Work Fashion Tips for Petite Women

work fashion tips for petite womenIt’s on my to-do list today to update a lot of our older posts with advice for where to buy petite-friendly clothes for work, and I thought I’d ask the readers: what are your best work fashion tips for petite women? Do you think certain styles work better than other — or is it all about knowing your body shape and tailoring it? I’m 5’4″, so I’m right on the cusp of petite sizes… these are some of my best tips for petite women, but I’d love to hear yours…

Psst: Check out our new resource, Where to Find Stylish Petite Suits for Women!

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Suiting Brands for Women: Plus Size Suits, Petite Suits, Tall Suits and More

plus size suits2018 Update: We still think this is a nice roundup of plus size suits and more, and links have been updated below — but you can also check out our updated post on where to find stylish plus-size suits for work (as well as where to find the best women’s suits of 2018). Looking for petites? Check out our roundup for where to find stylish petite suits for women.

In case you missed it, we did a major round up of the best suiting brands for women a few weeks ago, from the budget brands to the boss brands. As promised, we’re back with a focus on specialty suiting brands for women — if you’re looking for plus size suits, petite suits, tall suits, or even suits from independent/specialty boutiques, this round-up is for you.

Ladies, if you’re on the hunt for one of these types of suits, which are your favorite brands and styles? Where do you shop the most, and what kind of sales have you found? 

The Best Plus Size Suits For Women

(Links have been updated as of 2018 — you can also see our latest roundup of where to find stylish plus-size suits for work!)

plus size suits

  • Amazon – Jessica London, Kasper, Le Suit, Tahari
  • Bloomingdale’s – City Chic, Lafayette 148 New York, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Marina Rinaldi, Nic+Zoe, and Vince Camuto
  • Dillards – Calvin Klein, Investments, Kasper, Lauren Ralph Lauren – Pictured
  • Eloquii – Lots of fun suits for work, with a few 9-to-5 Essential” options
  • Full Beauty – Nice collection of brands including ellos, Jessica London, Roaman’s, and Ulla Popken
  • Jessica London*
  • JCPenney – Evan-Piccone, Liz Claiborne, and Worthington
  • Kohl’s – Alfred Dunner, Apt. 9, Simply Vera
  • H&M*
  • Lands End (particularly their washable wool suiting)
  • Lane Bryant*
  • Last Call – Good selection of Lafayette 148 New York on sale, including suiting
  • Lord & Taylor – Calvin Klein, Nipon Boutique, Tahari – (also check out Gravitas dresses at L&T) – Pictured
  • Macy’s – Alfani, Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Kasper, Nine West, and Tahari
  • Moi Même – Bespoke/custom sizes
  • Navabi – Lots of blazers in their own house line, as well as foreign brands such as Adia, Elvi, Frapp, Hermann Lange, Jo & Julia, Manon Baptiste, Nör, and Zizzi (free shipping over $399)
  • Nordstrom Lafayette 148 New York, Louben, Sejour, Vicky Vi, Vince Camuto,
  • Off Fifth – Basler, Calvin Klein, Lafayette 148 New York, Max Mara
  • Simply Be – A few more traditional suiting options like this or this
  • Sumissura – Bespoke/custom suiting
  • Talbots (particularly their seasonless wool suiting
  • Saks Fifth Avenue* – Lafayette 148 New York, Marina Rinaldi, Nic + Zoe, Stizzoli – Pictured
  • Finally: 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.) In keeping with our Privacy Policy, we’ll never sell your email address.

Awesome Options for Tall Suits for Women

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Slim But Too Tall for Petites: When Are Alterations Worth It?


slim but too tall for petites2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to dress when you’re slim but too tall for petites — 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

If you’re slim with a small frame, but too tall for petite sizes, where do you shop? If your clothes don’t fit you well, when is it worth it to pay for them to be tailored — and when is it time to look for better-fitting replacements instead? We kind of got into this in our post on how to find suits for short women, but we haven’t discussed in a while. Reader K wonders…When Are Alterations Worth It? | Corporette

I’m interested in learning more about when alterations are worth it. I’m very thin and having a harder and harder time finding clothes off the rack that fit me — even a 00 from J. Crew is frequently too big, I can’t shop in the petite section because I’m too tall. I also have a hard time with dresses and some structured pieces because even though most of my measurements are a 00 or smaller, my natural waist is often closer to a 2. I have a bunch of work pieces that I really like — or would really like if I was not swimming in them and constantly ending up with my skirt on backwards after my walk from the subway. Am I better off getting my existing wardrobe altered or trying to sell my better stuff on consignment to fund replacement pieces? I can’t afford a full wardrobe from Theory or another designer that actually makes small clothes for women who are not 5’4″ or shorter.

Great question! We’ve talked about the most common alterationshow to tailor a suit, and the perfect pants fit, but we haven’t discussed tailoring in a while. A few things come to mind:

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The Best Workwear for Petites

The Best Workwear For Petites | Corporette

2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on the best petite suits.

We have a super old post about the best suits for petite women, but we haven’t talked about this in ages, so let’s discuss: Which are your favorite stores and brands for workwear for petites?  Are there any indie brands or Etsy shops that you love?

For my $.02, it seems like the list of stores that offer petite sizes is growing, which is a great sign; I feel like bespoke dressmakers and suiting alterations are both more common than before as well. Here’s the list of stores that I know of that offer petite clothing:

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Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Long Sleeve Colorblocked Cardigan

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Alfani Petite Sweater, Long Sleeve Colorblocked CardiganI keep coming back to this Alfani sweater at Macy’s — the yellow/lime looks fun and vibrant, and I think it would be a good match for anything from trousers, to dresses, to skinnier pants, to even jeans on the weekend. I always prefer to wear yellow with gray, rather than black — it can veer a bit towards “bumble bee” if you don’t — but maybe that’s me. The sweater is now $38.35 (formerly $59) at Macy’s.  Alfani Petite Sweater, Long Sleeve Colorblocked Cardigan

P.S. There is a non-petite version as well in a deep pink, but very limited sizes are left.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Suit of the Week: Talbots

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I’m liking this simple gray tweed suit from Talbots’ today.  I like the ruffled back on the jacket, the full lining on the pants, and the fun black and white pattern.  The jacket (Talbots Grace Fit Donegal Tweed ruffle-back jacket) is $199, and the pants (Signature Fit Donegal Tweed wide-leg pants) are $119 (both online only).  A matching skirt (not pictured: Donegal Tweed ruffle-back pencil skirt) is also available, online only for $119.  The jacket and pants are available in regular, petites, woman, and woman petite’s sizes; the skirt is regular and petites only. [Read more…]