From velvet wrap dresses to minis and everything in between, shop our list of the best plus-size dresses to shop in Canada.
When it comes to looking put together in a time crunch, there’s nothing as effortless as a dress (and a warm, stylish plus-size coat, while you’re at it). It comes in clutch whether you’re rushed to get out the door in the morning, need an easy outfit for one of 20 holiday parties or just don’t want to think too hard.
We’ve searched high and low for the most stylish and versatile plus-size dresses in Canada. From velvet wrap dresses to minis and everything in between, shop our list of the best plus-size dresses in Canada of 2023.
What to look for in the best plus-size dresses in Canada
If you’re already an avid dress wearer, you know that the possibilities are endless. Truly. Every season boasts new cuts, silhouettes, materials and more to choose from, and the smorgasbord of plus-size dress options available is growing, too. Avoid overwhelm and consider several things to narrow down your options:
Knowing what materials work for you is the easiest way to trim your shopping wish list. Consider the season, occasion and how you want the item to feel against your skin, and go from there. For a casual, everyday dress, you’ll probably opt for something like cotton jersey, a super soft and easy-to-care-for fabric, or cotton poplin, a slightly more elevated material typically used in button-down shirts.
Love feeling a breeze in the summer? Linen is your best bet. Hate the roughness of the natural fabric? Tencel twill is a great option that’s softer against the skin.
Household-name materials like satin, chiffon and polyester are commonly found in dresses and give a silk look without being so high maintenance (or pricey). Heavier options like wool, french terry, crepe and velvet lend themselves to the cooler months.
Instead of dressing to “flatter” your shape, an outdated idea that lends itself to body shaming, search for silhouettes that make you feel good about yourself. Maybe that’s a sleep slip dress from the ’90s, a curve-hugging body con number, a babydoll piece or a midi-length shirt dress.
Take a look through your closet, pick out the dresses you wear often and figure out which styles you gravitate towards.
Linings serve many purposes, from concealing your undergarments and regulating body temperature to keeping static cling at bay, protecting your skin, adding warmth, and helping the dress slide on easier, among others. While silk linings are soft and luxurious, they can be too hot in the summer and break down easily.
Wool or fleece linings keep things cozy in the winter, but can be itchy against the skin, while synthetic fibres like polyester are machine-washable, but not breathable. Not all dresses have linings, but give it some thought when they do — it might make or break the fit.
If you live alone, you’re probably part of the camp that has considered knocking on your neighbours door for help getting in or out of a dress — or at least you’ve tried every trick under the sun to do it yourself. From zippers and snaps to buttons, ties and hooks, some dress-closure types are easy… and some will have you considering wearing them to bed and trying again in the morning.
The best plus size dresses in Canada 2023
Berrygo women’s wrap dress
If you’re looking for a dress that works for basically any occasion, you’ve found it. Wrap yourself in gorgeous velvet that feels so rich against the skin, you’ll be fanning yourself in dollar bills. This versatile piece is fixed with an empire waist, ruffle trim and a hemline designed to swing while you walk (and stop passersby in their tracks).
Available in size 0 to 22, the dress that can do it all comes in countless colours, from emerald green to navy, and materials, if you prefer something that isn’t velvet. Just make sure to size down if you’re in between sizes. We think it’s the best plus size dress Canada offers overall, offering a fun wear and easy-to-care-for fabric.
- Has a side slit
- Adjustable fit
- Faux wrap that won’t untie or reveal too much
- Hand wash only, unless you’re a risk taker
- Belt isn’t detachable
Skims Fits Everybody Maxi Dress
Building your perfect capsule wardrobe? You’ll want this dress. It can easily go from lounging to brunch and errand-running. This scoop neck number offers a body-skimming silhouette that accentuates curves and shows just enough skin, without being too much.
Plus, the neck is lined with a bit of lace for a little extra je ne sais quoi. Gone are the days of constantly adjusting your outfit and pulling up the straps. This throw-it-on-and-go dress is stretchy without bagging out in certain areas, thanks to the elastane in the fabric recipe.
The warm bronze hue is to die for, too, and wearable for any season.
- Body-hugging stretch
- Available in up to size 4X
- Recommended to size up
Selkie The Moonlight Dress
Selkie is a whimsical ready-to-wear brand that made a name for itself by being truly size-inclusive, carrying up to size 6X in all styles and prints. The Moonlight Dress is so romantic, featuring a darling sweetheart neckline, a tiered full skirt, mesh puff sleeves and an open back.
It’s breathable and completely appropriate for the warmer months, but can be paired with hosiery in the cooler ones, too. (We love this colourway for the festive season.) Plus, the rayon lining makes it soft and anti-static against the skin.
- Concealed back zipper
- Available in sizes XXS to 6X
- Dry clean only
Hanna Nikole Chiffon Swiss Dot Dress
There’s nothing worse than ordering the perfect dress, trying it on and realizing it’s completely see-through. Not with this dress, made with lightweight, high-quality chiffon material and a soft lining to protect your skin (and your dignity).
It’s perfect for date nights, cocktail parties, a casual wedding guest outfit and anything in between. Dress it up with heels or down with a pair of sneakers to suit any occasion. Better yet? Reviewers say the dress is a great choice for shoppers with larger chests who find it difficult to find options that fit without pulling.
It fits true to size, they say, and comes in up to size 24.
- Soft fabric
- Available in five different colours
- Short-sleeved options
- 98% polyester (but hey, no wrinkles!)
- Lined for sensitive skin
Amazon Essentials Women’s Fit and Flare Dress
If you’re looking to make getting dressed easier when it comes to choice and execution, look no further. This fit-and-flare dress features an empire waist, tiered skirt and puff sleeves. Made from 100% organic cotton, it’s soft and smooth to the touch, and stretchy enough to adapt to any body type. And yes, it has pockets.
Reviewers recommend choosing a darker colour out of the six options, as only the sleeves are lined, but otherwise have only positive things to say about this Amazon Essentials dress (that, may we add, is only $20). It also comes in up to size 7X.
- 100% organic cotton
- Machine washable
- Pull-on design
- Unlined and see-through depending on colour
- Thick fabric too warm for summer days
- Some reviewers don’t love the puff sleeves
Best for work
Anthropologie Soren Long-Sleeve Dress
Still with us, capsule wardrobe enthusiasts? Listen, workwear can get boring — fast. If you’re tired of wearing button-downs with trousers or stuffy crêpe dresses, might we suggest a long-sleeve shirt dress? Belt it, layer it or wear it alone with a sick pair of loafers or a heel, this dress is going places — and you will be in it, too.
Available in crisp white and eight other colours from blue pinstripe to black-and-cream florals, you can’t go wrong with this one from Anthropologie. Unfortunately it’s only available in up to size 3X, but runs large.
- Runs large, so size down
- Machine washable
- 100% cotton
- May need hemming (extra long length)
- Creases easily
Best maxi length
Boohoo Floral Mesh Low Back Maxi Dress
We don’t prescribe to wearing clothes deemed flattering, but this dress will absolutely make your curves pop. Floor-length and lined to avoid any unplanned reveals, this dress features a high mock neck, long sleeves and a black-and-red floral print perfect for everything from the festive season to a night out on a cool summer evening. We’d even wear this to a wedding if the vibe was right.
The same style is also available in black and gold, from size UK 12 to 24. Don’t want a maxi? They offer it in a mini version, too, with a square neckline and ruching to make you look snatched to the gods.
- Fully lined
- Adaptable for any season
- No listed material information, but likely polyester
ASOS Design Cross Back Maxi Dress
Love gingham? Then you’ll love this modern take on the classic print, featuring purple and orange daisies throughout. Available in up to size 26, this trapeze-style dress has a square neck, flirty puff sleeve, a dropped waist and a sweet cross back that makes the look unique. It’s daywear dressing done right, if we do say so ourselves.
While this piece is definitely more on the spring/summer side, consider picking it up for your next vacation or hanging onto it until the season is right. Or just wear it in the cooler months with cream ribbed tights and a chunky cardigan — there are no rules.
- Machine washable
- Slight stretchy
- 52% cotton
- 47% polyester
- Will shrink in the dryer
Hilary MacMillan Printed Mini Dress
If adorable was a dress, this one would be it. This smock mini fits true to size and is positively playful with its tropical bird print design against a light pink, nearly lavender, background. Its breezy silhouette hits just above the knee, has a high neck and back cut out, and concealed pockets.
While this number doesn’t have any stretch, the Canadian designer made sure to add an elastic strap in the back, that still covers any bra straps, for comfort and ease of pulling it on. Wear it with a block heel in the summer or throw on a pair of tights and tall boots in the fall and winter.
- Local Canadian designer
- 100% cotton
- Elastic strap on the back
- No stretch
Best black tie
Betsy & Adam Tux Detail Strapless Column Gown
Take your little black dress collection to the next level with this tuxedo-inspired column gown that has satin panels at the neckline and a leg-baring slit on the skirt that accentuates the legs (and shows off your heels). The gown features a structured neckline that helps highlight the concept of a tux, with a stretch that gives a body-hugging fit throughout.
The material is soft and heavy-weight, adding warmth no matter your evening plans (a winter wedding, perhaps?), and it drapes beautifully over the body. Plus, no worries about adjusting or pulling it up all night — there’s a rubber grip around the bust line to keep it in place.
- True to size
- Fully lined
Karoline Vitto Fragment Dress
If you’ve been paying any attention to plus-size runways, you’ll probably recognize this London-based designer’s trademark design choice — a stainless steel, chrome-plated wire that transforms all her offerings into wearable art. The Fragment Dress is sewn in-studio and features a modular metal clasp neckline and uses fabric sourced from their deadstock partner in France.
The best part? Karoline Vitto designs specifically for plus-size bodies, with all her cuts ideal for people with a wider hip-to-waist ratio. If you don’t see your size available, you can request a custom piece that’ll fit you perfectly. A truly luxurious shopping experience.
- Uses deadstock fabric
- 100% wool
- Bespoke sizing available
- Around one month wait time
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