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For a lot of larger size women plus size dresses elicit sighs of resignation, but that may be changing with increasing attention being paid to designing for this underserved market segment. In the UK alone, one-quarter of women’s clothes sold are size 18 or above. In fact, the plus-size market has the greatest potential for retail growth, accounting for over 23% of total womenswear sales in 2011. That compares with 18.7% in 2006.
While for most women plus size dresses found at specialists are usually trendier and more stylish, many department stores like Macy’s are placing new emphasis on clothing larger women. A greater proportion of the plus size market is made up of older shoppers who want classic designs, but there is also a seriously underserved market for younger plus size women and teens. Specialty chains like Torrid specifically focus on larger sizes in trendy wear.
Many plus size women prefer dresses that hit around the knee, but some younger women like shorter skirts. As for cut, designer plus size creations are almost always cut in a more flattering way. That’s because at higher price points, designers can choose cuts (such as bias cut) that use more material than lower priced lines like to use for their designs. But even with lower priced designs, choosing embellishment at the neckline, such as crystals or embroidery draw the neck upward and are more flattering. You can also find lower priced wrap dresses that can be very flattering on curvaceous figures.


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