Incredibly Flattering Plus Size Bridesmaid Dresses

by Kennedy Blue December 29, 2017 23 Comments

If you’ve decided to tie the knot, one of the items on your to-do list will be deciding what your bridesmaids will wear on the big day. Women come in all different shapes and sizes, and you may have a range of sizes represented in your bridesmaid crew.

Or maybe you’ve been asked to join Team Bride for one of your besties, but you’re self-conscious about a particular part of your body. 

How will you find the best dress for a curvy bridesmaid?

The Reality of Plus-Size Bridesmaid Dresses

If you’re the bride, of course, you want to help all the girls on your bride team feel beautiful in their bridesmaid dresses, no matter what size. The goal should be to enhance their natural beauty by choosing dresses that make them feel confident and gorgeous. 

Unfortunately, many bridesmaid dresses are modeled on smaller girls, even when the dress is offered in larger sizes. 

Doing a quick online search for “plus-size bridesmaid dresses” might leave you feeling discouraged—the bridal market is filled with pictures of teeny-tiny models, making it difficult for a bridesmaid to imagine herself in the dress she’s shopping for. 

At Kennedy Blue, we feel strongly about including bridesmaids in all sizes. Not only have we started showing our dresses on plus-size models, but we also offer a variety of sizes 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, trying on the actual dress helps ensure a proper fit for the wedding and (hopefully) means fewer alterations and surprises come wedding day.

How to Choose Plus-Size Bridesmaids’ Dresses

When deciding your bridesmaid’s dresses, it can seem like the options are endless! We have a few quick tips to help you get started:

  • Ask your bridesmaids what they like! Get to know what they feel most comfortable in, and what they try to stay away from. Don't feel awkward asking—this goes for all bridesmaids, not just the plus-sized girls. 
  • Is one of your bridesmaids insecure about her arms? Consider dresses with sleeves! If your bridesmaids have insecurities about certain parts of their bodies, try to help by finding dresses to downplay sensitive areas while accentuating their better features. 
  • A mismatched bridal party can be an excellent way to help all your ladies find a dress they will feel best in. Is this an option you’re open to?
  • If you have a designer in mind, check out their size selection online to make sure that all your girls can wear their dresses (Kennedy Blue dresses go up to size 24!). 

Below are a few guidelines for highlighting plus-size ladies’ best features…

Finding the Best Silhouette and Neckline Style

A-line dresses are flattering on almost any body type. We also recommend trying a V-neckline for a romantic, easy style that never goes out of style! The V-neckline can elongate the torso and accentuate the neck and chest.

Dresses that cinch at the waist are especially beautiful on more voluptuous bridesmaids.

Plus-size girls will want to skip the ruffles. They can draw attention to the wrong areas or create volume in unintended places. For example: for women with wide hips, adding extra frills to the waist or hips may not be the best choice.

Finding the Best Fabric

Steer clear of shiny fabrics! This means you’ll want to avoid Charmeuse, high-shine satin or taffeta. These fabrics can give the illusion of enlargement.

Consider lace or a matte chiffon. The most attractive fabrics will be those that drape the figure without clinging to the body.

Patterns: Yay or Nay?

Generally, patterns are not recommended. However, there can be exceptions to the rule—a simple and subtle pattern can work well in some cases. Trying on the dress in person is really the only way to gauge whether a pattern is right for your bridesmaid team.

Knee-Length or Floor-Length Dresses

Dress length is another option to think about. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to dress length. Depending on the bridesmaid’s body shape, she might feel more comfortable elongating the body with a floor-length dress; or, maybe a knee-length dress allows her to show off more leg and avoid being weighed down by a heavier fabric. Experiment with different styles and try different dress lengths!

Our 11 Favorite Plus-Size Bridesmaid Dresses

We’ve chosen 11 plus-size bridesmaid dresses that you and your bridesmaids will love. Read on for dresses that look great on women of every size.

Kennedy Blue Riley

Kennedy Blue Riley

The A-line silhouette, ruched waistline, and sexy slit perfectly enhance the hourglass figure. The soft, luxe chiffon fabric is both comfortable and classy. Bonus points: it has pockets!

Kennedy Blue Cara Top & Jo Skirt

Kennedy Blue Cara top with Jo skirt

Show off your arms and legs with this lacy sleeveless top, paired with a lightweight tulle skirt. This style gives a nice pop of color against a classic wedding-white, giving this dress a fun, playful look.

Kennedy Blue Cara Top with Madison Skirt

Kennedy Blue Cara top with Madison skirt

Love the playful look above, but need something more formal? Here it is! A long tulle skirt will make the perfect, feminine combination with the lace Cara Top, elongating your frame to give you a tall-and-confident vibe.

Kennedy Blue Olivia

Kennedy Blue Olivia

Love your shoulders and elongate your torso with this strapless, sweetheart neckline! This A-line silhouette and ruched bodice looks beautiful on many body types. The Olivia could be a good fit for a diverse bridesmaid group.

Kennedy Blue Blake Top with Madison Skirt        

Kennedy Blue Blake Top and Madison Skirt

The floor-length Madison Skirt exudes elegance, especially when paired with a high neckline detailed with feminine lace. The illusion fabric on the neckline is an especially nice touch on the Blake top. The skirt is lightweight, which allows it to fall nicely over curves.

Kennedy Blue Thea

Kennedy Blue Thea

This bohemian-inspired chiffon dress features a fitted bodice, delicate spaghetti straps, and a gorgeous, flowing skirt. What’s not to love? The Thea gown is another option that could work for a group of varying sized ‘maids.

Kennedy Blue Mackenzie

 Kennedy Blue Mackenzie

The Mackenzie dress is another A-line you’ll love! The lined bodice and four straps provide support without adding extra bulk. Thin straps criss-cross over the back, and we just love the romantic ruching on this dress.

Kennedy Blue Kylee

Kennedy Blue Kylee

The high-halter neckline on this dress makes it perfect for accentuating a fuller chest and bare shoulders. The back opens to a subtle keyhole with the most adorable bow tied at the back of the waist. The full-length skirt elongates the body for a svelte, sleek effect.

Kennedy Blue Quinn

Kennedy Blue Quinn

This fun and flirty dress is a great choice to show off your chest, back, and legs. The scoop back and neckline leave plenty of room for a necklace, and the criss-cross ruched bodice looks adorable on any size. The style of the straps also allows you to wear a normal bra!

Kennedy Blue Everly

Kennedy Blue Everly

Everly may be an exception to the "ruffle rule" as it features vertical ruffled panels that give the illusion of length! This flattering V-neck gown camouflages imperfections with cascading panels and allows you to show off your arms. The unique details on this gown make it a perfect pick for a mix-and-match wedding party!

Kennedy Blue Jade

Kennedy Blue Jade

This embroidered gown features a sweetheart neckline covered with a lace illusion boat neck. The embroidered lace top provides extra coverage and support on top while a subtle side slit allows you to show a little leg. 

Let's Chat

We want to help you to make your wedding day unforgettable, which includes you and your bridesmaids shining so much that it shows in every photo!

Which style is your personal favorite? Is there another tip or idea you want to share with us about choosing plus-size bridesmaid dresses? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

 

 

 



Kennedy Blue
Kennedy Blue

Author



23 Responses

Joy MacArthur
Joy MacArthur

February 19, 2018

I’m so glad more companies are making gorgeous dresses for all different shapes and sizes!

Tasha cain
Tasha cain

January 08, 2018

I am getting married next year and it will be here before I know it.

Cynthia
Cynthia

January 08, 2018

This article was super helpful! Thanks!

Nataly
Nataly

January 07, 2018

I’m getting married in July and I want my best friend to feel great in her dress. I’m glad this blog post came out so I can look at the options with her. Also, I noticed Kennedy Blue has new dress color options and my bridal party gets to have something similar to olive green which is one of my wedding colors!

melissa snyder
melissa snyder

January 07, 2018

Love the dresses and love that you write detailed descriptions for people like me who wouldn’t know which dress would look good on me.

Tiffany
Tiffany

January 04, 2018

Great post when trying to flatter very different body types

Jenna
Jenna

January 04, 2018

Beautiful dresses! Love that you have this post. So helpful.

Ashlie Robertson
Ashlie Robertson

January 03, 2018

As a plus size girl… I really appreciate these tips!!

Alyssa
Alyssa

January 03, 2018

Great information and gorgeous dresses!

Alexea Sexton
Alexea Sexton

January 02, 2018

These dresses are gorgeous! I love the two piece dress options. So different than traditional bridesmaid dresses yet still flattering on plus size bridesmaids. Definitely going to show these to my girls!

Brooke Boulanger
Brooke Boulanger

January 02, 2018

I LOVE these dresses! I cant wait to see all of my girls in their actual dress, other than just the sample!

Sheila Hayes
Sheila Hayes

January 02, 2018

I really do love that you make dresses for plus size and they are flattering. I just wish they made some with sleeves, for a more modest look.

Savannah
Savannah

January 02, 2018

Thank you for posting an article that is both inclusive and helpful!

Cassandra Behrens
Cassandra Behrens

January 01, 2018

I love that you have plus size dresses that look so amazing. I am hoping to not need one but if I can’t lose the weight I want to, having the option is fantastic.

Amanda Rae
Amanda Rae

January 01, 2018

I love the dresses for plus size. I have a range of sizes in my troupe but finding one that makes everyone feel great and look great is wonderful!

Stacia
Stacia

December 31, 2017

This post is super helpful, thank you!

Kamisha
Kamisha

December 30, 2017

This has been a huge discussion amongst my maid of honor and some of my bridesmaids however I do feel at times I am too accommodating.

Sarah
Sarah

December 30, 2017

So helpful and great that y’all include all women!

Emily
Emily

December 30, 2017

Beautiful dresses and amazing information! Thank you!

Arianne Duong
Arianne Duong

December 18, 2017

Super helpful, love that Kennedy Blue embraces all body types and shapes!

Roxanna
Roxanna

October 06, 2017

Looking for the Boho dress….where can I buy it?

Cindy Yee
Cindy Yee

August 08, 2017

Is the Kennedy Blue Thea dress still available. It’s beautiful!

Kelsey
Kelsey

May 15, 2017

This is such a helpful post!

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Measurement Guide - How to Measure for Your Size

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 dress alterations.




 

Hollow-to-Hem: Hold the measuring tape vertically starting at the indent in your neck area between your collarbones and below your throat. Then, keeping the tape taught, bring the tape to the floor to meet your toes. This is your hollow-to-hem, or hollow-to-floor, measurement. The motion is similar to taking your height measurement. 

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. Stand up straight and do not suck in when taking this measurement.

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. Depending on the fabric, a dress can be altered down up to 2 full sizes, but can be very difficult to let out as there is only about .5 inch of fabric to do so at the seams. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.