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Where to Buy the Best Plus-Size Dresses for Work

collage of 5 women wearing plus-size work dresses

This post was last updated in September 2022.

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Pondering where to buy the best plus-size dresses for work? We just rounded up the most stylish sheath dresses for work in regular sizes, and while we mentioned plus-size availability in that post, we thought a roundup of the best plus-size dresses for work deserved its own post. Below find a bunch of our favorite plus-size dresses for work, from basic sheath dresses in plus sizes, sleeved sheath dresses, plus-size petite dresses (so hard to find!), designer dresses in plus sizes, wrap dresses, dresses with pockets, machine-washable dresses… and more.

Readers, which are your favorite plus-size dresses for work? Which ones do you have in multiple colors? Which ones make you feel like a million dollars?

{related: 100+ of the best places to shop for plus-size work clothes}

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navy dress from Universal Standard

Universal Standard has a number of nice dresses, including its bestselling Mary dress — for my $.02 I’d get it hemmed to just below (or at) the knee. (The dress does not come in tall sizes but I put it on the list for tall sizes (at top) because one of the models wearing it is 5’11 and it still comes to below her knees.)

Universal Standard, if you don’t know, does this great thing where they show you models wearing the dress in your size — so you can see a variety of models wearing sizes 6–3X. If you worry that your weight is in flux, they also have a great thing called “Fit Liberty,” which includes at least one of the dresses (although not the one pictured) — if your size changes within the year you can exchange the dress for your new size.

Other nice options for stylish sheath dresses for work in plus sizes include Eloquii, J.Crew, Of Mercer, M.M.LaFleur, Lands’ End, and Calvin Klein.

{related: comfortable heels for wide feet}

woman wears plus-size work dress in wool

Lands’ End dresses have always been hits with the readers — pictured is their wool dress (actually from their uniform section, but it’s too perfect not to include) and their ponte dresses. They also shine with wrap dresses!

For simple basics, also check Universal Standard (up to 40), and Gravitas (up to 3X).

{related: the best plus-size suits for interviews}

There used to be a Facebook group for lawyer moms (it’s currently archived, alas), but a lottttt of women were singing the praises of this dress from MUXXN for work, and on Amazon it has 13,500 great reviews. For my $.02, I’d recommend sizing up — but I love that it comes in a zillion colors, is only $30, and comes in sizes S–3X. (It’s important to note that the fabric is a bit more like a polyester T-shirt than a thick ponte — but I love looking at all the real women sharing pictures of themselves in the dress.)

If you’re hunting for other colorful sheath dresses for work, some other great options right now include Calvin Klein, CeCe, and Boden (up to 22).

vintage-looking green dress for work on mannequin from Etsy seller heartmycoset

Bespoke, custom dresses are another way to go — and we’ve featured a lot of great Etsy sellers over the years who are surprisingly affordable. Etsy seller “heartmycloset” makes dresses inspired by the royals (Meghan, Kate) and TV shows like Suits, Agent Carter, and House of Cards — she has a zillion colors to choose from, and for the most part the dresses are under $150. Sign me up! (If you know of more Etsy sellers we’d love to hear about them!)

Other spots to check for custom dresses include eShakti as well as Igigi.

If you like the vintage vibes of heartmycloset, check out Amazon seller Marycrafts (available up to size 22), as well as ModCloth (but note that it can be hit or miss in terms of wear-to-work pieces).

plus-size dress for work in geometric print from designer Diane von Furstenberg

The iconic DvF wrap dress is currently available in a ton of prints, in plus sizes, at 11 Honoré — and while it’s not a classic sheath, it’s still a great dress for work. If you’re uncomfortable with the amount of cleavage, I’d recommend either a full slip, or possibly a demi camisole if you want to wear it with another high-waisted foundation garment like Spanx shorts (for compression) or Jockey slip-shorts (for anti-chafing and comfort).

Some other great options for splurges (dresses over $200) include brands and shops like Vince, Nic + Zoe, Lafayette 148 New York, and Navabi — but see our full roundup of designer plus-size clothing for professional women for more ideas.

Some of our other favorite wrap dresses that come in plus sizes include Kiyonna, Lands’ End, Karen Kane, ASOS, and Universal Standard.

Readers, what are your thoughts on where to buy the best plus-size dresses for work?

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