Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Pondering where to buy the best plus-size dresses for work? We just rounded up the most stylish sheath dresses for work in regular sizes, and while we mentioned plus-size availability in that post, we thought a roundup of the best plus-size dresses for work deserved its own post. Below find a ton of our favorite plus-size dresses for work, from basic sheath dresses in plus sizes, sleeved sheath dresses, plus-size petite dresses (so hard to find!), designer dresses in plus sizes, wrap dresses, dresses with pockets, machine-washable dresses… and more.

Readers, which are your favorite plus-size dresses for work? Which ones do you have in multiple colors? Which ones make you feel like a million dollars?

{related: 100+ of the best places to shop for plus-size work clothes}

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Some of the best plus-size dresses for work as of 2021: black / green / navy / burgundy / black (not pictured but also)

Universal Standard has a number of nice dresses, including its bestselling Mary dress — for my $.02 I’d get it hemmed to just below (or at) the knee. (The dress does not come in tall sizes but I put it on the list for tall sizes (at top) because one of the models wearing it is 5’11 and it still comes to below her knees.)

Universal Standard, if you don’t know, does this great thing where they show you models wearing the dress in your size — so you can see a variety of models wearing sizes 6-3X. If you worry that your weight is in flux they also have a great thing called “Fit Liberty,” which includes at least one of the dresses (although not the one pictured) — if your size changes within the year you can exchange the dress for another one in its size.

Other nice options for stylish sheath dresses for work in plus sizes include Eloquii, J.Crew, Of Mercer, MM.LaFleur, Lands’ End, Calvin Klein, and MM. LaFleur.

{related: comfortable heels for wide feet}

The Etsuko dress has been a reader favorite a ton over the years, and it really is a “one and done” kind of dress — it’s got sleeves and pockets, huzzah. The dress is machine washable, dry cleanable, and available (lucky sizes only) in 0P-3X.

Other good options for stylish sheath dresses for work from MM. LaFleur: the Annie, the Aditi, the Sarah, and the Cynthia.

Other smaller manufacturers to check out include Of Mercer (up to 20W), Universal Standard (up to 40), and Gravitas (up to 3X).

{related: the best plus-size suits for interviews}

There used to be a Facebook group for lawyer moms (it’s currently archived, alas), but a lottttt of women were singing the praises of this dress from MUXXN for work, and on Amazon it has 13,500 great reviews. For my $.02, I’d recommend sizing up — but I love that it comes in a zillion colors is $30, and comes in sizes S-3X. (It’s important to note that the fabric is a bit more like a polyester t-shirt than a thick ponte — but I love looking at all the real women sharing pictures of themselves in the dress.)

If you’re hunting for other colorful sheath dresses for work, some other great options right now include Calvin Klein, MMLF, Of Mercer (up to 20W), and Boden (up to 22).

Bespoke, custom dresses are another way to go — and we’ve featured a lot of great Etsy sellers over the years who are surprisingly affordable. Etsy seller “heartmycloset” makes dresses inspired by the royals (Meghan, Kate) and TV shows like Suits, Agent Carter, and House of Cards — she has a zillion colors to choose from and for the most part the dresses are under $150. Sign me up! (If you know of more Etsy sellers we’d love to hear about them!)

Other spots to check for custom dresses include eShakti as well as Igigi.

The iconic DvF wrap dress is currently available in a ton of prints, in plus sizes, at 11 Honoré — while it’s not a classic sheath it’s still a great dress for work. If you’re uncomfortable with the amount of cleavage, I’d recommend either a full slip, or possibly a demi camisole if you want to wear it with another high-waisted foundation garment like Spanx shorts (for compression) or Jockey slip-shorts (for anti-chafing and comfort).

Some other great options for splurges (dresses over $200) include M.M. LaFleur, as well as brands and shops like Vince, Nic & Zoe, Lafayette 148 New York, and Navabi — but see our full roundup of designer plus-size clothing for professional women for more ideas.

Some of our other favorite wrap dresses that come in plus sizes include Kiyonna, Lands’ End, Karen Kane, ASOS, and Universal Standard.

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