I debated between doing H&M or Express for the most affordable category, and ended up choosing the latter. Although H&M runs smaller (a 2 fits me perfectly) and is more affordable (full suit is around $80 retail), their suiting material is just downright cheap and wrinkles like none other (refer to a review by AlterationsNeeded). So when Express had a sale -which happens frequently, by the way- I ordered the following suit for the same price as an H&M one:
Reviewing: Express Studio Stretch 1-Button Jacket in 00 ($98), and Editor Pants in 00 Short ($48), both in Medium Charcoal.
Front and side views:
The butch n' sassy look:
The pants, on the other hand, are a whole other story. Alterations that would be needed: take-in waist, slim hips, slim legs, plus a hem. I had to triple check that they were the right size - a 00 short!
Temporary solution - binder clip nearly 2 inches from the back (of course actual alterations should be done via both sides of the waist due to the amount of fabric being taken in. Refer to my old post on altering waists):
Before (left) and After clipping (right):
What a difference it makes to have a well-fitting pant. The entire suit instantly looks more pleasing to the eye due to the makeshift waist "alteration."
Revised front view, post waist-clipping:
+ choice of basic colors plus seasonal ones
+ slim-fitting blazer
+ decent quality for the on-sale price
+ easy to purchase online with frequent sales & coupon codes. Check for Express coupons or sign up for their mailing list to get 15% off.
- Size 00 Short Editor pants would require lots of alterations someone my size.
- Mis-matched proportions - size 00 blazer seems to run smaller than pants.
A very affordable option for someone one size up from me. The blazer actually works on a petite my size, but the Editor pants needed too many alterations. I know ladies who swear by the Editor pant and own it in pretty much every color for work, so I was surprised at how bad the fit was on me.
*However* ...while shopping at my local Banana Republic, I was chatting with two of the sales associates who were 00P / PXXS's themselves (I should've handed out bloggy business cards : P ) and they mentioned that Express' Illustrator Pant in 00 Short runs small. I overlooked these my first time around, but there are quite a few online reviews from extra petite ladies that reaffirm the small fit of these pants.
I am curious: Have any petites tried the Illustrator pant, and if so, did the fit work for you?