As someone who is 5'3″ and has been a size 10-16 all her adult life, it has been hard to find petite suiting in my size. Hard, but not impossible. As a woman in her late 40s who is around a size 14/16 and feels fierce in a great pantsuit, and spent many, many years in Corporate America requiring suits for work, I have researched to find the retailers I can rely on that offer well-fitting petite suits over size 12. Considering the average woman in the United States is 5'3″ and wears a size 16, I wanted to share my resources to assist my fellow petite folk who wear a double-digit size.
Why You May Need Petite Suiting, Even if You're Not Short
Even if you are not considered petite, you may find that when shopping for suiting, especially blazers, they don't fit well. You may find that it fits over your bust, your rear, or even in your shoulders but is way too big in other places. The jacket may nip in at the wrong place, the sleeves may cover your hands, pants may be too big in the waist or too narrow in the thighs, and dresses may gape at the armpits and buckle at the small of your back. Even extensive tailoring may still leave suiting fitting strangely over your curves.
I encourage you to check out petite suiting if you are 5'6″ or shorter and wear midsize, cusp-sized, or plus-size apparel. A lot of clothing in larger sizes is graded up from a size 8 pattern, meaning the piece is wider and longer. It is essentially a stretched-out version and will fit off the rack for very few women, especially those who are not tall, firm, and are softer and curvier. When clothes don't fit, you are not the problem. It is how the clothing is made. Let me repeat that for those in the back: you are not the problem; the clothes are. So let's get you some better-fitting suiting.
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The 14 Best Places to Find Petite Suits over Size 12
I am focusing on petite suits over size 12 because many retailers offer petites up to size 10 or 12, but few retailers offer petites over size 12. I have made a list of the best retailers offering petites over size 10, but this article focuses on those who make suits appropriate for us grown-ass women with soft curves and the desire to look stylish, sophisticated, and fierce in their suits. From cocktail parties to corporate situations, these stores have suits that look great on petite curvy frames and those who find non-petite suits to not hang correctly on their frames.
1. Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor is my go-to for petite suiting. Offering petites up to size 18, every season Ann Taylor has both classic and more fashion-y suiting separates and usually offers multiple jackets, styles and cuts of trousers, dresses, and skirts in the same fabric, letting you customize your suit or create a mini capsule wardrobe.
Because Ann Taylor has such a range of petite suiting, I have found cocktail pantsuits, going-out pantsuits, conservative corporate suits, and business casual blazers and suit separates that look stylish for years. I'd say most of my suits are from Ann Taylor because I can find pieces that fit off the rack, when most retailers require tailoring, even if petite. I have Ann Taylor suits in my closet from last season and some that are almost a decade old. While Ann Taylor had some tough years where quality was questionable, I again feel confident recommending Ann Taylor suiting. See all my Ann Taylor outfits at this link.
While I wouldn't recommend an ASOS suit for a day in court, a C-suite position, or your first job interview, ASOS is a great place to find petite suiting that is fun and trendy and great separates to jazz up an existing work wardrobe. ASOS US only offers up to petite 14 or XL, but I have found that since most of the pieces are unlined and a synthetic blend, they are more forgiving and often fit me even when I am wearing a size 16 in other retailers.
Dillard's is one of the few department stores that provides a range of workwear brands available up to a 16 petite. Trousers, blazers, blouses, dresses, and matched suits are all available and the prices are reasonable with everything under $200 and most under $100. With brands like Lauren Ralph Lauren, Karen Kane, London Times, and Calvin Klein as well as in-house brands like Investments, Dillard's offers plenty of variety and style.
4. Hobbs London
Hobbs London is a fantastic destination for workwear that is polished, professional, but never stuffy or boring. A brand popular with Kate Middleton, Hobbs is known for dresses, but the label also carries suiting separates and matched sets up to size 18 petite.
While you may find Hobbs London apparel at department stores like Bloomingdale's, you will find the best selection of style and size on the Hobbs London website. While a UK brand, Hobbs London offers U.S. shipping for just $10 and easy returns through ReBOUNC.
Do NOT sleep on JCPenney. When it comes to petite suits over size 12, after Talbots (below), JCPenney has the most extensive size range. JCPenney carries up to 20 petite and it's not just a few pieces, but pages of different brands, colors, and silhouettes that fit contemporary workwear trends.
From budget-friendly in-house brands like Worthington to elevated suiting from labels like Black Label by Evan Picone, I am constantly impressed by the petite workwear options available at JCPenney. If you are getting back into the workplace or looking for an interview suit, I recommend checking out the Liz Claiborne suiting collection at JCPenney.
Herbert Kasper was an award-winning American fashion designer known for making inexpensive clothing look elevated. Kasper created clothing under his own name but became a designer for the Leslie Faye company in 1965 and licensed his name in the 1980s.
The Kasper brand is still known for elevated yet not expensive fashion and Kasper offers petite suiting up to size 16P. While Kasper is available at department stores like Macy's, you will find the most extensive collection of styles and sizing on the Kasper website.
7. Lafayette 148
Lafayette 148 should be on your list if you are looking for elevated workwear. Elegant and quality, Lafayette 148 is available up to 16 petite. Lafayette 148 is also a destination for luxury workwear in plus sizes.
Clean lines, classic styles, and high-quality textiles, Lafayette 148 is not cheap but it is a fantastic option for the petite curvy member of the C-suite or what to wear when running for office or when you are already a politician.
8. Lands' End
Lands' End may not be the retailer you think of for suiting, but Lands' End has a fantastic washable wool collection of blazers, pants, and dresses that are classic and high-quality. The collection is available up to size 16 petite. If you are looking for timeless but not frumpy suiting or travel-friendly workwear, I highly recommend giving Lands' End a chance.
9. Lane Bryant
If you are looking for plus size petite suits, check out Lane Bryant. In the past couple of years, Lane Bryant has increased its petite offerings from just a few pants and jeans to blazers and suiting separates. Offering sizes 12 petite to 28 petite, Lane Bryant offers the broadest range of petite plus size suiting.
What I love about Lane Bryant is the extensive customer reviews. A photo can only tell so much, but actual customers can share fit, quality, design, and even styling ideas. But know that Lane Bryant suiting sells quickly and rarely sticks around long enough in a range of sizes to pick up on clearance.
Macy's is, in my opinion, the department store with the most extensive collection of petite clothing, and that includes petite suiting. And unlike many department store that stop their petite suiting at 10 or 12, Macy's offers petite suiting up to size 16P. Macy's has house labels like as well as well-known brands like Calvin Klein, DKNY, Le Suit, and Kasper. You can find all of Macy's petite suiting and suit separates in sizes 12-16 petite at this link.
11. M&S / Marks & Spencer
Offering up to a size US 18 petite, M&S is now available in the United States and that's great for those of us desiring affordable but not chintzy fast fashion suiting. With quality that is similar to brands sold at department stores like Macy's, M&S petite suiting and workwear is more on the business casual size, but occasionally has some suiting gems.
I am particularly fond of these crepe trousers that are less than $70; if in doubt size down. They rival what you could buy at retailers like J. Crew and Ann Taylor for much less, and each season, they have a great range of fun shades as well as classic colors.
If you want a unique suit or a custom fit, check out Sumisurra. Completely made to measure and able to be customized in regard to neckline, lapel, leg width, and more, Sumisurra offers pantsuits, blazers, dresses, shirts, and trenchcoats that are made in three weeks or less. I have yet to try Sumisurra; if you have tried this bespoke mail order company, do share your experience in the comments!
If Ann Taylor is my first go-to for petite midsize suiting, Talbots, is my second destination. Talbots does a fantastic job at fit when it comes to petite suiting, and Talbots has one of the most extensive petite sizing, offering up to 16 petite in their main collection, and up to 22 petite in their plus petite collection.
Folks may believe that Talbots caters to only a certain demographic, but I encourage you to check the brand out again. The quality is stellar, the fit is classic yet modern, the textiles elevated. Year-round Talbots offers a travel-friendly crepe suiting collection, plus each season Talbots also carries weather-appropriate blazers, pants, dresses, and skirts and has the best occasion suiting and cocktail pantsuits during the holidays. You can see all my outfits featuring Talbots at this link.
14. White House Black Market / WHBM
White House Black Market, also known as WHBM started off as a store that only carried clothing in white and black. Now, it's a great destination for sleek suiting available up to 18 petite. With a mix of statement pieces and classic suiting separates in solid colors, it's a site worth checking out. Do know, the full size range is rarely in their shops and their models are all slim and tall, so you'll have to place an order to see how the pieces fit your curvy petite frame. I have tried the label in the past; here is a link to times I have worn WHBM.
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Where Do You Shop for Petite Suits Over Size 12?
When I make lists like this, folks always hop into the comments to ask why I didn't include a certain brand or retailer. I tried to focus on the lesser-known retailers that offer petite suits over size 12, and those that offer a good range of styles as well as sizes. However, I may have missed a retailer that truly is a gem for finding petite suits above a 10/12. If I did, please share in the comments so you can turn your rant into a resource and benefit other petite curvy folk looking for suiting and workwear!