Where to Find Stylish Plus-Size Suits for Work

where to find stylish plus-size suits for workHere’s a topic we haven’t addressed in a while that seems apt since we just did our big roundup of the best women’s suits in 2018: where to find stylish plus-size suits for work? Plus-size readers, please chime in — which are your favorite stores to buy plus-size workwear, from dresses to blazers to suits? (We’re actually working on a story on plus-size splurges and investment shopping — please share any favorites if you have them!) We haven’t talked about this since we did our last roundup of plus-size suits and more (including business maternity suits, petite suits, and suits for tall women) or the best workwear for plus sizes.

(If you are interested in plus size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter, for plus-size news as well as workwear picks in plus sizes! Signing up helps us gauge interest in the project, and we promise not to blast your email more than once a week at most. (Right now it’s more like once a month.))

Wondering where to find stylish plus-size suits for work? These are some of the top spots we know of, in alphabetical order — your best bets for conservative interview suits are in bold…

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How to Buy a Bra

2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to buy a bra, but you may also want to check out most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

Sizing for women’s clothing can be incredibly frustrating in general (meaningless numbers! vanity sizing! different sizing among brands!), but figuring out how to buy a bra that fits can be even worse. It’s pretty easy to tell if, say, a shirt fits you, but so many of us are wearing the wrong size of bra every day (which we’ve been told ad nauseum). Maybe you’ve lost or gained weight without buying a new one, maybe you feel like your bra fits well enough because you don’t realize you’ve never worn the appropriate size, or maybe you’ve simply given up on buying a size that feels just right.

We haven’t specifically talked about how to buy a bra before, although we recently had an open thread about readers’ favorite lingerie for office looks, we’ve discussed bra care (including washing, rotating, etc.), and a couple of years ago we specifically gave workwear style tips for busty women.

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Here are some tips on how to buy a bra that fits well, feels comfortable, and makes you look even better in your clothes:

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The Best Dress Shirts for Women If You’re Busty

The Best Dress Shirts for Women with Large Breasts

2018 Update: We still think this is a great roundup of the best dress shirts for women with large breasts, but if you’re a busty professional, you may want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best dress shirts for women with large breasts. 

When you’ve got a big bust, shopping for blouses that actually fit and flatter can be pretty frustrating (see: “Why does fashion ignore big breasts?”), but there are some quality brands out there that specialize in dress shirts for women with large breasts. We last rounded up these busty blouse brands back in 2013, but the landscape has changed a bit, so we thought we’d do an update!

Pictured, clockwise: black / white / orange / white

In the past we’ve offered style tips for busty women and talked about how to dress professionally if you’re busty. We’ve discussed issues such as how to fix gaping blouses and whether a blazer must button to fit, as well as rounded up companies making bespoke dresses and blazers for the busty. Note also that Hourglassy is an invaluable resource if you aren’t already following along. (By the way, before you consider any of the brands below, make sure you’re wearing the correct size bra, which of course can affect how your tops fit.)

Here are some brands offering dress shirts for women with large breasts:

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When is a Dress Too Short for Work, What’s Modern, What Shoes Work, and How to Deal if You’re Tall or Short

dress too short for workAs the weather warms up, tights and boots start to go away, and skirts and dresses come out of the closet more. When is a dress too short for work? Does a slightly longer hem length feel more “modern” to you? What shoes do you wear with different dresses and skirts? And, if you’re tall or short, how do the rules change? 

(Pictured at top: short / longer / longest)

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The Best Workwear For Size 16 (and 18, and 16P, and 16WP, and 14W…)

The Best Workwear For Size 16 | Corporette2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on the best workwear for size 16, but you may also want to check out our more recent posts on where to find stylish plus-size suits for work and the best designer plus-size clothing for professional women You may also want to sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! 

We haven’t talked explicitly about the best workwear for cusp sizes in far too long, ladies — if you’re a size 16 or 18, what are your favorite stores and brands? Given the fact that the average American woman is now a size 16 and 5’4″, this is particularly a difficult question because with those stats you may fit in regular sizes (e.g., 12, 14, 16, 18), plus sizes (e.g., 10W, 12W, 14W, or 16W), petite regular sizes (such as 14P, 16P, 18P) or that rare bird, petite plus sizes (12WP, 14WP, or 16WP) — this is why women in this size range are called “inbetweeners!” But a lot of “regular” stores only carry sizes up to size 12 — and a lot of “plus” stores only start at 18W. Add to that the fact that most stores carry very few of those sizes on the shelves, and you may be stuck in a never-ending cycle of online shopping and returning stuff, as several readers noted in our post on how to return items bought online. SO. Let’s discuss, ladies: What’s the best workwear if you’re a size 16? If you’re an “average” size and right on the cusp of plus sizes, which brands or stores have you found to be the best for you? What styles of clothes work best for your body type? What brands run small; which run big?  

Psst: If you are interested in plus size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! Signing up helps us gauge interest in the project, and we promise not to blast your email more than once a week at most. (Right now it’s more like once a month.)

Some of the brands I know of include:

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The Best Work Clothes for Different Body Types

best work clothes for different body types
2018 Update:
We still like this roundup the best work clothes for different body types, but if you’re a busty professional, you may also want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

Pear… apple… hourglass… triangle… ruler… what’s your body type? More importantly, which are the best work clothes for different body types? Whatever your size or shape, what is your power outfit — the general style/shapes of clothes that make you feel great? Kate and I have studied the comments on our last post on dressing for your body type, and Kate’s rounded up some helpful resources on the topic below, but let’s open it up to you ladies! For the sake of discussion, please note:

  1. your general shape and size
  2. which workwear brands you’ve had luck with and are the first you shop
  3. which workwear brands tend to be misses for you
  4. what your power outfit is for your workweek, OR what the building blocks of your wardrobe are (pants or dress? blazer or cardigan? what shape of dress? what length and type of pant?)

When we last talked about the best brands for your body type, commenters had a lot of notes. (This was from Feb. 2015, so pretty recently, but before the new pants regime at Banana Republic, and also before the lead designer change at Ann Taylor/LOFT.) I’ve tried to be helpful by grouping things below by the classic “body shape” classifications, but looking through comments it seems like people in different groups mentioned the same brands because the waist-to-hip ratios worked for them (so hourglasses and pears mentioned a lot of the same brands, while rulers and apples mentioned a lot of the same brands), as well as for bust-to-waist ratios (so hourglasses and triangles mentioned a lot of the same brands). Obviously bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so the classic “body shape” ideas are a bit of garbage; don’t worry too much if none of the categories (or several) seem to fit.

I found the lists interesting for two reasons. First, a few brands appear on almost every list, namely Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Classiques Entier, and J.Crew — some of that may be because they’re so common that everyone’s found SOMETHING. Also, both AT and BR are known for offering different pants fits, also, which may also explain a lot. The second interesting takeaway: some workwear brands appear on almost no lists. Ladies who love DvF, Rebecca Taylor, and Uniqlo, let’s hear from you!

The brands mentioned by commenters are below — note that brands mentioned most are listed at the top of the list.

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