Where to shop for professional clothing?

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What's the appropriate length for a work skirt/dress?

  1. Past the fingertips when the arms are hanging by the sides.

  2. Past the knees.

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Hi everyone,

    I recently started a new job that is more "corporate" than my previous one and is a little more formal than business casual.
    I'm a 22-year old college grad whose formal clothing used to come from Express :nogood: But now I'm finding their quality is not so great and sometimes too short for my 5'8" frame.

    I would love some suggestions for where to shop, so that it's age-appropriate for me and budget friendly! Nothing too upscale just yet, unfortunately.

    Also, random, but for work, do you classy ladies follow the "no showing the knee" rule or the "past the fingertips" rule?
  2. I'm confused by your poll - are you meaning the length of the sleeve past the fingertips? Or an extremely short skirt lol?

    I think the rule of thumb in the corporate world is on the knee or slightly below, anything higher, even if you have the 'legs' for it, I don't think looks appropriate and may give the 'wrong' message.
  3. Skirts for work I always keep them at the knee or slightly above it, and I always pair skirts with a 3 inch heel. I cringe when I'm out to lunch and I see ladies dressed "professionally" but their skirts are too tight and too short (around fingertip length).

    I've found that Ann Taylor and Loft are some of my favorite stores to shop at for workwear, they almost always have 40/50% off sales, but most of the items are dry clean only so you have to keep that in mind as well.
  4. Whoops, I meant the length of the skirt compared to where the fingertips are when your hands are by your sides!
    I figured the knee rule as well, but some people say as long as it's past the fingertips it's ok. But if someone had short arms...:P

    Ahh, that answers my question. :smile:
    I'll have to check out those 2 stores next time I head out, thank you!
  5. I agree with at the knee or just slightly above (like around an inch). No shorter and IMO not much longer--"past the knees" gets into dowdy territory unless you style it very carefully. I didn't vote in the poll because neither option is ideal IMO.

    I'm your height also and J. Crew and Banana Republic both make skirts that are the right length for me. Forget J. Crew's dresses as they are ridiculously short--but BR dresses in the tall sizes hit right at the knee for me.
  6. BCBG and Express used to do nice business wear some years ago, but now seem to focus on trendy clothes. Zara always has some nice basic suits. They may not neccessarily be on the website. Mango is good for seperates, but they do carry some suits as well. JCP carries a small selection of Mango/MNG items. Also J.Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Gap (for seperates), Brooks Bros outlets.

    Theory, the basic black suits seem not to get marked down, but certain times of the year there are discount promotions. Loehmann's has good prices on Theory: Jackets and pants tend to be in the $150 range.
  7. I shop at Ann Taylor and Banana Republic for work - they almost always have some sort of discounts going and their styles are professional for the office. Also, if you have Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx near you, that may also be a good place to look.
  8. I shop at ann taylor, j crew and banana republic and find that ann taylor has the most flattering cuts. I only stick to 100% wool or silk pieces though, no synthetics for me. Club monaco also does some really classy silk pieces as well.

    As for skirt length, nothing more than an inch above the knee! I agree with another poster, I cringe when I see professional ladies dressed in tight and too short skirts... Fingertip length is way too short...
  9. I would second Banana Republic and the Gap. The Limited also has a good selection of work clothes. Their quality isn't as good as BR, but they are less expensive (and always on sale). J.Crew is nice too, but some of their items are pricey if you are on a budget (of course I guess it depends on what being on 'a budget' means to you).
  10. I recently graduated from college and am close to your height. As others have said, Banana Republic and J.Crew are both great for work clothes and they also have great sales which make them more budget friendly. For skirts and dresses, I stick to lengths that are around the knees (at or a couple inches above or below). I have also found that J.Crew's dresses tend to be way to short but Banana Republic's dresses are a great length for work.
  11. Haha "dowdy" territory brings a funny image to my mind :P
    I didn't know BR had tall sizes, thanks for the tip!

    Yeah, Express is all about trends and glitter and see through things now.
    You read my mind about where to buy Mango haha, I've never seen the store itself.

    I will have to check out Loehmann's for sure, thanks!

    Seems like Ann Taylor and Banana Republic are the place to go to, thanks!

    For the 100% wool/silk pieces, do they require dry cleaning?
    It's interesting to see how women interpret the dress code for professional, hence the poll :P

    Unfortunately The Limited's sizing is too large for me, I'm usually an XS and theirs don't fit me. I'll have to check out Gap!

    Second post about BR's appropriate dresses, I definitely have to go now! Thanks for all the suggestions :smile:
  12. In my experience I can get away with carefully handwashing my silk tops when I can't get them to the cleaners, I use Tocca laundry detergent when doing so
  13. #13 Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
    Shame about Express. I have a suit from them going on 8 yrs old now, and 6 year old pair of Editor pants still in great condition. It looks like they still carry their Editor trousers, but last time I tried them on a few yrs ago I didn't like the fit.

    With Mango, I've bought from their online shop, as well as tried on/ordered online from their JCP.
  14. As some have already mentioned, at the knees or slightly above it is best in my opinion. Anything in the mid-thigh region is too short (and will only get shorter once you sit down) and anything below the knees tends to look rather frumpy.

    I personally buy a lot of my office clothes from Zara and I find it fine even in my line of work (law). It's cheap, generally not too loud and if it doesn't hold out well in the wash, then you can just chuck it and buy something that looks almost exactly the same. Banana Republic isn't bad but I find that a lot of their pieces require tailoring. Club Monaco might be a good choice as well.
  15. Thanks for the tip, it'll save me some money from the cleaners :smile:

    I didn't realize Zara sold classic pieces, I thought they were just focused on being trendy. I'll have to check them out!

    Yes, even within the last year the style of their Columnist pants have changed as well :nogood:
    How is Mangos's sizing? Is it true-to-size?