As everyone is getting back into the swing of shopping for work, I thought we’d do an open thread: what are your favorite work stores? Please answer with your general size (and shape if you think it matters), and think about these categories. If you have favorite brands that are sold across multiple stores (such as Vince Camuto), it’s OK to answer that!
(I was going to put favorite stores by TYPE of workwear, like blouse or pants, but I think it’s already a lot to answer if we just stick to general stores and brands — if you feel really strongly about specific styles or brands for specific pieces, let us know!)
Template to Copy:
- General favorite stores or brands for work outfits:
- Favorite newcomer / new-to-you store or workwear brand:
- Favorite budget stores or brands for workwear:
- (If you’re petite, plus, petite+plus, tall, extreme pear, apple, etc): Favorite store for your exact size or shape:
- Favorite stores or brands to splurge for work outfits:
- Favorite stores or brands for comfortable heels for work:
- Favorite stores or brands for flats, boots, or other shoes for work:
My Tips on Where to Shop for Work Outfits
I’ll try to note things as being affordable ($) or very expensive ($$$ = $500+).
General favorite stores or brands for work outfits:
Readers have always loved Nordstrom for workwear — their open return policy is unbeatable. Brands to look for there (and elsewhere!) include Vince Camuto ($), Open Edit ($), Halogen ($), CeCe ($), Vince ($$), Ted Baker ($$), Boss ($$), Reiss ($$), Theory ($$), L’Agence ($$), Rag + Bone ($$), Akris ($$$), Lafayette 148 New York ($$$), Max Mara ($$$).
Standalone brands: readers have been loving J.Crew Factory ($) and Banana Republic Factory ($) for workwear; Ann Taylor ($) has also been really popular with readers. MM.LaFleur ($$) continues to be a hit, as well.
Favorite newcomer / new-to-you store or workwear brand:
We’re going to do a round-up soon of newish workwear brands — I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about workwear stores Saint + Sofia and Me+Em, and workwear brand My Favorite Daughter feels relatively new as well (find it at Nordstrom or Anthro). Not a new brand but Abercrombie + Fitch feels like a big brand for workwear right now, which I wouldn’t have said a few years ago. These aren’t terribly new, but Amour Vert, Quince, Cuyana, Of Mercer, and Ministry of Supply are all smaller brands with solid workwear options.
Favorite budget stores or brands for workwear:
There are a ton of these – J.Crew Factory, Banana Republic Factory, Mango, Uniqlo, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx. You can always find stuff at the fast-fashion places as well, although the inventory generally moves too quickly for us to really report on it. ASOS in particular seems to have some great finds.
Amazon also has a few sellers who readers love for workwear — we’re going to do a roundup soon, but some of the big sellers that come to mind are Milumia, Miusol, Grace Karin, Marycrafts, and Tapata. Amazon’s house brands (Daily Ritual, Core) are also pretty strong, but much more for casualwear.
Favorite store for your exact size or shape:
Plus Sizes: Eloquii, Universal Standard, Calvin Klein, J.Crew & JCF (up to 3X!), Nic & Zoe (pants!), Lands’ End (dresses!), Target (Ava & Viv, New Day)
(see our full roundup of the best places to shop for plus-size work clothes)
Petite sizes: Ann Taylor, J.Crew/JCF, Banana Republic, Talbots, Nic & Zoe, Boden, White House | Black Market — also check out UK brand Jeetly
(see our last discussion on the best workwear for petites)
Plus-size petites: Talbots, Lands’ End, Eileen Fisher
(we discussed this in our roundup of the best workwear for a size 16, 16P, 16W, and 16WP)
Tall sizes: J.Jill, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, MM.LaFleur, New York & Company, Lands End – also check specialty stores Amalli Talli, Long Tall Sally, and Alloy.
(here’s our last discussion on where to get suits for tall women)
The best workwear for different body shapes:
Our last discussion on the best workwear for different body shapes was a few years ago, but some notes:
- Curvy pants are offered at Ann Taylor, Banana Republic & BRF
- Eloquii has four different fits of pants for plus sizes (including in tall and short lengths)
- Theory, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein have historically been best for people without a lot of curves
- Anne Klein, Karen Millen have been touted as being great for hourglass shapes — also see our roundups of the best dress shirts for women if you’re busty and the general discussion around the best blazers if you’re busty)
- You can get custom clothes at Rita & Phil (skirts), eShakti (mostly dresses), and a number of Etsy sellers like Heart My Closet (see our latest roundup of made to measure workwear for women — as well as 10 stores that offer free alterations)
- If you have a very small frame but are not petite, we answered a reader’s question about that a while ago
Favorite stores or brands to splurge for work outfits:
Readers have always loved Theory and Hugo Boss — L’Agence and Rag + Bone both have a lot of nice pieces in terms of blazers and pants as well. Rebecca Taylor and Equipment have always had beautiful blouses, also. Reiss is always splurgeworthy.
In terms of pricier splurges, Max Mara, Akris, Lafayette 148 New York, Loro Piana, TSE.
(see our recent discussion of how to upgrade your wardrobe after a promotion)
Favorite stores or brands for comfortable heels for work:
On the splurgier side, readers always rave about Ferragamo heels for their comfort — Choo and Blahnik both make really classic heels that have been around forever.
On the more affordable side, Marc Fisher LTD and Sam Edelman have both been best sellers lately, as well as Naturalizer.
(check out our entire and oft-updated Guide to Comfortable Heels!)
Favorite stores or brands for flats, boots, or other shoes for work:
Aquatalia, LaCanadienne, and Blondo are the big hits for weatherproof shoes for work. For flats, Rothy’s are a huge favorite, as well as AGL and French Sole. Madewell, Everlane, and Niccolo are all great for loafers. Vionic, Rockport and Naturalizer both have solid options for flats also.
Stock photo via Scop.io / Maksim Chernyshev.
12 pear. Boden, Hobbs, Elie Tahari, L.K. Bennett and Rebecca Taylor.
J.Crew Factory rocks lately!
This is where I’m buying all my new clothes lately.
I buy most of my work clothes from TRR because I can get things I could definitely not afford new and they’re usually more interesting pieces. But I have also been getting work clothes lately from BR and Quince. I still mourn the disappearance of Everlane’s Slim Wool Pant, and I wish they’d make more work clothes than hipster clothes again, but I don’t think that tide is going to un-turn.
I am LOVING Naturalizer’s loafers right now. I hardly ever wear heels and I haven’t bought a new pair of heels in a long time.
Yeah I so want to like Everlane but the cuts seem so boxy and unflattering and too Gen Z for me (as a younger millennial) at the moment.
Can you recommend some specific Naturalizer styles?
I also would love to hear about some Naturalizer styles! I have bunions, one side bigger than the other, and struggle finding work shoes that fit and are comfortable.
Agree so much with all of this! I’ve been gravitating so much more to TRR (and sometimes to ThredUp as well, for more casual pieces). BR has been bringing out such cute pieces, and I’m continually delighted by the quality at Quince. Everlane has taken a turn that doesn’t suit my work life for sure… I do love that more “vintage” trouser styles are in – even Abercrombie makes cute ones! That high waist/wide leg silhouette does a lot for my 2P pear frame! And I’m almost always wearing a heel to help with that too, although my commute has changed and I’m driving now – so a driving moc is making it into the regular rotation.
I especially love looking on TRR for Max Mara & Escada for trousers, and anything DVF always seems to fit like a dream. I used to love using Rent the Runway’s monthly plans, but it got to be a bit too expensive/tricky to manage for me on the regular.
Doing some MM Lafleur dresses lately with blazers (usually plain ones from J Crew or BR). I’d like to find some more interesting blazer cuts and weaves but I’m tall and struggle to find any.
I am still working from home a lot and spending time on camera in calls. So, my focus is on solid (as opposed to patterned) tops in very flattering colors with a little structural interest (collars, cowl neck) in washable fabrics. I just got a boucle fleece cowl neck tunic from Lands End in a pretty burgundy. It looks like a nice sweater. I think you still have to think about what you look like on camera, even if you’re in the office.
Pretty much the NAS and ebay, lately.
Is it possible to ask for advice in this thread? I’m petite – like kid sized petite. In most tops and dresses of many brands, even the smallest size is too big, either lengthwise or even more often width-wise. The thing is – they don’t make work wear in girls’ sizes. I get really, really stuck. Is taking everything to the tailor my only option?
Kate actually wrote about this very thing — you can check it out here: https://corporette.com/wearing-kids-clothes-when-youre-petite/
You might also want to check out some of our suggestions on shopping if you’re slim but too tall for petites – https://corporette.com/slim-too-tall-for-petite-sizes-alterations/
Thank you for reading!
You might find Jean Wang’s blog Extra Petite helpful. Not always super workwear-oriented, but she gives really helpful reviews with detailed sizing info.