Best Workwear for Size 16 (and 18, 16W and 16W)

average-sized young professional talking on the phone;  She wears a gray blazer with a bow blouse

This page was last updated in January 2023 unless otherwise noted.

We haven’t been talking explicitly about the best work clothes for extra-long party sizes, ladies — if you’re a size 16 or 18, what are your favorite stores and brands? Due to the fact that The average American woman’s size is now 16 And 5’4″this is a particularly difficult question because with these stats you might fit regular sizes (eg, 12, 14, 16, 18), as well as sizes (eg, 10W, 12W, 14W, or 16W), my little one Regular sizes (such as 14P, 16P, 18P) or that rare bird, A small plus Sizes (12WP, 14WP, or 16WP) – that’s why women in this size range are called “inbetweeners!”

But a lot of the “normal” stores only carry sizes up to a size 12 – and a lot of the “plus” stores only start at an 18w. add to that The fact that most stores carry very few of these sizes on the shelves, and you could be stuck in a never-ending cycle of shopping online and returning things, as several readers pointed out in our post on How to return items purchased online.

Related: Over 100 great plus size workwear stores

So. Let’s discuss, ladies: What’s the best work wear if you’re a size 16? If you’re a size “average” and on the cusp of plus sizes, which brands or stores have you found work best for you? What styles of clothing suit your body type best? what are small brands; that works great?

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(Note: We’ve sprinkled some of our favorite plus-size basics throughout this post—note that most also come in sizes 14-16).

Some of the brands I know include:

“Regular” workwear brands in sizes 16-18 (aka “Misses” sizes)

(I realize that “regular” brands are a flawed term, but I do mean the distinction between size 16 vs. 16W – if anyone has any suggestions for something other than “regular” or “missing” sizes, I’ll accept them.)

These are the best workwear brands that offer plus sizes… Also check out our roundup on What to buy on amazon for work clothes – Many of these go up to a “3X size” which is more like XXXL than a true plus size 3X.) Bold Stores with reliable suitable options.

Independent brands in sizes XXL-3X

It can be difficult to make a cross in size “X” – but if you’re looking for something to wear, you should consider these stores.

As of January 2023, some of the smaller, independent brands in sizes larger than the 10/12″ include these stores:

(Also check out the comprehensive sizing sections in shopbopand and in spin (XXS-4X].]

Made to measure work clothes

searching for the best Made-to-measure workwear? As of January 2023, the best options we know are Brooks BrothersAnd SumisoraEtsy sellers My heart is my safeAnd Vigilante LaboratoriesAnd celestiloas well as smaller brands such as noisy bodiesAnd mustache suitAnd igigiAnd ShaktiAnd Rita Fell (pencil skirts only). Some of our favorite stores that offer free modifications to members include NordstromAnd J crewAnd Banana RepublicAnd uniqlo (select styles). If you’re crafty, you might also want to check out our roundup of Sewing patterns for work clothes.

Small work clothes in sizes 14P, 16P, 18P

As of January 2023, here you can find petite sizes larger than a size 12…

Extra Petite Workwear (12WP-44WP)

As of January 2023, this is where you can find youngsters of great size…

Smaller work clothes (10W-16W or 0X)

Plus-size clothing tends to run a bit wider than regular clothing—a size 16W will be larger than a size 16, for example.

As of January 2023, these are our plus-size workwear starting “sizes extra small…”

Collage of 5 dresses: 1) black with elbow sleeves, 2) burgundy with long sleeves, 3) black faux wrap with three-quarter sleeves, 4) warm pink print with three-quarter sleeves, 5) faux wrap with round neck and three-quarter sleeves

Above, some of our favorite wrap dresses for work: One / two / three / four / five (Not pictured but you can also check out This seller is Etsy)

image via Fotolia/ Sida productions.

Administrator’s Note: This post was originally written in January 2017, but has been updated as described above.

Updating the stock image by uploading the images / CandyBoxImages.

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