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Forum > Miscellaneous > Petite, Fashionable, Young Career Women ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Petite, Fashionable, Young Career Women
Where are you buying your work clothes?
Susan C
Susan C  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/13/11 1:00 PM

The ones you're not making of course. My daughter is 5 ft tall and just started her career. We went shopping for her first suit and what a nightmare. Nothing fits right. We went to Ann Taylor Loft. Lot's of petites but mostly sportwear. I ended up buying her a beautiful suit from Banana Republic. Could not BELIEVE the price. I would never pay that for my own suits. But the interviews are next week and you do what you gotta do. We're going to check out the regular Ann Taylor today.

Yes, I know. I should make her a few skirts etc but the interviews are next week and she still is in that phase of not wanting "homemade" clothing. I am quite positive she'll be begging me to make her stuff if she has to pay Banana Republic prices on an entry level salary. But in the meantime...

If you are making your professional clothing, what is your favorite go to straight skirt patter and pants pattern? Thanks for any help. Susan

dresscode

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Date: 2/13/11 1:13 PM

The Jones New York website offers a pretty extensive petite category and they don't forget the career wardrobe. Young to mature...I think they cover the gamut.

I'm not a "spring chicken" anymore...but find stylish petites at Talbots although their career clothing can get lost in their sportswear. I think she will find a good crossover at some point...but if it's suits...skirt suits/pant suits...then she'll find some things.

Nordstrom has stylish petite sizes as well.

I do a lot of internet shopping...you just box up the returns and send back...nothing bad or shameful about internet shopping...it's just a different way of trying on clothing and returning by mail instead of customer service counter.

Sewliz
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In reply to Susan C


Date: 2/13/11 1:48 PM

I recently got an Ann Taylor jacket and a Banana Republic jacket at Goodwill for $3.50 each. They are suit jackets in a basic non-trendy style and are so gently worn and well cared for that they look almost as good as new. Now that you know what size your daughter wears in Banana Republic and Ann Taylor you can do some thrift store shopping without having to drag her along.

In my opinion the styles at Ann Taylor are more suited to business wear than Loft. Check the quality, see what you think at AT though since last year it was pretty shameful. I hope they got a grip on that for this season. I have only window shopped AT this year, no hands on inspection shopping. End of season sales is a good time to shop this type of store since things easily go to 70% off.

TJ Maxx and Marshalls type stores are good sources for the occasional score, definitely worth a visit. I found a gorgeous Elie Tahari suit jacket for my daughter for $25 last year. It's a silky smooth wool/lycra blend with a few subtle pretty details, the price on the Tahari tag is $398!

ETA Also try Eddie Bauer online. They have a business wear collection and offer petite sizes. Again, wait for the sales or sign up for special offers etc.
-- Edited on 2/13/11 1:59 PM --

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Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

elizajo
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Date: 2/13/11 1:58 PM

My 28 y.o. daughter is about 4'10". I have had better success with Simplicity patterns-- more current styles and smaller sizes than some of my favorite indie pattern companies. The big 4 are supposedly based on a 5'4" body, with printed adjustment lines for petites. There are some nice wardrobe type patterns with jackets and skirts.

I have a hard time shortening jacket and shirt patterns more than a couple of inches without a lot of work in the upper chest and armhole area. As much as I love Burda patterns, which are designed for a 5'6" person, I only use their pants patterns for DD. I shorten pants in several places: above the crotch, mid-thigh, below the knee.

I like the look of Cristine Jonson patterns for a young career woman but I don't know what height she designs for. I just ordered a CJ dress pattern for DD to wear for work, but I haven't done any flat pattern measurements on it yet.

The petite RTW jacket will be a great resource for pattern alterations. I've done tissue fittings first on DD's Talbot petite jacket to figure out where to start with alterations on a muslin.

------
Elizabeth

raymondmom
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In reply to Susan C


Date: 2/13/11 2:23 PM

Northern California or Southern California?
Which industry?
inside or outside (public) work?
When I first started, I had suits made in NYC and Hong Kong.
But when I made a business trip to Wyoming I was told they shoot suits:) And in Southern California it was over 100 degrees and the accountants wore shorts:)!
I used to shop at Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticates - I haven't seen those stores in years.
Oh, I think a good suit would be $250 to $350.

But for SoCal, a dress and jacket looks nice.

Joanne

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Joanne

idahodogs
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Date: 2/13/11 3:53 PM

Wish I could help you, but I work in a bakery - .99 goodwill tees are high fashion around here. I will be watching this thread to see what others think, though, because I would like to make myself some nicer going-out looks.

drsue
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Date: 2/13/11 4:13 PM

I haven't bought a suit in a long time. But, back in the day I found that cheap suits actually fit better. I guess they were skimping on fabric.

My daughter (age 22) needs a suit in a few months. Hopefully she will fit into one of mine.

NancyDaQ
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In reply to raymondmom


Date: 2/13/11 4:33 PM

Quote: raymondmom
I used to shop at Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticates - I haven't seen those stores in years.


Both of those chains were owned by the same company. They were liquidated in 2005-2006.

I second the suggestion for TJ Maxx. I have found some nice work suits there for minimal $$.

------
Now blogging at http://sewwest.blogspot.com

petro
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Date: 2/13/11 4:44 PM

Funnily enough I've been churning out office clothing for a dd recently. I can't be much help with patterns because I drafted them, but I've done classic shaped chanel jackets , no collar, discreet trim, and notched collar, princess style, with back vents, and got so sick of these after the first few that I did one with a shawl collar construction. Straight skirt, was just the usual, but the top finished with the lining turned through like a facing for speed, trousers - just went with the leg shape she liked and kept it simple. My dd was also more enthused about mum's makes after checking out the price tags on anything wearable in London. There'd simply be no chance of kitting yourself out on a basic salary. The most difficult part is hitting it right with fabric and colour. You think there's a lot of choice in muted neutrals, but when you try to find fabrics which aren't too harsh but will wear well and not crease easily, and matching linings and the right size and colour buttons its not so easy.
-- Edited on 3/7/12 2:00 AM --

gabrielle

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Date: 2/13/11 5:22 PM

If/when you start sewing for her, I've noticed that Vogue, Simplicity, and New Look all have stylish, professional wardrobe collections. My only caveat is I don't know how well they fit petite women. I'm also a big fan of Burda magazine patterns (BurdaStyle), but nothing grabs me at the moment in their envelope patterns. The fit is good though, whether magazine or envelope. Oh, and Hot Patterns recently published what seems to me the perfect menswear-style trouser pattern. It's very clean-lined and classic, and the slim cut would suit a petite figure well. I bought it just to stash, because it's a solid basic that I'd like to keep in my wardrobe.

New Look example

Simplicity example

Vogue

Hot Patterns Dolce Vite slim-cut pants
-- Edited on 2/13/11 5:26 PM --

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