‘Tis the season to figure out what you’re going to wear to that impending holiday party (or three!). In addition to having to plan a full festive look, as a plus-size shopper, I usually can’t just pop into a store to pick up something last minute either (I absolutely should be able to, but that’s a conversation for another day).
Fortunately, there are some great options for party dressing online, whatever your budget or aesthetic. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to try out many brands, and these are my top recommendations for plus-size holiday shopping this year, with a focus on labels with more size-inclusive ranges. Ahead, pieces for every holiday occasion, however casual or formal, that you might have coming up.
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For sequin and metallic holiday plus-size looks: Rebdolls (sizes 2-32)
After getting her start as a plus model, Rebdolls founder, Grisel Paula, created her fashion brand in 2015 to fill the gap she saw in the market. The label’s size range has since expanded to serve even more shoppers, and that inclusive ethos is reflected across the board, from models to marketing. Rebdolls is one of the few brands that regularly uses extended plus models (up to size 5x), making it easier for plus-size shoppers who don’t usually see themselves represented to envision what they’d look like in a piece.
On the style front, Rebdolls’ styles are fun and fashion-forward, with pieces meant to show off curves instead of hide them. They have a lot of great holiday-ready dresses and separates, and I find their fit to be really good for the more affordable price point. I love that this sequin number has a soft stretch lining — perfect for a party where you plan to be on the dance floor — and a fringe hem that demands that you get out there and shimmy. I am typically an 18/20 or 2x, and I found this dress to be true to size. One thing to note: For this dress (or any sleeveless sequined piece, really), the sequins can scrape the inside of arms a bit with wear so you may want to add a jacket or a layer with sleeves.
For tailored holiday plus-size look: Laws of Motion (00-40)
This woman-owned label started out as a suiting brand with a unique fit system: Instead of standard sizing, Laws of Motion has thousands of micro-sizes to fit an assortment of body types. Each piece is made to order, based on their quick fit quiz (or their new AI-powered “Body Scan” option), and the final result is as close to tailored as you can get without actually going to a professional.
They’ve been my long-time personal favorite for suiting, and as they’ve expanded their assortment, they’ve become one of my go-tos for chic party wear, too. As soon as I saw the After Party Dress (worn here) online, I knew I wanted to try it out. I appreciate that they kept the true mini length even in the plus sizes; all too often brands will alter the hem length on extended sizes so much that it doesn’t even feel like the same style anymore. If you prefer more coverage though, don’t worry: There are plenty of longer options, including ones that are office-party perfect. I’ve previously worn their Zest Dress, a classic sheath with a festive feather hem, to a corporate holiday party.
One quick note: This is a photo shoot sample from their just-released holiday collection, not one customized to my measurements, so their personalized fit is not on full display here (but I can attest from experience that the service works!)
For formal holiday plus-size look: Mac Duggal (0-30)
Finding good formalwear is notoriously hard, especially if you are not looking for ‘90s Mother of the Bride vibes (which I personally never am). I got invited to a gala earlier this year and experienced this struggle firsthand, but finally found what I was looking for from Mac Duggal, an eveningwear institution. They have styles for all seasons, but their luxe beaded options are particularly well suited to black tie holiday dressing.
This rhinestone-embellished asymmetrical gown looks and feels great on. Even while bloated and with zero shapewear, I felt hot in this dress — a testament to its fit and quality. I also love that it has an adjustable corset back detail, perfect if you prefer a more snatched waist look. I wore a size 20W in this style and felt that the fit was true to size. For styles with less stretch, I recommend checking the size chart, and likely sizing up if you have a fuller bust. Their sizing measurements indicate that their fit model is likely more of a pear shape, and when I tried this stunning corset mesh dress earlier this year, I found the bust was too small on me in a 20W.
For casual holiday party plus-size look: Tamara Malas (2-36)
This New York designer doesn’t do sequin holiday dresses but still offers plenty of festive options, especially if you want to put a stylish spin on your party look. I styled their silver Penelope Dress over baggy Madewell jeans for a twist on the classic holiday party outfit, tapping into both the dress-with-pants trend and the controversial Jenna Lyons RHONY reunion look. I love that this could also be worn fully buttoned up as an A-line midi dress, or all the way open as a duster, which is a great way to get more mileage out of a party purchase. If you’re not into the metallic trend, this style also comes in a blush-and-cream colorway.
Designer Tamara Malas is plus size herself, and her firsthand knowledge of what makes a good garment for plus is reflected in her designs. I find that their sizing runs big, so I’d say size one full size down for this dress (and for anything with stretch). I’m wearing a 14/16 here.
For colorful holiday plus-size dressing (and cool separates): Never Fully Dressed (2-26)
This London-based brand is known for their joyful designs, and that vibrant aesthetic carries over to their holiday options. They have a lot of beautiful sequin and metallic dresses, from minis to full-on gowns, but they also excel at fun sets and separates (great if you are a different size on top and bottom, or don’t want to wear a dress). The latter option is great if you want to incorporate your holiday purchases more seamlessly into your overall wardrobe since it is a lot easier to dress down a sequin skirt or top than a full dress.
I ended up going with this faux leather vest and pant combo for just that reason. If I’m going to a fancier party, I can add a little faux fur jacket to dress it up, but I can also wear each piece individually. You could take the full metallic moment further, too, by adding their matching silver trench coat (for a Beyoncé Renaissance film premiere look, perhaps?)
I find Never Fully Dressed’s sizing to be true to size if not a bit generous. I’m wearing a size 20 in both of these pieces and they fit comfortably.