or an abstract floral.

Get the Tie Front Full Skirted Maxi Dress from Eloquii for $29.95

4. This dress with built-in shorts

Amazon plus-size high-low dress

Credit: Amazon

You won’t have to worry about any wardrobe malfunctions in this dress.

As mentioned, I can’t wear a dress sans shorts or Bandelettes underneath without suffering the dreaded chub rub. That’s why I’m obsessed with this dress. It comes with shorts sewn right into it, similar to the skorts I used to love in elementary school. The off-shoulder neckline lets your shoulders soak up some summer sun and the thigh-high slit in the front gives you plenty of room to tear up the dance floor.

The dress comes in women’s sizes XL to 3X. Note: Many of its reviewers recommend going up a size or two to prevent the shorts from being too tight or riding up.

Get the Biubiu Women’s Off Shoulder Floral Rayon Party Split Maxi Romper Dress from Amazon for $25.99

5. This spaghetti strap maxi dress

Amazon maxi dress

Credit: Amazon

Florals, abstracts, or Hawaiian prints: The choice is yours.

With over 4,100 reviews and a 4-star rating, this dress is a summertime favorite among Amazon shoppers. Available in a variety of floral and abstract palm leaf prints, it conjures up images of Hawaiian sunsets and romantic beach weddings. The dress boasts a sexy slit to show a little leg, along with a cold-shoulder neckline for an equally flirtatious top half.

“This dress made me feel beautiful, sexy, and confident,” one fan raves. “All things I haven’t felt like in a while. Seriously, I felt like an ethereal wood nymph roaming the streets of Paris. It definitely gave me a much-needed confidence boost.” It comes in women’s sizes L to 3X.

Get the Milumia Plus-Size Cold Shoulder Bohemian Split Dress from Amazon for $32.99

6. This boldly printed piece

Nina Parker's Macy's collection has some of the best plus-size dresses to wear to a summer wedding.

Nina Parker’s Macy’s collection has some of the best plus-size dresses to wear to a summer wedding.

Nina Parker’s entire Macy’s collaboration hits it out of the park, but when it comes to this midi-dress, it’s a game-changer. Fitted to perfection, this midi-dress shines with a punchy print and curve-hugging silhouette that reviewers say “looks great on all” and “the best dress ever.”

Get the Nina Parker Trendy Plus Size Mesh Midi Dress from Macy’s for $109

7. This gorgeously green dress

Reformation's gorgeous green maxi dress is the perfect plus-sized dress to wear to a summer wedding.

Credit: Reformation

Reformation’s gorgeous green maxi dress is the perfect plus-sized dress to wear to a summer wedding.

Available in women’s plus-sizes 14-24, the full-length Jasen dress is fitted in the bodice and waist and features a relaxed fitted trumpet skirt. Factor in the ruffle detailing and tie straps, and it’s the romantic dress we all need.

Get the Jasen Dress Ens from Reformation for $298

8. This top-rated dress

This is one of the best plus-size dresses to wear to a summer wedding.

Credit: Nordstrom

This is one of the best plus-size dresses to wear to a summer wedding.

This playfully chic and delightfully drapey dress was an unexpected yet pleasant surprise for more than one reviewer. One happy shopper said the Kiyona Whimsy Wrap dress was a “big wow,” and another said, “The material, color, and ruffle on the bottom are gorgeous, and it’s really a first-rate dress.”

Get the Kiyonna Whimsy Wrap Dress from Nordstrom for $98

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.