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 arm 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 tricky question because with those stats you might fit into normal 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) – This is why women in this size range are called “inbetweeners!”

But a lot of the “normal” stores only carry sizes up to 12w – and a lot of the “plus” ones only start at 18w. add to that 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 that we’ve sprinkled some of our favorite plus-size basics throughout this post—note that most of them 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.)

Also check out the latest report on Best workwear for a size 16 and other arm sizes; Also check out our list above of options for petite mini sizes.

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.

Made to measure work clothes

searching for the best Made-to-measure workwear? As of 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

Ace of January. 2023, this is where you can find petite sizes larger than a size 12…

Extra Petite Workwear (12WP-44WP)

Ace of January. 2023, This Is Where You Can Find Plus Size Petites…

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.

Collage of 5 dresses: 1) black with elbow sleeves, 2) burgundy with long sleeves, 3) black faux wrap with three-quarter sleeves, 4) light 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: Those / 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 photos / CandyBoxImages.



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