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Clothing 911...HELP!

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Old 12-06-2005, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default Clothing 911...HELP!

I'm lucky enough to work from home in Florida, so my wardrobe consists mostly of shorts and flipflops. Well, I'm flying to Chicago on Thursday for a meeting and I'm desperately in need of some business clothes because all of my old stuff doesn't fit me.

I'm running into a couple of problems. First, is the "petite" factor. I'm only 5'3", so when I try on things that fit my width (18W) the arms and legs are ridiculously long. I look like a child playing dress up.

The second problem is that the plus-size clothing designers must think that women in the corporate world like going to meetings in something that resembles a tent. Why can't they nip the waist just a tad on jackets and dresses to give them some shape?

The only place I've found with clothes that I like for work is Talbot Woman Petite, but the closest one is 100 miles away. Plus, they are really expensive.

Any suggestions that you can give this desperate South Floridian who is going to the frozen tundra would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:56 AM   #2
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Go online.....QVC has this knit clothing (doesn't wrinkle and is forgiving and stylish for 30-40 YOs) it's called Citiknits, moderate price doesn't look cheezy, you can wear belts with it too.

What about Lane Bryant or do they have a store called "The Ave" in your area? I'm also a fan of Bluefly online (but I don't know if they carry plus size)
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions. I did try Lane Bryant the other night, but everything was too casual or too flamboyant for an office visit (I work for an extremely conservative Fortune 100 company).

I just located an "Avenue" not too far from my home. I guess its worth checking out and I'm hoping they have short or petite sizes.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:18 PM   #4
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I have a part-time job for Elisabeth, which is a plus-size Liz Claiborne line. The store also carries Liz Claiborne Woman, Sigrid Olsen Woman, JH Collectibles, and Emma James. There are definitely shaped jackets, etc. in most of those lines, and all but Sigrid have lots of petites. You can go to www.elisabeth.com and find out if there is a store in your area. If not, you can find out if other stores (such as department stores) carry these lines. You can also order from the web site.

Another web site to look at is www.jessicalondon.com and it's sister site, www.chadwicks.com. I've gotten a lot of very nice work clothes from both when I wore plus-sizes, and they were NOT tents.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:21 PM   #5
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I feel your pain. I've broke down after shopping because it can be so hard to find something that fits and looks good.

If you can't find anything that is perfect off the rack but you can find something that is "pretty good" why not try and find a tailor (or a friend who can sew) to put in the nips and tucks you need? It shouldn't take more than a day or two to get done. Not ideal but better than wearing a tent. Good Luck!

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Old 12-06-2005, 01:00 PM   #6
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Funniegrrl has already mentioned my suggestions, Elizabeth and Chadwicks of Boston. Am also a petite and had trouble finding clothing when I weight 214 pounds. The first time I went into an Elizabeth store I felt like I had hit the jackpot. And Chadwicks petite W line fit me very well too.

Also, lots of department stores will hem for free when you purchase their clothing. So, if length in the sleeves and inseam is your only problem you might consder that as an option in the future. It usually takes a couple of weeks so you probably couldn't have it done before your meeting.

One last suggestion, check around with the department stores in your area. Many offer free personal shopping services these days. A personal shopper will not only be familiar with the brands and fits of the clothes their store carries but will be able to evaluate your build and lead you to flattering styles.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:13 PM   #7
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Oh! One other thing ...

With most clothing lines, an 18W is cut differently than an 18. The way in which they differ will vary from line to line. With the Liz Claiborne lines, the hip and bust measurements are the same, but the women's sizes are 2 inches larger in the waist. So, you might want to look at stores that carry up to an 18 REGULAR rather than going to "plus size" lines.

I also remembered that I've gotten a lot of really nice transitional work clothes from Target, believe it or not, as well as JCPenny. Again, if you shop the misses dept rather than the womans department, you'll find clothes with a little more shape. They both have lots of suiting separates, and I'm not ashamed to wear any of them to work, where professional dress is the norm. Of course they don't have petites, but as jawsmom said you could perhaps look at getting things hemmed.
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:41 PM   #8
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I seem to remember that Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug also carry petite plus sizes. Do you have a Kohl's near you? They have some very nice things and usually have a sale on. Good luck, btw...dress warm....Chicago is having alot of snow lately!!!
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:40 PM   #9
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It's not the snow... it's the cold!!!! Highs in the teens. *brrrrrrrr* Hope you have a coat!
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:29 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Elisabeth sounds promising. There is one about 20 miles away that I will check out tomorrow.
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:07 PM   #11
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I also have to wear suits, and I found the petite section at JC Penny's to be pretty good. I've even found things at Fred Meyer. Good luck finding something!
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