This post was last updated in September 2022.
Yes, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn down, finding just the right incarnation in stores can be a pain. in “the hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
Wondering where to buy the best plus size dresses for work? We just rounded the bridge stylish sheath dresses for work in regular sizes, and while we mentioned plus-size availability in that post, we thought a roundup of the best plus-size dresses for work deserved its own post. Below you’ll find a bunch of our favorite plus size dresses for work, from basic plus size dresses, sleeveless dresses, plus size mini dresses (so hard to find!), plus size designer dresses, wrap dresses -dresses, dresses with pockets, machine washable dresses… and much more.
Readers, what are your favorite plus-size dresses for work? Which ones do you have in multiple colors? Which ones make you feel like a million bucks?
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Best Selling Plus-Size Dresses for Work
- Hall of Famers: Eloquii, Karen Kane, Universal Standard, CeCe, Calvin Klein, Land’s End, J.Crew
- Under $125: Eloquii, Lane Bryant, Avenue, ASOS, Land’s End, MUXXN (Amazon dress with 13,500 great reviews), Etsy seller TielDorien, Chadwick’s
- Splurge (where to check): Universal Standard — also check spots like 11 Honoré, Vince, Nic + Zoe, Lafayette 148 New Yorkand Navabi (see our full overview of designer plus-size clothing for professional women)
- Plus Size Sleeve Sheath Dresses: Eloquii, CeCe, Leota, Land’s End, Universal Standard, The floor (up to “20/22”)
- Plus-size sheath dresses with pockets: J.Crew, The floor
- Machine washable plus size sheath dresses: Eloquii, The floor, Land’s End
- Petite plus sheath dresses: Land’s End, Talbots
- High sheath dresses: Universal Standard, The floor (up to “20/22”)
- Bespoke dresses made for you: Etsy sellers like heart mycelium; also eShakti and Igigi
- Maternity dresses in plus sizes: Universal Standard, and check inventory at Gap, Pink Blush, Maternity Maternity (see our overview of the best plus size maternity clothes for work)
- Lots of colorful options: CeCe, Eloquii, Calvin Klein, MUXXN, The floor (up to 22), Etsy seller heart mycelium
Universal Standard has a number of great dresses, including its best-selling Mary dress — for my $0.02 I’d get it tied just below (or at) the knee. (The dress doesn’t come in tall sizes, but I’m putting it on the tall size list (top) because one of the models wearing it is 5’11 and it still hits below her knees.)
Universal Standard, if you don’t know, does this amazing thing where they show you models wearing the dress in your size – so you can see a variety of models wearing sizes 6-3X. If you’re worried about your weight fluctuating, they also have a great thing called “Fit Liberty,” which includes at least one of the dresses (but not the one in the picture) — if your size changes within the year, you can exchange the dress for your new size.
related: comfortable heels for wide feet
Lands’ End dresses have always been hits with readers – pictured is theirs woolen dress (actually from their uniform department, but it’s too perfect not to include) and their ponte dresses. They also shine with wrap dresses!
There used to be a Facebook group for lawyer moms (it’s currently archived, unfortunately), but a lot of women praised this dress from MUXXN for work, and on Amazon it has 13,500 good reviews. For my $0.02, I would recommend sizing up—but I love that it comes in a zillion colors, is only $30, and comes in sizes S–3X. (It’s important to note that the fabric is a little more like a polyester T-shirt than a thick ponte — but I love looking at all the real women sharing pictures of themselves in the dress.)
Tailored, made-to-measure dresses are another way to go—and we’ve featured a lot of great Etsy sellers over the years who are surprisingly affordable. Etsy Seller”heart mycelium” makes dresses inspired by the royals (Meghan, Kate) and TV shows like Suit, Agent Carterand House of cards — she has a zillion colors to choose from, and most of the dresses are under $150. Sign me up! (If you know of more Etsy sellers, we’d love to hear about them!)
If you like the vintage vibes of heartmycloset, check out the Amazon seller Marycrafts (available up to size 22), as well ModCloth (but note that it can be hit or miss in terms of wear-to-work pieces).
That iconic DvF wrap dress is currently available in a multitude of prints, in plus sizes, at 11 Honoré – and while it’s not a classic sheath, it’s still a great dress for work. If you are uncomfortable with the amount of cleavage, I would recommend either one full releaseor possibly one demi camisole if you want to wear it with another high-waisted foundation garment like Spanx shorts (for compression) or Jockey slip shorts (for anti-chafing and comfort).
Some other great options for splurges (dresses over $200) include brands and stores like Vince, Nic + Zoe, Lafayette 148 New Yorkand Navabi – but see our full overview of designer plus-size clothing for professional women for more ideas.
Readers, what are your thoughts on where to buy the best plus size dresses for work?
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