Dressy Resort Wear for Plus-Size Women

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Resort clothing consists of beachwear, casual sportswear and dressy clothing that can be worn on a warm-weather or tropical vacation. Dressy resort wear is generally less structured and a bit more casual and revealing than regular cocktail or evening attire. Many stylish options are available for plus-sized women looking to hide problem areas, or who simply for an elegant and streamlined look while on holiday.

The Maxi Dress

A floor-grazing maxi dress is one of the most stylish and flattering resort wear options available to a plus-sized woman. Start with a stretch-cotton jersey or modal maxi dress in a tropical print or bright color, and pair it with dressy flat sandals and statement earrings for an elegant dinner or evening look on the beach. Keep in mind that solids tend to be more slimming than prints, so you may wish to keep your dress all one color or in an ombre style for a little variation. If you prefer to hide your arms, choose a caftan style maxi dress with larger sleeves, or throw a light shawl or cotton-gauze blouse over your dress.

Short Dresses

If you prefer to go with a shorter dress, choose something that hits at the knee and features a conservative neckline or long sleeves for balance. A high crewneck, or boatneck are both flattering options. Try either a shift dress or a tunic style that belts at the waist for a nice shape that will highlight your curves. If you have a larger bust, go for a v-neck look, as long as it doesn't plunge too low. Avoid spaghetti straps and too many horizontal lines or stripes which tend to add width.


In place of a dress, consider wearing a loose flowing printed tunic or caftan with a pair of simple black leggings or pair a silk t-shirt or blouse with a flowing maxi skirt. Pear-shaped figures can try a fitted blouse with a mid-rise A-line skirt paired with heels. Avoid wearing large or clashing prints together, or your look will be visually confusing and add volume to your shape.


Fun resort wear accessories include coral or bright-stone jewelry, straw tote bags and clutches, and anything nautical or tropical. Statement earrings and necklaces are a fashionable way to keep attention above the bust, and are perfect for a solid-colored dress or ensemble. Choose one or the other and add a dressy clutch to complete any evening look. Throw on a pair of cork wedges to help elongate your shape and you'll be ready to turn heads in paradise.