How to Style Cotton Plus Size Dresses for Every Occasion

Posted on January 19th, 2023 09:00 AM

Matching the right dress with the right occasion means you will feel ultimately fabulous no matter the event or season. To decide on a dress, a lot of things need to be taken into account, the nature of the event, the season, the time of day, the venue and most importantly the assets you want to flaunt. Knowing your body shape can help in choosing the style of your dress. Different dress styles can help to hide the parts you want and flaunt the beautiful assets you have.

Natural materials, such as cotton or linen, are the most universally flattering fabrics as it complements your curves. Cotton is unable to hold static, so it won’t cling to any awkward spots. It is also incredibly breathable so it will keep you cool and comfortable through any event or occasion. The vast range that cotton dresses come in makes them absolutely ideal for any event or season.

But are you stuck on what to wear to your next event? Keep reading to find out some of our styling suggestions for every occasion for plus-size dresses.

Casual Event

In the warmer summer months, above-the-knee dresses are ideal for a casual event. A tunic dress, hanging from your shoulders to somewhere between your hips and knees, can be extremely comfortable and stylish. Their unrestrictive design paired with the natural fibre of cotton will keep you cool and comfortable all day long. Similar to tunic dresses, smock dresses have an unrestricted design as well as a little bit of extra material to flow around you so you can be fashionable and comfortable. Pair either a smock or a tunic dress with a pair of sandals or sneakers for a stylish casual look that is so effortless to put together.

Bold prints can be ultimately flattering and make a statement of their own and pair well with all the colours of spring and summer. Cotton dresses won’t hold static and cling to those awkward spots as well as they are very breathable so they will keep you cool all day long in the summer heat. A cotton summer dress with sandals or sneakers is another effortless, yet stylish, casual look. They can also be quite feminine with their floral summer prints as well as create a flattering silhouette. If you prefer to cover your legs, create a boho chic look with a maxi dress paired with sandals. The flowing material will keep you cool while you look incredible. 

Just because the weather gets cooler doesn’t mean you need to lock away your plus-size dresses. A jacket paired with the boho chic look of a maxi dress will add shape to the outfit as well as lock in some warmth with the extra layer. Knit dresses are also another great option for casual events in the cooler months. Pair your favourite knit dress with a comfortable pair of boots and a scarf to keep you warm and effortlessly stylish. The scarf will also help to draw the eye down, elongating your silhouette.

Formal Event

Choosing the right plus-size dresses for a formal event that hides what you want but flaunts your assets can be a difficult task. Knowing your body shape can help a lot in choosing the right dress style. Different dress styles can help you to accentuate your favourite parts about yourself. For example, an empire-style dress gathers its waistline right under the bust, emphasising the upper body and drawing attention to the face. Whereas an A-line dress fits tightly across the bust and then gently flares out over the rest of the lower body, to showcase both the upper and lower body as well as your curves. It is believed that A-line dresses are the most universally flattering style for all body shapes.

Off-shoulder and strapless plus-size dresses highlight the delicate décolletage of a woman. This can help to balance out your silhouette; however, be careful to know your body shape because if you have broad shoulders strapless or off-shoulder dresses may only emphasise this by making you appear a little too top-heavy. If your shoulders are broader than your hips, try for a dress with a dainty V-neckline and perhaps a ¾ sleeve to draw the eye down. 

Maxi and mid-length dresses are typically the popular choice for formal events and are ideal to suit the formal dress code. You will most likely want to avoid above-the-knee dresses. Maxi and mid-length dresses can be quite elegant and classy when paired with the right accessories. Mid-length dresses are also ideal for showing off your favourite pair of heels. Dark solid colours, such as black and navy, can be slimming and flattering in every style of dress. The solid dark colour will also complement your accessories, making the accents of them shine against the solid dark backdrop of your dress.


Lunch Event

Lunch events can be anything from a bridal shower, engagement party, charity lunch or just catching up with friends so it’s important to choose an outfit that will complement the occasion and the venue. Whether the event is indoor or outdoor may also have an impact on your outfit choice. For example, if it’s by the beach or a park wear a flowy dress in a floral pattern to match a breezy summer day. Whereas for an indoor event, you may opt for more solid colours; although, it is recommended for a lunch event to wear brighter colours as well as it gives you the opportunity to wear floral pattern summer cotton dresses.

A Bridal shower lunch is a great excuse to dress up a little with a cocktail dress. For a lunch event that may be more on the professional side, a more sophisticated outfit is needed- opt for a knee-length hem to keep it modest. Whereas with a social gathering with friends, a floaty feminine dress with low heels and your favourite accessories is perfect for the occasion. For a boho chic look for your next lunch event wear your favourite printed maxi dress, some wooden or beaded accessories, and some comfortable sandals or boots.

A ¾ length sleeve dress is also ideal and ultimately flattering plus the bonus that the sleeves won’t be too long to dip into any food or sauce that may be served. While there is a whole range of dress choices to wear to a lunch event, polished, yet practical footwear is appropriate, such as sandals or low heels. These will complement any dress as well as complement the lunch event. 

Evening Event

The evening closet staple of a little black dress will almost never be out of place at an evening event. The dark colour can be quite forgiving with stains and quite flattering to your shape. You can almost never go wrong with a simple little black dress in the evening. But rest assured there are other options to mix it up from the standard little black dress. Evening wear is not limited to dark colours. A light-coloured dress works well with a dark belt to cinch the waist and highlight your shape.

Midi and knee length plus size dresses are the perfect lengths for most evening events. They elongate your silhouette and allow you to show off your favourite pair of heels. Shoes are a great way of adding personality and flair to an outfit without going all out. Choose dresses with solid colours to wear with dainty earrings and a necklace to add a little twinkle to your outfit. 

If there is dancing on the agenda for the evening a swing dress is ideal to move and swing in. An evening event is also a great place to show off your sleeves. Dresses with flutter and frill sleeves can be extremely elegant and flattering to your silhouette.


Usually wedding attire calls for feminine and elegant silhouettes, with maxi or midi dress lengths, ruffles, and flutter and frill sleeves. Wedding attire can vary depending on the location or venue of the wedding. For example, for a beachside wedding choose plus-size dresses in colours that complement the surrounding scenery.  Be careful with your footwear choice if the wedding is outside as pointy heels may sink into the soft earth. 

Dresses with bold floral prints, soft pastel colours or lace suit most weddings. Just be sure not to break the cardinal rule and ensure the colours you wear aren’t too pale that they may be mistaken as white. Be careful also not to over-accessorise, particularly if the wedding is during the day. A bedazzled clutch can work well to enhance an outfit while not taking away from your daytime wedding outfit. 

A dress that is sleeveless highlights your delicate decalage making you appear daintier and more elegant, while a dress with flutter and frill sleeves can also be very flattering and feminine. A mid-length dress paired with a ¾ flutter sleeve draws attention to the waist, accentuating the hourglass figure and highlighting your curves.

Work Event 

Work events usually entail clothing that is still modest enough for work but also a little more stylish. It is recommended, to avoid looking too glammed up keep your hairstyle and make-up similar to what you would wear to work and perhaps avoid any above-the-knee dresses that may show too much skin. Showing too much skin may be deemed unprofessional by your co-workers. Mid-length or knee-length dresses are perfect for most work events. 

You want to dress to impress at a work event.  For a polished look go for items that are elegant yet comfortable. Avoid dresses with too much material around the arms. A dress with a long straight sleeve or ¾ straight sleeve will make your outfit professional and clean-cut while still being elegant.

Buy Plus Size Dresses at Cotton Dayz

We absolutely love, here at Cotton Dayz, helping you to feel and look your best no matter the occasion. Feeling confident in your outfit will bring a whole new light of elegance to your style. We believe that size, body shape, or age should not limit your style and think every woman should have the confidence to express herself.

Have you got an event coming up that you need an outfit for? Or perhaps just want to fill that gap in your wardrobe? We have something for everyone and every occasion in our range of plus-sized dresses, dresses, or seek out a bargain in our sale.