Ladies Please Help!!!

I've been getting ready for my SA role by picking up business clothes, and it is an absolute nightmare. I have a "curvy" petite frame. It is nearly impossible for me to find a full suit that works. Either the top is too small or the bottom is too big/long. I have the biggest problems in the bust area.

My band size is a 32 (so it's not that I'm too overweight) but cup size is at the high end of the plus sized store, so I have to rely on specialty stores. This really affects my ability to get jackets. It seems as though I will have to just buy bigger suits and get them tailored, but that seems to be very expensive. I also have a problem with dress shirts, and anything with buttons. Everything seems to be so boxy, and if I give myself enough front space, everything else ends up loose and awkward. Are there any tips besides get a tailor?

Comments (26)

SirTradesaLot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hold up. I'll paraphrase your question: "I have huge tits. So huge, in fact, that I can't get tops to fit unless I get them custom made. Any suggestions?"

What kind of response were you expecting?

Why don't you get one size for the top and one size for the pants?

  • 2
cashcreditdebit, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Hold up. I'll paraphrase your question: "I have huge tits. So huge, in fact, that I can't get tops to fit unless I get them custom made. Any suggestions?"

What kind of response were you expecting?

Somerandomfemaleusers: Store XYZ has stretchy yet professional material for tops. Store ABC sells full suits (jackets and pants) as separates. Doing LMN can help you minimize their appearance. Banking alternatives to button downs are.... Don't worry no one really cares, just work hard.

Why don't you get one size for the top and one size for the pants?

I do buy separates. But I'm looking for complete suits. Often times places that sell separates (at least in my area) don't have matching jackets and bottoms. So I would have a gray bottom and a black top or vice versa or various shade of gray and gray.

Apparently what you wore to your interview worked so why don't you start from there?

In hindsight, going to my interviews, I definitely looked like someone who wanted to get into the finance field but was VERY OBVIOUSLY not even close to being there. I've basically had 2 suits that I have rotated throughout the whole interviewing process. The time it took to find those suits was over 20 hours for each one. I'm not even joking...and this was me saying "Screw it. I'm not even going to bother with the sales rack. I'll just make an investment." And those suits will be wearing down soon. One suit fits perfectly at the bottom, but when I get ready to button the jacket I have to do so very slowly and carefully so the top buttons don't pop off. The other suit fits well at the top, but the arms are loose and sloppy looking. And then the bottom is loose, but there is no bet loop, and the pants are way too long which causes another set of problems.

I've also gotten comments from women interviewers who have said (during and after interviews), "You need to find a tailor" (for the bigger suit), "Your suit isn't conservative enough for banking, maybe sales?" (for the smaller suit)

Male peer comments usually are "You look sexy in a suit" or "Are you trying to seduce your interviewers?" which is funny to them, but scary as hell to me because guys can't be as blunt about certain thing as women (note female interviewer comments above). I also don't want people to think I'm trying to take a "fast track" or anything like that. I kind of survive through school by wearing hoodies and bigger tops, but that obviously won't work in banking.

TLDR I'm looking for full suits and more conservative undershirts. I looked like crap during my interview stage which I recognize now, so going back to that won't help.

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bengigi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Apparently what you wore to your interview worked so why don't you start from there?

Aimez, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know if anyone's recommended it, but this is more a question for Corporette. lists a lot of brands who do separates.

Also, grab a sewing machine or find a dressmaker who does minor alterations, for suiting it's always worth it.

After reading WSO for a while, you would have known to expect the responses you were given. Not saying it's right. But it's the expectation.

Best Response
msg, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dressing a petite frame with a full bust is a very common and very real challenge. Almost every episode of What Not To Wear addresses this issue.

I apologize if this is too late, but I would like to weigh in with a few thoughts: -Have you checked out Brooks Brothers? Of all brands that I've tried, I've found their shirts to be the most generous in the bust. Bonus: they don't need to be dry cleaned and are made from 100% natural fibres. -Resist the temptation to do boyfriend blazers! In my opinion, the proportions of these styles are just not right for petite women. Instead, I recommend aiming for shorter blazers- anything from crop to hip length. Right now there are so many styles that do not have buttons and are meant to be worn open. Such an elegant look. -Can you get away with a nice day dress? I love wearing day dresses and find that they can look very professional (OK, and a little sexy.) They are also so easy when you're in a rush in the morning. Look for wrap dresses, peplum, tulip shapes, box pleats, shift and A-line. Stay away from anything chiffon, maxi dresses, modal cotton, clingy knits or bandage dresses. Sleeves are ideal, but difficult to find in spring. Perhaps you could pair a dress with a cardigan or open jacket if it's sleeveless? I'm convinced that anything Kate Middleton wears is fair game for work. -My fave brands (disclaimer: I am 5"8, size 2 and am a few years out of school): Ann Taylor Loft (they have a petites section!), Theory, Equipment, Alice and Olivia, BCBG on occasion, Elizabeth and James and Rag and Bone. -My petite friends are crazy for Banana Republic (they have a petites section!) but I dislike it there. -I am so sorry but you are going to have to spring for a good tailor :(. With your bust, trying to fit OTR will cause nothing but frustration.

You are obviously putting a great deal of thought into presenting yourself in the most professional manner and this is quite admirable. However, you have to find clothing that makes you feel good about yourself and that you are comfortable wearing. Women should be able to behave and dress in a way that is professional but also reflects who they are. I think that looking confident is of the utmost importance (provided that you are not exposing cleavage, panty lines, too much leg or anything else that's obviously inapporpriate)!

Best of luck!

  • Prospect in Consulting

Out of curiosity, what's defined as petite for female clothing? 

holla_back, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Anyone else at half-mast from OP's self-description?

  • 1
venturecapitalista, what's your opinion? Comment below:

msg covered things pretty well, but another thing I will add as a woman who has interviewed many ladies over the last 3 years, I would also suggest avoiding button-down shirts as much as you can; opting for blouse shells, light knits, etc. I have seen quite a few busty ladies with elegant suits but gaping in the buttons of their shirt, leading to a too-tight and revealing look. One of the nice things about being a woman in the workplace is not having to dress just like the guys - I think silk shirts sans buttons look more attractive and are not "copying" guy oxfords for a woman's body.

Good luck, and have a nice summer!

California Banker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have the same problem as you, OP: tiny/small frame with an enormous cup size. Consequently, what is flattering on us is more limited than most women, but here are three solutions that always work for me:

1) Most days, I wear a blouse, cardigan and a pencil skirt to the office. I work in San Francisco, so the dress code is a lot less formal than in New York. But if you can get away with that sort of attire, I highly recommend it. The blouse and cardigan won't give you a problem with the buttons, and the pencil skirt will accentuate your small waist, keeping you from looking boxy or stocky.

2) I also wear a lot of dresses, which highlights your womanly figure without making you look unprofessional or slutty. That way, I can avoid front buttons, and if I do decide to wear a button down under my dress, the troublesome buttons (and gap between buttons) in the chest area won't show.

3) On days I absolutely have to wear a button down, I usually safety pin the gap between buttons in the chest area from the inside, ensuring only a tiny bit of the safety pin (like a mm or so) shows from the outside. No one will notice. I have also sewn the gap together. Obviously, wearing button downs is not ideal, but sometimes, we're forced to.

Good luck!

Dubya, what's your opinion? Comment below:
California Banker:
I have the same problem as you, OP: tiny/small frame with an enormous cup size.
''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.'' — President George W. Bush 0.5 bb
  • 1
jiminycricket, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Buy a size up and let a tailor make some adjustments. That's usually what I do if I really like item XYZ, but it's a little on the big side. Otherwise, look for V necklines (not plunging) and blazers with nipped-in waists.

yeahright, what's your opinion? Comment below:

edit: I'll refrain for now....

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."
Special K, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Cardigans. Avoid blazers if you can. It would be nice if you can have one matching suite (a skirt and pants) that is tailored so when needed you can wear it. I have the same problem except it's the other way around (flat;dress is too short if I get an even smaller size...). Get a dress that complements your bust and use a belt. It takes the attention away from the problem areas and really brings out the pear shape by cinching our waist. Put the belt on a little higher than you would normally wear it. Keep the heels as high as your feet will allow (makes your calfs look great).

Good luck! :)

CreditAnalyst85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Buy a suit that fits in the pants and also make sure the bust area fits for the blazer. Then find a tailor to taper the jacket waist to your liking. If you're in SF or NYC, you can easily get this cheaply done by a Chinatown tailor... Look for good reviews on Yelp.

As for shirts, you can do the same by sizing up to fit your chest and then have a tailor dart the waist. My guy in NYC Chinatown charges $8 per shirt to dart.

  • 1
curiousgeorgie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dudeee sameeeee those gosh darn buttons are a mf, my friend says I look slutty haha. My advice, if possible, is not wear a button up, get like a formal high neck top and blazer blazer just doesn't button haha oh well it's fine and works

louiswalker920, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well, actually that`s quite a hard question for me as well. I'm looking for such a service which can provide me with a product I actually want to see in my wardrobe.
Thus, I decided that the only person who can do the jeans for me that is myself. After that, the sewing machine was bought and I started to learn how to sew with great enthusiasm and properly. Loads of forums were surfed to get a good result and to solve all the issues I had, especially since I was confused about the issue does chiffon stretch or not in the time I found the solution before my jeans were finally done.
Hope you will find a good variant or you might use mine. That depends on your preferences)

bawstin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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