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How to Choose a Cocktail Dress for Plus-size Women

by Robin Neorr

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Woman in colorful cocktail dress

Things You Need:

  • Fitted undergarments
  • Slip
  • Accessories

You have plans for a special night out, but you don't have a thing to wear. No problem; wear a cocktail dress. Plus-size cocktail dresses are available in lots of styles and colors, and they can fit and flatter women of all shapes and sizes. Choosing the right dress will not only flatter your figure and make you look amazing, but it will also increase your confidence and make you the belle of any ball.

Choosing a Plus-size Dress:

  1. Decide on the feature you want to emphasize. Do you want to show off your great legs? Choose a dress that hits right above the knee. Do you have a nice collarbone? A V-neck will emphasize this feature. Do you have narrow wrists? Choose a dress with three-quarter length sleeves. At the same time, decide what your problem areas are and determine a party dress that will de-emphasize them.

  2. Determine where you will wear this dress. Do you have an event in mind, such as a wedding or an office holiday party? The more formal the event, the less skin you will want to reveal. To get the most wear out of your dress, pick a classic, conservative style that works well at all occasions, such as a boat-neck knee-length dress.

  3. Purchase the proper foundation garment. Nothing makes an amazing cocktail dress look worse than a bra strap popping out or bumps and bulges showing because the wearer did not buy the proper undergarments. If you are wearing a strapless piece, buy a strapless bra. For tighter, fitted dresses, consider purchasing a body suit. Anything skimming the body demands a foundation garment that will slim your waist and thighs.

  4. Choose the style. An A-line skirt hitting right below the knee is universally flattering on plus-size women. Empire waists emphasize a woman's slimmest body part. Halter dresses draw attention to the upper portion of a woman's body and emphasize her face.

  5. Choose a fabric. Flowing fabrics that drape around the body work best for curvier girls. Think about a soft satin or silk cocktail dress. Steer clear of stiff fabrics, although fitted bodices can be very flattering if the skirt is fuller.

  6. Add accessories to complete the look. Pick one statement piece, such as a bold clutch or an elegant pair of earrings. Accessories can also draw attention to your best features or your problem areas, so select them carefully. If you have a wide face, stay away from overpowering earrings or a choker. Keep necklaces simple and small to draw eyes away from the bust area.

Cocktail Dress Tips:

  1. A great pair of heels is a cocktail dress's most important accessory. It's hard to go wrong with black heels, or you could try a pair in a nude color to elongate your legs.

  2. Add a clutch bag in a coordinating color or choose one in a bright color to add a pop to your look.

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