Ask FGG: "Help me find stylish special-occasion dresses!"
Posted by Angela in Ask FGG,Plus-Size Fashion
A "date" dress by molmanik
Dear FGG: I have five weddings (3 indoor, 2 outdoor) and a christening to attend before Labor Day. Got any suggestions about finding fun & tasteful special-occasion dresses in plus sizes? Thanks!

Girl, are you ever in good company! Spring and summer are boon times for weddings, graduations, reunions and other dress-up occasions. This question hit home for me as I mailed my third 2010 wedding RSVP this morning -- another still looms on the horizon -- without having a clue what I'm wearing to the first schmancy occasion this Saturday.

For some of us, locating a dress we feel comfortable and confident in can be such a chore that we may default to either wearing the same outfit to every function or hastily grabbing the first option that fits. Fortunately, dress shopping for fat girls is no longer about settling, and there are scores of plus-sized possibilities out there for us to recommend, from fun and flirty to black-tie appropriate.

Beyond the LBD

Sure, every girl needs a fabulous little black dress in her closet, but graduations, daytime or outdoor weddings, and other gatherings with a less formal feel are prime opportunities to showcase your figure and personality in dresses that go beyond solid, dark colors. We found several affordable and cute dresses that fit the bill at Old Navy, of all places. Their surprisingly robust (yet online-only) plus-sized collection extends through size 4X (28/30) and includes both bold colors and sleeved, feminine looks.

Other more casual finds: Lane Bryant offers several dresses this season that play on the black-and-white, geometric trend. We also located a handful of flattering, sleeved options for arm-conscious girls. And my friend Katie fell so in love with the flirty styling and lilac color of this LucieLu creation, all she needs now is a wedding to crash.

Dress to impress

When the occasion calls for a more formal style, you can still look for pieces in cuts that flatter your curves. Online retailer Kiyonna (sizes up to 5x or 30/32) is on the pricey side, but the dresses are curve-hugging and often to-die-for. (Although seeing them modeled by the gorgeous Ashley Graham probably doesn't hurt, either.) If you can sift through the rhinestones and Scarlett O'Hara-wear, has some classy options in a wide range of price points. We also adore several looks from SWAKDesigns. Available in sizes extending to 6X (32/34), these dresses have a knack for being sexy, yet gala-appropriate. And who wouldn't feel like a bombshell arriving at her high school reunion in drop-dead red?

Whether you go casual or cocktail, remember to choose a dress that stays put and moves with you if you plan to hit a dance floor. Now share with us, readers: What is your favorite dress-up outfit? And where do you turn to find special-occasion style?