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Help me break free of suits! What else can I wear to work? (Plus size)

(35 Posts)
ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 22:24:30

I need to go to a client meeting. Usually I'd wear a suit, probably from Next but I'm sick of suits!

But I'm clueless as to what else to wear! Smart usually = suit to me but it's getting a bit boring.

I like wearing trousers. I have a massive spare tyre tummy so although I like dresses usually often don't suit me if at all figure hugging. I can't wear tops that stop at the waist.

Any ideas gratefully received!

ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 22:28:54

Also - why is the Next website so sodding hard to use?

I thought - I know, I'll order something click and collect from Next, then I can be sure they've got my massive size. But the website is awful! It's retro. Not in a good way.

ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 22:39:13

Ruled out Monsoon I think.

I love Monsoon for dresses etc - but this is their "workwear" section. Does this look like workwear to you? (Am I missing something)

ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 22:48:40

Ruled out Dorothy Perkins too. (I'm working through online versions of shops in my town)

I can feel myself slipping back to getting a suit!

Can anyone help?

PaperdollCartoon Fri 10-Nov-17 22:52:11

What size and shape are you? I’m a short boobie size 12 and wear about 5 lovely Boden dresses and a couple of Whistles dresses on rotation. Most of women in my company wear a nice dress with a jacket for external meetings. Hardly see any women in suits these days (except maybe in law or big four)

Summerisdone Fri 10-Nov-17 23:07:04

Ergghh Next's website is awful, I've always hated it and won't use it, so I feel your pain there.

If you don't mind ordering online though OP, perhaps have a mooch at Desigual, they have some lovely clothes that are office suitable but also stand out as a little different.

I'd suggest shopping around on Amazon for the brand though as they often have random price drops on different products, so you can get good deals.

carolhere Fri 10-Nov-17 23:21:11

There are some nice dresses on Monsoon UK (Your link) but I feel dresses that don’t cling and have a draping element would suit you with your size. I would of course go to pinterest and look for type of designs of my choice and try to match the same and buy either online or from the store. Try tops that have some draping or ruching to hide your belly and asymmetrical tops really does the job. smile

travailtotravel Fri 10-Nov-17 23:25:13

Try Studio 8 for some smarts. And Navabi. And try Debenhams too. Often have something that'll do the job.

travailtotravel Fri 10-Nov-17 23:25:30

Trousers are my nemesis.

ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 23:30:07

Thanks for the replies smile

@PaperdollCartoon I'm size 20 with a spare tyre for a stomach and huge boobs!

My extremities look like a slim person - my lower arms, face and legs below the knee have very little fat. It's all on my bum, tum and boobs!

I can't wear dresses that are in any way figure hugging, they look awful. Just had a look at Boden. Some lovely dresses under their "smart day dresses category" and I was surprised to see they do size 20, I didn't think they did! But - all of them fitted around the waist or with a belt. I'd look awful in them sad

ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 23:37:00

I forgot to mention - my client meeting is Tuesday! I've really left this to the last minute after promising myself I wouldn't.

I was trying to find something in a shop that's in my town, so I could order it click and collect then go directly and pick it up Monday - if it doesn't suit I'll not take it but hoping that might save some time.

Shops in my town include:

Monsoon, Debenhams, Next, M&S, River Island, Dorothy Perkins, TK Maxx, usual supermarkets and some nice independents, none of whick stock my size!

It's not exactly the most exciting shopping destination!

I've got Amazon Prime too.

ladybirdladybug Fri 10-Nov-17 23:39:55

Ooh, Navabi's new to me I'll have a look...

Cherry321 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:41:53

Depends how much you want to spend, but studio 8 have some nice clothes and anna scholz.

Sainsburys also have nice workwear.

Would a wrap dress work for you, sort of skim your tummy?

Cherry321 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:43:49

Debenhams might also be worth a look. John Rocha have some nice dresses.

How tall are you?

Maverick66 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:44:55

Wallis have some pretty decent pieces and their fit is generous.

ladybirdladybug Sat 11-Nov-17 00:34:40

Nope, wrap dresses are out unfortunately. If you think of someone about 8 months pregnant and with huge boobs, that's about my shape!

I agree about Sainsbury's, I had real trouble finding a suit that fit my shape for an interview, I'd been to every single shop in town. Went to Sainsbury's out of desperation and found one that was actually nice and fit, I was shock and grin

tigerdriverII Sat 11-Nov-17 00:45:24

I’m your sort of size. I get a lot of dresses from COS.

I think the Monsoon stuff , some of it, would be ok for work wear: some fairly plain dresses and sensible blouses. The lace bottomed leggings,not so muchhmm

Biboundeo Sat 11-Nov-17 05:15:42

I’m exactly your size and shape.
Now at work we’re very formal but I find that I can get away with a lot of I have good shoes bag accessories, great haircut and manicure.
I live in leggings (heavy slimming material, love the gap ones) or M&S secret slimming tights with knitted or jersey dress, mostly Boden. I have 4-5 blazers or jackets to wear on top (La Redoute have cheap ones).
Trousers are hard, I basically look 8 months pregnant all the time but again, Boden just fits me.
Good luck for your meeting!

Merida83 Sat 11-Nov-17 05:32:32

If you want an inexpensive option I'd have a look at yourclothing. Plussize brand with good options for smart work wear.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 11-Nov-17 06:02:59

What's your budget? I have a brilliant dress from Simply Be (quality can be a bit hit and miss, as can the styles) that has a knot at the waist and gives the illusion of me having one (will link later when not on phone) and also some jersey dresses from Boden, which can be dressed up with a jacket. These all skim over my stomach, and the length is bang on the knee, which should work for you too.

AJPTaylor Sat 11-Nov-17 06:08:13


MrsSchadenfreude Sat 11-Nov-17 12:27:00

Have a look at the Boden site - there are some jersey dresses that are not in mad patterns that would suit your shape - Phoebe, Margot, Karen. I have the Phoebe in a couple of colourways and it is definitely smart enough for work, and can be brightened up a bit with a scarf or a necklace, and you can be slimmed down with a jacket if you need it.



this could work?

Gingernaut Sat 11-Nov-17 12:31:46

Just a 'be aware' - Boden comes up a bit small ime. It doesn't match the usual high street sizes.

DianaT1969 Sat 11-Nov-17 12:45:03

I was going to suggest COS too. Good fabrics and cocoon shapes. Don't let the website photos put you off. Most of the stuff is flattering on with a necklace to break up the bust. Plain black opaques and chunky black shoes - loafers or brogues usually look good with this IMO.

Deathraystare Sat 11-Nov-17 13:31:06

I was going to suggest Cos. I am an 18/20 - all bust, tum and bustle!. I bought a loose-ish navy dress for my uncle's funeral. It skimmed the worst parts and I love it!

I have tried a lot of wrap dresses but they look awful from the side with my tum and bustle!

I wonder if a tunic would suit you (obs not a clingy one) or is that not 'work wear' enough?

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