Which are the best women’s suits of 2018, whether for a stylish interview outfit, a power suit, or some other major career event? (Or, hey: a simple, chic suit often makes a great work outfit all by itself!) We’ve recently updated, but we haven’t talked about the in ages (aww, here was one of our first discussions on!) so I thought we’d do a roundup. (We’ll also be updating our, petite suits, tall suits, and more in blazers the coming weeks as well!) Readers, which are your favorite interview suits right now? What do you consider to be your “power suit”? What are you looking for in a suit in 2018?
(June 2018 Update: Check out! Looking for petites? Check out our roundup for )
First, some general tips on what to look for in a great suit:
- Confidence is the key to interview attire and power dressing. The goal of any interview suit or other suit like this is to let your brain do the talking and let your fashion sense take a back seat — so if you feel best in a pants suit, or flats, go for that. You don’t want to be that “baby giraffe” trying to walk in uncomfortable heels that are too high for you and sitting awkwardly in your interview fussing with your jacket. Really: whatever makes you feel like a polished professional is what’s going to make you the most confident. So take the rest of these tips with a grain of salt, BUT for my $.02, here are some shopping, styling, and budget tips:
- If you’re hunting for a : go for a
black skirt suit rather than a pants suit, because pants fit is by far the hardest thing to get right. In my experience a skirt suit looks OK but a pants suit makes you look like you come from Planet Frump. Furthermore, the skirt suit will go farther — you can wear the pencil skirt as a basic bottom in your wardrobe (but always!), plus if you have a “dressed up” occasion, a skirt suit is always going to be the more formal option. Another pro for a simple pencil skirt: you completely avoid the issue of what length/type pants to get, which really does feel like we’re in a period of flux — for a while all you could find were ankle pants, even though they were too trendy to wear to most conservative workplaces — now that flared pants and bootcut trousers are coming back I feel like the ankle pants will look outdated pretty quickly. Other trends I’ve seen with suits: jumpsuits! culottes! short suits! You want 1) a pencil skirt + hip length jacket or 2) a fitted sheath dress + hip length jacket — these combos have been in for years and probably will be for years to come. (Here’s our, which yes, if you want to be “safe,” you should probably wear for any interview if you’re junior, particularly in more conservative areas — but go back to our first point on confidence/comfort and factor that in.)
- If you’re shopping online, look for words such as: seasonless wool, stretch wool,, gabardine, triacetate. Avoid words like sateen, shimmer, linen. Crepe can be really tricky — sometimes it means a polyester drapey blend for suiting and sometimes it means a bridesmaid’s dress/MOB type thing.
- If you’re busty: traditional wisdom here is that you want more buttons on your blazer, not fewer. I’m plenty busty and have had some favorite one-button jackets over the years, though, so your mileage may vary here. Depending on trends you can sometimes find suits with as many as or five buttons. Check out this post for more.
- If you’re hunting for a : go for a
- Treasure hunting for a suit (where you MAY or may not find something good):,,,, and
- Consider. Common include shortening sleeves, adjusting the waist. Note that the blazer (specifically the shoulder/arms) are the hardest part to tailor, so focus on that fit when you’re shopping.
- Please don’t forget to, always, and — if you’re wearing the suit somewhere Very Important like an interview, make sure you use.
- For other tips on buying a basic interview suit (including considerations on colors, care, accessories, layering, and more), please check out. (We’re in the midst of updating our guide to what tops to wear under suits!)
Looking for older versions of this post? Here’s our roundup in,,,,, and (aww).
We’ll put a few handy pins at the bottom of this post for you with general prices for suiting alterations and general advice for what to wear on interviews. But first: on to our roundup of the best women’s suits of 2018!
Affordable Suits For Women
All of the suits in this tier are generally under 0 for two pieces. Note that the two big risks with a budget option will be frumpiness on one end — and “sexy secretary”/ formality problems on the other. Try to look for a material that drapes well, doesn’t wrinkle, isn’t too seasonal (such as a cotton suit — a tropical wool or triacetate will go farther) — and be wary of trendy cuts like collarless jackets, huge slits in your skirt, cropped pants, and more.
Pictured above: / / / /
- Anne Klein (separates) – Nordstrom has ;. They also have an exclusive line at Macy’s called “,” but note that those are full suit sets, not separates. Pictured above: and.
- – Like J.Crew Factory, BR’s outlet sector has a lot of good finds for work, particularly on the more affordable, classic 2018 suit jackets blazers for women side of things. Note that because these pieces may be produced just for the Factory Store it may mean that there are differences in fit and quality — so keep that in mind when ordering.
- Calvin Klein (separates) – It’s next to impossible to find a good link to one online, but Calvin Klein suiting separates are also sold at Macy’s and are pretty reliable; here’s a link to the classic. ( also has a ton of them, many of them eligible for Prime Wardrobe (here’s Kate’s recent ).
- Chadwicks – I have no experience personally with these suits, but some of the blazers are under (!) and the brand offers regular, petite, plus, and tall sizes — and they have.
- and – Kasper used to specialize in full suit sets, but in recent years they’ve had a line of separates for sale, which is great for people who want, say, a petite-sized blazer but a regular-sized skirt. I haven’t tried them on for quality or fit, though. (Pictured at top:.)
- Kasper / Tahari / Le Suit (not sold as separates) – You can find huge deals on these brands at places like TJ Maxx, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Smart Bargains, and Overstock — but it’s very hard to break the pieces up and wear them as separates, at least in my experience. If you need a skirt suit for under 0 all in, though, these brands are the first places I’d look. Note that because these suits are sold as one product (rather than as separates) you usually have to pick a single size — if you’re a 10 on top and 14 on the bottom, for example, this is not going to be the way you want to go. In my experience these suits may trend towards the frumpy side, particularly as pantsuits — in a skirtsuit the fit issues will be less noticeable. (You may also want to check out our guide to suiting alterations!).
- – If you’re a fan of their / pants, do check out their matching blazers and other suiting options. As always with these brands, watch or fit — but note that Express has been stepping up their workwear game lately, so these may be a great option if you’re looking for an interview suit on a budget..
- – J.Crew’s factory outlet is a great source for workwear, particularly — inventory comes and goes, but when it’s in stock it’s pretty great.
- – Particularly if you’re looking for a in a wider size range (such as tall, petite, plus or cusp sizes), Lands’ End can be a great, affordable option.
- – Sometimes you can get a basic dark suit here, although I’d be worried about wrinkling and trendiness/formality (compared to other options, like Tahari or Anne Klein)
- – Mango has really stepped up their recently, including a ton of suits and more.
- (separates) – I usually think of Nine West as selling “fun” suits in classic cuts (like bright pink ones) but from time to time they have neutral suits. If you see one on the rack in a color you like but are hesitant to try because you think Nine West only sells affordable shoes, think again… Nice options in stock right now: and a
- . – I’d be wary of the fabric and fit here, so it’s hard to recommend them online — but if you have a store near you, these are some of the most budget-friendly suits you can get. They have a line called “” that would be the place I’d start..
- – Their suits tend to be more trendy than classic, but they do have a line of (and in plus sizes as well!).
- Bonus notes: Brands that regularly make “fun” suits that may occasionally have neutral suits include ,, , (also at ),. Also, a sad trombone for, which used to be one of our favorites in this space — the company went bankrupt and was sold, and while they do have inventory right now it’s mostly non-suiting pieces — and judging by the number of “everything for!” sales we’ve seen, they’re still working out kinks in sizing, fit and quality. Still, keep an eye on them — we’re rooting for them to come back!
Mid-Range Suits For Women
These suits are reliably under 0 for two pieces — but they’re going to be a bit higher quality than more affordable suiting options in the first tier.
Pictured: / / / /
- – Ann Taylor currently has a lot of their in stock, a “lightweight wool blend and is good for any season” — they also sell a polyester blend “” suiting fabric, as well as (occasionally, online only usually). Watch for sales ( they’ve had them early June), but note that it’s hard to go wrong with Ann Taylor for your first major suit..
- – Dillards’ line of workwear is a solid option if you like the styles or if you can find them in the store.
- – This British brand has brought back their line of suits for women — I believe they were recently sold, though, so you may want to consider this a “new” brand in terms of size, fit, and quality.
- – I’ve really been liking a lot of BR suits lately, and it’s great that they’ve got a ton of machine washable suits — they can be very difficult to find!.
- – Red Fleece, Brooks Brothers’ “little sister” line, often has great options for basic wool suiting and other workwear staples — sometimes with a cheeky twist; sometimes not..
- – I normally think of Boden for fun suits, but they do have some more traditional options as well, such as. (Don’t forget to check out our recent roundup of!)
- – Distressingly, J.Crew’s suits section now has a ton of dresses and very few suits. (In fact, their seems to be on the way out entirely, but you can still find a few pieces in the sale section.) Their selection seems to be the most basic you can get, but note that at the moment they’re down to lucky sizes as well. .
- – This workwear indie has a solid section of suiting section with blazers topping out around 0..
- has been gaining in reader popularity over the years — note that if you’re hard to fit, they often carry multiple suit separate options in regular sizes (often up to 18 or 20), tall, petite, plus sizes, and (holy grail of rareness here), plus size petites. Do check out their line of (pictured). (Don’t forget to check out our recent roundup of!)
Investment Suits For Women
I also call this category “fancy affordable” — they’re expensive, but generally worth it if you wear a suit a lot. For many women this is going to be the first “splurge” suit — two pieces will cost you more than 0, but less than 00.
Pictured above: / / / /
- – They don’t seem to have anything terribly classic in stock online at the moment, but this brand is obviously a stalwart for women’s suiting.
- – This is the parent brand to everyone’s starter suit, Tahari – the prices are much steeper but so is the quality and the cut. They have a lot of stores in malls, but you can also find the brand at Nordstrom,, and.
- – I mostly think of this brand for their gorgeous origami-like top, but they make a lot of neutral suiting and other tailored pieces, so if you’re looking for something different (or happen to be in London), keep the brand in mind.
- – This British brand has a few locations stateside, and carries a lot of gorgeous workwear, including some nice basic suits. Note that also carries the brand. (Another general note if you’re looking for washable clothes — many, many of Hobbs’s dresses and suiting separates are washable.)
- – My admiration for this brand has only grown the more I’ve done this blog — everything they do is beautiful quality, extremely classic and stylish. They have stand alone stores, but you can also find that at and.
- – If you’ve got curves or are in need of cusp sizes (16, occasionally even 18), take a look at Lafayette 148 New York — the quality is lovely but the cuts are much more forgiving. Their are incredibly highly rated at Nordstrom, as well. You can also find the brand often on deep discount at and.
- – This British brand has a ton of tweed suits and feminine suiting options, but they also carry neutrals — if your goal in your interview is to feel like a super confident Kate Middleton, this is where I’d go.
- – This brand nearly went in the above tier, but two pieces would be around 0, so technically it’s in this one — particularly since the odds are slim for finding MM LaFleur’s pieces on sale (although you may be able to find them used for less money). The independent maker of the reader-favorite as well as some of just launched a suiting section..
- – This British brand is always droolworthy for me — they specialize in classic takes on modern styles. Note that their fits can be a bit body conscious. Note that also carries the brand; also that the on their site has some amazing deals. Here are two ().
- – Another British brand that is fabulous if you want a slightly feminine take on a basic suit. They have a lot of mall stores as well, but you can also find the brand at.
- – The classic — but be warned, if you have curves you may have to size up here. Their is still available, but you may also want to look at the or the. If you’re confused about the or the cut of different jackets or pants, take a look at. Note that you can also find the brand at a lot of spots, including,, and. .
- – This brand is hard to find online, but if you happen to see a store, do pop in — the fabrics and cuts are amazing, and a suit should run you less than 00. (The brand is owned by the same company that owns Max Mara.)
- Fun, trendy brands that might have a suitable interview suit:,,
Designer Suits for Women
Pictured: / / / /
All of these brands are classics for designer workwear — when you win the lottery (or, hey, make partner after a ton of hard work!), stop here first. (I’d also call this “corner office chic”!) Brands in this tier who might have a classic, simple suit:,,,, , Joseph, ,, , Keep an eye on designer stores for newer brands with designer suits, such as Farfetch, ,, (as well as sister site The Outnet) as well as the upscale department stores like Barneys, Neiman Marcus, and.
(Stay tuned for an update to where we look at the best suiting brands for, petites, and tall women!)
Ladies, what are your favorite suiting brands for basic, classic interview suits? For those of you who’ve bought suits for women across the different price ranges, what differences have you noticed in quality? What pieces are the most worthy to stalk at sales and on eBay?
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