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Plus Size Summer Dresses

Crystal Schwanke

The Dresses of Summer

Summertime dresses are generally breezy and so comfortable you could live in them. Of course, there are more structured and formal options that will also keep you cool when the temperatures rise. They are easy to accessorize with anything from cowboy boots and light jackets (for cooler mornings and evenings) to bohemian-style necklaces and hats, and there are plenty of styles that flatter different plus size body types.

A white dress like this one is perfect for any casual day and can be dressed up or down.

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The Importance of Pockets

Who wants to be loaded down with a purse if she doesn't have to be, especially during the carefree summer months? A beautiful dress with pockets combines the best of two worlds. Believe it or not, this dress costs less than $30.00 and it's available in sizes 14 to 26 Plus. Get it in wine, navy, or black. All come with the white belt (removable), which adds definition and gives the look of a smaller waist.

Match it up with a pair of white pumps or skip the matching look and do your own thing. Dainty jewelry or statement pieces (or a mix) will go well with this.

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50s Florals

Love the fashion from the 1950s? This dress will give you that vintage vibe. The halter top and swing skirt are all you need for an ultra-feminine style, especially when paired with the hibiscus print. Get it in a 2X, 3X, or 4X. This one's a little pricier than some of the other options at just under $150.00, but if it's your signature style, you may just have to have it anyway. This design is also great for curvy ladies because it draws the eye inward at the waist and skims over the hips.

A pair of kitten heels or pumps will look perfect with this dress. Go jewelry-free or accessorize with a dainty pendant.

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Fit and Flare Sleeveless Style

If you can't stand anything that isn't sleeveless in the summer but you do love pockets, this fit-and-flare style is meant to be your dress. It'll disguise trouble areas around the belly, hip, and thigh areas, keep you cool, and be a versatile item in your wardrobe. It comes in fuchsia and black, so you can get one of each color and have something appropriate for almost any summer occasion.

Pair the black one up with a colorful kimono for a dressier occasion and enjoy the fuchsia one with a pair of tan sandals during the day. Accessorize with anything from a casual fedora to your favorite sparkling jewelry.

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Polka Dot Style

There's something about polka dots, sweetheart necklines, and thin straps that scream "summertime." This dress has them all. Pair it up with white, nude, or navy blue pumps or sandals for a look that will take you from June to August. It's available in 14W to 20W for around $100.00. The empire waist gives the look of a smaller waistline and disguises and trouble areas around the hip or thigh.

Try pairing dainty silver jewelry with it and if you have long hair, consider wearing your hair in a volumized ponytail for extra fun.

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Short Sleeve Jacket Dress

For around $50.00, you can get a two-piece dress and jacket set like this one by Maya Brooke. You'll have an extra layer that keeps your shoulders and upper arms covered when you want to without the heat of long sleeves, and because of the white background and vibrant print, this is perfect for summer. Get it in size 14w to 24w and pair it up with white or nude sandals.

A short statement necklace and a bracelet will be all you need as far as jewelry goes.

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Cobalt and Lace

This gorgeous cobalt blue fit and flare number is available in 14w to 24w for less than $50.00 and can show off your curves while draping right over the lower belly, hips, and thighs. It's short and flirty and has a lace trim for extra interest.

The sleeveless style will pair well with a lightweight cardigan on cool summer nights or at events where the air conditioning's cranked up a little too high. The jewel neckline makes it easy to accessorize with a necklace of almost any length (skip the chokers). Try shimmering silver sandals and a clutch to finish the look.

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Bare Shoulders

Bare your shoulders without suffering through a day with a strapless bra. This one combines the off-the-shoulder look with additional fabric that goes over the tops of your shoulders and can hide bra straps. The sheath style is perfect for the lady who loves to show off her curves. Pair it with nude or metallic sandals and a clutch or small tote. Expect to pay around $50.00. It's available in sizes 14w to 24w.

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The Trusty Maxi Dress

No summer wardrobe is complete without a maxi dress, and this sleeveless jersey style with a flattering V-neckline and empire bodice is the epitome of comfort. It comes in four colors and patterns (total) for just under $200.00. Get it in sizes 1X to 4X.

A pair of flat, strappy sandals will keep your comfort level high without sacrificing fashion. If you love jewelry, consider a pair of hoop earrings and a chunky bracelet.

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The Sexy Maxi

This City Chic Folklore maxi is perfect for summer nights and special weekend events that call for something a little sexy and is still comfortable. It's available in sizes 14w to 24w for under $100.00. The halter style with keyhole opening is a bit more modest in front than some other styles but your shoulders will be on display while you're out enjoying the lingering rays of sunshine at the end of the day (or all day).

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Floral Chiffon

If you enjoy wearing a deeper color palette even in the summer, you'll love the Chic City Falling Floral option, available for just over $100.00 in sizes 14w to 24w. This one's gorgeous for date nights, thanks to the romantic chiffon and shorter maxi length that allows for high heel sandals (try black, nude, or experiment with a metallic or blue shade that complements the fabric). Try a delicate necklace, bracelet, and ring in your favorite metal to dress this one up. It can be casual or sexy.

Plus size summer dresses come in a variety of styles and fabrics. Take your pick in length, from above-the-knee to maxi and then choose whether you prefer sleeveless, halter, or a dress with the option of a matching short-sleeve jacket. There's something for every preference.

Crystal Schwanke
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Plus Size Summer Dresses