Choosing the perfect plus size holiday dresses for the season is kind of like choosing a meal at a super fancy restaurant: You'll probably only eat there once a year, so you try your damnedest to make sure the meal is absolute gut-busting perfection. Granted, you don't have to wear your holiday dress just once — and you certainly don't have to restrict yourself to shopping for dresses just for the holidays — but there is something particularly satisfying and unique about choosing a perfect festive frock. After all, it's a season during which you're likely going to be asked to attend more social and familial gatherings than any other time of year, and you definitely want to look good at all of them. This might mean that you choose one dress to get you through until after New Year's, or that you buy an arsenal to choose from for heading out to work soirees, family functions, and hot holiday dates.
Unfortunately — since holiday dressing is unique — so are its challenges. In my humble opinion, much of the holiday dress market is a little too on-the-nose. In other words, there's enough red and gold to supply Santa's workshop until 2062. While I appreciate a pointed nod to the season, I also love thinking outside of the box when it comes to holiday frocks. Here are some of my favorite plus size picks.
1. Feathered And Fabulous
Prima Black Feathered Dress, $188, Elvi
This amazing garment is available for pre-order right now, which means that you could be sashaying through the holiday scene like the gorgeous black swan that you are. In addition to the plumage, this dress has other unexpected details, including a comfortable silhouette and sheer sleeves.
2. An Unexpected Color Change
Truly You Sequin T-Shirt Dress, $99, ASOS
Because who says that Christmas has to be all about reds, golds, and greens? I love the idea of wearing an off-kilter — albeit still sparkly — look for a holiday party. Imagine how fierce this would be with contrasting black tights and ankle booties.
3. A Serious Silhouette
If you don't want a bold color, try a bold silhouette. Jibri is known in the plus size indie world for creating garments that play with the size and shape of a woman's body. In other words, for breaking the plus size fashion rules we're supposed to follow. This tie waist dress has a dramatic hip and looks comfortable enough for plenty of party hopping.
4. Sheer Sensation
The Boleyn Dress, $89, Chubby Cartwheels
Sure, you might not feel super positive about wearing this in front of your family, but that's the special thing about this dress: At a holiday dinner, you can wear a black slip underneath. When it's time to ditch your relatives and meet up with friends, the slip can be swapped for a black bandeau and a booty short. The holidays never looked so ravishing.
5. Neutral Chic
ASOS Curve Wrap Twist T-Shirt Dress, $63, ASOS
This shade of gray is absolutely stunning, and will be well-complimented by lots of festive bling. Plus, the dress has some unexpected draping that's anything but boring. In fact, you just might be the chicest babe at the party.
6. Classic Sequins
Prima Sequin Tassel Dress, $163, Elvi
It's fun to think of ways to dress outside the box, but it's also great to give in to holiday cheer by wearing something classically sparkly and festive. This dress is basically everything your office holiday party needs, with a little fun fringe to kick around in once you've had too much champagne.
7. Ribbed Realness
Maxi Knitted Rib Dress, $51, Missguided
A ribbed, long sleeve maxi in a winter white? As long as you don't spill any red wine, this is basically the perfect holiday outfit.
8. A Fabulous Cape With A Dress Built In
Adrianna Papell Color Pop Crepe Sheath Dress, $180, Nordstrom
Without the cape, this sheath dress is classic and simple. With it, it's a compelling and dramatic holiday dress choice, perfect for those who want to make a statement. I love the unexpected flash of hot pink underneath as well.
9. Fearless Floral
Anna Scholz Digital Neoprene Maxi Skater Dress, $700, Hey Gorgeous
This dress is pricey enough to make me break out into a cold sweat, but it's also hot enough to make my heart soar. If you've got the scratch, a digital print maxi like this would be incredible for the holidays. You just might not be able to afford any more dresses until next Christmas.
10. Plaid Perfection
Voodoo Vixen "Pretty In Plaid" Dress, $88, Redressnyc
Go classically Christmas with this dress that will have you looking like a vintage present that no one needs to unwrap to enjoy. Plus, with a leather jacket and some boots, you can wear this frock all winter long.
11. Wintry Floral
Pink Clove Printed Plunge Front Scarf Maxi, $36, ASOS
Florals aren't just for spring, and wintry florals are arguably more exciting than their springtime counterparts. They're bigger, bolder, and the colors are richer. This one is a particularly beautiful way to make a holiday statement.
12. Pretty In Pleats
Lovedrobe Pleated Tie Belt Dress, $90, Navabi
Timeless, feminine, and a rich hunter green: This dress pays homage to all things fundamentally festive, and it's also incredibly easy to throw on and style when you simply can't decide what to wear.
13. Lace Elegance
Exquisite Elegance Dress, $150, ModCloth
This ornate dress boasts a throwback silhouette and incredible navy lace, and it makes the perfect unexpected statement for a holiday party. The best part about this garment? It's so visually interesting that you can leave the accessories at a minimum and simply find yourself a great pair of silver or gold heels.
Go forth and proceed to stun them all with your festive fabulousness.
Want to make an incredible pair of DIY boots to go with all this plus size holiday dress realness? Check out the video below, and subscribe to Bustle's YouTube page for more fashion and beauty DIY projects!
Images: Courtesy Brands