Must a Blazer BUTTON to Fit?

Must a Blazer Close to "Fit"? (And other fun questions of plus-size fashions)... | Corporette Hot on the heels of yesterday’s reader question about feeling frumpy in a suit, I was thinking about Drop Dead Diva. I stopped watching the show a while ago (her guardian angel was still the guy from Mad Men back when I watched), but I’d always wanted to do a 360 review on the lead character, lawyer Jane Bingum, and her fashions, if only because she’s one of the most stylish and plus-sized TV characters I can think of. I have some problems with her fashions, though — the ridiculously high heels, the overdone makeup, etc, etc. My BIGGEST problem, though, has always been that the vast majority of her blazers couldn’t be buttoned (not even kinda-sorta) — the picture at left demonstrates the problem.

But then, as I was falling asleep last night, I started wondering: maybe I’m the one who’s been wrong to think that a blazer must button all these years.  Maybe the trick for a busty girl (or an overweight girl) — short of massive and expensive tailoring — is to buy jackets that fit in your arms and back only, but not worry about it fitting across the bust.  This flies in the face of everything I know about suits — but when I think about it, Jane definitely does not look frumpy. I might say this is one of those times that your fashion sense speaks to your judgement — were this a 360 review, I might say as either an underling or a boss I would wonder why she didn’t buy suits that fit — but again, I’m rethinking this now. [Read more...]

Feeling Too Fat to Interview

Feeling Too Fat to Interview? | CorporetteHow can you feel confident during an interview when you don’t feel the best in your clothes? A petite and plus-sized reader wonders how she can look her best, short of losing 40 pounds in a week:

Interview suits for the short and round. Please help!

I admit it. At 5’2″ and a size 14/16 I am both short and fat (sigh! it kind of got away from me). For everyday work wear this isn’t really an issue, but what on earth do I wear for a job interview?

Suits typically come to mind for interviews, but with my lack of height and overall ROUNDness, typical business suits (pant or skirt) really aren’t all that flattering on me. They tend to make me look even shorter and well, dumpy.

Short of losing 40 pounds in a week, what job interview looks would you suggest?

Note: I’m not in an ultra-conservative industry, but this would be for management level positions.

Thanks for any guidance!

We’ve recently rounded up the best stores for plus-sized workwear (including for petites and sizes 16-18), we’ve talked in the past about how to buy (or tailor) a great plus-sized blazer, and of course we have our Guide to Interview Suits, but nothing quite addresses this. And I can suggest a few suits for Reader M (such as the pictured Talbots suit or this Pendleton suit available up to 18P), but that doesn’t totally address the situation here (at least the one that I’m seeing when I read between the lines):  your confidence is taking a hit because of how you look. [Read more...]

The Perfect Pants Fit

How To Get the Perfect Pants Fit | CorporetteHow should pants fit? When are they too baggy; when are they too tight? Reader K wonders…

Can you discuss proper fit of suit pants/slacks for the workplace (including trouser jeans for casual Fridays)? I can’t find anything related in the archives- I was hoping for something like the guide to hem length. How do you find the right balance between too baggy and too fitted, especially in the thighs and butt? If they have a crease on the front, should the pants be loose enough that the crease stays creased all the way up?

I’m curious what readers say here — for my $.02, I think this is easier to say what NOT to do than what TO do. In my mind, you want to avoid: [Read more...]

The Best Stores for Maternity Wear

The Best Stores for Maternity Workwear | CorporetteWe’ve talked about the best stores for workwear for tall women, for petites, and for plus sizes; the last one we’re going to talk about is the best stores for maternity wear.  Spoiler alert: the choices are never great — but they have expanded quite a bit since I was pregnant (and since we last looked at professional maternity clothes).  Today I’ve asked blogger (and Corporette reader!) K from Work That Bump to guest post and round up some of the best stores for the working pregnant lady.  Welcome, K! – Kat.

Scaling Mount Everest, running a marathon, and collecting a suitable maternity working wardrobe — it may not seem that the last one belongs, but trust me, it does.  So although I can’t comment on the first two feats, I was thrilled when Kat asked me if I would guest post on the third.  I’ve created what I hope to be a comprehensive list of maternity brands and stores (something I wish I had when I was pregnant). Other issues I’ve addressed that may be helpful: I recently spelled out my approach to shopping for maternity wear and my maternity-wear budget. I’ve also tackled the difficult questions of intimate apparel while pregnant and a transition wardrobe while pregnant.

Before we get into the list of stores, though, it is worth noting that you can score some good prices on maternity wear on Gilt, Rue La La, Zulily, and Haute Look.  Gilt currently has eight pages of maternity wear from good brands like Maternal America and Eva Alexander, as well as nursing bras, jeans, and casual tops for the weekends.  For example, I really like this Charlotte dress from Nom Maternity that is available for $60 on Gilt (pictured above) — it should prove to be very versatile: you could wear it with pumps and a blazer for work or with riding boots and a cardigan for chilly weekends.

And now to the list of stores and brands: [Read more...]

The Best Workwear for Plus Sizes

Sejour Micro Houndstooth Suit JacketWe’ve talked about where to shop for workwear if you’re petite and if you’re a tall professional in recent weeks, so I thought we’d continue the series today with a look at the best plus-size workwear. I’m going to sort it into three categories: regular plus sizes (generally 14W-24W), petite plus sizes, and regular sizes 16 and 18, which tend to be incredibly difficult to find.  We’ve discussed plus-size workwear before, of course — in 2008 and 2011, and in 2011 guest poster Kathryn Rubino wrote about her must-have list for the perfect plus-sized blazer — but we haven’t talked about this in a while.  Readers who shop plus sizes — which are your favorite shops for workwear?  How about suiting?  Size 16s and 18s — and petite pluses — which shops am I missing on the list?   (Pictured: Sejour Micro Houndstooth Suit Jacket, available at Nordstrom in sizes 14W-22W for $148.)

Regular Plus Sizes

Recommended by readers last time: [Read more...]

The Best Workwear for Tall Women

The Best Workwear for Tall Women (5'8" and up!) | CorporetteAre you taller than 5’8″?  Where do you find the best workwear for tall women?  We had a good conversation a few weeks ago about the best workwear for petites, so I thought I’d continue the series.  We’ve talked about the best suits for tall girls before, as well as “clothes for Amazonians,” but not in a long while. (Pictured: J.Crew’s Schoolboy Blazer in Tipped Wool, available in tall sizes – – was $268 now $228 in three colors.)

Some of the readers’ favorite online shops mentioned previously include:

[Read more...]