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We're all ready to shed those winter layers and step into something more breezy for the warmer months.
With summer right around the corner, it's peak dress shopping season, so before you revamp your wardrobe, we tapped a few of our favorite style experts to recommend some of the best dresses for plus-size ladies.
From picking comfortable fabrics (hello, summer heat) to embracing bold patterns, they offered some great tips to help you choose solid staples for the season.
Now all that's left for you to do is shop to your heart's content!
Choose comfortable fabrics
We all want to look cute, but let's face it, comfort is also top of mind, especially during the warmer months. And summer dresses with easy breezy fabrics are your best bet.
"Any material that has some stretch to it is the way to go. The dress will always hug your curves and still move with you while you’re on the go. The fabric should also be light and breathable so you won’t get too hot trying to look cute," said fashion stylist, personal shopper and model Jasmine Okoli.
Fabrics to try: cotton, linen, jersey knit, spandex, polyester, modal, microfiber
Comfy dresses we love:
- 1. Jersey Knit Swing Dress, $25-27, Amazon
Stretchy jersey knit and fashion-forward sleeves put this summer dress at the top of our wish list!
- 2. A Pleasure Indeed Knit Dress in Navy, $49, Modcloth
Keep cool and look cute in a pretty blue summer dress featuring slight ruching at the waist.
- 3. Cold-Shoulder Casual T-Shirt Dress, $16-25, Amazon
An LBD is a year-round style staple, and we're particularly digging this version with cutout sleeves and an unfussy silhouette.
Consider your proportions
When shopping for plus-size dresses, start by thinking about the features on your body you most want to emphasize.
"I think the best styles are the ones that fit your proportions well. It’s all about the tiered or flounced trapeze dress in airy fabrics," said Zahir Babvani, VP of Design for Woman Within.
Seek out dress styles that accentuate your shape rather than hide it — steer clear of boxy dresses that don't embrace your beautiful curves.
Styles to try: empire waists, ruching, peplums, wrap dresses
Flattering styles we love:
- 1. Loft Plus Tossed Flower Flutter Wrap Dress, $80, Loft
In the dog days of summer, a loose-fitting wrap dress is ultra comfy and glides along your curves beautifully.
- 2. Expert in Your Zeal A-Line Dress, $49, Modcloth
You want to show off your gorgeous curves, not hide them away! Try a flirty silhouette that takes your curves into consideration and emphasizes your best assets.
- 3. Yskkt Plus Size Peplum Dress, $20-27, Amazon
Summer is wedding season, and finding the perfect wedding guest dress is always a challenge. Emphasize your hourglass shape with a fun peplum in a deep color.
Embrace maxi dresses
This classic summer staple works beautifully in plus-size styles, and it keeps you cool and comfy. Win, win!
"Maxi dresses fit nicely at the hips but also loosely at the bottom. They accentuate the neck and back, keeping every woman feeling sexy, especially if they're low cut and feature the shoulders," Okoli said.
What to look for: flowy maxis, maxis with added slits
Plus-size maxis we love:
- 1. Leith Bell Sleeve Midi Dress, $89, Nordstrom
A pretty pastel maxi dress is perfect to transition from spring to summer, so it's a great wardrobe staple.
- 2. Button-Front Maxi Dress, $63 (originally $93), Roaman's
You can never go wrong with a seasonally appropriate floral dress. This one just so happens to come with an adorable high-low hem.
- 3. Milumia Plus Size Short Sleeve Wrap V Neck Maxi Dress, $36, Amazon
Combine two stellar plus-size styles — wraps and maxis — in one with this feminine frock.
Try something bold
Sometimes, a bright color or loud print can be a bit intimidating, but it's always fun to take a fashion risk.
"When shopping for summer dresses, don't be afraid of color or patterns. Clothes always look differently on you than on the hanger. It will also help you to see the fit, feel of fabric, and what colors/patterns look best on your body shape," said plus-size modelKristin Schackmann.
Styles to try: fun florals, bold neons
Bold styles we love:
- 1. Casual Knit Maxi Dress, $79, Nordstrom
Summer's the perfect time to break out daring neons and bright pinks, ladies! We'll take this cute style in every color, please.
- 2. Ever-Present Zest Cotton Dress, $79, Modcloth
When life hands you lemons ... go for a playful fruity print! This cotton dress features a flattering sweetheart neckline and a full-sweeping skirt that create a beautiful silhouette.
For more style recommendations, check out:
- Cute, affordable outfit ideas anyone can wear this spring
- What style of jeans are in? The top 7 denim trends of 2019
- The best affordable plus-size and curve clothing, according to style experts