Reader mail: Suits for an Amazonian

2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on suits for tall women.

Today’s question comes from, well, an Amazonian…

My question has to do with where to find professional clothing that will actually fit me. I am 6′ tall and usually need a 36″ inseam in pants and “longs” or “talls” in jackets, so the sleeves are long enough. It’s interesting that almost all women’s clothing comes in petites or plus sizes, but tall sizes are hard to find. I’ve ordered suits from J. Crew in talls, and they fit me perfectly. I also order most of my work pants from Victoria’s Secret, as their tall pants seem to fit me very well too. I was just wondering if you had any other ideas of where to find tall sizes in work clothes.

This strikes us as a question that must be a common problem for tall women. While we’re not the best suited to answer the question ourselves (barely 5’4″) we’re hoping our readers will be able to chime in. We do, however, note that UK website seems to have a lovely selection of office-appropriate wear, and that has a separate shop for suits and separates for “plus size & tall”. Readers, what say you?

Pictured above: Sandy Allen, the Guinness-certified world’s tallest woman, standing just over 7’7″. Unfortunately, she recently passed away — we’re not sure who holds the title now.

How to Keep a Working Wardrobe While Losing Weight

how to keep a working wardrobe while losing weight2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to keep a working wardrobe while losing weight, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussion of how to shop for clothes while losing weight. (Congrats!)

We’re still behind on reader mail (sorry, ladies!) and catching up…  Today’s question is about how to keep a working wardrobe while losing weight.

I was recently laid off from a somewhat conservative field. I’ve very overweight and have been using my unemployed time to try to lose some weight. I’ve lost 15 pounds and my dress clothes no longer fit.

I’m still very overweight and I estimate that I need to lose about 10 more pounds before I can fit into the size 18 at Ann Taylor or the Tahari sets at Macys and Filene’s Basement. I’m estimating that it’ll take me 6-8 weeks to lose that additional weight. In the meantime, I’m trying to network, going to industry events, and I want to be prepared for any last minute interviews or other events. Even 5 pounds can make a difference in the way clothing fits and since I don’t know how long I will be unemployed, I’m trying to avoid having to buy new dress clothes every few weeks.

[Read more…]

Reader Mail – How to Dress if You’re Busty and on a Budget

how-to-dress-professionally-if-youre-bustyWe’re catching up on reader mail this week…

I am a first year in law school, consequently I am broke. In reading your advice about dressing professionally for busty ladies, I met the same problem I always do. I am aware Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s have the better underwear departments, in terms of selection and fittings; but I still can’t afford it. Are there any suggestions for a wide selection in a more affordable price range? Again thanks for all your great advice!

First, go to Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s or specialty shops to get fitted anyway, even if you can’t afford to fill your entire lingerie drawer there. You may feel required to buy one bra to compensate the woman for her time, but it shouldn’t run more than $50-$75 (TOPS), and you shouldn’t feel obligated to buy more than one. The reason for this is that they have a broader selection than the cheaper stores — for example, it’s next to impossible to find anything below a band size 34 in Victoria Secret’s or Macy’s, or a cup size higher than a DD, and that may be where you fall. [Read more…]

Suits for Tall Girls

Reiss Maxine Suit2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on suits for tall women.

Last week we posted advice (as well as a call for readers’ advice) on where to buy suits if you’re petite.  In comments, people noted that it’s just as hard getting a proper suit if you’re tall.  As one reader put it:

We already know about BR, JCrew, and AT and Talbots carry some tall pants (but not tall jackets). I am hoping to hear of some cult labels. I know that being petite is not great in that you cannot find stuff that hits properly at the joints (particularly when pants are bootcut), but us tall ladies cannot create fabric out of none. That is to say, it’s very difficult to wear suits and look like Olive Oyl! Please help.

Well, they do say that the look of “floodies” is coming to suits in a big way this year, so perhaps you’ll naturally be stylish? (Pictured:  Maxine suit, available at Reiss for $144.) But seriously… As we have no suit-wearing friends who are very tall, we’ve begun our research on the Internet.  As the reader mentioned, lots of places do carry tall pants, and Benetton and Club Monaco get general raves from tall women for their pants.  There are some specialty shops out there, as well:

  • Tall Couture sells separates such as jackets
  • Moi-Même is a personal tailoring service that “was founded by a businesswoman who needed a few well-fitted women’s pant suits to wear while meeting with clients, but was simply too tall to fit into the pre-hemmed pants found at department and specialty stores.”

Readers, weigh in — where do you shop for suits if you’re on the taller side?

Reader Mailbag: Where to get suits for short women?

the best suits for short women lawyers and professionals2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on where to get suits for short women — you may also want to check out our recent roundup of where to find petite-friendly clothing for work, or our work fashion tips for petite women

We’ve had several requests from readers on where to get great suits if you’re a petite woman. We addressed this a bit last summer, when we advised a reader how to shop for suits if you’re not in the “normal” sizes of 4-12. But we thought we’d recap, as it’s an important topic and we have more readers now, who will hopefully weigh in with more advice. From the very petite friends we’ve polled:

  • Theory is reportedly amazing (which makes sense to this author, as my normal size of 4 or 6 becomes a <cough> 10 in Theory — in suits for short womenother words, size 0 will be legitimately teeny, and size 00 practically minuscule.). The Max C pant is a “cult” item. [Read more…]

Reader Mailbag Part II: Suggestions for Suits If You’re Not Size 2-14

Update 2016: Check out our updated discussion on the most stylish plus size suits — and please do sign up for our new Plus-Size Workwear newsletter if you’re interested in more plus-size content from Corporette!

Now, by your question, we’re guessing you’re a hard size to find, either because you’re above or below the normal (2-14) range. Some suggestions for places to look:

If you’re bigger:

If you’re smaller, these brands run small and offer small sizes:

  • Theory
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Check out the more expensive brands — anything worn by an actress or model or someone who is professionally thin. In our experience, sizes in those brands can run several sizes below those in normal stores you’d find at the mall.