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Reader M had an interesting question about where the heck to find suits with dresses (instead of skirts or pants) these days. It’s a great question: where can you find a great suit dress these days?
Here’s her question:
I’d love an article on buying suits that are dress + jacket combinations (as opposed to skirt/pants + jacket combinations). They look a more polished, they eliminate the step of finding a shirt to go underneath the jacket, and they’re one less thing to pack on trips. AT’s selection is limited – I own both and love them; Talbots’ is matronly. Need ’em conservative enough for court appearances, but not “mother of the bride.” (I’m 35.) Slightly fashionable would be a bonus!
Great question — and you’re right, suit dresses are disappearing; it was a bit of a hunt to find some to feature here. Readers, do you prefer to wear suits made up of a dress and blazer — or do you prefer other suit separates like pants and a skirt? Where are your favorite dress and jacket skirts from?
(We discussed non-suit dress+jacket combinations in this post…)
Update: Our Latest Favorite Suits with Dresses Instead of Skirts
Some Easy Tips to Find a Great Suit Dress
On the budget end, check out TJ Maxx and other similar discount places — a lot of times these dress+jacket suits are sold on a single hanger and can be found for some serious steals.
If you like colorful suits or suits with a lot of colorblocked details, keep an eye on Macy’s and Lord & Taylor — they have a lot of brands like Kasper, Tahari, Calvin Klein, and Anne Klein that I traditionally associate with this kind of look.
On the higher end, keep an eye on Boss, Theory, Reiss, and Brooks Brothers — they often have suiting separates that include dresses — and on the much higher end, St. John’s suits often have a matching dress.
A Closer Look at Some Recent Suits with Dresses Instead of Skirts
I particularly like this MMLF suit because the dress looks comfortable but polished. They describe the “Origami Tech” fabric as “a machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant fabric that looks perfectly polished but is so comfortable, you might be tempted to nap.” Nice!
This Origami Tech fabric is also one of our favorites for travel-friendly suits for women!
White House | Black Market
Hat tip to the readers, who clued me in to White House Black Market’s “comfort stretch line!” I’m intrigued by the idea of a really stretchy fabric for sheath dresses and pants, and I like that you can make a suit out of them with matching blazers. (Although White House Black Market does not make it easy to find the matching pieces, grumble.)
The brand in general has a bunch of work appropriate dresses, many with matching blazers. Our suggestion if you’re not seeing it in their section with suiting separates: look through the blazers next– when you find one you like it should have info about matching pieces on the product page. Another idea — look through the work dresses, find one you like, and then search by the specific color, such as “Amazon” or “denim blue.”
Readers, let’s hear from you — do you like to wear suits with dresses instead of skirts? What do you see as the pros and cons to the look? Where’s your favorite suit dress from — and where would you go to look for one right now?
Updated images via Deposit Photos / sheftsoff.
Admin note: this post was originally written March 2018, but updated substantially as noted.