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Your Favorite Internet Shopping Guide to Stylish Curvy Clothes

Plus-Size Career & Work Style Clothing at Elegant Plus
Designer Bargain Shopping

Although Elegant Plus earns a small fee on all purchases made through the shopping recommendations below, it is a completely free shopping resource for the consumer, and many times we are able to provide links that offer consumer discounts and free shipping offers upon landing on the partner retailer's site. All selections are available at time of posting and purchases can be made directly from the retailer on the associated shopping link. All of the shopping guides include designer selections which are noted with the designer's name in descriptions.
 


It wasn't very long ago that sizes over 14 were completely unavailable from the off-price designer bargain on-line hot spots. That has changed in the last few years with labels both regularly available on-line in extended sizes, and some harder to find designers and brands unavailable on-line elsewhere.

 

DEPARTMENT STORES

Most seasoned designer bargain shoppers can tell you that some of the best finds often come from the department stores that carry the labels at full price.   This is especially true of on-line shopping.  While some regularly offer sales and coupons that are actively promoted, the best ones quietly mark down first quality merchandise when styles are overstocked, size availability becomes limited, or newer merchandise arrives.  


These spots can offer some of the best  deals on upscale, professional work clothing bringing some luxury labels into more moderate budgets. 

Neiman Marcus is where career clothing shoppers will regularly find jackets, toppers, shirts, skirts, and pants with a contemporary and sometimes artsy flair from Caroline Rose, Misook, Eileen Fisher, Berek, Michael Simon, Joan Vass, Go Silk, and their in house designs, cashmere sweaters the most important.  Those needing more tailored looks will also regularly find core basics, jackets, outerwear, and separates from Marina Rinaldi and Lafayette 148 in sizes up to 24W.  (Misook knits in a 3X can work for as large as 30W with professional blocking.)  This is one of the best spots for those that prefer high quality fabrics and natural fibers including silk, cotton, linen, and fine wools. Saks Fifth Avenue has a more limited inventory in extended sizes but mark downs can be significant on full-figured luxury labels such as Stizzoli, Fuzzi, Lafayette 148, Marina Rinaldi, Basler, Jane Post, Eileen Fisher, and ABS by Allen Schwartz. 

Some of the deepest mark downs on the more upscale designer labels available in plus sizes are regularly spotted at Bloomingdale's who runs regular promotional advertising around their Brown Bag Sales.   Their main inventory has been been modifying to more moderately priced and diffusion lines from top designers in extended sizing in recent years, but some of the more upscale and luxury brands are still here including names such as Ralph Lauren, Marina Rinaldi, and Lafayette 148.  More of the inventory available that is appealing to working professionals is from more moderately priced lines such as MICHAEL Michael Kors,  Vince Camuto, NYDJ, DKNY, BB Dakota, and increasingly trendier plus exclusive labels such as City Chic for sizes 14 to 24W. 

Dillard's also tends to be more moderately priced with options from Ming Wang, IC Collection, Eileen Fisher, and Ralph Lauren forming the upper tier for work wear.  No official sale section is flagged here.  Instead discounted merchandise is listed at the end of each shopping category. End of season discounts and the sale section can see some especially steep price cuts on moderate designer and diffusion labels such as Tahari, Calvin Klein, Kasper, Peter Nygard, Harper & Liv, and Gibson & Lattimer for sizes up to 24W.  Professional, tailored suiting and work appropriate jackets and blazers are a particular strength, making this a good resource without sacrificing quality for young professionals on tighter budgets in more formal fields just starting out or in need of an interview suit.

Lord & Taylor's inventory is currently changing tone and mix to include more moderately priced trendy and contemporary lines, but it can still be good resources for lines such as Ralph Lauren, Eileen Fisher, Tahari, and Nipon Boutique.  Lesser known upscale labels such as MYNT 1792, Karen Kane,   Publicized coupons and sales are becoming more frequent, but the sale section is still surprisingly still a secret for those "in the know" who regularly shop above their normal budget means through sleuthing high quality steals and deals. Navigation can still be tricky here as they've been struggling with refining their on-line presence, with slower than average load times and links that sometimes don't lead where they should.  Currently the best tactic for locating marked downs is to shop the end of each clothing category. Although a sale link for plus exists, it frequently does not return correct search results.

Nordstrom is a better resource for more casual and creative office environments in the extended plus-size section, with fewer suiting and jackets available than many of their counterparts.  Instead, mark downs of interest here will be on career separates from designers such as Eileen Fisher, Nic + Zoe, Ellen Tracy, and Louben.  Artsier designers such as Melissa McCarthy and Citron are also often available.  Of all the department stores, this is the best spot for dresses appropriate for office wear with labels such as Gabby Skye, Tahari, Calvin Klein, Vince Camuto, MYNT 1792, Eliza J, and Ralph Lauren particularly noteworthy.  This is also one of the best spots for truly luxury plus-size outerwear in fur, cashmere, lambskin, leathers, and designer labels such Cinza Rocca, Ellen Tracy, Laundy by Shelly Segal, and Ralph Lauren.  Most of the extended size inventory is available to size 24W, but occasionally 4X or options to size 28W also turn up.  Also noteworthy is Nordstrom's price matching policy which can mean a discount for you, even if you find the bargain on the same designer piece at another retailer after purchase.

Anyone who follows department store promotional trends knows that Macy's model in recent years has been constant discounting, couponing and sales.  Full price one moment, a coupon available the next, flash sales, and temporary mark downs that come and go are the norm at this retailer.  Although the selection in work and career clothes in both modern classics and trendier and contemporary styles is quite good, truly upscale designers are rare.   Regularly represented in their offerings are the more moderately priced diffusion collections from labels such as MICHAEL Michael Kors, Vince Camuto, Tahari, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein.  Dresses are also better represented here than at many of the others, along with suiting and career separates.

OFF PRICE DISCOUNTERS

Along with the sale racks at the main department store website, several of the upscale department stores also have separate discount stores.  While many of the labels offered at full retail price on their main website and in-store are well represented, surprisingly different inventories and brands can turn up in the on-line counterparts.  Furthermore, the plus section is often less well maintained and more neglected on these sites than on the upscale department stores themselves.  This gives sifting through for treasures more of the bargain hunting challenge that is the hallmark of crows of victory with off-line shoppers who turn shopping into a hobby and weekend sport.  On-line shoppers may find this less appealing where patience is less the norm and instant gratification and ease of use highly valued.  But if you love the search for a real designer bargain in plus-sizes keep these sites in your arsenal.

Clearance specializing shopping websites many times don't include extended plus-sizes, much to the frustration of a majority of shoppers on-line today.  (There might be a reason so many size twos are on steep discount too.... just keep that in mind.  More of us wear the larger sizes and snap them up when it's a particularly stylish piece.)  One of the major exceptions is 6PM.  This vast discount marketplace takes some search savvy skills to drill down to the relevant size categories, but it can be worth the effort for mid-priced designers and mainstream designer diffusion lines.  Currently the easiest path is to click: Women's Clothing, and then look for the "Plus-Size" choice in the provided pre-set search tools. Although suits are rare, dresses and separates from some of the most common and widely available designer labels such as Nic+Zoe, MICHAEL Michael Kors, DKNYC, Karen Kane, ABS Allen Schwartz, Calvin Klein, and Vince Camuto.  Some extended plus designers such as Kiyonna also turn up here making this a rare discount designer shopping resource for women in the size 24 to 30W size range.

Sierra Trading Post specializes mainly in outdoor apparel and gear, which makes its entry as a valuable designer discount shopping hot spot for professional and career clothing in larger extended sizes such a hidden jewel.  When drilling down using the provided search tools start with Women's Clothing, choose the shopping sub category, and then the currently available sizes in the assortment in the database should appear.  This site is good about distinguishing between sizing such as 2XL/XXL versus 2X.   The first is extended misses sizing which will fit hourglass and slightly pear women best, while the other is classic women's plus sizing.  It is rare for anything to be available in more than a few sizes and churn is constant.  We've spotted suiting from high quality labels along with dresses, blazers, and separates. For example, a search at time of writing turned up a Lafayette 148 dress originally tagged at $398 selling for $90, but only available in one size.

For upscale and luxury designer labels in plus-sizes the two best resources are Saks Off Fifth and Last Call from Nieman Marcus.   These are the spots to look for Lafayette 148, Marina Rinaldi, and Eileen Fisher from past seasons.   Other upscale labels regularly available which may or may not be available through the full-price department store websites include names such as Alberto Mikali, Ming Wang, Misook, Joan Vass, Melissa Masse, and Kay Unger.  Lesser priced and quality labels are also creeping into both, many of which are not carried by the main department stores.   Meanwhile, Nordstrom's Rack carries more labels on the Rack at deep discounts at mid tier quality than are offered on their main full-price website,  but sometimes labels such as Rachel Pally also turn up in extended sizes.  Offerings lean more toward casual to office casual here with less of interest to professionals from more formal work environments than the other two.

Continued at:

PLUS-SIZE
WORK CLOTHES

BUSINESS
SUITS

DRESSES & SEPARATES

CARDIGANS, JACKETS & BLAZERS

       

 

 

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All Editor's Picks and plus-size clothing featured are hand- selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
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Shop for plus-Size business and work clothes in Size 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28