Plus Size Professional Outfits for Travel

a woman in a checkered shirt and black pantsLast week, I heard from a reader who needs some help finding a great suit for travel.

I travel a lot for work to developing countries from Washington DC which means at least 20+ in transit.  I’m having a hard time finding structured work clothes that don’t wrinkle and are washable.  I’m trying to avoid the “consultant/professor” look–I despair of seeing Chicos, JJill, Eileen Fisher, etc. worn with big ethnic jewelry. Also, I’m plus-sized, so that also limits my options.  Any suggestions?

The first thing I did was search my favorite sites. Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic, etc. Unfortunately the cute suits were few and far between, and Banana Republic doesn’t have plus sizes at all. After a few hours, I put together a list of options. I am not super happy with all that I’ve found so far, so I am definitely going to keep looking.

Anytime you are looking for travel clothes, the description should say “wrinkle free”, ” resists wrinkles”, or something like that. Also, if it is made with Spandex, the chances of it wrinkling go down.

I love this outfit from Lane Bryant. It’s up a step from business casual since it’s separates, but not quite a suit. It’s adorable though, and I love the pop of pink combined with the graphic houndstooth. Lane Bryant also has some great work dresses, for reasonable prices.

These pants from Bloomingdale’s are classic, well cut, and tweed. No matching jacket, but fabulous pants.

The Talbots site has several plus size options, and for travel I would recommend something from the Stretch Flannel or the Compact Crepes lines. They also have several colorful shells and blouses for under suits, like this floral one.

At Nordstrom, I had more success. I love this jacket, but no matching pants. (This is the third thing I have found that I like that is tweed. Maybe I am having a tweed fetish right now?) I do like this suit, both the  jacket and the pants, and I think with a cute patterned top underneath you could avoid the need for big ethnic jewelry. I like this one–color and pattern without being overwhelming.

Finally, at a lower price-point, Old Navy has some classic cuts and bright blouses that work for a budget. Pants, jacket, and a cute printed top look great and are easy on the wallet.

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