Search Results for: label/Tahari

Plus Sized Work Attire Options

Dear Allie:
I am getting back into the workforce after five years as a SAHM. I’m really excited, but am having a hard time finding nice work clothes. I am a size 18, 5’5” and an apple and all I seem to find are lowcut dresses and polyester pants. Do you know where I can find suits and work clothes like dresses and blouses for my size?

Why are all plus sized suits made out of polyester? Where can I find a suit that is equal in quality and price to J. Crew but goes above a size 16?

I was recently promoted and my new position requires me to travel on business several times a month. For such trips, I will need to wear a suit while at the office I can usually get away with casual pants or even nice jeans. While I have a great wardrobe of business casual pieces, it is proving difficult to find more corporate of attire for my size (I vary between a 20 and 22). Do you know of any retailers who specialize in suiting and corporate attire for plus-sized women?

Hi Allie, I need to improve my look at work. We’re allowed to wear anything we want but I don’t want to look like a slob any more and think if I look good I may be more likely to get a raise or promotion. I’m 5’7”, a size 20 with a large bust and don’t even know where to start looking for nicer work clothes. HELP!

I am not sure why the world thinks women over a size 12 don’t hold professional jobs. They must think that with the poor selection of career wear for plus-sized women. While quality suits and stylish business casual clothing does exist, it’s hard to find. Below I feature some brands who realize that just because you wear a larger size doesn’t mean you wish to sacrifice style, quality, or professionalism.

If you’re plus sized, I’m sure you already know about Lane Bryant, Avenue, Ashley Stewart, One Stop Plus/Woman Within/Roamans/Jessica London, and other retailers who specialize in plus size fashion. Below are some suggestions on brands I know who aren’t the typical shops, and who provide quality, well-crafted and stylish career wear in plus sizes

Nordstrom
I know, I know, Nordstrom again? Thing is, they offer a great selection of quality brands and style for plus sizes. MICHAEL Michael Kors, Rachel Palley, Calvin Klein, Karen Kane, Eileen Fisher, Tahari Woman, Vince Camuto, Kenneth Cole… all these brands and more are offered in plus sizes at Nordstrom stores and online.

Unlike many other department stores who think a woman in a size 22 dress wants a muumuu or a flowing polyester pantsuit, Nordstrom buyers find brands and pieces that are in the same vein of style as the rest of the store. Great colors, fun silhouettes, lots of options. Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns, will perform alterations onsite, and have personal shoppers that can help you secure a professional wardrobe for your job.

Macy’s
Macy’s is another department store who offers a fantastic selection of brands and styles for plus sizes. Alfani, Calvin Klein, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Jones New York, and then their in-house brand INC International Concepts are great resources for great plus size office wear. Like Nordstrom, Macy’s provides a good amount of real estate in most of their stores for plus-sized fashion.

Macy’s always has promotions for discounts and shipping deals. Macy’s has a great return and exchange policy, where you can return by mail or at any nearby store.

Talbots
Talbots Woman comes in sizes 12-24 regular and 12-22 petite. Each season they offer several styles of suit separates so you can mix and match for the perfect career look. Talbots also specializes in business casual looks, with tailored trousers, well-crafted skirts, polished knits and sweaters and even shoes and accessories.

While many retailers hide their plus size department in a dusty corner or keep it only online, Talbots often has separate stores just for their Woman line, or else it gets plenty of real estate in their mixed-size store. Talbots is phenomenal with customer service, seeking out sizes at other locations, taking returns in-store, and giving you honest feedback and offering suggestions at the fitting room. When I was a size 18, Talbots was my go-to store, where I knew I would find quality, style, and a supportive staff.

Jones New York
While Jones New York is a department store staple, they also have their own online boutique that has a large selection of career wear in extended sizes. Since you have to return by mail (they offer a pre-paid shipping label), it’s good to try out JNY in a store to know how it fits, and then go online to find a larger selection.

Kiyonna
Kiyonna knows how to dress a woman. They make well-made pieces that are stylish and flattering to a plus-sized figure. No muumuus and garish prints here, Kiyonna offers beautiful dresses, and also a beautiful selection of separates. While their bottoms are very basic, they are well-made and classic. Some of their tops can run on the sexy side, but many are great pieces for business casual environments or fabulous shells under suits. Their return policy is pretty standard but I hear their sizing is quite consistent so once you know how you fit in Kiyonna you won’t have to make as many returns and exchanges.

Ann Taylor
If you enter an Ann Taylor store, you may think they don’t care about anyone over a size 12. However online they go up to size 18 and XXL on the majority of their pieces. I also find Ann Taylor runs a bit large and many of my readers have agreed that their size 18 can often fit a size 20 woman.

Ann Taylor regularly has promotions for free shipping and percentages off select items – it’s smart to sign up for their emails or follow them on Facebook or Twitter so you stay updated. Their online selection can sell out pretty quickly when they have such sales, so shop early. While Ann Taylor doesn’t offer free returns, they do accept returns even of larger sizes in any store. And if you have to do a return, check out their sale rack where I have regularly seen larger sizes from other women who have made returns.

Lands’ End
Lands’ End may not be the retailer you would think for career wear, but they do have a pretty great selection of workwear staples. While their summer selection is more geared towards shorts and dresses, they always have a good selection of blazers and coordinating bottoms and come the cooler months have an even greater selection of suiting and work-appropriate pieces.

Lands’ End often has promotions for discounts and free shipping so sign up for their emails to get the latest news. Lands’ End also accepts returns at Sears stores which makes shopping with them even more convenient.

Eddie Bauer
Like Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer mainly focuses on casual weekend fashion. However, like Lands’ End they have a few stand-out pieces each season for career wear. Eddie Bauer often focuses on easy-care pieces, and you’re likely to find wrinkle-free suiting, no-iron button-front shirts, and machine washable trousers and dresses. Eddie Bauer offers free exchanges and accepts returns by mail (they will provide a pre-paid shipping label or you can send by your own method) or in store.

Overstock
I’m quick to head to Overstock to find a toaster oven or an area rug, but I have now learned to go to this site for fashion. Popular brands like Tahari, Kasper, Calvin Klein, and Ann Klein are featured by Overstock, and at nicer prices than at the department store. While some of the styles offered on Overstock are a bit strange, you can also find some gems – often pieces being sold right now at your nearby Belk or Macy’s. Overstock has customer reviews, ridiculously cheap shipping, and a reasonable return policy.

TJ Maxx
While most of my local discount big box retailers will have some plus size fashion, it’s usually a small section, messy, and full of strange pieces I wouldn’t be caught dead in. Not so for TJ Maxx, who usually carries higher-end brands than similar stores, and they usually have a larger and better organized plus size department.


Where do you find stylish and well-made plus size career wear? I’d love to know your suggestions!

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Monday – Emerald Green with Silver

Blouse - Talbots (similar)
PantsTahari “Hazel”
BootiesCole Haan “Air Talia” bootie
Belt - Express circa 1998 (similar)
Silver cuff (similar)
Silver hoops (similar)

How was everyone’s weekend? I was super productive this weekend, accomplishing a lot of cleaning and errands. Even so we had time to hang out with my sister on Saturday night and I had breakfast with my sister and best friend Sunday morning.

I know few still watch Saturday Night Live; we still enjoy it in the Gary household. While I felt Lindsay Lohan was terrible as host this week, Jack White was utterly brilliant, and we really enjoyed this skit:

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My Wardrobe Today – Tuesday

Silk Shirt – Ann Taylor (similar)
Trousers - Tahari “Hazel”
Snakeskin Belt – Target (similar)
PumpsMICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex Pump”
Necklace – Picked up on trip to Italy

I have such a hard time these days finding pants that fit; I saw these on sale at Nordstrom for $29.97, and the only size they had was 10 petite.  I figured for that price I could keep them as “goal” pants if I liked the silhouette.  Not only do I like the silhouette, but they fit!  The “Hazel” is a silhouette Tahari has on a regular basis, I guess this fabric (a stretch wool crepe) is being replaced with a more spring version?  I like the pants – such a clean look, no bulky pockets or waist details.  May be purchasing another pair in a different color in the future!

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Thursday: Comfortable Corporate

Blazer: c/o Karen Kane
Tank: Ann Taylor (similar)
Pants: Tahari
Shoes: Michael Kors
Necklace: Boutique in Rehoboth Beach (similar)
Bracelet: c/o IN PINK

Have a few meetings today so needed to look professional, but felt a bit under the weather last night so had restless and little sleep. Lycra to the rescue! Each piece in this ensemble is stretchy and comfortable but still maintains a level of professionalism.

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Wednesday

Black ribbed crewneck sweater from Chico’s, black Tahari suiting trousers, long gray necklace from Target looped three times, black Enzo boots.

Hair is on it’s third day, blown straight where bedhead was.

Makeup was done in a jiffy as that I lolled in bed too long reading for my Book Club. L’Oreal True Match foundation, Nars Orgasm blush, a bit of khaki shadow, a thin line of Maybelline Ultra Liner in black on top lash line, L’Oreal Voluminous mascara and Body Shop Lip Tint.

Business Blue

Blouse: Ann Taylor | Pants: Tahari | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex” | Necklace: Etsy | Watch: Citizen | Bracelets: Had forever, Nordstrom, JewelMint | Bag: Brahmin (similar)

Some days I just want to look a bit more corporate, be it for a client meeting or just to steel myself for a difficult project. While this blouse looks very office-worthy, it has a nice shirttail hem so it will look nice untucked with white jeans, or even belted with a skinny belt. I also like it with its sleeves rolled for a more casual effect. While I liked the slouchiness of a Regular, I went with a Petite Large to have the neckline more office-friendly and the sleeves a proper length.  And gosh, how can I resist an outfit that encourages use of my Brahmin??

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Saturday

I went to my sister’s – she was hosting an at-home party. afterwards there was a chance we may go to a bar or club.

Black stretch knit v-neck sweater from Banana Republic. White tonal striped pants – part of a Tahari suit. Black leather thing heels from Target. Turquoise necklace from Target. Silver cuff bracelet.

Hair was done curly thanks to the entire Marc Anthony Strictly Curls line and a curling iron.

Makeup was i.d. Bare Escentuals foundation, concealer and Warmth as bronzer. Touch of Nars Orgasm on the cheeks. On the eyes was The Body Shop’s shadow in Granite on the lids, Soft Black in the crease and along the lash lines. Mucho coating of MAC X mascara in black. On the lips is The Body Shop’s Sheer Lipcolor in Sheer Pink.

Saturday

I went to my sister’s – she was hosting an at-home party. afterwards there was a chance we may go to a bar or club.

Black stretch knit v-neck sweater from Banana Republic. White tonal striped pants – part of a Tahari suit. Black leather thing heels from Target. Turquoise necklace from Target. Silver cuff bracelet.

Hair was done curly thanks to the entire Marc Anthony Strictly Curls line and a curling iron.

Makeup was i.d. Bare Escentuals foundation, concealer and Warmth as bronzer. Touch of Nars Orgasm on the cheeks. On the eyes was The Body Shop’s shadow in Granite on the lids, Soft Black in the crease and along the lash lines. Mucho coating of MAC X mascara in black. On the lips is The Body Shop’s Sheer Lipcolor in Sheer Pink.

Lost in Translation

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft | Pants: Tahari | Ascot: Belonged to my Dad | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: Nordstrom, had forever, JewelMint | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex”

Some outfits are lost in translation, especially when it’s a rainy day and you have to take your pictures inside and a wet dog decides to shake out her fur on you as soon as she comes in and you chase her down with a towel and she heads into the dining room but as soon as the camera starts going she decides to run into the picture and a four year old runs after her and a light bulb blows as a flash goes off and… well there’s always a story behind a photo shoot and this morning’s shoot was harried, ridiculous, and honestly these were the very best photos where I didn’t have a completely exasperated face, a bit of a blonde tail or a blondish-brownish head or a mud puddle.  But in real life, the outfit’s far cuter.

And the outfit started with NYDJ Haydens and new heels and it just felt wrong. Switched to boyfriend jeans and these phenomenal shoes from Naturalizer and it seemed too exposed for a rainy gross day. So I just went with an old standby, my Tahari Hazels and favorite comfy black pumps. This shirt is still too boxy and strange (and the collar seemed to pop during all the commotion), still on the lookout for a replacement…

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Could Fry an Egg

Top: c/o Karen Kane | Pants: Tahari | Shoes: Nine West (similar) | Bracelet: c/o Lifetherapy | Hoops: Argento Vivo | Glasses: Derek Cardigan 7003 c/o Coastal.com

I think this weather was more the type where you could steam an egg rather than fry it. DC has been a few days of heat, rain, heat, rain and it’s hard to pull together a work-appropriate ensemble and not sweat through it by time you reach the office. Karen Kane sent me this top and I positively love it; it’s one of those tops that looks far better in person. The fabric is actually linen, but a lightweight slub fabric that is comfortable in the humidity and drapes so nicely. I’ve worn it before with the black pants for an easy early-morning outfit, and also like it with white jeans.  It does say dry clean only, but I washed on gentle in a lingerie bag and let it air dry and it turned out nicely.

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Monday: Inner Rock Star

Blouse: Bellatrix
Camisole: H&M (similar)
Pants: Tahari
Scarf: c/o Karen Kane
Bracelets: Lauren Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom
Shoes: Miss Sixty (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Earrings: Filene’s Basement (similar)
Bag: Sabina (similar)

Today I felt like letting my inner rock star out for a bit.  Since I do have to be at work, I toned her down with traditional trousers, but really thought this mix of patterns was fun.  I feel a bit like a corporate Steven Tyler with this scarf.  I wanted to wear my black pointy-toed pumps but realized I had left them at work so out came the booties.

How was everyone’s weekend?  My husband shot a wedding Saturday and I came along as assistant.  The rest of the weekend we spent enjoying our town’s Labor Day festival – carnival rides, funnel cake, even a parade!  It was nice to have an extra day off to recharge my batteries.

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Friday – White Blazer with Stripes

BlazerHalogen
Tee - Ann Taylor (similar)
Pants - Tahari “Hazel”
Booties - Miss Sixty (similar)
Belt – HOBO Original (similar)
Bag - HOBO Original (similar)
Silver cuff (similar)
LipstickMary Kay “Fuchsia”

On my wish list for this spring and summer was a lightweight white blazer. I had one from Caslon a few years ago that I wore to death and it has been near impossible to find a similar one. When I saw this one on the Nordstrom site the other week I felt it would be a great replacement. While it is lined, it still has stretch and is comfortable. It comes in petite sizing which makes my 5’3″ self happy. The jacket originally came with a horn button but I switched it out with a white one to make it more versatile.

I know this outfit it pretty formal for Casual Friday, but I have a meeting with a client at her office and wanted to look appropriate. I originally planned on wearing my Nine West pointy-toe pumps but a heel cap popped off as I was leaving the house. Knowing the client, they won’t even notice my tootsies on display, but I usually like to have a more conservative shoe for such meetings. Oh well, better than destroying my shoe and clip clopping down tile hallways!

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Tuesday

Meeting with client, first time to emet them and to kickoff the project. Gray suit from Tahari, salmon silk-knit scoop neck cap sleeved shell from Ann Taylor, black city boots from Enzo.

Hair was dried straight with the craptastic hotel room dryer and a round brush – I was packing light. I then added a bit of Jonathan Dirt for texture (my new play toy).

Makeup was L’Oreal True Match foundation, Body Shop concealer, Chanel pressed powder, NARS Orgasm blush, Revlon ColorStay quad in neutral – ivory and khaki. L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black and Goldie lipgloss in Blossom.

Yep, don’t expect to see this lipgloss mentioned again. Forgot I had it in my purse and went through the airport x-ray and they confiscated it. Waaaah! They took my almost empty Tide to Go pen too, which got through at three airports in the past month. Grrrrr.

Friday

I had to be at work early to get a deliverable turned in before the deadline. Went o bed around midnight after dinner and drinks with the girls, had to be up at 5:00 am with no gym time to get to work before 7:00 am. I walked the dog a couple of blocks and did some crunches instead.

Lavender silk knit tank from Ann Taylor, gray cuffed suiting trousers (part of a suit) from Tahari, black pointy-toe pumps from B.P./Nordstrom, black pearl necklace (looped) that was a gift from my sister, two anthracite and purple bead necklaces from Express (one shortened by me).

Hair was washed the ngiht before with Suave Professionals Healthy Curls shampoo and conditioner, slept overnight wet with a bit of Frizz-Ease Dream Curls spray. In the mornign I circled a few pieces with a curling iron, touch of Sebastian Shaper spray.

Makeup was Bare Minerals foundation, Nars Orgasm blush. On eyes was Trish McEvoy lavendar shadow on the lid, L’Oreal shadow in a metallic purple in the crease and along the lash line (wetted brush). On lips was Maybelline’s Forever Metallics lip pencil in Berry Glossy.

Thursday

I’m tardy, so sue me. And I don’t have a picture of my total outfit because I forgot. Bad girl.

And this picture is frustrating ebcause you can’t see how totally awesome my hair was on Thursday. I let it air dry the night before with some of the Suave/Redken mousse in it. Woke up to puffiness, and then combed it and hit the curling iron to some pieces. Ended up with soft beachy waves. LOVED it. Felt tres hot. A touch of BioSilk to smooth it down.

My makeup is borning – the same darn thing I have done the past few weeks. Bare Minerals foundation and Warmth (no concealer needed since I now have a hint of tan). The Revlon ColorStay quad in neutral, curled lashes and L’Oreal Voluminous mascara, Sally Hansen’s Royal Romance lipgloss.

The outfit is a black stretchy v-neck sweater from Banana Republic, white suiting trousers with tonal stripes from Tahari, black leather strappy heeled sandals from Target, silver hoops and cuff. Very simple, I was runnign a bit late. I still think it was a good “welcome back to work” look!

Friday

Black v-neck stretch sweater from Banana Republic. White tonal stripe trouers from Tahari (part of a suit). Black leather and silver necklace fron Chico’s, silver hoops and cuff bracelet. Black leather thing heels from Mossimo/Target.

Hair was washed with Suave/Biolage wannabe stuff for processed hair. Sexy Straight Hair applied, hair straightened with round bruch and ionic dryer and with a flat iron to the back (so hard to reach!). Touch of BioSilk for the ends.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation, The Body Shop stick concealer, Chanel pressed powder, Physician’s Formula Magical Mosaics bronzer. On eyes, Clinique Snow is applied to brow bone and inner corners of eyes. Fawn Pearl from The Body Shop is lightly applied to the lids. A line of black Ultra Liner by Maybelline on the top lash line and two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on curled lashes. On lips for some kick is Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds lipstick in Glowing Glimmer.

Wednesday

So Tuesday night I went to the mall. The trip was more geared toward my friend who was in search of business-casual attire for her job, but I just happened to pick up a few steals, such as this top ($20.99 for silk/cashmere! Love it!)

Black sleeveless sweater from Banana Republic, gray suiting trousers from Tahari, black peeptoe pumps from Steve Madden, oversized pearl necklace from Ross (another steal at $7.99!).

Hair looks like crap, to put it mildly. To maintain my highlights I am trying to wash every other day. Works when it’s curly, gets gross when I straighten it. I tried adding loose waves with a large-barreled curling iron but it looked horrible. Honestly, it was a bad look day and I spent the majority of my time with a turquoise pashmina slung over my shoulders to cover up the icky look.

Makeup? Same foundation, same concealer, same powder, touch of Nars Orgasm blush, eyes were mainly mascara and some Fawn Pearl shadow from The Body Shop. Lips were Sheer Caramel lipcolor from the Body Shop topped with Sally Hansen’s Diamond Lipgloss in Champagne Toast.

Lets forget this day.

Rose-Colored Glasses

I wore pink. my office mate wore pink. Pimp Daddy Manager, he was wearing pink and the lady I work with in the Purchasing department was in pink. I guess my subconcious got the memo!

Pink merino v-neck from J. Crew. I wore my white ribbed tank (also J. Crew) underneath because my nude bra broke and I only had a black one or a red one clean. Gray trousers, part of a Tahari suit. Black Enzo boots. Gold chandelier earrings from Express. Thin gold bangle.

Makeup is i.d. Bare Escentuals foundation and concealer. Nars Orgam blush. Fawn Pearl shadow from The Body Shop on lids and below lower lash line. Black Zoom Lash mascara from MAC. Maybelline brow powder. Candy pink gloss from Sally Hansen.

Hair being unruly though with a new cut. Used Sexy Straight balm in the hair, a bit of Pantene’s volumizing spray, and Sebastian mud for definition and pieciness which made it just look dry and ragged. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Training Day

Today I am conducting training for my supervisors and PMs. have to look competant and legitimate.

Black ribbed crew neck sweater from Chico’s. Gray cuffed trousers, part of a Tahari suit from Nordstrom. Black pearl necklace from my sister, looped twice around the neck. Black Enzo boots.

Hair is stright today, and tried parting it on the other side. trying to cover up growing out highlights and a badly needed haircut. Think it looks dresdful, but ahve received two compliments. VO5 mousse at the roots, Sexy Straight balm on the tips, and some BioSilk to cover up split ends.

makeup is MAC’s Studio Tech applied with a sponged dampened with Body Shop Vitamin E Mist. MAC concealer. Bit of Nars Orgasm blush. Petal pink shadow on the lid, gray in the crease and along lash line 9both by The Body Shop). Black mascara from MAC. Pale pink gloss from Sally Hansen.

Blogging Love – Interview!

I was honored to be interviewed by Elle of the new blog Label Ho. Elle’s discusses fashion and her personal style on this site. I love supporting fellow fashion and style bloggers so I jumped at this chance to have us get to know one another better!

You can check out the interview here.

I loved the questions she asked (and if you go back in her archives, you can see her answers to the very same questions!). The name of her blog cracks me up. It reminds me of when I was Editor of my high school yearbook. I had such the fight with the sponsor over the proper spelling of this word. “If you add an ‘e’ it’s suddenly a garden tool!” (Let’s not even get into why this word was in my yearbook – let me just state that my high school was a fabulous one where I learned Japanese and was in International Baccalaureate courses, but it wasn’t in the most chi chi of neighborhoods.)

Since she interviewed me, I decided to ask her a few questions as well. Get to know Elle!

Name: “Elle,” author of Label Ho, a fashion and personal style blog

Why did you start blogging? What could be better than writing and posting about something you love? I thought it would be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with other fashion-minded people.

Favorite item in your closet: An authentic vintage Gucci handbag circa the 70s. I love that its suede and doesn’t have the GG logo plastered all over it. I found the bag at a thrift shop and its in immaculate condition. Best of all, I got it for an excellent price!

Favorite Web site to visit: FabSugar.com. They have pretty comprehensive coverage of what’s going on in the fashion world, delivered in quick, short posts. I also like that they post great outfits that members of their community put together. I’m fascinated with seeing what people put together.

Top five items on your style wish list for this season: I can only think of three since I think I pretty much have most of my key pieces already:

1. Another pair of dark bootleg jeans. I’ve pretty much worn my favorite pair so much (Joe’s Jeans in the Honey fit) that the color’s faded significantly.

2. More dresses. I’ve purchased a few already, but I just can’t get enough. They’re so easy to pull on in summer.

3. A pair of wide-leg jeans. I’ve tried on a ton of different ones, but still haven’t found a flattering fit.