Best plus size summer dresses: floral, animal print and colourful styles

·5-min read
 (Mango/New Look)
(Mango/New Look)

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet. You may have plans to take your dancing feet over to your local park for a long-awaited reunion with friends. This means it’s finally time to ditch the loungewear and slip into something prettier to ring in the occasion.

The good news is that with summer and nationwide unlocking of Covid restrictions, there’s more call than ever for a new frock (or two) to celebrate the good times. The market is becoming more balancd, with more designers and retailers offering them in extended sizes, welcome news for anyone who wears a plus size.

From midi frocks to retro patterns, here are our favourite plus size summer dresses.

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Monsoon Amina gingham dolly dress blue

Sizes: up to 24

 (Monsoon)
(Monsoon)

School may be out for summer but the lessons to be taken from uniform check dressing are still very much in. Graduate in wholesome, preppy style with this gingham midi from Monsoon. It runs up to a size 24 and features a deep(ish) neck with a button fastening all down the front. Best of all, there are two side pockets just under the waistband, deep enough to hold all your essentials. Office-appropriate yet comfy enough to wear for the weekend, there’s nothing we don’t love about this frock.

£70 | Monsoon

New Look Curves Lilac Gingham Textured Square Neck Midi Dress

Sizes: 26 to 32

 (New Look)
(New Look)

If you, like us, equate picnics with the timeless look of gingham, New Look is the place to go. We’re fully feeling this lilac midi, which comes with flattering three quarter-length sleeves and a shirred bodice. Come autumn, add a polo-neck underneath to keep the look viable all year-round.

£29.99 | New Look

Violeta by Mango Embroidered cotton dress

Sizes: 20 - 26

 (Mango)
(Mango)

Want to look like butter wouldn't melt? This pretty white frock screams girl-next-door thanks to the cut out detail and angel sleeves.

£55.99 | Violeta by Mango *On sale from £69.99

Ulla Popken Geometric Print Round Neck Cupro Dress

Sizes: 20 - 34

 (Ulla Popken)
(Ulla Popken)

Instant elegance comes courtesty of Ulla Popken, where this geometric multicoloured number is waiting to be added to basket. The slip-on piece is made from soft and silky cupro, making it perfect for wearing when temperatures soar.

£130 | Ulla Popken

H&M+ V-neck kaftan dress

Sizes: up to 4XL

 (H&M)
(H&M)

Floating around in a loose kaftan is straight out of the hot weather dressing playbook. H&M’s version comes with a cool neon green pattern that looks great with gold and enamelled jewellery.

£24.99 | H&M

Myleene Klass Wrap Dress in Animal

Sizes: up to 22

 (Next)
(Next)

With fluted sleeves, a flattering v-neck and foxy all-over animal print, this dress raises the style stakes whether you need something for work or play.

£40 | Next

Never Fully Dressed Pom Pom Rainbow Dress - Curve

Sizes: 18 - 24

 (Never Fully Dressed)
(Never Fully Dressed)

Get your pom poms out - it's time to party in NFD's tiered frock, which is trimmed with tiny balls and features stitching in all the colours of the rainbow. In short, everything you need to get the fiesta started!

£99 | Never Fully Dressed

Ulla Popken Perforated Embroidery A Line Fit Dress

Sizes: 16 - 30

 (Ulla Popken)
(Ulla Popken)

Stay cool without showing too much skin in this flattering a-line frock, which comes with full length sleeves. It's covered in a bold cut out overlay with an opaque lining beneath.

£70 | Ulla Popken

Zara Printed Linen Blend Tunic Dress

Sizes: up to XXL

 (Zara)
(Zara)

Patterns clash in a riot of red and pink florals on Zara’s tunic dress, made from summer-appropriate linen to keep you cool. Add structure with a belt for the office, or let the fabric float free if wearing over the weekend.

£49.99 | Zara

Monsoon Button-through puff sleeve dress green

Sizes: to XL

 (Monsoon)
(Monsoon)

Part of the brand’s S.E.W Sustainable collection, this bright green dress is perfect for all manner of summer plans. Add straw accessories like sandals and a bag to dial up the holiday feel.

£49 | Monsoon

Never Fully Dressed Green Cocktail Brooklyn Dress - Curve

Sizes: 18 - 24

 (Never Fully Dressed)
(Never Fully Dressed)

Prepare for party time in NFD's green printed wrap dress, which flatters all sorts of figures thanks to the angel sleeves and flowing skirt.

£89 | Never Fully Dressed

Monsoon Roxanna kaftan midi dress blue

Sizes: to XL (20 - 22)

 (Monsoon)
(Monsoon)

If we can’t go on holiday, let the power of dressing bring the holiday vibes to you. This white and blue patterned kaftan will have you transported to the Adriatic coast.

£60 | Monsoon

Native Youth Plus smock dress with high pleated collar in leopards print

Sizes: up to 28

 (Native Youth)
(Native Youth)

A cheerful print and open-breezy smock silhouette is exactly what park picnics call for. Long sleeves add balance while the spread collar is an ideal setting for layered necklaces.

£32 | ASOS

ASOS DESIGN Curve long sleeve tiered smock midi dress in rust spot

Sizes: up to 30

 (ASOS Design)
(ASOS Design)

There have been many versions of that Zara polka dot dress, but ASOS’s midi iteration is among the nicest. The warm rust tones work brilliantly on any skin tone. Toughen it up with a biker jacket and new trainers.

£25 | ASOS

ASOS DESIGN Curve satin puff sleeve open back midi tea dress in soft check

Sizes: up to 30

 (ASOS)
(ASOS)

Welcome the lighter, brighter season with a pretty pastel check print dress, offered in an elegant satin. Great for all those special occasions in your calendar, it feels silky smooth against the skin and falls in a flattering drape.

£19 | ASOS *On sale from £38

Boysen’s Printed A-Line Jersey Dress

Sizes: up to 26

 (Curvissa)
(Curvissa)

Available in a selection of colourways and patterns, this jersey dress is one it’s way to becoming your favourite casual go-to. Featuring a high neck and frilled edges, wear it to park dates as easily as to the office.

£40 | Curvissa

Verdict

Monsoon’s easy-to-wear gingham midi is all we’ll be wearing to park picnics, office days and late summer afternoon walks. Paired with the right footwear and accessories, it’ll have year-round appeal too. But really, any dress with pockets has our seal of approval. Check, check, check.

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