Best Dress Types for Plus-Sized Women

If you are wondering how to best accentuate your favorite features or how to best hide whatever you’ve decided to be your figure flaws, certain fashion choices can help you do one or both. Finding the right plus sized dress can be challenging if you don’t know where to start or what you are looking for – in terms of cut, style, color, etc. Consider these tips to help you find the best plus sized dress type for your body.

Sydney’s Closet, a plus size dress shop with hard-to-find plus sizes 14 to 44, offers the following tips for matching up the right dress type to your body for a perfect plus size dress to add to your wardrobe. Find out which plus sized dress style is best for your body type – A-line, ball gown, empire waist, princess dress, and sheath.

Best Body for a Plus Sized A-LINE Dress
The popular A-line dress is narrow at the top, fitting close to body, and then gently flaring out and flowing wider into an “A”. Phyllis Brasch Librach, president and founder of Sydney’s Closet, says this is a flattering fit for everyone and every body type.

This dress flatters all body types because of the benefits the A-line dress provides. On her Web site, Phyllis Brasch Librach says the A-line dress disguises fuller hips and bigger bottoms while balancing the torso with the chest and adding the illusion of height and a more slender figure. An A-line dress can also enhance the curves of a straight body, she says.

Best Body for a Plus Sized BALL GOWN
Perhaps one of the most romanticized dresses and a popular wedding style, the ball gown features a fitted bodice and a floor-length, flowing skirt. Phyllis Brasch Librach says the ball gown flatters women with the hourglass figure. The ball gown especially hides hips and accentuates the bust, she says.

Best Body Type for a Plus Sized EMPIRE Dress
The empire waist is a favorite among many women who wish to disguise their tummy or midsection. This dress type features a high waist right under the bust line that flows loosely into a long skirt.

Phyllis Brasch Librach says this style of dress is great for women with a heavy middle, as this style disguises thicker waists and hides large tummies while also enhancing smaller breasts and adding length to petite figures.

Best Body Type for a Plus Sized PRINCESS Dress
Phyllis Brasch Librach explains that the princess dress features vertical panes that follow the body’s natural lines and curves. This type of dress flatters the lower body by minimizing hips and hiding the tummy, she says. The princess dress is slimming and gives the illusion of a longer body.

Best Body Type for a Plus Sized SHEATH Dress
The sheath dress is a closely fitting gown that hugs the body and offers a straight, slim fit. Like the princess dress, the sheath dress minimizes hips and disguises the belly area, Phyllis Brasch Librach says.

This dress is similar to the mermaid gown, which flares out at or just below the knee. These dress types work nicely for tall and thin body types.

About the Expert:
Phyllis Brasch Librach is president and founder of Sydney’s Closet – “We Size Up Glamour” – a plus size dress shop online and with a store in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Sydney’s Closet features a collection of hard-to-find plus sizes 14 to 44 with fast turnaround and delivery. For more information, please visit and shop online at

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