The Corporette Guide to Suits

Austen Reed – This British brand has brought back their line of suits for women — I believe they were recently sold, though, so you may want to consider this a “new” brand in terms of size, fit, and quality.

What about a dress and suit jacket? Hmmm…it may depend on the store. Second, does anyone know of good places to find them? I agree with Of Mercer! I was disappointed in the selection.

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Austen Reed – This British brand has brought back their line of suits for women — I believe they were recently sold, though, so you may want to consider this a “new” brand in terms of size, fit, and quality.

I believe Nordstrom is doing away with this line in favor of Halogen. I also like the no-iron Foxcroft button-downs from Nordstrom. I just went shopping for a new interview suit and all they could offer me was Theory. Which is fine — Theory is definitely an acceptable option, if they work on your body. And they had only one skirt option in only one color. I buy all my suits at J Crew. They are the only ones who do plain, plain, plain. I agree about Nordstrom. I was disappointed in the selection.

That actually made me laugh out loud! Hmmm…it may depend on the store. I shop at the flagship Nordstroms in downtown Seattle and they have a ton of suits and suiting options. It may be that the location you were at targets fewer working women? I live in Honolulu, and our Nordstrom is hopeless when it comes to suits.

I was so pleased when they opened here, but now I find I still most go to S. I always try to buy a skirt, pants, a shift when available and jacket. Does anyone have any advice for styling a khaki suit? I bought a lovely khaki pant suit from J. Crew s wool, not linen , but I cannot figure out how to style it. I would like some suggestions about this too. I wore a camel colored suit yesterday and while I got several compliments on it, I just felt strange in it.

Jewel teal is my favourite with camel. Burgundy, ivory, cobalt, kelly green, aqua, navy all work as well. Pastels like mint, rose, lemon should work too. Camel, as a neutral, goes with literally everything. It depends on the specific shade of camel as to which specific shades of other colours will be best. A good bet is white or cream silk blouse depending on your skin tone, with red lipstick. Very fresh and stylish. I also really like camel with baby blue. I think any light, pastel colors would be great with a khaki suit, so think light pink, baby blue, mint green.

I think cream or white would obviously be doable as well. Silk scarves in the same colors and light fabrics would also probably do well to put under a khaki suit. I think dark brown might work as well, depending on the other outfit choices.

I have a khaki suit. I wear it with short sleeved, light, form fitting sweaters. I have two I got years ago at Gap of all places.

One is light pink and the other is a baby blue. Add pearls, brown shoes, and it looks nice. I have one light camel colored suit and one kahki suit, and I think they are among my most versatile. You can go preppy as mentioned above by wearing with pastels. Or, one of my favorites is to wear with a simple black form fitting top and go minimalist in a chic calvin klein sort way.

When I go this route, I usually wear cute brown or metallic flats. Oh, also, depending on the cut of the suit, you could go light monochromatic with a floaty ivory silk top underneath.

You can wear almost any color with a khaki suit since the suit itself is neutral. Eggplant purple looks quite rich with khaki and can also be used with black and gray suits.

I bought their eggplant colored one to go with my khaki work pants and I wear it allll the time. Oh, I would love to own a khaki- or camel-colored suit one day! A smaller plus designer I like who sometimes does suiting is Darren Trentacosta. Can you speak to that?

Thank you for posting about larger sizes. I am in need of some new work clothing, and have been at a loss. I bought one recently, as have several of my newly minted attorney friends.

It might just be their current line or the fabric they are using, but we all have holes in the back of the skirt. Now there are new holes. Horrifying, considering the money spent. For the cut I agree they are beautiful and hands down the gold standard. But yours truly, along with about four friends, are not at all impressed with the quality.

Update to this — I bought the skirt over a year ago at Bloomingdales. The first time the holes appeared, I took it to the tailor. The second time, when I took it back to the tailor, she told me I should try to take it back. I took it to Bloomies yesterday, without the receipt, and they gave me a brand new skirt with no questions asked. I LOVE that place. I also had issues with Theory stuff—looked great, but wrinkled immediately and the dye of the jacket bled onto my white silk blouse.

They took it back, but I think there are issues with the quality with theory. I am in the market for a new suit now. It finally gave up the ghost.

I really like extended-tab pants … does anyone know where I can find them? I like the extended tab because the regular one has a tendency to twist and poke out during the day, even if it fits fine.

Several of my Talbots suit pants have the extended-tab on them. I think Jones New York does some too. Crew is my favorite go-to suit. I always buy the slacks, skirt, and jacket so I can get the most out of the suit. I would LOVE to not have to tailor all of my slacks! Have you tried Talbots? I second the recommendation for Elie Tahari, and would add Lafeyette as well. Both are in the priciest category, but can often be found discounted at Bloomingdales or Nordstrom.

I live in NYC and am having trouble finding good suiting for my non-petite small frame. Will try Macys tonight. Kat, can you include at least a few plus size options in your where to shop recommendations on these style guide posts? My favorite for plus size suiting is Talbots. Especially their Womans Petites. Plus they sometimes have some pretty amazing sales if you hit them at the right moment.

I need a womens petite on top and a regular womens on the bottom. My one caution is that their unlined suits do not hold up. I still will buy them, but only at deep discounts. Just want to say. For many corporations, where one is not a lawyer, a skirt suit would actually scare employers off. In some companies and industries, tech in particular, a skirted suit for an interview is too formal, and therefore outside the culture.

I have to agree, and add into that geographic area. In my city women only wear skirt suits for formal charity luncheons or dinners, or to very dressy weddings, and then the suits are the kind of thing Corporetters have said are not office-appropriate — bright colors, tweed or boucle fabric, feminine detailing, etc.

The only women you routinely see in navy, black or gray skirt suits are religious missionaries. They have pants curvy, modern, and signature styles , jacket, and pencil skirt, and occasionally a sheath. I am a 1L, and just had to buy a new suit for interviews. Law school has, sadly, led to some weight gain and I refused to squeeze myself into a slightly too small suit!

It is charcoal grey, single button, very plain but cut really nicely. It can be a challenge to find suits that are flattering to my figure without being either too boxy or too sexy-looking. This one hit just the right chord, and since it was separates, I was able to go with a 10 on the bottom and an 8 up top and avoid tailoring.

I have gotten multiple compliments, both from the people in my career services office and my colleagues. I even had an interviewer mention that they liked it. Hey, thanks for posting that! I too am 5. My main problem is to get the suit to be long enough to cover half my heel! I hate pants that look too short and I like wearing inch heels. Skip the inch heals in the interview and thereafter professionally unless you want to be mistaken for a secretary.

Sorry if that sounds harsh. I once had a partner nix an otherwise-stellar candidate because she wore a red suit to interview, too. They are nicely tailored, well-made, comfortable, and last a long time. I bought a gorgeous dress from the store in Ottawa.

Will definitely head over to the NY store for suiting options. My two favorite suits are from Benetton — for some reason, the shape of those suits really fits me. But recently, the quality of the fabric has gone downhill — wool suits are increasingly hard to find. For the super petite Corporettes out there, meaning size OO in Theory, please share what conservative skirt suits you wear! I know we discussed this in an old thread, but I do not recall suggestions other than Theory.

Please feel free to discuss suits at diverse price points. Plus they are in separates so you can get a larger jacket if needed I need their 4. I find the longer-styled jackets look more professional for me I have long legs so it balances the look. I actually had surprising success looking for suits today at Brooks Brothers.

Their OP is really tiny — and their OP button down was even too small! I was happily shocked! My suits are all Lafayette Size size Choose a size 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Dresses Jackets Pants Shirts Skirts. Product View Options View All prev 1 of 3 next. Size Sizing Guide Choose a size 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Stretch Cotton Twill Pants. Sharkskin Stretch Wool Trousers.

Sharkskin Stretch Wool Pencil Skirt. Soutache-Trimmed Denim Pencil Skirt. Pinstripe Stretch-Wool Peplum Top. Pinstripe Stretch-Wool Pencil Skirt. Pinstripe Stretch-Wool Jacket Dress. Stretch Cotton Jacquard Skirt. I wear pants, and I run up and down the stairs just as fast as my male co-workers.

Men who are going to look at my butt in a skirt are going to look at my butt in pants, or my boobs in a jacket. Signed, Pants-hating AmLaw 50 law firm partner in a traditionally male practice who wore a powder-pink skirt suit to a client meeting today, and killed it. I read this post and got a boost of confidence being a student in law school.

Happy that there are women out there that know who they are and an outfit with confidence is what is key!! I would tend to agree on the advice about not wearing sandals with suits. However, as a woman nearing menopause, I have found that in the summer months I now must wear sandals for work because my feet swell so much a problem I never had when I was younger. I would be curious to know if anyone else feels forced into sandals for this reason, or if anyone has found another way to conquer the problem of swelling feet.

I really like Antonio Melani suits. Also, it seems that this brand is not for curvier women — at least not the suit dresses. I agree with Of Mercer! I tried their long wraps because I like my knees covered at work, and I get compliments every day. If you are busty, or in what Kat has called in the past the Pregnancy Corridor, I think the Theory Lanai blazer is a much better option than traditional blazers with lapels and many buttons.

Pendleton Seasonless Wool blazers and skirts are good quality and very reasonably priced on sale. I bought a Calvin Klein Skirt suit for my first day of work. Its a great first suit, especially the skirt suits. They look decent on, acceptable and not too flashy. I agree about the buttons though it would be great to change them out. I also own some Escada- their colors are incredible. Max Mara is my all time favorite. Extremely smooth fabric, amazingly soft and delicate prints and textile choices.

I would love to try some of the other high end suiting as well. Ive had a hard time being curvy with Hugo Boss, I always tend to be in between sizes. I thought they were the go to for midrange suits, any suggestions? First, some general notes on buying a suit:

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