Reader Request – Suits for Tall Women

Reader Jamie writes in:

I'm in law school and need to find a suit for my first upcoming ‘practice' oral argument. The problem is I'm tall (5'10”) and am a 14-16. I would like to find something of good quality but not outrageously expensive. Any suggestions on where to start?

Hey there Jamie:

I really don’t understand why the selection for tall women is so lacking; when I was a personal shopper I would guess a third had issues with sleeve and hem lengths – maybe they were tall, possibly high-waisted, or slimmer than standard (a Size 2 isn’t always 5’5”!).

0900631b813c9dcbMJC Penney is a place to find reasonably-priced suiting in very simple, professional styles. This jacket, skirt and suit combo in a subtle pinstripe would be great for your argument, post-bar in the courtroom, or even as separates for casual days at work or out on the town.

I have a love/hate relationship with New York & Company; sometimes they have beautiful and well-made pieces, and sometimes they have an entire store full of crap. However, they carry tall up to size 18, and their suiting collection is usually simple enough of style and fabric to be a good buy. Currently all the tall trousers on their site are on sale for $39.95 or less and all their tall jackets are under $70! Check out their tall suiting collection here.

J. Crew may not be known for being budget-friendly, especially as their line has gotten more popular and unique, but they are known for quality. A good suit is an investment that will last you years. Their Super 120s suiting collection is made from a fine merino wool that will provide a professional and classic look for years to come. Available in tall sizes up to 14.

br541132 01av2v01Banana Republic also has a tall suiting line, and their collection goes up to a size 16. This taupe heather lightweight wool blazer has a matching skirt and two styles of trousers available to make it a great non-black professional suit.

When you heard Lands End you may just think of windbreakers and flip flops. They also have a great collection of clothing for work, and their tall line comes in sizes up to 18. This simple two button blazer in a wool blend with matching pencil skirt would be a great choice together, or as separates to infuse into the rest of your wardrobe. Again, not the cheapest, but a classic style that will be worth the investment.

Do any of you readers have any suggestions for other retailers that offer tall suiting?

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 26, 2008 / 3:45 pm

    I’m 5’10 and wear a size 12-14 and have found that Eddie Bauer suits have worked really well for me (they come in Tall sizes)! I travel weekly and these travel well and withstand the test of time. Prices are reasonable and Eddie Bauer is currently having a sale! Hope that helps!!

  2. March 21, 2008 / 5:06 pm

    Ann M. Archibald – you want Long Tall Sally. They are a British company but the ship to the US. They have fab suits and I promise they will fit you!

    Allie – do you know if any of those sites you mentioned in your post ship to the UK? I know BR don’t and I don’t think Lands End Tall is long enough for me either.

  3. March 21, 2008 / 1:48 pm

    I was also going to recommend Ann-Taylor, I am a size 14 in pants there, and I find the Tricitate fabric line ALWAYS flattering on me. Plus, since I bought my fit suit there five years ago, I have been able to add another pair of pants, a skirt and a new jacket (all on sale) because they keep using the same fabric! For sizing, you might find that the pants are long enough in the store. I am 5-9 and they fit well (but I have a long torso vs. long legs)

  4. De in D.C.
    March 20, 2008 / 3:06 pm

    20something beat me to it, lol. I was also going to recommend Ann Taylor Loft. Do note they practice vanity sizing, and while I’m a 16 in other brands, I’m a solid 14 at ATL.

  5. March 20, 2008 / 2:30 pm

    Ann Taylor Loft has suits online in tall sizes up to size 18. While they can not usually be purchased in the store- you can return them to any store. Sometimes they can be a little pricey but they also have great sales- and coupons are ALWAYS available- you can find them on code lister websites. Usually either 15% or 20% off.

  6. March 20, 2008 / 2:23 pm

    I agree with your recommendation of Lands’ End – though I don’t really ever wear suits – but really I’m hoping people will have other suggestions for tall clothes. I’m 6’1″, and even Lands’ End’s Tall shirts don’t have long enough sleeves. It’s extremely frustrating. I gave up and bought a men’s winter coat, but I’d rather not do that with my whole wardrobe…

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