Dresses that flatter big women

Updated April 17, 2017

When choosing dresses for a wardrobe, a woman should choose dresses that are best suited for her body type. There are many options for plus sized women who want to appear slimmer while maintaining their own unique sense of style. By choosing a dress of suitable style, cut and colour, bigger women can flatter their bodies and look their best.

Dress Styles

A shift dress is a good option for larger women because it has no waist shaping and hangs from the shoulders. It gently drapes over a woman's curves, rather than clinging to them. Another dress that does not cling to unflattering bumps or curves is the empire waist dress; the waistline begins just below the bust, which helps draw the eye away from problem areas. The tunic dress also works well for big women because it falls in loose folds around your curves, flattering them instead of emphasising them.

Colour and Print

A black dress will help bigger women appear slimmer; this is true for all darker colours, such as midnight blue, plum and burgundy. Vertical pinstripes also flatter plus sized women. Dresses with bright patterns and prints will call attention to problem areas, as will shiny objects around the waistline, like belts and sashes, so avoid them.


Choose a fabric with enough structure to drape loosely around your figure. Satin, silk or a wool blend are good choices. Avoid clingy fabrics, such as jersey.

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About the Author

Lindsay Howell has been writing since 2003. Her works have been featured in "Bittersweet," her campus literary magazine. Howell has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Frostburg State University.