Fashion

13 Best Plus Size Summer Dresses To Keep You Cool and Stylish When Temps Soar

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On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than slipping on a breezy, comfortable sundress that will keep you feeling (and looking!) cool as the temperature rises. Dresses are easy to wear, since you don’t have to worry about coordinating tops and bottoms, easy to pack on a summer getaway, and easy to accessorize for day or night. The only hard part? Finding one that fits you perfectly — especially when you’ve got curves to spare. We’ve rounded up the best plus size summer dresses that will fit and flatter your figure, at prices ranging from “I’m going to buy one in every color” to “I deserve to treat myself!”.

Keep scrolling to shop our picks, or read more to find out everything you want to know about the best plus size summer dresses. (Looking for the perfect sandals to go with your dress? Check out our roundup of the best sandals. And you’ll find more great summer dresses here!)

What is the most flattering dress style for plus size women?

The most flattering style of dress for any size person depends on how they’re shaped. If you’ve got a small waist and generous hips (commonly known as “pear-shaped”), then a fit-and-flare style dress will look great on you. (Like this shirtdress from SummerSalt!) A sheath dress, like this one from J. Crew, looks good on women who don’t prefer to emphasize their waists and want to spotlight long legs. And a flowy maxi dress looks lovely on anyone! Try this colorful option from Anthropologie.

It’s really up to you to decide what type of dress you look best in — in the end, feeling confident and beautiful is the key to looking amazing. One thing that many women tend to deal with though, no matter what size they wear, is thigh chafing in the summer months. (Score one for wearing shorts in the summer — they do protect those sensitive inner thighs!) One solution we’ve found is Bandelettes (Buy from Amazon, $19), which slip easily over your thighs and keep them from contacting each other. They come in a variety of colors and styles — just measure your thighs with a cloth measuring tape to get the perfect fit!

Do maxi dresses look good on plus size women?

A maxi dress is a long dress — not just long, but floor-skimming. They’re very trendy, very comfy, and yes, they look great on plus size women! Some women find that maxi dresses are a little harder to wear (you’ll need to tie it up if you plan to ride a bicycle — or even walk up a flight of stairs), so they may not be for everyone. But they can also be effortlessly elegant, whether as a swim cover-up or a cocktail dress. As long as you feel comfortable, go for it! We love this one from CoEdition. (And if you feel like splurging, go for this one from Saks Fifth Avenue.)

Who has the best plus size clothing?

There are so many great brands that carry extended sizing and inclusive sizing now, it’s hard to know where to start! But if you’re looking for the best summer dresses for plus size women, here are a few places to check out:

  • CoEdition — CoEdition is the go-to online merchant for plus size women, with tons of cute summer dresses, swimwear, lingerie, rompers, active wear, and almost anything else you might want!
  • eShakti — Another favorite for plus size dresses, eShakti lets you customize the fit of your dress. Long sleeves and short skirt? No sleeves and knee-length? It’s up to you!
  • Universal Standard — When it comes to classic, well-made clothing in inclusive sizes, Universal Standard is changing the game. They’ve got dresses, denim, loungewear and more that you’ll love.
  • Old Navy — For affordable fast fashion in plus sizes, Old Navy is the place to look these days.
  • Lane Bryant — The old standby is still a great option!

Keep scrolling to get inspired — and to shop our picks for the best summer dresses for plus size women!

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City Chic Elba Frill Maxi Dress

Best plus size maxi sundress
city-chic-elba-frill-maxi-dress
CoEdition

Buy from CoEdition, $49.50 (originally $99)

Why we like it:

  • Tie-waist
  • Button-down front
  • Vibrant floral print

This breathable linen dress comes in a show-stopping A-line button-up silhouette — be prepared to turn heads! The first thing you’ll notice is the festive floral print, which is sure to add a welcome pop of color to your summer wardrobe. We also love the flattering tie-waist feature, and the cute head-to-toe buttons running down the front. This versatile piece can go from the beach to a party, and best of all, you can just toss it into the washing machine for easy cleaning.

Happy customer: This is a really cute dress! It is very well made, and very comfortable and beachy. It does need white undergarments, and the top can get a little stretched out easily if you pull on it too much. But it’s super fun and adorable.

J. Crew Chambray Shift Dress

Best chambray plus size summer dress
J. Crew
on sale now!

Buy from J. Crew, $49.50 (originally $88)

Why we like it:

  • Available in sizes up to 3X
  • Made of lightweight chambray
  • Machine washable

You can’t go wrong with a chambray dress in the summer, and this shift-style dress from J. Crew is the perfect versatile piece. Chambray is more breathable than denim, but has the same neutral blue shade that looks good with everything. Pair this dress with a fun statement necklace, or keep it relaxed with some flip flops for strolling down the boardwalk. Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, this is a dress you can feel good about.

Happy customer: “Lovely dress that is well made. I went with a larger size as my breasts are large. I do think that you can stay with a usual size. If wanting to layer definitely go up a size.”

City Chic Sweetie Button Maxi Dress

Best plus size white sundress
best plus size sundresses
CoEdition

Buy from CoEdition, $54.50 (originally $109)

Why we like it:

  • Ruffled hemline
  • Chic head-to-toe button detail
  • Flattering V-neckline

A classic white dress is a staple for every summer wardrobe, and this picture-perfect number by City Chic hits all the right buttons (no pun intended!). The V-neckline shows just enough skin to be sexy without revealing too much, while you’ll stay nice and covered below, thanks to the maxi-length skirt — though we do love the flirty ruffled hemline! The buttons running down the midline add a bit of visual appeal to set this piece apart from other white dresses, and you’ll look just as great pairing this dress with heels as with sandals.

Happy customer: “The fabric is high quality, the fit was perfect, and the style was ADORABLE and flattering … I really feel like this company knows how to make clothes for plus size girls. The seams hit in all the right places. I will def be buying again!”

Whit Two Floral Halter Maxi Dress

Best halter dress for plus size women
Whit Two Halter Dress
Anthropologie

Buy from Anthropologie, $248

Why we like it:

  • Gorgeous print
  • Has pockets
  • Machine washable

This stunning dress might just be my personal favorite on the list. The bold, colorful pattern will brighten up any event, or just your day lounging around the house. Use it as a swim cover up or wear it to a party — it’s equally suited to both. Plus, it has pockets! The dream!

Happy customer: “This dress is so flattering – it drapes beautifully, and yes, there is a lot of fabric. But that’s intended for the design and to get the proper shaping. … I would buy this dress in another print or two if it were available. The halter style neckline is flattering on everyone, and it’s my favorite style in sundresses. So I love it and highly recommend it.”

J. Crew Tie-Waist Linen Shirtdress

Best linen summer dress for plus size women
J Crew Tie Waist Linen Shirtdress
J. Crew
on sale now!

Buy from J. Crew, starting at $100 (originally $148)

Why we like it:

  • Available in sizes up to 3X
  • Comes in 2 neutral colors
  • Removable tie-waist belt

Whether you like to keep things summery in white or classic in black, this easy-breezy linen shirtdress could easily become your warm weather uniform. We like the slightly more fitted look of this dress with the tie-belt, but it’s also removable for a more relaxed feel. The breathable linen fabric will keep you feeling cool from day to night, and this dress really is the perfect blank canvas for any fun jewelry, shoes, or other accessories you’ve been wanting to flaunt.

Happy customer: “Absolutely love everything about this dress — style, fit, color, and most importantly, the fabric is linen. It is perfect for TEXAS heat.”

Lane Bryant LIVI Space Dye Hooded Dress

Best sporty plus size summer dress
Lane Bryant hooded dress
Lane Bryant

Buy from Lane Bryant, $79.95

Why we like it:

  • Has pockets
  • Cute hood feature
  • Machine washable

Looking for something a little more on the sporty side? This LIVI dress is cute, comfy, and will look great no matter how you style it. Wear it with your favorite white sneakers and you’re ready for whatever summer brings your way! (And did we mention, it has pockets?)

Happy customer: “Love this dress! Wear it with leggings for my walking workout, and it feels great. Breathable, but not too thin as to show lumps and bumps.”

SummerSalt Silky Flutter Sleeve Dress

Best polka-dot summer dress for plus size women
SummerSalt Silky flutter sleeve dress
SummerSalt

Buy from SummerSalt, $125

Why we like it:

  • Colorful polka dots
  • Adjustable tie belt
  • Available in sizes up to 2X

This sweet charmeuse dress features flutter sleeves, a flounced hem, an adjustable tie belt, and colorful polka dots we love. Tie it at the front, side, or back to make the look your own! It’s available in sizes from XS to 2X, so whether you’re petite or plus-size, this dress will look great on you. Wear it with sneakers and throw a denim jacket over it when the evenings get cool, and you’ll be turning heads wherever you go!

Happy customer: “Really cute! Haven’t worn yet, but seems to be of quality material.”

SummerSalt Do-It-All Shirtdress

Best shirtdress for plus size women
SummerSalt Do It All Shirtdress
SummerSalt

Buy from SummerSalt, $125

Why we like it:

  • Loose-fitting
  • Has pockets
  • Machine washable

This lightweight shirtdress is super-soft and super stylish! The floral watercolor print is so sweet, and you truly can dress this one up or down depending how you accessorize. The anti-static, anti-microbial recycled polyester fabric is machine washable, and you can even throw it in the dryer. Wear it with sneakers, heels, or flip-flops — but read the reviews before you decide which size to order, as many customers recommend sizing down.

Happy customer: “I love this dress. The material fees very high quality, and it is well-made. I received many compliments, too! Heads up, though, I sized-down, and still think it had a lot of room. In the web site photos, you can kind of see how they gathered extra material at the models waist using the belt. I think this makes the dress look more fitted than it actually is. I did the same styling with mine, though, and thought it looked great.”

Farm Rio Tiny Fruits Midi Dress

Best plus size midi summer dress
Farm Rio Tiny Fruits Dress
Farm Rio
on sale now!

Buy from Farm Rio, $260 (originally $325)

Why we like it:

  • Adorable fruit print
  • Adjustable straps
  • On sale now!

Fresh fruit is one of the best parts of summer — and this dress celebrates that with a totally adorable print featuring pineapples, bananas, watermelons, and more. An adjustable waist lets you wear it how you like it, and the easy fit makes it super comfy to wear. The tiered skirt is such a feminine touch, too — this dress will be the hit of your summer picnic!

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Milumia Cold Shoulder Floral Maxi Bohemian Split Dress

Best plus size summer dress on amazon
Milumia Maxi dress
Amazon

Buy from Amazon, $36.99

Why we like it:

  • Affordable
  • Available in 10 patterns
  • Thousands of 5-star Amazon reviews

This affordable wrap dress is a hit on Amazon, with thousands of customers raving about it. Choose from 10 different bold prints — or maybe get more than one? It’s hand-wash only and 100 percent polyester, but dries quickly and packs like a dream.

Happy customer: “This dress is SPECTACULAR! It’s so light and airy and comfortable. The waistband is elastic so it stretchy, but the fabric itself is not. There’s a nice, breezy split on the leg. I immediately felt like a goddess as soon as I put this on! If you’re considering this — BUY IT!! It can be dressed down or up! Perfect for summer parties, cruises, weddings, vacations, girls night, whatever! I am definitely going to order more!”

Lulus Shield and Sword Red Sleeveless Maxi Dress

Best red summer dress for plus size women
Lulus sleeveless maxi dress
Lulus
on sale now!

Buy from Lulus, $25 (originally $44)

Why we like it:

  • Soft and stretchy
  • Side slit shows off legs
  • Has pockets

This gorgeous red maxi dress is seriously sexy — and seriously soft and stretchy, too. A customer favorite, it’s got plenty of rave reviews. The red is on sale now, but if you love this one, you can also get it in black, navy, or olive green. Dress it up or down, and flaunt what your mama gave you!

Happy customer: “I am obsessed! The material is so soft and the fit is very flattering. It also has pockets! This versatile maxi can also be dressed up or down. Love!”

Old Navy Gingham Tie-Strap Swing Dress

Best gingham summer dress for plus size women
plus size red gingham sundress
Old Navy

Buy from Old Navy, $47.99

Why we like it:

  • Tassle tie straps
  • Effortless styling options
  • Soft-washed, woven cotton-blend fabric

This sweet gingham dress is just begging to be worn to a picnic! The adorable tassle tie straps are a fun feature, as are the lightly ruffled hem and square neckline. Best of all, it’s super-comfortable, thanks to the soft, cotton-blend material that you’ll want to wear all day. We love the carefree styling in the photo (anything you can just throw on with a pair of white tennis shoes is a win!), but you could easily dress this look up a bit with a great belt and some simple jewelry.

Happy customer: “I bought this in the 1X and it fits perfectly. It’s a great length and a flattering cut. The pics don’t really do it justice.”

Marina Rinaldi Dedurre V-Neck Sleeveless Maxi Shift Dress

Best maxi dress for plus size women
Marina Rinaldi Maxi Shift Dress
Saks Fifth Avenue

Buy from Saks Fifth Avenue, $835

Why we like it:

  • Dramatic styling
  • Has pockets!
  • Machine washable

Want to make a dramatic entrance to a summer party? This maxi dress will do it! Made from an imported Italian cotton-blend taffeta fabric, this V-neck dress features a detachable pussy-bow detail that can also be worn as a belt, side pockets, and bejeweled embellishment on the rear yoke. The pullover style couldn’t be easier to wear — and you can even throw it in the washing machine!

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