Author Bio: Originally from the U.S., Rana Tarakji is the founder of One SEO, a multinational link building agency, author of Off-site SEO guide: A Hands-On SEO Tutorial For Beginners & Dummies, and a web content specialist who now lives in Beirut, Lebanon. Rana’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including Life Hacker, Upwork, Christian Today, Newswire, and many other outlets.

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Dressing up and being all-glammed up for a formal party is definitely no longer limited to the petite and slender femmes. These days, plus-sized fashion is slowly being embraced by the fashion industry. Brick and mortar stores, as well as online shops, now have emerging clothing line trends for plus size formal party dresses that show how full-figured women have more wardrobe to choose from when it comes to these kinds of occasions.

If you are among the plus-sized women in search of styling tips for formal parties, here are some ideas that might prove useful to you:

  • Leniency in length. Black-tie events and formal parties often follow a certain dress code. While this may be strictly enforced on gentlemen (i.e. black tie and coat ensemble), women have been given a bit more of a fashion freedom, when it comes to dress length. Plus-sized women highly benefit from this leniency as they are given a choice when it comes to how long their formal party dress should be. Most of the time, you can wear a formal party dress that falls right above the knee, so you can draw more attention to your legs instead of your upper body. Or you can opt for a floor-length dress that emphasizes your body’s natural curves with a fit and flare style.   

  • Flattery in form. Being plus-sized does not equate to being one in body shape and form as every other full-figured woman. Every body shape is different and can, therefore, be made to stand out in various ways. For example, hourglass figured women on the plus side would look good on ball-gown styles. But the same style may not be flattering in a full-figured woman of smaller height. Similarly, the flares of an A-line dress may accentuate your bust and simultaneously hide your hips, tummy, and thighs. While a mermaid gown can give you the closest feel to a body con dress, emphasizing your even proportions and hips.

  • Decide wisely on details. Details on your formal party dress can either draw more attention to your plus-sized figure or complement it strategically. If you are going to a formal occasion, you have the option to play it cool and choose to have a monochromatic getup with little to no embellishment. The good thing about this is your dress’ monochrome colors can play up the effect of a slimmer and elongated figure, without the need for added accessories. If, on the other hand, you are a fan of beads, embellishments, and pieces of jewelry, opt for statement pieces like cuff bracelets, cocktail rings, and bangles. You can also wear necklaces with interesting pendant accents, but make sure their lengths draw the eyes in an up and down direction.

  • Count on colors. Unless a strict color theme is implemented, you can use colors to your plus-size fashion advantage in your next formal event.  Black is an all-time favorite as it can give a slimming effect. If, for example, you want multi-toned pieces, downplay areas with darker colors by making sure these shades fall on body parts that you would rather conceal.