I am a soon to be first time cruiser too and size 18 (thanks to my 1st pregnancy
). I went to Value City Department Store and found a plain, short, tank dress in black....then I went to Walmart and bought some fancy trim by the yard and sewed it to the bottom. The whole thing cost less than $12.....origianal price tag on the dress was $50!! I bought a $6 hot pink silk sash to throw over my shoulders and give it a punch. Then, for those who really want to be creative, I found 2 Ronnie Nicole dresses at Goodwill for $3.98 a piece....same fabric, but 2 different sizes and styles. The one that fit me was tweaked by cutting a V neck front and back. I used the top 1/2 of the one that is too big and made a jacket with 3 quarters sleeve and a shawl. That way if it's cool out I'll have something to cover me.
I am going to TJ Maxx to look for some fancy tops. They also have some shawls and cute shoes! My mom found some great shoes at Value City....silver beaded slip on heels! She's wearing this awesome red dress, so the shoes will give it a great finished look!!