Buying Plus-Sized Party Outfits on the High Street Isn't Easy—Here Are My Tips

Trying to find something on the high street for a size 18/20 girl is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So much to rummage through, and no clue of where to begin or whether you'll even find something. It turns out I could only find three needles in the space of three hours. Some curvy girls might say it's a miracle, but I say it's a damn shame.

When there's so much choice online, you might ask, "Why even bother hitting the high street?" But party season often means last-minute invitations and plans, resulting in last-minute shopping. I went to most of the stores on Oxford Street to see what they had on offer. Would I find something, or would it end in misery? Scroll down to find out.

Style Notes: It was pretty much a guarantee that I would find something that fitted me in Evans. I actually own half the party-wear options already, so opted for this sparkly new-in number. It's not really my style, but it's a good option nevertheless. I like that it's flattering to my body shape and bust.

Style Notes: I wasn't sure whether this would fit, but Reserved's size 14 dress managed to fit my size 18/20 body. Is this how it's supposed to look on? Probably not, but I kind of like it. The stretchy material made it comfortable, and the hems didn't feel like they were gasping for air (or maybe they were, but the sheer shock of finding something that fit me overlooked it). The dress isn't currently available online, but I've found a similar style below.

Disappointingly, this is where my shopping trip ended. Despite walking into most of the stores on Oxford Street, I only found two items that fitted me or that I liked. All in all, a failed mission. Thankfully, a fat girl can head to ASOS, Very, River Island or Evans online and find all the sparkle, sequins and glam she needs.

Seeing these items on the high street would be great, but unfortunately, most retailers still have a way to go. All I can say is, thank goodness for the internet. I've compiled a list of my favourite party looks that I've found online and featured on my Instagram feed to prove that it is possible to do plus sizes without compromising on style. Scroll down to see and shop my edit.

Shop My Party Edit

Style Notes: All the glitz and sparkle you need in one dress if you're a maximalist like me. It's likely you'll leave a trail of sequins everywhere.

Style Notes: By a size up and you have the most versatile dress of all time. I've worn this a million different ways: over jeans as a kimono, belted with heels and even as an off-the-shoulder number. I'm a massive fan of this Evans leopard-print dress.

Style Notes: For someone who isn't usually a massive fan of body-con dresses (believe it or not), I was pretty enamoured with this look. This dress is everything and more: Comfortable, curve-enhancing and hot. I had a little freakout when I first put this on (in a good way), and I'll probably freak out every time I wear it.

Style Notes: If you haven't realised yet, I'm a fan of sequins, and this dress embodies what flirty means. The slip was a little too big for me, but once I tied the straps around my bra, it was perfect.

Style Notes: This just might be my favourite jumpsuit. I sized up for a more comfortable fit, but I probably could have stuck with my usual size. The wrap style makes it perfect for ladies with a bigger bust. Plus, the belt enhances in the waist.