Wedding season is absolutely in full swing. You might be an eager attendee ready to hit the dancefloor, someone who lives for catching the bouquet, or the bride herself. The responsibility of getting married and having the perfect wedding for your guests can be an overwhelming one, but there are other leading ladies that feels the pressure, too: The maid of honor and her bridesmaids. From throwing the bachelorette party to making sure your best friend has her best possible day, being a bridesmaid is a huge undertaking. One thing that you shouldn't have to stress about on that day is whether you have a dress that is both beautiful and fits you like a glove.
Of course the bride has the most important outfit of the day, but with you standing right beside her, you too should have the right to feel confident, beautiful and comfortable. Formal wear can be hard for plus-sized women like us. It can be grueling to find clothing that even goes above a women's 14, and if you do, often it's not by much or it runs extremely small. Our status as bigger women doesn't deplete our status as best friends, sisters, and bridesmaids.
When you do find a dress that fits just right, there's a whole other struggle that plagues us in formal wear: Grandma syndrome. What looks great on Aunt Fran isn't necessarily the first choice for a 20-to-30-something bridesmaid who wants to feel just as fashion-forward as her friends. It's time to quit settling for whatever works and start buying clothing we're in love with. With the expansion of the plus-sized clothing industry and it's integration into more and more stores and companies, this issue is one that is slowly but surely being resolved. While I'd still love to see more plus-sized model representation on the sites and I loathe the way that websites are calling the two categories "regular" vs. "plus-sized," any progress is still progress. Below are some of the most to-die-for plus size dresses for that very special day.
1. Sleeveless Key Hole Beaded Waist Jersey Dress
The grecian neckline, beaded accentuation at the waist and slit in the middle spice up this floor-length gown from David's Bridal. Coming in at $119, it's on the middle to lower end of the formal clothing price ranges. It drapes elegantly, and even shows off a little cleavage for the adventurous bridesmaid.
2. "Aidan" Convertible Strapless Chiffon Gown
This strapless number is so classically adorable and elegant. I'm seriously going to pin it to my dream wedding board later (doesn't everyone have one of those? No?) This flowy, carefully rouched dress comes in a crazy amount of colors from the one and only Nordstrom. It's a bit pricier, coming in at $335 for the plus sized version. I'm a little peeved that their definition of a "regular" sized item is just $285.
3. Chiffon and Satin Above-the-Knee Dress
It is officially summer, and a floorlength dress might be the last thing you're looking to wear. The delicate caged details on the neckline let your shoulders and chest breathe in this frock, while the bouncy short hemline keep your legs free too. It's not too busy and prom-ish, like a lot of short bridesmaids dresses tend to be. Alfred Angelo nailed this chiffon and satin number. You can find stores near you for pricing via the website.
4. New Look Inspire Sleeveless Wrap Dress
This dress is a bit more casual, but for an outdoor wedding or a small afair, it's perfect. The swing hemline will make its wearer feel like a star, and the draping top portion is flattering on every body shape. The straps are wider, which will support a larger chest. ASOS Curve is flawless, and this dress is a steal on sale for $32.39.
5. Asymmetrical Dress
For a flair of drama with the comfort of modesty, Alfred Angelo nailed it again with this asymetrical above-the-knee dress. This might be a good dress to give the maid of honor, while a simpler but similar dress could be worn by the remaining bridesmaids. It's the perfect distinction, while totally not distracting from the real honorable guest, the bride.
6. Long Sleeve Short Lace Dress with Sequins
If lace is more of your guilty pleasure, this David's Bridal dress is perfect. Yes, it's long-sleeved, but the sleeves are see-through and the sequins add a shimmer of glamour. It hits above the knee, sassing up the traditional lace. It's simple but elegant, and definitely one of my personal favorites. It's perfect for a wedding, but could also be worn elsewhere because it's fairly casual. Plus, it's a pretty sweet bargain at $99.
7. Donna Morgan 'Rachel' Rouched One-Shoulder Chiffon Gown
Simplicity is key to letting your favorite bride shine, and this dress definitely accomplished that while still keeping the wearer looking amazing. The gentle gathering of fabric on the one-shoulder top is gorgeous, and the rouched waist splits up the long lines that the body creates. This dress is a Nordstrom number, so it's a little pricier at $298, but it's red carpet fabulous and will guarantee turning heads.
Images: David's Bridal, Nordstrom, Alfred Angelo, ASOS, Alfred Angelo, David's Bridal, Nordstrom