'I'm on a mission to find the best plus-size wedding guest dress. Here's what's in my shopping cart.'

The perfect wedding guest dress has always eluded me. 

Not because there aren't plenty of dresses on the market to buy but mostly because it's admittedly more difficult to find the perfect cut, style, length and fit in my size. 

I'm a plus-size woman who has been shopping in the 'Curve' range ever since I was 12 years old. The first time I purchased a dress online, it was from Ebay. A crappy, scruffy A-line cut in the colour maroon. It was my pride and joy the first few times I wore it. I was a size 12 or 14 then but somehow, I still had difficulty finding anything that resembled what the cool girls wore. 

It fell apart in the washing machine after its third or fourth wash and it taught me my very first lesson about plus-size shopping: clothes are not made to last on fat people. 

Watch: How much should a wedding dress cost? Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

It's been over a decade since my first ever online fashion purchase and I've learnt even more lessons. Check the measurements online, read the reviews, and look at the fabric used but mostly to just accept that I probably won't find what I like in my size. 


A pretty bleak reality, to be honest. 

But in the last few years, the world of online shopping has expanded beyond my wildest imagination. I used to be able to keep track of trends online, but now it seems only seasoned veteran who pursues fashion as a career or a passionate hobby are the only ones who can possibly stay up to date. 

It's also expanded in the plus-size world too. Most brands go up to a size 24 but a lot more cater to size 28, 30 and 32 (and if we're lucky, even a 34 or 36!) now. Which means I'm allowed to have options. 

Who would have bloody thought I'd ever see the day? Certainly not me. 

Read: MIA FREEDMAN: 'I tried on 37 outfits for this wedding and I wasn’t even the bride.'

Bit of a calendar update for you: I have a wedding coming up. A very intimate one where I've known the brides for as long as they've been dating. It's quite special to watch love bloom right in front of your very own eyes and as such, I feel that my attendance requires a level of taste I've never quite achieved before.

I have a few obstacles to leap over before the special day. I'm moving houses in a very dire rental crisis (I live in Sydney and it sucks), I'm visiting family overseas (after three years of only FaceTime calls and messages) and I'm possibly the most irresponsible person I know. 


I have three months to find the dress that will make me feel the most confident. So here are my demands:

  • The dress has to cost less than a week's worth of rent (that's basically a $200-300 budget)
  • It has to be comfortable, for 10-12 hour wear
  • It has to be long-ish, because it will be cold 
  • It has to look lovely with a coat and possibly a beanie (kidding about the beanie but definitely not about the coat)
  • It has to be able to worn at least 10-15 more times (because if I'm spending a lot of money on a fancy garment, then I want to get my money's worth)

...Oh, and it has to be in my size! 

God, this is going to be hard. I won't lie to you all, I felt inadequately prepared when I began writing this and now I also feel very very inadequately prepared. 

Here are a few dream dresses I've been eyeing, but will they make the cut?

I'm just as unsure as, and likely pickier than, you are. 

Simply Be Exclusive chiffon tiered maxi dress in purple floral, $101. 

Image: ASOS/Mamamia.


I have a feeling this dress will be sold out before I even have the money to afford it (I'm on a budget, people!). I don't really believe in buying outfits months before I plan to wear them, but I think this one is worth breaking the mould for. 

What I love: It has a stretched, square bodice which means I most certainly will be able to fit my boobs in it. It's also the type of colour and style that makes it so I can also wear it to a dinner party or a birthday, or just drinks, depending on how I style it. 

What I don't love: It is almost certainly see-through and the lining cuts at the knee. I understand we only want to cover my private bits, but it feels a little... unfinished when a lining only covers half of a garment. 

What I also don't love is, that upon recollection, my friends' wedding has a colour theme in mind. They want guests to wear 'earthy tones', so this doesn't exactly fit the bill...

But, nonetheless, it's at the top of my list. 

Simply Be lace detail button through wide-leg jumpsuit in black, $62.

Image: ASOS/Supplied.


I don't know why I'm even considering a jumpsuit. I look like the minion's long-lost tall sister in them. However, there is something so classic about a sleek black outfit for a wedding. We're past the days of black being a disrespectful colour to wear to vow-tying ceremonies, and so I'm exploring this vibe. 

What I love: It's technically really simple. It doesn't have a lot to it; You just pop it on and leave. It's in a comfortable price range for me and doesn't feel like a wasteful purchase. 

What I don't love: My bladder has no chance against this bodysuit. I will pee myself while I'm still on the second button. I also don't love the idea of wearing something so simple for a wedding. I want to feel feminine and pretty — I'm not sure a plain black jumpsuit will make me feel this way.  


Simply Be satin wrap dress in pink swirl print, $76. 

Image: ASOS/Supplied.

If you're sensing a Simply Be pattern here with all the dressed I'm choosing, that's because Simply Be is one of the only plus-size brands that cater to my size. 


What I love: The dress is pink and beautiful. It's something my kids will probably judge me for wearing in the future because it just feels so trendy. In saying that, it feels adaptable and something I'd wear dozens of times.

What I don't love: It might be a little too casual. A little too trendy. A little too wearable for a wedding. 

I told you I was picky, didn't I?

Ecclestone Everyday Dress in Chocolate Brown, $209.

Image: Ecclestone/Mamamia.


As soon as I got wind that content creator Katie Parrott was creating her own label of clothing for plus-size bodies, I was excited enough to cry. The company doesn't stock my size yet unless it's through pre-order which is good enough for me! 

I'm obsessed with supporting brands that don't recreate a shirt just to sell it to a fat person. I like tailored pieces that keep curves in mind. There's nothing more maddening than buying something in the plus-size range and seeing that it just doesn't work for a fat person. 

Basically, I've had my eye on the Everyday Dress by Ecclestone and I am sure I am going to get it, no matter what body part I sell. 

What I love: Possibly the prettiest brown linen dress in my size I've ever seen. The dress is built to last as it is made with premium mid-weight linen. It's incredibly re-wearable. It's on par with those higher-end brands that don't cater to plus sizes. It's all-around perfect. 

What I don't love: Erm, if I am being honest with myself, I cannot justify spending a few hundred of dollars right now (GAHH). I am living in a cost of living crisis, after all. 

Jessa Kae Eden Dress, $250. 

Image: Jessa Kae/Supplied.


Jessa Kae makes clothes for fat people who want to feel like they're a princess. Her stuff is timeless, so masterfully crafted and she's a designer I've followed for over a year with such fascination. 

In all honesty, she's a little out of my price range but if I turn off my critical thinking abilities, I'm sure I could convince myself to get past checkout! 

What I love: I mean... it's a perfect dress. It's fitted near the breast area which is nice because I like a little support, but then there is so much more room. I could spin around in circles for hours in this.


What I don't love: It doesn't exactly fit the theme of the wedding as the brides want earthy tones. 

Is blue earthy enough? 

Jessa Kae Harmony Dress, $240. 

Image: Jessa Kae/Mamamia.

It's really important to me that I don't hyper-fixate on one specific thing I believe I need with every fibre of my being, so I made sure to pick TWO things I could divide my time between. 


Enter: the Harmony Dress by Jessa Kae. 

What I love: Uhm, I love that I would look incredible it in and probably feel incredible about it. I already know the type of woman I'd be the second I put on the dress. 

I'd look worldly but passionate about my education. I'd smoke cigars with the guys and play cards with the girls. I'd kiss my children goodnight before spending hours dancing all my blues away on the dance floor. I wouldn't love my husband but instead, the symbol that our matrimony represents. We would never divorce. We'd die together, from old age. 

This is what I envisioned when I saw this dress for the first time. 

What I don't love: It's SO expensive. 

Which would you be devoting your dollars to? I'm honestly stuck on what to order in right now, but I know passion and/or panic will hit me soon enough and I'll overspend on ordering in dresses. 

But that's fine, right? Cos I'll totally justify my manic process by writing a PART TWO of this so you can see what I tried on and if they look amazing. 

Please let them look amazing. Actually, please let one of them look amazing, so I can love that and send the others back for refunds. Thank you.

Feature Image: Jessa Kae, Ecclestone + Supplied.

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