Summer dresses are one of the most fun fashion assets you can add to your wardrobe. They’re playful and professional at the same time, and finding a few each season should be on every woman’s list of clothing must haves. Gone are the drab dark clothes of winter. We’re talking lots of bright colors, patterns and comfy, stretchy fabrics. A few classy plus size dresses will take you beautifully from the boardroom, to the cocktail hour and beyond.
As a woman who spent years navigating the unspoken rules of corporate America, where business suits were de rigueur at the office, summer always softened the rules, and casual Fridays bent them even further. That’s when my collection of summer dresses expanded to the guest room closet, having filled up my allotted space in the master bedroom. It’s a good thing my sweetheart appreciates his wife looking good (and being happy) at all times. I’m even happier that designers are paying attention to the fact that 67 percent of American women are size 14 or larger. Now, we can actually find dresses, pants, swimsuits, and lingerie designed with real women in mind.
Depending on how you’re built, or the mood you’re in, these plus size dresses will suit your personal style. Having a day when anything clingy just seems uncomfortable? Check out the cute plus size shift dresses on our list. Looking for something more racy and daring? High shoulder and even off the shoulder dresses are here too. If you need a dress that’s strictly business by day, but can transform at night, you’re sure to find it here. From shirtwaist dresses to sheaths, with a few maxis thrown in for good measure, you’ll find a perfect fit for every day this summer, and almost every dress on this list is machine washable. Get ready to turn a few heads, ladies. Just slip on any one of these Top 10 Best Plus Size Dresses for Summer.
1. MSK Women’s Plus-Size Knit Chambray Sarong Dress
This cute plus size dress for summer features a sleeveless, tank style top, with a contrasting printed skirt. The asymmetrical bottom hem will have you ready to hit the dance floor to swish and swirl around. The bit longer length makes it an elegant and business worthy choice, if you just slip on a jacket or cardigan over the top. And because it’s machine washable, you can spend your summer evenings enjoying instead of making weekly runs to the dry cleaner. The four percent spandex means it holds its shape after a full day of wear. You’ll find this same cute asymmetrical dress style in a snappy black and white, which is especially great for the office. For a little different take, MSK makes a similar dress that has a simple contrasting hem detail.
2. Gabby Skye Women’s Plus Size Printed Fit & Flare Dress
This cute summer plus size dress had me at “keyhole neckline.” That little detail takes this frock from plain Jane to subtly sexy with that added hint of skin at the decollete. I love the Aztec print and the beautiful, fresh blue and white. This sleeveless, fit and flare dress features a nicely structured top that give shape and definition to your torso, while the knee length pleated skirt adds shape without bulk. Another keyhole cutie from Gabby Sky is the swing style Animal Print Key Hole Dress, in a trendy snake skin pattern. Their simpler tank style sleeveless dress features a leopard print, swingy skirt and my other favorite dress feature…pockets.
3. NY Collection Women’s Plus-Size Printed Sleeveless Cutout-Neck Dress
If you dare to bare your pretty shoulders and collar bones, this sexy plus size sleeveless shift dress is an awesome find. This cute A line dress serves up a bold geometric pattern and features a bit higher neckline with cutaway shoulders and solid black contrast trims. As if it didn’t have enough sass and sex appeal from the front, the keyhole in the back, with a single button closure, is an added and elegant statement. While this dress might look a bit shorter than you normally wear, don’t forget most models are anywhere from 5′ 10″ to six feet tall, so if you’re of average height this dress will likely land just slightly above the knee. Just in case you fall in love with this adorable plus size dress, you can get a second one in a totally different pattern to spice up your summer wardrobe. If you’re looking to rock the cocktail hour, check out this slightly fancier, but similarly styled dress featuring sparkly burnout trim at the hem and neckline.
4. Adrianna Papell Women’s Plus-Size Gingham & Floral Flared Embroidered Shirtdress
Shirtdresses never go out of style. That’s what makes this plus size dress a timeless addition to your summer wardrobe. The gingham and floral print is fresh and fun, and the little details bring it all together in a great look for work or an afternoon party. The flared skirt features a smooth line from the waste, giving nice definition to your midsection, while the front features a mandarin collar and button down styling. The self tie sash at the waist means you’ll never be in search of a belt to make this pretty dress a standout. And the side pockets bring it all home. If you, like me, love floral prints, the Printed Scuba Sheath Dress is an elegant summer option. The floral printed Fit and Flare Pleated Dress would be a beautiful option for wedding wear and any other special summer occasion.
Price: $97.79 – $200.00 (Up to 50 percent off MSRP)
5. Tiana B Women’s Plus Size Abstract Trapeze Dress
An elegant combination of black, cream, tan and brown are highlighted by brilliant peach in this pretty printed knit, plus size trapeze dress. A longer, 3/4 length sleeve adds to an elegant silhouette and is preferred by many women, plus size and not, for its more modest fashion approach. The polyester and spandex blend fabric keeps the flouncy hemline hanging perfect, and the slightly longer length is a nice touch as well. For true summer appeal, the sheer fabric of a Bell Sleeve Abstract Printed Boat Neck Dress is always an awesome look. A similar sheer and flowey dress brings bold blues and purples to the fore. The AGB Women’s Plus-Size Sheath In Rich Brushstroke Print is a dramatic look for summer.
6. Torrid Denim Off Shoulder Trapeze Dress
Pure fun and passion ignite the look of this adorable, off-the-shoulder trapeze dress. This plus size cutie is made of surprisingly lightweight and swingy denim. The big difference here is that this denim has a secret. It’s made from 100 percent tencel, and if you’ve never worn this fabric, I’ll warn you ahead, you’re going to fall in love with it. The sassy ruffled trim along the shoulders flirts it up, letting your shoulders soak up the sun, and amps up the plus size fashion ante in a big way. Since you’ll want to avoid bra straps, check out Torrid’s plus size bras for a strapless number. Because they make foundations and fashions for women with serious assets, you’ll be thrilled with designs that were made just for you and your size. For a little more refined, work worthy outfit, Torrid’s Denim High Neck Skater Dress is simple and fresh. To change it up for an evening out at the clubs, switch out to a bright red wide belt and some red platform pumps.
7. Woman Within Plus Size Polka Dot Maxi Dress
Oh my gosh, I never met a polka dot I didn’t love, and this adorable plus size maxi dress has a plethora of them in different sizes. Pink and perfect for summer wear, this plus size polka dot frock falls long and easy, with a hem falling just above your ankles. in relaxed maxi length. The cling free ply spandex blend fits with total comfort and the sleeveless style lets your arms move in comfort. The empire waist creates definition and proportion, while the wide, solid underbust band adds a colorful flair. Soft pleats at the scoop neckline add elegance and make room for a more ample bust, while thos same pleats ar mimicked below the waist to allow for more fabric flow and movement. It also comes in sizes up to 5X. For a shorter look that’s pretty in pink, the Floral Print Surplice Dress has a sexy wrap bodice with an empire waist. For a sheer and flouncy look, the Popover A-Line Dress features a high-low hemline and a fun layered look that’s perfect for warm days.
Price: $82.17 – $88.37
8. Calvin Klein Women’s Plus Size Sleeveless Solid Fit & Flare Dress
This flattering, work worthy plus size dress is hugely popular for a reason. Simple styling and great draping make it a must have in your collection of business wear. When you’re searching for the perfect thing to wear, the top seaming and soft pleats at the skirt are forgiving and comfortable, yet they give a tailored look and feel. You can dress this dress up or down. Wear it unadorned for a simple and understated look, or wrap your neck or shoulders in a beautiful scarf, or add a statement necklace to make this dress a total mic drop. It comes in several awesome colors that can take you through the seasons. Slip on a glittering gold shrug and matching sandals for an awesome evening look. Black and white is another go-to look for the office, and this little black dress by Calvin Klein features symmetrical stripes around a flouncy A-line skirt.
Price: $63.55 – $99.00 (Up to 21 percent off MSRP)
9. Eliza J Women’s Plus Size Stripe Shift Dress
Shift dresses are classically cool, breezy and fun, and they’re especially great for hiding those little body flaws we don’t love to show. This striped plus size dress from Eliza J features traditional shift styling with some added elements that draw attention. The roomy, elbow length sleeves perfectly match the stripe pattern of the dress to create a seamless look, while the wide black stripe across the bottom hem draws your eyes to follow the color pattern right up to your gorgeous face. Since green is the color darling this year, you’ll be right in style with this multi color print. An off the shoulder shift dress mixes summery seersucker and a center lace detail. The Mandarin Collar Shift looks akin to a Bond girl, with its sleek styling, but it still offers the innocence of eyelet fabric.
10. Roaman’s Women’s Plus Size Laser Cut Maxi Dress
This might just be one of my favorite plus size dresses of the season for it’s elegant look. I’d feel like Daisy in the Great Gatsby wearing this pretty plus size maxi dress. The V neckline pairs with an inverted V waist seam to give both definition and eye appeal. But the prettiest thing about this flowey summer frock is the laser cut panel at the neckline and on the skirt. The interesting pattern is eye catching, to say the least. This pretty plus size sleeveless dress features from and front and back slimming princess seams, and a side zipper with a hook and eye closure. It’s fully lined so you can skip the slip and the polyester georgette is machine washable. The V-Neck Flared Maxi Dress offers a little less waist definition if you’re hiding a bit of tummy, but its princess skirt is very flattering and feminine. And if you love floral prints, the beautiful and soft hydrangea print Floral Beaded Fit And Flare Dress is a must have. Its split flutter sleeves and hankie hem make it a plus size fashion standout.
Price: $67.17 – $77.17 (Up to 47 percent off MSRP)