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<sigh> Plus size summer workwear

(25 Posts)
ecuse Thu 12-May-16 10:55:06

Right. It's hot today, and none of my work wardrobe is suitable for summer. Size 22.

I'm in a professional office job, aspiring for promotion. Don't need to look corporate as such, but do need to look smart/stylish. Not really looking for suits, but dresses/separates that I can make into a capsule wardrobe.

For winter I have been working around a combination of jersey pencil skirts with looser tops - or with tighter tops and long cardigans.

If I were thin enough I'd shop in places like Cos, Toast, Hobbs. That's the look I'm going for.

I can't go sleeveless AT ALL.

What I would ideally like is some loose, airy tops with 3/4 sleeves. Potentially linen tshirts? Don't really want structured shirts but looser ones are good. For example, today I'm wearing pencil skirt with oversize blouse. I guess more stuff like that? Deep scoops and deep v's are good. I also really quite like 'notch' necks (is that a thing?)

The annoying thing is, I quite often see thinner women in the sort of top that would suit me, but plus size suppliers seem to have only an array of stuff that DOESN'T bloody suit me. I hate plus size suppliers...

Basically I don't want sacks so most of the year round I wear relatively fitted stuff, but then 'disguise' (hah!) stomach rolls etc with a cardigan. So for example, I could get wrap dress type thing, but I feel self conscious wearing them with nothing on top. But it's too hot for cardies. Help me!

Summer dressing is hard when you're fat anyway but, honestly, summer workwear dressing is the PITS.

DoorbellsSleighbellsSchnitzel Thu 12-May-16 11:00:07

Watching with interest... I bloody hate getting dressed for work in the summer!

EBearhug Thu 12-May-16 11:06:22

I mostly wear light (as in fabric weight, not usually colour) trousers and a plain t-shirt. I do have some tunicy things, so not formal blouse, but a step up from a t-shirt. I think one is from Sainsbury's, one from Boden. (If I'm going really formal, my interview suit came from the big M&S at Camberley, which has a far better range than my local M&S, as far as sizes go.)

thumbsupforthesixbillion Thu 12-May-16 12:00:33

Also watching with interest, I'm in a particularly boiling office this year and desperate for solutions!

ecuse Thu 12-May-16 12:03:23

Okay... so far I have come up with these three things, all of which are outside of my price range but the sort of thing I'm looking for.

Now if anyone can recommend somewhere I can get these sorts of things for closer to the £50 mark than the £150 mark that would be marvellous!

Otherwise it's whatever-Sainsburys-has-to-offer. I have to say, they are my ever more frequent fallback, and really quite good, but I'd like a bit less nylon. Probably I just can't afford a bit less nylon.

AuntieMaggie Thu 12-May-16 12:16:14

Also watching with interest. I've got some jersey pencil skirts I will be wearing but could do with some tops/dresses I've also got a couple of jackets in bright colours

polyhymnia Thu 12-May-16 13:10:47

When I worked in an office, all my clothes were Marina Rinaldi, so I do recommend them. I do also now have a lovely Elena Miro linen long top. But I personally wouldn't go for pure linen for work, as it inevitably gets really crumpled fast and I don't feel happy with that look in formal settings. (Though obviously lots of stylish Italian women do).

You could look at Wrap and Poetry, who go up to 22 and have a lot of linen and linen knits. They aren't cheap, but not as pricy as Rinaldi or Miro and I've had some nice things from them. Have amazingly also seen one or two nice-looking linen or linen mix long blouses in M and S. Not long enough for me sadly, as I'm tall and wanted them to wear with trousers but that may not be a problem for you.

I find Boden provides most of my staples, and they have some shirts and dresses that would work in the office. Again go up to 22.

ecuse Thu 12-May-16 13:19:28

Maybe I need to hit eBay for some Marina Rinaldi...

polyhymnia Thu 12-May-16 13:31:50

Worth a try, certainly. As with many labels, you do need to pick and choose carefully with Marina Rinaldi - not all the design is to my taste, certainly, but the 'basics' I have from them, like that shirt you posted, have made me feel smart and lasted fantastically well. In fact, I still buy all my coats from them as I can't find what I'm looking for elsewhere in my size.

helzapoppin2 Thu 12-May-16 13:42:27

There's a company called Vivid Linen which has clothes in lovely colours and a range of sizes. Also not cheap, but not too expensive either.

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 12-May-16 14:24:58

Next have some long v-neck linen tshirts. Not sure if they're too casual but I love them in this weather (don't like sleeveless either). I think next go up to 22.

SealSong Thu 12-May-16 14:51:30

Elvi can be good for this type of thing

lasermum Thu 12-May-16 22:31:35

LandsEnd is good for linen shirts and well fitting T shirts (although some of their tops are a bit hmm).

Have you looked at the dresses in Box2? This is similar to the dress you linked to (sorry not sure how to link)

bookbook Thu 12-May-16 22:35:53

Have you looked at studio eight ?

plantsitter Thu 12-May-16 22:44:00

Navabi's got some good stuff.

TheBitterBoy Thu 12-May-16 23:12:43

Have you tried looking at H&M? Their plus size range has some good basics

polyhymnia Thu 12-May-16 23:19:06

Sounds very negative but I really don't like the billowing shapes of Box 2 stuff - I like some definition, not to look like a ship in full sail. Some of Studio 8 OK but most too short for me -but I'm 5'9'', so that wouldn't be a problem for lots of people. H and M don't have the quality for work wear, IME. I prefer to avoid all 'special' plus retailers or sections. Except Marina Rinaldi, who are part of Maxnata group .

polyhymnia Thu 12-May-16 23:19:31


polyhymnia Thu 12-May-16 23:23:28

The last time I looked at Elvi they seemed frumpy but perhaps they've improved.

As for Navabi, they also have lots of shapeless stuff - and masses of asymmetric hems which are a pet dislike of mine - and the dresses I do like are often too short - but again that's because I'm tall.
This is why I'm a Boden fan!

Scuttlebutter Fri 13-May-16 00:09:34

Another vote for Land's End. Not high fashion but some really good basics like pretty linen blouses and tunics, and knitwear. I've got stuff from them which has lasted years such as their Supima cardigans in a variety of colours - really versatile with dresses and skirts etc.

Lauren1983 Fri 13-May-16 00:49:37

Have you looked at Mango's Violeta range?

ecuse Fri 13-May-16 06:24:39

Ooh, Elvi look good, I hadn't come across them before.

Studio 8 I find has occasional good things bit frumpy.

Try new looks inspire range it goes from 14-30, really nice stuff and very reasonably priced. Also has casual wear for weekends etc.
The range is good at my local one ( Liverpool One shopping centre ) and I've found that smaller stores don't stock it at all, maybe look online too, I hate dressing for summer I just lose perspective and then envy people who look summery regardless of their size. Good luck

polyhymnia Fri 13-May-16 12:52:41

Elvi have certainly changed to a much 'younger' image - but their dresses are way too short for me (but not really my style anyway).

polyhymnia Fri 13-May-16 13:24:07

New Look Curves may be better in RL but the things on their website look a little tacky and certainly very different from the pieces in the OP.

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