6 Incredibly Flattering Plus Size Bridesmaid Dresses

by Kennedy Blue October 05, 2016

Doing a quick online search for “plus-size bridesmaid dresses” might leave you with very few options and feeling a bit discouraged. Although you’ll find that many websites offer plus sizing, their models all look like stick figures, making it hard to imagine the dress on any other shape. Although it might look awesome on the size 4 model, that’s just not what the average real-life woman looks like!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some companies that do show bridesmaid dresses on plus-size models, however, they’re usually ready-to-wear brands (think Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, or Modcloth), and their styles, sizes, and colors are very limited.

6 Flattering Plus Size Bridesmaid DressesKennedy Blue Quinn Bridesmaid Dress | Photo by Tara Draper Photography

The Reality of Plus-Size Bridesmaid Dresses

No matter their size or shape, your bridesmaids deserve to shine! The goal should be to enhance their natural beauty by choosing dresses that make them feel confident and gorgeous. 

At Kennedy Blue, we feel strongly about including all bridesmaids in all sizes. Not only have we started showing our dresses on plus-size models, but we also offer a variety of sizes for girls to try on.

Unlike traditional bridal salons, we get that not all bridesmaids wear a size 8 – although it’s the most common size available in a retail store.

Squeezing all the bridesmaids into a single size often doesn’t help you see the style, and it can be pretty uncomfortable for your ‘maid to be on display with a dress that barely fits. 

From a fitting standpoint, being able to try on the actual dress helps ensure that the dresses will fit properly for the wedding and hopefully need fewer alterations, or at least prepare your bridesmaid for what parts of the dress will need them.

Plus Size Bridesmaid DressesKennedy Blue Quinn Bridesmaid Dress | Photo by Tara Draper Photography

How to Choose Plus-Size Bridesmaids’ Dresses?

When deciding your bridesmaid’s dresses, instead of defining one single style, consider choosing a set of styles. The first step to do so is fairly simple: don’t assume anything! Ask your bridesmaids about what they like. What kind of dresses make them feel comfortable? What is their favorite dress ever —and why? 

A different approach is to define, beforehand, a few parameters that you actually prefer so they can pick something you both like.

We know that options are almost infinite! A quick glance at some of our most popular and affordable bridesmaid dresses can be a great starting point.

Here are some tips when choosing bridesmaid dresses:

  • Don’t settle too quickly. If you have a set of styles in mind, make sure they are available in all the sizes your bridesmaids need. It would be counterproductive to have a great style that you love… in the wrong size. If you are from Minnesota, our exclusive bridal salon, the Wedding Shoppe offers the entire Kennedy Blue collection in sizes 0-24 in multiple sizes and colors. If you’re outside of Minnesota, we offer an At Home Try-On program that allows you to try-on most dresses in the comfort of your home in sizes 0-24 and in a variety of colors!
    • Another great feature of Kennedy Blue bridesmaid dresses is the sizing. We use, retail American sizing so the dresses fit like normal dress sizes (why most bridesmaid designers still fit small is beyond me). I can’t imagine any girl who would be happy about normally wearing a 16, but being recommended a size 20 for a bridesmaid dress.
  • Say no to extra shiny fabrics. Charmeuse, high-shine satin or taffeta are not recommended, as they create a visual enlargement.
  • Choose a dress that cinches at the waist. Think of an A-line skirt, an empire cut, or a fit-and-flare style that create a gorgeous hourglass shape for your bridesmaids —the curvier, the merrier!
  • Enhance their favorite body part. Select various styles that accentuate different body features in order for your bridesmaids to choose the one that makes them feel beautiful!
    • If your bridesmaids want to show off their shoulders and/or elongate their neck, think of an off-the-shoulder or V-neckline style.
    • If they want a figure-flattering style for their bust, a sweetheart, V-neckline or halter are all great choices.
    • Remember the waistline: a delicate sash that accentuates the middle part of a dress will complement the natural figure of any girl.
  • Take attention away from their insecurities. Nobody’s perfect and we all get insecure about something, and sometimes we just want to camouflage the not-so-pretty areas.
      • Bottom-heavy? A-line skirts are your best option, no matter what their length is, as they put the emphasis on the bust and waist.
      • Upper arms? Lace illusion sleeves or our boho style might come in handy.
      • A belly? Choose soft draping such as chiffon for a flowing look and an empire waistline that will cinch right under the bust.
      • A large chest? A dress with plenty of coverage will be your go-to. Straps are a must so picking a style with a high neckline or halter straps will give you the support you need!

Styles You’ll Love

We’ve chosen 6 plus-size bridesmaid dresses that you and your bridesmaids will love, with the extra benefit of being great styles for women of every size.

Kennedy Blue Riley

Riley Plus-Size Bridesmaid Dress

It’s time for a sexy slit! Let your bridesmaid show off their beautiful arms and legs with this V-neck dress made of soft, luxe chiffon fabric. The A-line shape that emphasizes the waist, perfectly enhances an hourglass figure. Did we mention it has pockets?

Kennedy Blue Cara Top & Jo Skirt

Kennedy Blue Cara Top & Jo Skirt

Playful, girly, and fun, we love the look of this beautiful sleeveless lace top paired with a lightweight tulle skirt! It’s a style that will perfectly accentuate your bridesmaid’s legs. 

Kennedy Blue Cara Top with Madison Skirt

Kennedy Blue Cara Top & Madison Skirt

If you’re loving the playful look from above, but in need of something more formal, here it is! A long tulle skirt will make the perfect, feminine combination with the lace Cara Top.

Kennedy Blue Olivia

Kennedy Blue Plus Size Strapless Bridesmaid Dress

This dress shows off a strapless, sweetheart neckline that will perfectly elongate your torso and neck. A daring and beautiful figure is achieved with this strapless silhouette and a flattering ruched bodice combined with an A-line, floor length skirt

Kennedy Blue Blake Top with Madison Skirt        

Kennedy Blue Plus Size Bridesmaid Two-Pieces

The elegance of the floor-length Madison Skirt with this beautiful lace top—which has a high, illusion neckline (so pretty!)—is the epitome of delicacy and grace.

Kennedy Blue Thea

Kennedy Blue Plus Size Boho Bridesmaid Dress

Who doesn’t love a good Boho style! This unique chiffon bridesmaid gown combines a flowing, A-line skirt with a gorgeously fitted bodice. The hourglass figure is completed with a pair of spaghetti straps and off-the-shoulder straps.

 

Let's Chat

We want to help you to make your wedding day unforgettable, and we wish that you and your bridesmaids shine so much that it shows in every photo!

So, which of these styles is your personal favorite? Is there another tip or idea you want to share with us when choosing plus size bridesmaid dresses? Let us know in the comments section below!



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Measurement Guide

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.




Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.