Plus Size Maxi Dresses: Trendy Designs and Styles

We’ve got major love for the maxi dress and you’re about to find out why! Trade in those mini skirts and cutoff shorts because the maxi dress is giving fuller-figured women something to get excited about in fashion. Easily becoming one of the most versatile items in a woman’s wardrobe, plus size maxi dresses are making headway with trendier and more stylish designs coming out season after season. So if you thought this look was a thing of the past, think again! Because plus size maxi dresses are here to stay and we like it that way!

Florals + Watercolor Prints

No matter what season it is, floral prints always seem to be a popular trend in fashion for women. Just as unique as the flowers themselves, floral prints also come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes to choose from. Florals are particularly popular for cute plus size summer dresses and spring outfits, which means we are seeing a lot of plus size maxi dresses for summer with this sort of print on them. And while flowers may seem “girly”, when styled correctly a floral maxi dress can take on more of an androgynous feel by simply adding an oversized blazer or denim jacket, a fedora, and combat boots. So if you have never given floral prints a chance before, out of fear of looking too feminine, you will be surprised to find that they can actually be more versatile than you think.

For fuller-figured women, figuring out how to wear this trend is all about paying attention to your body shape and which print will be the most flattering on your shape. If you have wider hips and thighs or are just fuller around your bottom half, try to avoid plus size maxi dresses that have a busy print towards the bottom or just in the middle, as this will draw the eye to this area. Instead, look for a style with the floral print near the top, cuts off at the waist and breaks down into a darker solid color towards the bottom. By breaking up your maxi dress this way (which you can also create by adding a belt) will help minimize the fullness on the bottom and make your upper half the focal point.

In contrast, if you are wider on top or have a larger chest size in general, you will want to keep the busy floral print towards the bottom and a solid shade around your top half. The size of the print will also play a role in which style of dress to choose. Larger prints can often make you look bigger than you actually are, as the large print may appear to be stretching across your body. The safest bet is to go with a print that is a small-to-medium size and not overly busy.

Watercolor and floral prints have been going hand-in-hand this season. By using complementary color palettes, designers have introduced a fresh take on the traditional floral print we are accustomed to. The watercolor trend is also a great option for your plus size maxi dresses for summer because they are colorful and fluid. Women of all ages can embrace watercolor in their wardrobe to quickly ramp up their collection of casual, daytime plus size maxi dresses.

Sheer + Chiffon Fabrics

When the temperatures are rising, sheer and chiffon outfits will be your new best friend. During the middle of summer, no one wants to think about having to put on lots of clothing or wearing fabrics that can’t breathe, which is why these lightweight fabrics are so ideal. For more conservative women, a sheer fabric may sound like a scary thought, but trust us, it is not as revealing as it sounds. One of the reasons chiffon or any other sheer fabric is so great for summer is that it will not cling to your body or feel heavy while you’re wearing it.

* One thing to note about chiffon, is that it tends to be a flowy fabric that can potentially look like a shapeless frock rather than a flattering floor-length dress. So if the style you choose is too billowy and your shape becomes lost in the fabric, add a belt or fabric scarf around the waist to cinch in your waist. This will help to give your silhouette definition and show off your womanly physique.

Often, we see chiffon as a more formal fabric that we would wear out for one of our Casual Summer Date Outfits, to a wedding, or even to a meeting for work. The look and feel of chiffon is much more elevated than fabrics such as cotton or jersey, so it can work well for a more elevated maxi dress. And if you’re looking for plus size maxi dresses in black, sheer and chiffon fabrics will be the easiest option. During summer, black is not always the ideal color to wear as it traps in heat and become uncomfortable to wear if you start to sweat. But if you’re wanting to wear black or just dress up a bit for an event, try a chiffon maxi dress in black that has textural details and interesting cutouts to give the look some attitude. On its own, black can look very sophisticated and chic so it is always a safe choice if you’re ever in doubt of what color to wear. Everyone looks good in black!

As for the style of plus size sheer maxi to wear, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Will it flatter your figure?
  • What is the occasion?

For a birthday party, engagement dinner, or bridal shower, a chiffon Plus Size Long Summer Dress with floral embroidery is a very elegant and appropriate choice of attire. Depending on how formal the event is, you will want to make sure your sheer dress is not exposing too much of that beautiful body that could border on inappropriate. So if the style of your dress is low cut or has a low back, make sure you are compensating by covering up other areas of your body. And if you are not completely confident heading out the door in your sheer plus size maxi dresses, pop on a cropped jacket or a comfortable shawl to give you a bit of coverage and a whole lot of confidence!

Slits + Cutouts

It’s summertime and we’re bringing sexy back with these two hot new trends for plus size maxi dresses. Slits and cutouts are making headway this season as we’re seeing more and more of these details pop up. A maxi dress already provides a good deal of coverage, so for the women that want to show off just slightly more skin, this trend is for you! And why not? If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

When shopping for a dress that incorporates this trend, look for styles that are solid colored or darker colored. With the right cutouts, your dress will already be drawing enough attention without the addition of a busy print or piled on accessories- not to mention cut outs are perfect additions as your go to Plus Size Outfits for Hot Weather. The idea for this style is to keep it minimal and let your look do the talking. If you love your legs, then a thigh-high slit is right up your alley. Look for plus size maxi dresses in black with long sleeves to balance out the ultra-sexy high slit up the leg. With this trend, it’s important not to overdo it. Too many slits and cutouts can start to look like your dress was mauled by a tiger rather than a chic and fashionable ensemble.

If your legs do not happen to be your favorite feature, not to worry! There are so many ways to rock this trend for Summer 2018. For example, showcase your collarbone with a geometric cutout around the neckline or show a little shoulder with cuts strategically placed along the décolleté. However, we do want to proceed with caution when it comes to plus size women and a maxi dress with cutouts. If the dress does not flatter your body, no matter how you try to accessorize or distract by layering pieces, there is no hiding a bad fit. So make sure you try on your plus size maxi dresses before heading to the checkout. The last thing you want is to end up looking like a stuffed sausage in a casing with flesh bulging out of the cutouts because the dress is too tight. The key takeaway for this trend: forget about size and focus on fit!

Fruit Prints

Feeling fruity? If not, you’re about to! Fruit-inspired prints have been all over the place from clothing, to jewelry to handbags, and even phone cases and are super popular for beach vacation outfits. This trend has definitely become a new design favorite. Some of the most trendy fruits to make their way into fashion are bold red cherries, zesty lemons, and refreshing watermelon, just to name a few. This trend is all about having fun and should be embraced when you’re out shopping for new plus size maxi dresses. Life is too short to take yourself seriously all the time and this fun take on clothing will help you lighten up and bring a little playfulness to your overall look.

As we mentioned earlier about florals, try to avoid prints that are overwhelming or too large as they tend to make our bodies appear wider. If the style you choose has a mix of both large and small size fruit throughout the print, this is probably ok to wear, but just to be sure we still suggest trying it on. Clothes can appear completely different from what we imagined on the hanger, as our natural shape, height and weight will fill out the dress in its own unique way. Imagine shopping with a group of your girlfriends and you all decide to try on the same plus size maxi dresses- we can bet that each one of you will wear it a bit differently. Unfortunately, the majority of us are not living in a world like the movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, where one-size really does fit all and therefore must make sure that we find the most flattering pieces for our own bodies.

And while we love the fruit print for Spring and Summer, it is not necessarily a staple that we think you should carry into your Fall or Winter wardrobe. Just as these fruits have their best season to grow, the same can be said for fruit prints when it comes to fashion. Bright, colorful prints such as these are more appropriate for a setting that goes hand-in-hand with the theme, and not with a fur coat in the dead of Winter. But if you’re completely obsessed and just cannot forgo your fruits, then find pieces that showcase them in darker or neutral colors, warmer fabrics, and chic silhouettes. This way you still have a touch of fun, but still look stylish and appropriate for the season.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right material. Don't wear a material that is too clingy, especially in the middle area. Instead, wear a textured fabric, such as a woven material, to draw more attention away from your middle.
  • Another way to draw attention away from your middle and direct attention elsewhere is to wear a fun print or use an accessory to create more definition in your waistline.
  • Emphasize your bust. To emphasize your bust, you should wear v-cut or plunging necklines, or A-line dresses, to lengthen your body and draw attention to your bust.
  • Go for a dress that has an A-line or a continuous pattern on it. Another strategy is to find a dress that makes the most of color blocking and incorporating prints in strategic areas to show off the features we want to highlight and conceal the ones we don’t.
  • Make sure to try it on! Unless the store you’re shopping at has a great return policy, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to shopping. So do yourself and your bank account a favor and try on before you buy. 

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