The Best Workwear Brands for Hips (Or Other Body Shapes)

brands-for-hips

2016 Update: See our latest discussion on the best work clothes for different body types!

Which are the best workwear brands for you if you’ve got hips — and you’re tall?  Which brands are best if you’re curvy and short? Which brands should the apple check out first? How about suiting brands?  Ladies, I got a question from a friend that I am Very Embarrassed to say that I can’t answer:  she’s looking for an interview suit and wanted suggestions for a brand that is “forgiving in the hips and good for tall people.”

Hmmn…  I mean, we’ve talked about which stores do bespoke dresses, shirts and blazers . . . we’ve talked about how work pants should fit — and a LONG time ago we had a conversation about which stores and brands are best for different body types — but it’s been far too long.  (We’ve also done guides to the best brands in general for petite workwear, plus-sized workwear, and tall workwear.) So let’s discuss.  In the comments today, please tell us:

  • Your body type or body issues (if any): e.g., for me I’d say I need something that accommodates a big bust for sure, and where the cut is ok for a short curvy girl. (I’m 5’4.”)
  • Recent brands OF SUITS you’ve tried, and what issues (if any) you noticed:
  • Which brands you think of as YOUR brands in general (for anything other than suits):
  • Which STYLES within brands you like:  If there are repeated styles within the brands (e.g., Theory usually offers the Max pant as well as the Emery pant in suiting fabrics, while Loft has the Julie & Marissa cuts), which specific styles work best for you.

Here’s an easy paragraph to cut and paste to kick off the discussion:

  • My body type or body issues (if any):
  • Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit:
  • Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits):
  • Which STYLES within brands I like:

Our last real discussion was in 2011 — I found these more recent articles on the web, but I still think the community here will be our own best source. I’ll sort through the answers and try to do a nice roundup (hmmn, maybe a graphic) or something.

Further reading:

Ladies, what say you — which brands do you like best for your body type?  Copy the bullet points above and let us know in comments!

Pictured: Shutterstock / Syda Productions.

—————

N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!

Comments

  1. waiting for more comments because I often have similar problems. I am tall-ish (5’8″), but mostly legs so my pants have to be long in the legs. I found Worthington brand of suits (mainly slacks) works for me but I would like to find something else that will fit and flatter my body without me looking like a giraffe :)

    • That’s so funny! I’m short-ish (5’4) and I prefer Worthington for their petite line. They have some quality stuff!

  2. Because of my body shape (and tuchus), I perfer Ann Klein suits. Mom tells me that Ann Klein also must have a larger tuchus, but I have NEVER seen her. I know that Kalvin Klein suits are much less forgiveing of my tuchus so I onley buy Kalvin Klein suits when my tuchus is under control, but I have had to give away alot of tight fitting skirt’s b/c of my tuchus, so Mom suggest’s that I not buy suit’s when my tuchus is bigger, and to wait until I am under control in the back b/f buying suit’s with nice skirt’s. YAY!!!!

  3. So, I am 5’11”, short torso, really long legs and arms. I am hippy–definitely can’t wear straight pants. Not very busty, but I do have an ex-swimmer barrel chest. My choice for lined suits (I’m looking at you, JCrew!) is Banana Republic’s Martin fit trouser pants. I like them because their suit jackets also come in Tall, so the arms are long enough.

    For workwear, I wear some of Boden’s suiting dresses if I need to be more formal. I also really like pencil skirts (Boden, Jcrew No. 2) with button-downs from Brooks Bros and a cashmere v-neck on top. I tend to wear Audrey cashmere sweaters from Talbots with pencil skirts a fair bit too. In summer, I wear short-sleeve shirts from Austin Reed and cardigans with pencil skirts a fair bit too.

    I do not like JCrew suits (not lined, high price, wool is too thin/I’m allergic). I tend not to like Talbots or AT suits because they have long/tall pants but not Tall jackets, leaving me with exposed wrists. If it’s summer I will occasionally buy a suit jacket that’s 3/4 sleeve, knowing that wear will be limited. I can’t stand the “casually/artfully rolled my blazer sleeves up” styling that so many places do–that’s an immediate tipoff that anyone with model-length arms will have a silly-looking blazer. If I’m in a situation where I need to wear a suit, rolling the sleeves to show the arty contrast lining is probably not appropriate.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Which Boden suiting dresses do you have? The dresses I’ve tried from Boden were way too narrow through the hips/thighs for my pear shaped, but I only tried more casual ones.

    • I have very long arms and you can have a tailor let the sleeves down on most jackets…unless they have buttonholes or functional buttons.

  4. anonymous for the moment :

    5’3 and hourglass shaped with more on the bottom (so maybe hourpear shaped?)… a big fan of Express Editor pants since they come in short length and they don’t gap for me at the waist.

    PS

    Wondering if there are any Los Angeles ladies here… would love to network with you and to learn about the LA work-fashion sense since I’m new to the area!

    • I notice LA area meetups posted here fairly regularly — there are definitely LA folks on here, even though I sadly keep not being able to attend any of the events! Maybe it’s time for another one…

      As for the fashion question, I notice a lot of tailored dresses-with-sleeves or pants/pencil skirts with flowy blouses in my office. Very little in the way of blazers or wrap dresses — sad since I love them so much.

    • We are definitely here in LA and we have monthly get-togethers. The last one just happened this weekend. Stay tuned for the next announcement!

  5. Anonymous :

    5’5″, size 14, generous bosom, Ann Taylor.

  6. I’m 5’2″ and quite pear shaped–generally size 2/4 in blouses/blazers but an 8/10 in pants, or even a 12 in straight/pencil skirts (which then need major tailoring to bring the waist in). So I’m always looking for petites and separates.

    Recently I’ve had good luck with suiting from Ann Taylor and Banana Republic since they offer petite, “curvy fit” pant options. The suiting styles can be a bit bland, and the quality isn’t always outstanding, but they are generally pretty solid for basic suiting options.

    Other brands I like–Anthropologie for weekend/casual wear (lots of petites), Madewell for jeans (the high riser style is great for small waist/big hips), and Jcrew for sweaters and tees, especially since they are lately having more of those items in petites. Also, I find Nordstrom is always a helpful place for lots of items since they have such a wide selection of brands/styles and great customer service.

  7. la vie en bleu :

    following this eagerly bc I still have not found go to brands and I am definitely generously endowed in the hip area.

  8. Giddified :

    I’m about 5’10”, and contrary to what most people assume about tall people, I’m not thin and willowy. I am simply not small person – I have an hourglass figure, and I typically wear a 16 or an 18, depending on the brand. Most people would never assume that I wear these sizes; sales people at department stores look at me and assume I’m a 12/14. All of this is to say that plus size isn’t cut for my frame, and many straight size brands do not carry 16/18, and if they do it’s rarely in tall.

    All of my suits are Ann Taylor, which is unfortunate because the quality is just ok and ordering online from Ann Taylor (the only option for my size) is not a pleasant experience. JCrew runs too small/narrow, and I’ve had similar issues with Banana Republic. Plus, the quality of the material at Banana Republic leaves a little something to be desired.

    For non-suits, which is mostly what I wear anyway, my go-to brands are Ann Taylor (eh), Boden for skirts and dresses, Gap for black/gray trousers, JCrew and Banana Republic for certain shirts and sweaters. Occasionally, I can find a shirt from Anthropologie. Boden is my favorite place at the moment. The clothes fit true to the size charts on the site. The only downside to Boden is that they don’t make pants that are tall enough. I think the tall inseam is 33″ and I need 35″.

    In general, it is extremely hard to find clothes that fit, look good, feel comfortable, and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Lafayette 148 seems to have really nice clothes in tall sizes, but the cost is very high, so I haven’t bought anything from that brand.

    • Lady Tetra :

      I second all of this, completely. I am a few inches shorter than you but generally about the same shape (14/16, sometimes 18, but plus sizes don’t fit at all), and my go-to for suits is Ann Taylor and for dresses and tops it’s Boden. In the upper size range, I think Boden actually runs large — I wear a 12 in the ravello top, and a 14 in their suit jackets.

      ETA: People keep telling me to try Talbots, but the 14 regular is too small, and the 14W is too big, and I never see 16 in the stores (and haven’t yet ordered it online).

      • Doesn’t help with the quality issue, but just a heads up from a fellow can’t wear plus but need an 18 that for some reason the Ann Taylor Factory stores usually carry 18 even though I never see at bricks and mortar. If you’re ever needing something on short notice, I usually have far better luck trying on than waiting to get a bunch through mail (and possibly still not liking).

    • Ugh I have some old AT jackets that fit pretty well and I wanted to follow up and order some pants from AT and lo and behold the fabric composition has changed significantly since I ordered a jacket there 2yrs ago. They went from being like 80something % wool to in the 60’s I believe. Obnoxious.

    • We are the same body type. Same usual suspects for clothing, as well.

      I’ve found some Lands End stuff works for me, although it absolutely must be “Tall” sized, as everything else is comically short-waisted and short. I buy a lot of Sejour suits from Nordstrom and have them taken in. All my suit jackets have the sleeves either let out, cut to 3/4 length, or I just have sleeves that are slightly too short (more often, this is the case as I’m not very good about religiously seeing a tailor).

      • Giddified :

        I’m glad to hear that others have a similar body type, but it’s a bummer that we’re shopping at the same places. I would love to hear about other sources! I just really wish there were a reasonably priced custom suiting and other business wear place. I would love to find a company where I could go in to the store for measurements and have them make a suit – skirt, jacket, pants, and sheath dress – for, perhaps, JCrew level prices. Is anyone aware of a place like this?

        • No I wish custom made suits were more widely available to women like the way they are with men. Or if they even offered pants with extra long inseams with the intent that they usually get hemmed like with all mens suits. SMH

    • This thread speaks to me greatly.

      Also around 5′ 10″ and people are surprised when I say my size because they do think I’m smaller.

      Similarly, I have kind of stuck to Loft/AT because damnit they fit even if it’s not the best online experience or the highest quality. I did, however, jump on a couple of Jones New York suits when the $99 suit sale was shared on here and got the Julia Seasonless Stretch One-Button Jacket in an 18W (which buttons. over my DDD chest. without awkward gapping) and the Sloane Classic Fit Seasonless Stretch Pants, also in 18W. Both in black. It fits divinely but obviously I can’t speak to quality/wear yet.

      I am definitely an Ann Taylor companies girl, with a smidgen of Lands End and Lane Bryant thrown in, but it’s guess and check with fits/sizing. At Loft it’s the curvy fit (Julie in their slacks line) all the way. Just wait for a sale or coupon code. At Lands End, I love the plus/tall fits for shells and sweaters.

    • You might be me. Hello!

    • No Coffee Left Behind :

      This is my life! Except for Boden, I haven’t ventured there yet. But I always stock up on Gap trousers during their 40% off sales, either any new colors or just more basic black. I also love that some of their jeans come in regular-long AND tall, which seem to be two different fits (I’m apparently the former but not the latter).

    • Mountain Girl :

      This is me as well except I’m more like a 12/14. I find my biggest issue is with inseam and sleeve length. But my biggest frustration – seeing an entire Petite section in a department store and maybe finding one paltry rack of tall pants (all in black) shoved back by the dressing room.

  9. Diana Barry :

    I am 5’8″, size 6/8, fairly straight figure but with broader shoulders and D bust.

    I have suits as follows:
    – J Crew (several), size 8 jacket, size 6 pants, size 6 dresses (dresses are slightly tight in rib cage but OK).
    – Theory (two suits), size 8 jacket, size 8 pants, size 6/8 dress.
    – Boden, size 6 dress. Their pants don’t work for me, and I stopped buying the jackets because the sleeves are too short.
    – Reiss, size 8 jacket, size 6/8 pants.

    Brands that do NOT work for me: Brooks Brothers, Talbots
    Brands that I stopped buying because others fit me better: AT, BR

    • Similar: 5’6″, straight hips/waist, but broad shoulders and 32DD.

      –favorite suits are Theory (jacket 8, pants 6, although could go down a hair having lost weight). Can’t wear theory dresses or woven shirts b/c of curves on top.
      –J.Crew blazers seem to fit well and a former suiting dress (now the factory tailored shift) is PERFECT. I’ve had mixed luck with BR blazers.
      –BR sloan and Gap true straight pants have been pretty good for less formal work. Overall I’m ordering a lot from Gap and BR due to free shipping both ways and no time to shop in store. I wish (!!!) there were more interesting options at a similar price point with free 2 way shipping.
      –At the high end of my price point and less for work, DVF cuts beautifully for those of us with curves on top!
      –At the low end, I get a surprising number of blouses at H&M. They seem to fit my shoulders and curves w/o being huge in the waist (plus I’m more willing to go trendy for less $$).

      • 36F here, and I have had good experiences with H&M also, especially their dresses. (Especially the knits, which are really flattering, but almost anything but buttoned shirtdresses work fairly well.)

        No luck with J. Crew tops/dresses, but then I haven’t tried in years because I gave up on them.

  10. FYI, I recently found this site, which I think is way more accurate for body types than “apple” or “pear:” http://www.shopyourshape.com/body-shapes/

    Now to Kat’s questions:
    My body type or body issues (if any): Petite (5’2′)and plus-size Oval (see site above). Finding clothes that fit is nearly impossible.
    Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: I’ve found that I look terrible in traditional suit jackets. Jones New York is the most flattering I’ve found. I look better in tuxedo blazers with skinny lapels and no buttons, or round collar, fifties style blazers with no buttons, three-quarter sleeves on both. Safari-style jackets with a belt at the waist are also good.
    Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): Jones New York (so sad to hear it’s closing!), Banana Republic/JCrew/Gap/LOFT (and their factory stores) for work tops and dresses, Old Navy Pixie Pants for work believe it or not, fit me like a straight cut pant (we’re business casual so that works.)Not on work clothes but an FYI for ladies with this body type, I’ve surprisingly had the best luck in denim at American Eagle.
    Which STYLES within brands I like: nothing specific

  11. I’m 5’6, broad shoulders / big chest with a small bust (also ex-swimmer) and sizeable hips and a butt. The best mall brand for me is BR, as J Crew skirts/dresses are all cut too straight for me. AT also works, and so does The Limited but the quality isn’t as great there. I have a couple Theory blazers which I love, but have never gone for a suit there because I like to get skirt/pants/dress combo when possible, and the Theory dresses never look good or fit well on top.

  12. -My body type or body issues (if any): hourglass (32-24-30), petite (5’2″)
    -Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: haven’t tried on new suits in a while but most of what I have are Calvin Klein and Kaspar
    -Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): Ann Taylor, Classiques Entier
    -Which STYLES within brands I like: n/a

  13. layered bob :

    Hoping for some insight – I have a terrible time finding suits that look good. Pants are a huge issue since my waist and hips are the same width – they are either too tight or super frumpy looking.

    5’9″, consistently size 12, DDD bust, narrow hips and thighs, long arms and legs.

    Things that work:
    – J.Crew schoolboy blazer in size 12
    – BR suit jackets in size 12 + Martin-fit pants in size 12 with truly excessive tailoring
    – BR Sloan pants in 10 Long, usually hemmed.
    – JC Penney Worthington clearance-rack pencil skirts, size 12, fit like a dream with no alterations, purchased by my mother for $4 a piece. That’s helpful right?

    . . . and basically nothing else. I wear a lot of custom-made dresses in suiting fabric. (Not to interviews. But in general).

  14. Killer Kitten Heels :

    So I’m 5’3″ and pretty pear-shaped (4/6 on top, 10/12 on bottom). My legs are a little on the long side for my height, so I struggle with petite bottoms being a touch too short, and regular bottoms generally being too long.

    My go-to for suits is Banana Republic – the Jackson fit pants in the “short” length (right in between petite and regular) fit like they’re made for me, and I like that I can pair them with a petite jacket (because my arms are too short for regular jackets) and the suit still matches perfectly. I also like that the pants are lined, something that’s hard to find at that price point. The BR suiting dresses don’t work for me AT ALL though – they seem to assume a more balanced figure (meaning same size on top and bottom), so anything that fits my top doesn’t fit over my hips, and anything that fits my bottom gapes so badly on the top it’s like a bad joke.

    For sheath dresses, I like Calvin Klein, Ann Klein, Ann Taylor, and the Ralph Lauren line that Macy’s carries. I also have a few DVF wrap dresses that are awesome.

    My weekend wear at this point is pretty much all Old Navy, because I just don’t see enough difference in the quality/construction between Old Navy and “better” brands like Gap or J.Crew or whatever to justify the extra expense, especially for clothes I don’t wear that much (business formal workplace, so none of my weekend wear pulls double-duty).

    • Talbot's junkie :

      This is me! Thank you for providing options other than digging through Talbot’s for the one or two looks that pass for stylish (in my office).

  15. I’m 5’4″, classic pear shape (curvy hips/thighs/butt, relatively small waist, C bust), long torso, size 10/12
    I haven’t bought suits in a while because I pretty much never wear them but brands that have worked for me in the past include J Crew, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor.

    Current work wardrobe staples include Calvin Klein ponte sheath dresses (they’re cut more generously in the hips that usual sheath), Maggie London sheaths, and J Crew Jackie style cardigans (can’t remember the brand but I usually get them from T J Maxx; they’re both less expensive and get better wear). Other than that, my wardrobe is mostly brand agnostic, so I’m still trying to find my go to brands.

  16. I am size 6/8 on top and size 12 on bottom so it’s really hard to find dress and suits that work. I have a small waist/shoulders while my midsection and thighs look like they were taken off a different body completely. I compensate by buying jackets and skirts separately at big department stores. On-line shopping is a crap shoot and often I have to go to a tailor to have the waist/back taken in. I’m a D on top so if something isn’t tailored just right, I can look dumpy.
    I have had luck with some dresses from MM Lafleur, but not all.

    • Same shapes as you! I have had great luck with BR petites. I get an 8 petite jacket and a 14 petite pant (or 12 short, depending on the cut). I’m 5’6 and rarely wear heels, so the length usually works out perfectly with no tailoring required.

  17. I’m 5’5″ and pretty straight up-and-down shape (comparatively small chest/hips, thicker waist and thighs). Size 4/6. J Crew fits me pretty well, though I’ve given up on them because the quality is so terrible. Theory is great for suits. I’ve had good luck with Lands End for casual pants, and Boden for nicer pants (the latter was surprising to me, because I think of them as good for curvier shapes). Almost all my work shirts are from Ibex.

  18. What works for me (5-4, 30D, short torso but high waist; 120ish #):

    Halogen Taylor fit pants; jackets have small arm holes but they work (6 jacket — bust is big, but arm holes in 4 were too tight; 6 pants but could probably use a 4)
    Banana Republic (4P jacket; 4 pants; 4 skirt but waist could be taken in)
    Fit 2 pants from LE (6)
    LE sweaters in XS
    Boden tops in a 4

    What doesn’t:
    JCrew (in any size combination or combination of petites and regular lengths)
    Boden dresses (look pregnant)

  19. 5’9″, size 8, muscular, curvy hourglass with a less defined, long waist

    For suits, I like Banana Republic (Martin fit, size 6) best both for quality and fit. I also wear the J. Crew wool straight leg pants which are a little skinnier than a trouser cut but not actually “skinny.” Brooks Brothers is also good.

    Other brands that work for me — dresses from Classiques Entiers, Lafayette 148, Tahari/Elie Tahari; Club Monaco sheath dresses (but not pants/blazers)

    Doesn’t work for me — Boden and Reiss (waist is too short); Anthropologie (not structured enough); Theory (too straight cut for me)

    Hit or miss — J. Crew (can be cut too straight for me); Talbots and Ann Taylor can sometimes be good but are often too boxy through the middle or short-waisted for me.

  20. lucy stone :

    5’6″, plus-size, large bust, wide hips (at my thinnest I was a size 10 to fit my hips). I take a 16/18 in Boden, which translates to a 16WP jacket and 22WP at Talbots. I can fit a 16 jacket at J.Crew or Loft.

    Talbots suits are THE ONLY suits that fit me. I’ve tried plus size suits at department stores and can’t fit into them unless their seperates. To get the bottoms to fit, the jacket looks like it belongs to my husband. Theory suits are too tight in the skirt, always, Anne Klein the fit is just off in the waist, Calvin Klein are too long.

    At Talbot’s I’ve had the best luck with the heritage or curvy pants. The signature ones don’t flatter my build.

  21. Clementine :

    5’8, hourglass shaped with very defined muscles in my legs. 34DD, 25 waist, 38 hip. I have suits from a number of places and have found that the stores that work best for me are The Limited, BR, and White House Black Market.

    I have a longer torso, so I’ve found that most things that would normally be an issue because of hip/waist difference I just wear slightly lower on the body than they’re designed for. Example: my ‘high waisted pencil skirt’ I’m wearing today actually fits quite well as a mid-rise pencil skirt.

    What works:
    The Limited – size 8 pants in various cuts (long for heels, regular for flats), size 6 pencil skirts, size 6 jackets
    BR – Tall sized dresses, regular sized everything else. Their mid-rise skinny jeans fit wonderfully on me (in a 6).
    White House Black Market – Honestly, I hate 80% of their clothes. They seem a little too ‘Real Housewives wannabe’ to me. When they get it right, though- they really get it right. I have some amazing faux wrap dresses from here and their seamless t’s are awesome! They also have awesome skinny pants and ankle pants that don’t stretch out over the course of the day. I wear a 4 or a 6 in dresses here and a 6 or 8 in pants.

  22. Rectangle :

    5’5″, small-boned but not skinny, straight figure, very long-waisted (when seated, I am as tall as a friend who is 5’10”)

    Suits: Suits are a huge problem for me because they are typically cut for curvier women. J. Crew size 2 skirt suits are a little loose but the best fit I can find. I no longer buy J. Crew pant suits because I am allergic to wool and they stopped lining their pants. Ann Taylor is too curvy and all polyester. Talbots is too large and curvy. Banana Republic sometimes fits all right but their sizing is inconsistent and the quality is low. I haven’t been able to try Brooks Brothers lately since they never have my size in stock and they seem to have stopped lining their pants too.

    Dresses: Also problematic; tall sizes are best. My favorite dress is the J. Crew Emmaleigh (discontinued) in size 0 tall, which as a previous commenter mentioned is a little tight in the ribcage but otherwise fits great. Some Boden wrap and faux-wrap styles will work in a size 4. I just bought an M.M. LaFleur Annie in size 2, which is stretchy so it looks all right even though the dress’s waist hits right at my ribcage.

    Pants: I am currently wearing J. Crew Bistro cotton bootcut pants size 2 and J. Crew cafe capris (not really capri-length, more like skinny cropped trousers) size 0, which I purchased on clearance sale when they were discontinued several years ago and kept to replace the ones I already had when they wore out. I do not have any wool dress pants that are not horribly out of style because everyone has stopped lining their wool pants (see Suits, above).

    Skirts: J. Crew No. 2 cotton pencil skirt, size 2. Boden pencil skirts, size 4.

    Tops: Halogen and Caslon sweaters from Nordstrom, size S. Caslon scoopneck tees, size S. Boden tees, tops, and sweaters, size 4. J. Crew Jackie cardigan, size S. Other past season cotton sweaters from J. Crew, size XS.

  23. Posts Disappearing :

    I wrote a long post for this and it disappeared/never showed up. Also happened to me on the morning thread. Not going to rewrite all that though. Bummer.

  24. I’m 5’11” size 8, 34C, with long legs (need a 35″ inseam in flats), my thighs are about a size bigger than my butt and waist (ugh), I have longer arms, a normal sized torso, and linebacker shoulders as I like to call them. Take these five things into consideration and I have yet to find a suit that fits me and I pretty much want to get one custom made. I know tailoring blah blah but most blazers don’t fit me in the shoulders. They’re way too tight. Then when I find one that fits, the pants don’t fit me well.

    My experience:
    Loft’s new blazers the best fit that I’ve experienced in a while (size 8 regular, sleeves are long enough). Their Marissa pants (8L) pull at the crotch area because I think they’re too tight on my thighs. We’ve gone back and forth here as to whether that’s acceptable or not. Do I size up or try the Julie curvy fit pants and get the butt taken in by a tailor because I have no butt? And even so I’ve read that it’s hard to tailor the seat of your pants. Also, the pant legs are much wider than I’d like but alas, it’s the only option to go with the first damn blazer that I’ve found to fit me.

    Express: 8L pants fit me the best out of everything I’ve tried. 10 regular blazers fit me very well but the sleeves are so wide and the overall issue with Express is the quality doesn’t look as great as a wool suit

    Ann Taylor: same issue as Loft

    Banana: Blazers are way too tight for my linebacker shoulders. Size 8 or 10 regular

    JCrew: same as Banana which is a shame because their pants fit like a dream.

    Limited: Regular size blazers are too short in the arms. Haven’t yet tried the tall ones but I probably won’t bother because last I tried their long inseam dress pants, they still weren’t long enough. Pretty sure they’re lying about them being 35″. They’re 34″.

    Outside of suits, I don’t bother with most button down or long sleeve blouses because they’re too tight in my shoulders. Button downs have gapping at the chest.

  25. 5’5″, size 14, busty and short waisted. I used to define as an hourglass but do carry some weight around my waist, so maybe edging to the apple these days.
    I just got a suit from Jones NY that I’m very happy with. The blazer is the Emma. It has a seamed waistband that really helps it fit well for me. I’m a 34F and a lot of blazers don’t fit well. If they’re a one button, my chest pushes the fabric away and it looks weird. I think the kimono style, no button, can make me look bigger because they hang straight down from my chest, but I do have a few of those.
    I also got the Sloane pants and the Lucy skirt in a 16. The blazer fit best in a 14. I have pretty muscular thighs and it can lead to “smiling” in bottoms, but the 16 options fit well, and the regular length pants will work well with a reasonable heel.

  26. My body type or body issues (if any): curvy, 5’4, 135 pounds – lean more to an hourglass, but if I have some extra pounds I veer more towards being pear shaped.
    Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: Jones New York Collection blazer in 4P (black) and 6P (charcoal) – not sure why I had to go up a size for the different colour but there wasn’t as much give. I’m a bit busty – 32D, and the button positioning on this blazer is more flattering than my Banana Republic suits. All in all, a very slimming suit. The Petite sizing is good for sleeve length and general fit. I don’t have to have it tailored at all, which is a big plus. I wear a 4R in the skirt (my only complaint is there isn’t a waistband on the skirt) because I like the more demure length.
    I’m not loving the cut on BR suits lately. I have some old pencil skirts from them that I love. For work pants, the Sloan ankle length is great. I also have some others that were called Hampton I thought, but aren’t on the website right now. I wear a 6A in those.
    Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): GAP for jeans and casual wear. Banana Republic for work tops/blouses.

    I think Jones New York is going out of business, at least in Canada. I can’t tell though if it’s just the stores that are shutting, or if its their whole line.

  27. Anonymous :

    ■My body type or body issues (if any): 5’8 34DD 160 lbs; mild pear shape (big hips)
    ■Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: JCrew is terrible for me (built for narrow women); Banana is touch and go (unlined seem to work well); Ann Taylor is my go-to. I usually wear an 8 on top and 10 on bottom.
    ■Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): I really like Express Editor pants, though I fluctuate between 10/12. I also have a fair amount of Gap dress pants (they run big, so I wear an 8 or 10).
    ■Which STYLES within brands I like:
    See above. :)

  28. canyouwink :

    I’m 5’3″ and a top-heavy hourglass – DDD and size 12 on top, usually an 8 or 10 on bottom, but I’ve added a little winter padding that I am working on now.

    I’m starting a new in-house job at a fashion forward company in a couple weeks and I have found that Tahari dresses in 12 fit me wonderfully, so I’ve been on a buying spree for them.

    I have an Ann Taylor 12P jacket and 10P skirt suit that fits ok and couple JCrew school boy blazers in 12 that are great, but I don’t think I’ll need to be wearing suits very often for my new gig.

    I never wear pants because they are consistently unflattering, and if they fit my hips they gap in the back or the legs. I do have some AG Stevie Ankle jeans and leggings from JCrew that I wear on weekends but otherwise it’s all dresses for me. My style is pretty vintagey and a lot of my dresses come from Trashy Diva, eshakti and Anthropologie. DVF is also pretty reliable but not the wrap dresses – they gap too much and I cannot wear them without a camisole.

  29. 5’4″ is the average height of an American woman, how is that possibly classified as short?

    • same reason my 34C chest doesnt fit in button down blouses. women’s sizing is awful.

      and i’m 5’11” if 5’4″ wasn’t classified as short, i’d be wearing floods my entire life

  30. Still hoping someone with my body type shows up!
    5’5″, 10 on top and 6 on bottom, DD cup, very narrow hips and flat butt. Short waisted, to the point where I often take petite sizing in tops and blazers.
    Suiting: AT fits fine, but I feel frumpy sometimes. Classiques Entiers (when on sale) also tends to work for me, at least in jackets and dresses. Tahari as well. BR sometimes works, but quality is sometimes not there. I have one dress each from Reiss and Milly that are nice for work.
    JCrew works great for me (but I size down in pants there), EXCEPT dresses. Way way too much room in the hips. This seems to be where I diverge from people who’ve said they’re built similarly to me.
    Doesn’t work: The Limited. Everything just feels all wrong. Theory. And I avoid anything that says generous in the hips – I just don’t order it. Shirts in general usually don’t work, to the point that relatives avoid buying me tops as clothing gifts. (recs welcome!) I’m sure there’s more, but I’m drawing a blank.

  31. 5’7″, 32D, 110 lbs, hourglass shape with long legs. I LOVE hugo boss for work wear; although pricey, it is more than worth it to know that the items are high quality and fit me well. They also have an excellent policy on replacing or repairing any items that have worn abnormally without question or cost. I had a dress that had a seam open and their tailor had it repaired within a few hours at no cost.

    I usually take a size 0 or 2. They will tailor anything you buy in store for free if the item was full price or for a reasonable amount if it was a sale item, which is good because my waist is much smaller than my hips and almost every fitted skirt, dress, or trouser I own has to be either taken in at the waist or out at the hips. Quality of clothing is great and styles are as classic as you can get for professional work wear.

  32. My body type or body issues (if any): 5’5″, 150 lbs, I’m a really pronounced pear. I’m size 6 above my waist and size 12 below. This makes it really hard to fit dresses and tops. In pants, I think that the fronts of my thighs might be larger than normal- at least, pants that fit everywhere else won’t fit there.

    Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: The only recent suits I’ve bought have been The Limited. Their suiting dresses work for me particularly well. Most suiting dresses that fit my hips are way too loose in the chest. The Limited’s dresses are only a little too big in the chest.

    Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): I’ve been having good luck with Banana Republic pants recently. I really like New York and Company for tops, they tend to have a lot of styles that don’t highlight my food baby quite as much as other brands. I also object to paying more than $30 for a shirt, so I have limited options. Gap 1969 jeans have also been working quite well for me.

  33. I’m just under 5’4″, 16 on top/20 on bottom. Talbots is the go to place for me to buy suits, primarily because they are one of the few places that has a decent plus-petite selection. Otherwise, I have to go to the tailor to get skirts and dresses hemmed (annoying). Also, just out of law school (hello student loans) and working a gov’t lawyer job (which I am grateful to have), so I have to be very careful with how I spend my cash-money.

  34. 5’1”, size 14, hourglass. Tahari works great for me for suits and dresses. Have not had the sizes change on me, so cuts down on the time I spend shopping. Also really like Gap Perfect Trousers – in Ankle, not Petite.

  35. Lorelai Gilmore :

    You’re right: Jones is shutting down all of its outlet retail stores. Kat, can you do some reporting on this? Jones is a huge workhorse in my closet and I would be devastated if they went away.

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2015/02/jones_new_york_plans_to_shutte.html

    • la vie en bleu :

      Yeah, I’ve been trying to decipher the industry-speak in the recent articles. From what I can tell they are shutting their own stores and their own website, but they will still have merchandise sold through Macy’s and Dillard’s in the near future. Is that correct??

      None of the articles have said: Jones New York is completely going out of business, but is that what they mean and I’m just missing something?

      Either way, I am also bummed :(

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        I saw an article that said they were stopping their retail stores and their wholesale business. So, so tragic.

        • la vie en bleu :

          so does that mean they will still be selling online? I don’t know why this is confusing to me, but it seems like they are stopping short of saying ‘completely closed, gone forever.’

  36. What is shocking to me, reading these comments, is how frustrated almost everyone is with the limited choices for women with, well, women’s bodies. What is wrong with the world? Who is buying all the clothes in all those stores? I thought I was the only one who couldn’t wear most of what is being offered in stores.

    I am probably older than most readers on this site – I am in my 50’s. I am 5’4″, about 125 – 130 lb, and I cannot find ANY slacks that will fit my body. It’s not a matter of hemline – I am willing to have them shortened, and I’m even willing to have hips taken in if needed. But if they don’t fit in the rise, there’s nothing that can be done. It has gotten so bad that I’ve actually had a couple of old pairs of slacks re-lined (for a crazy amount of $$.) When the fabric wears out. I may just have to retire…

  37. 5’6″, mid 40s, big bust (34 DD), used to be skinny, skinny, skinny, have
    gained weight. My arms continue waving long after I stop, and I have this tummy that I never, ever used to have. I know that big V necks or scoops aren’t good with my chest, but those seem to be recommended whenever I try to do to look good now that I have this gut. I know the eventual answer is to lose the weight, but until then I’d like to be able to look good in a casual office setting, and when I’m momming around town.

  38. 5’3″, petite(ish), 34DD (measurements are 38-26-36). I’m pretty much an hourglass, but am rather busty and have had an absolutely wretched time finding clothing that fits properly. However, my best purchases have actually been from Banana Republic and Ann Taylor.

    I spent the better part of the last 6 months searching for a suit that I deemed acceptable (aka – confidence building and perfect fit) and finally found it when I walked into a BR Factory in Dallas, Tx. Literally the only thing I had to alter was getting the sleeves shortened 1/2″. This was after months of perusing the offerings of J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Theory, etc. . .

    I occasionally find items at WHBM or various other stores online (my favorite blazer is by Walter Baker and fit straight off the rack.). There are also a couple of items in my closet from Brooks Brothers and Express. Although I disapprove of the decrease in quality at BR and AT, I will say that I’ve had good success there finding things that fit. Quality issues have made me more choosy, but, if you’re willing to search, they have some good buys!

  39. I’m 5’7 and apple shaped, with broad shoulders and a decent sized bust. Because of all this, I generally wear a 20 or 22 on top and a 16 on bottom. Shopping isn’t fun at all.

    For suits, I’ve had the best luck with Jones New York, and was very happy to pick up a few new suits during the after holiday sales. The jackets fit well, but the sholder pads look ridiculous on my already broad shoulders, so I’m going to see about getting them taken out. I’ve had good luck with the JNY pencil skirts, but I’ve had a hard time with the pants. Because all of JNY suiting pants have such high waists I have to size up, and they all have terrible old lady elastic, which I hate. I don’t know if their plus size suit pants come in a lower rise.

    I’ve also tried talbots, and I didn’t have much luck with their suits, although I do want to give them another try. I have purchased pencil skirts, blouses and dresses and I’ve been very pleased after minor alterations ( hemming, mostly).

    • Also- after typing this I realized how much these two brands in particular aren’t at all marketed towards my demographic. I’m in my late 20s, but I just think the market for women’s plus size suiting is terrible. TERRIBLE. I find that I often have to chose clothing that is way more matronly than I would prefer.

  40. Anonymous: Pear shaped :

    My body type or body issues (if any): I am pear shaped and 5 feet, 5 inches. 10 Petite top; 14 Petite bottom.
    Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: Nordstrom’s Halogen Ela suits were best for interviews. I also have Banana Republic wool suits but they do not fit as well as the Halogen. Jones New York and Calvin Klein suits were a bit boxy and big on me. Limited suits are hit and miss, where the tops fit better than the bottom. Talbots petites fit well, but its suits are too dull even for me.
    Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): Limited; Talbots; H&M for blouses. Charter Club dresses.
    Which STYLES within brands I like:
    Which Brands are Returning to and Leaving From: I have stopped shopping at Ann Taylor since 2010, but lately they have had suits and sweaters that I am liking. It used to be that I shopped most of my wardrobe from Banana Republic, but its new “high/ low” style has been too trendy and looked terrible on me. I used to shop more in store with Nordstroms, but my local store has almost eliminated all business wear in the past year.

  41. I’m 5’9, with a small waist and bust carrying most of my weight in my hips/butt.
    For suiting, I tend to prefer BR suits with Martin fit pant (they used to carry a Jackson line which was even better, but I don’t know if they still do). I have some Brooks Brothers pieces but they are skirts. Nordstrom’s Classiques Entier line fits me wonderfully – you still have to shop for your body type bc some of their styles are odd, but they are good-quality.

    Other brands that I’ll wear – some AT, some Jcrew, but mostly I will trend towards Nordstrom for help in the non-work category.

    With all things – tailoring is a must – esp with pants to make them look right with my larger hips / small waist

  42. 5’5″ pear. Everything goes to the tailor to take in the waist, but Halogen, Classiques Entier, Pendleton, the various Tahari lines, Lafayette 148, and St John are the best starting place.

  43. Great thread! :

    I am a “skinny pear” – usually 0 or 2 in tops but a 4 or, more frequently, 6 in bottoms with a disproportionately large rear.

    Sadly, I don’t have any good suggestions. I have accepted that I probably need to get most skirts tailored to fit better in the waist. As for dresses, I have found the material and cut often makes a bigger difference than the brand – A lines/fit and flare styles work well (although I don’t prefer those for work) and jersey/knits with a bit of stretch don’t do that unfortunate tight on the bottom/super baggy on top thing. I recently purchased a RL dress in that type of fabric from [email protected]’s and I think it is one of the most flattering work clothing items I own.

  44. Anonymous Associate :

    My body type or body issues (if any): petite and fairly slim, yet curvy. 36-23-38. 5’2″, but 33″ inseam. Enjoy trying to find clothes for that.

    Recent brands OF SUITS I’ve tried, and notes on fit: The only brand suits that fits me off the rack that I have found are Armani and Ferragamo. On the less pricey side, I like Brooks Brothers. For BB, I buy a size up so my rear and chest can fit in, and have the waist taken in.

    Which brands I think of as MY brands in general (for anything other than suits): Brooks Brothers, St. John, Escada, Kate Spade, Banana Republic

    Which STYLES within brands I like: Dresses made of knits so they drape over my body, or dresses with high waists and A line skirts. Pencil skirts. Button downs.

  45. 5’10”, curvy (large hips/bust), size 10-14 depending on circumstances.

    My favorite suiting brands and go-tos are Tahari, Elle Tahari (I usually find them at very reasonable prices at Bloomingdales and Nordstrom Rack), and Brooks Brothers if I’m splurging. However, I’ve learned that suiting is the one thing I almost never buy online, because sizing can vary so much with cut and body type.

  46. 5’10”, 33-34 inch inseam, short arms (for my height), wear a 12, hourglass figure.

    I have worn J. Crew for years and they have always fit me great. Unfortunately, the brand has just started looking insane and I don’t want to wear any clothes from there anymore. I can’t really see wearing a sequined sweatshirt with patchwork silk pants to the office. I will still buy a suit from there if it goes on sale, but it needs to be lined! C’mon! (If you can’t tell, I’m a little sad we’re breaking up after 15 years.)

    Banana Republic also works well for me because I don’t always need tall sizes in jackets and tops. Their tall pants usually work fairly well. Occasionally even their regular-length pants will work well if I’m wearing flats.

    Thank GOD so many more places are doing tall dresses. I have long legs and especially long from hip to knee, so wearing basically any dress made in the last 5 years looks like I’m wearing a mini-skirt. Anthropologie and J Crew are TERRIBLE with making dresses too short.

    I haven’t tried Boden but I’m really loving their spring line this year so maybe I’ll bite the bullet and try it!

  47. I’ve struggled finding business clothes (mostly tops) because I’m 5’4, size 2, but DDD bust and tiny waist but long torso. Tailoring seems to be a necessity to get things to be long enough + big enough in the bust and then take in the waist. I’ve had some luck with Tahari and CK for bottoms, but am still struggling finding long but not too blousy tops (makes bust look even bigger) and blazers that fit my broad shoulders but don’t look boxy. Would appreciate recommendations!

  48. Southeast Lawyer :

    5’6, 120-125 lbs, 32 DD, pear/hourglass. Elie Tahari dresses/skirts/suits are my favorite. Pretty lines and accommodating of hips and backside. I really wanted a basic black Theory suit, which didn’t work for my body type. The black Tahari suit was a great alternative.

work fashion blog press mentions