Need an Easter dress, plus size, short notice.
April 16, 2014 11:23 AM   Subscribe

My grandparents are very elderly and chances are very good this will be at least one's last Easter. I hate dressing up, in dresses especially, but doing so always makes them absolutely delighted. So, I spent a lot of time taking measurements and stuff to order something well ahead of time from an online retailer who has been making excuses for weeks and finally said they'd refund my money because they can't get my order to me after all. Well... okay, clothes aren't my forte at the best of times, I need emergency fashion assistance.

I'm 5'8", a size 18, carry a lot of it in my midsection, D-cup so not extraordinarily busty but not flat either. In my 30s and my usual is jeans/khakis and plain-colored 3/4 sleeve t-shirts. I have a variety of cardigans, so sleeveless is okay, but I don't do leaving the house with bare arms. It needs to be at least knee length, preferably just past the knee, and not low-cut, although I'm flexible on the actual neckline. Something in the way of cheerful spring colors. Oh, and somewhere that can do overnight shipping. Cheap is a plus--assume I am extremely unlikely to ever actually wear this again--but anything up to $150 including the shipping would be doable. Something in Northeast Ohio would also work, but I have not had good luck shopping for women's clothes here even at the best of times.

The shoes I had already for this are cream-colored flats. I also have purple flats. Something that would go with the shoes I already have is preferred, I don't think I can manage last-minute emergency shoe-shopping, too.

I hate this sort of shopping and it was bad enough when I had plenty of time. I just want to look nice for my grandma, you know? eShakti looked ideal and I ordered with two weeks' cushion on their delivery estimate, but evidently right now they're kind of a mess, and now I'm stuck having to scramble.
posted by Sequence to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Two thoughts, both about Beachwood Place:

1) Nordstrom. Call them and give them the bullet point version, ask them to pull out some possibilities. There's a plus size section.

2) J. Jill.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:27 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it's a better idea to go to a department store and try on a bunch of things rather than trying to find the perfect thing online and have it shipped to you. Are there JCPenney stores where you are? I always fall back on JCP when I have an emergency dress situation and don't want to spend much money.
posted by something something at 11:28 AM on April 16, 2014

Why not a dress from Lands End? They have a variety of dresses besides that one - this is a knit floral that is $69 and floral.
posted by Frowner at 11:31 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Modcloth? They do a lot of plus-size, lower hemline and spring colors. Vintage-y without being too pinup. Plus they let people post comments about how stuff fits.
posted by Diablevert at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Dress Barn sounds like it is for old ladies, but I actually have great luck there with cheerful, church/garden party-ish dresses (I'm just about your size). They also sell a ton of accessories, including belts and wraps and things.
posted by Madamina at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2014 [7 favorites]

This one has sleeves, is knit and is on sale. Also, their return policy is good so you could conceivably order several sizes.
posted by Frowner at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Alternatively, the Gap has xxl dresses which seem to run about 18 - 20 - but not in store, only by mail. I have seen another iteration of the fit and flare dress here, and it seems pretty nice if you can usually do dresses in that general shape. (And it's longer than it looks in photos.)
posted by Frowner at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2014

Yep. Dress Barn, as loathsome as the name is, is my go-to for emergency daytime dresses. And I don't know if it's just luck or they're specifically catering to the modest-clothing crowd, but sometimes three or even four of their offerings have sleeves.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:37 AM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dress Barn is basically perfect for finding an Easter dress.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I recently discovered ASOS Curve and really like their dresses. This link is a search for size 18, midi length. This specific dress is cute and has 3/4 sleeves. They have 2-day shipping.
posted by snorkmaiden at 11:41 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mod Cloth. Order a few, their return policy is excellent.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:41 AM on April 16, 2014

And I'm a size 16, formerly 18. Mod cloth is tops for tea length dresses.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:42 AM on April 16, 2014

I always have really good luck at Macys and the deals are great.

Here's a dress that would work well with the shoes you have, and it's a good price.

This one will flatter your figure, and you can wear it to a wedding if you have to.

I'm INSANE about this one, it's so pretty and with long sleeves yet!

You're a real mench for dressing up for your grandparents.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:42 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Department stores are so hit-or-miss in my experience that I'm trying to avoid it just because of time--I have stuff going on pretty much every day but Friday and I have a whole laundry list of other errands I need to run Friday. Looks like some good stuff here, though, I'll have a look around.
posted by Sequence at 11:42 AM on April 16, 2014

A possibly cheaper approach - could you take one of the cardigans and one of the 3/4-sleeve tees, and get a skirt to match? That way you are only working with trying to fit the bottom half.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:44 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

J.Jill doesn't have anything that really says Easter to me this season.

Talbots has brick and mortar stores specifically for their Womens/Plus line, wonderful gentle service, and a very "easter bonnet" spring line. I'm built like you (except I'm a 22, and tall) and just got this dress to wear to my mother's on Easter, and it's very flattering.
posted by anastasiav at 11:52 AM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Definitely the unfortunately-named Dress Barn.
posted by radioamy at 11:54 AM on April 16, 2014

Nthing Dress Barn. I've gotten my last 3 Easter dresses from there. I'm busty and carry a lot of my weight in the mid-section and also don't do bare arms. The spring dresses I have bought have come with a little shrug or jacket and manage to have an unstructured waistline without looking "maternity". The price is also good, under $100. If I were buying a new dress for Easter that is the first place I'd go.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:58 AM on April 16, 2014

I'm going to agree with everyone else that this is pretty much what Dress Barn is for - I was in one on Saturday and it was like someone threw up jellybeans everywhere. Much with the spring colors... (I'm probably a size up from you and shop there for similar occasions fairly regularly.)

For with your purple shoes:
Geometric Floral Dress
Purple chiffon floral with jacket

These ones are shown with light colored shoes:
Yellow floral fit & flare
Sweetheart neckline with jacket, floral
Draped polka dots
Floral and striped
Ruched floral
Ruched floral chiffon
Coral with jacket
Polka dots with a belt

I just noticed that they give you the model's size and height for the corresponding pictures, so that should help you figure out where it will hit your knee. (My experience with their long dresses are that they need hemmed, but I'm only five six.)
posted by librarianamy at 12:08 PM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dress Barn, another vote. Reasonable prices, flattering styles, decent quality.
posted by pie ninja at 12:08 PM on April 16, 2014

Is there a Catherine's in your area? They have 'large' sizes.
posted by Cranberry at 12:21 PM on April 16, 2014

Look for Lands End in a Sears store.
posted by Cranberry at 12:21 PM on April 16, 2014

Actually, Lands End just spun (back) off from Sears, so any merch Sears still had would be clearance and likely not in season.
posted by Madamina at 12:46 PM on April 16, 2014

#1, grandma will love whatever you end up wearing. Don't need to guilt yourself up about this. You've got plenty of time.

I'm also 5'8, US size 18. Last year I got my Easter dress at Lane Bryant. If you can get to a store, you will absolutely find something in your size and be able to walk out the door with it.

I convinced myself I didn't need a new dress this year, but these are some I've been eying at ModCloth. You'll probably take a 2X at ModCloth. What is especially great about ModCloth is you can see how real average people wore it, in your size, and how it looked on them. And their return policy is great.

Walking by the Water Dress in Yellow (with purple shoes and cardi)
Or the same in Green with nude shoes and a white cardi
The Story of Citrus Dress in Lemon, again with purple shoes and colorful cardi.
And Many More Dress verges to be slightly retro, but not costume-y. Purple shoes, white cardi.
posted by fontophilic at 12:49 PM on April 16, 2014

If you're going the ModCloth route, try to find photos of real people (not models, no matter what their body shape) wearing the dress. I am disappointed by color/product quality about 90% of the time with them.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:09 PM on April 16, 2014

One more vote for Dress Barn. I've got an 8-week old at home but needed a dress. I managed to make it in and out in 30 minutes with two, for $80 total. They've just got so many, with lots of different colors and styles, that it's easy to grab a bunch to try on.
posted by bizzyb at 1:43 PM on April 16, 2014

Yet another vote for Dress Barn. It's perfect for this type of dress. I bought the dress I wore to my brother's wedding there and it was perfect. Light, springy, modest but not overly so. Right on the money.
posted by MsMolly at 4:39 PM on April 16, 2014

Dress Barn it was. Not quite the purple dress with the jacket, but close to that one, anyway, and it doesn't precisely make me feel like Little Princess Sequence but I think I can effectively fake girlness for at least the duration of Easter. And the holiday was saved!
posted by Sequence at 5:45 PM on April 16, 2014 [10 favorites]

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