Posted on: April 23, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Sure, we all know what work wardrobe essentials professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have. Today: we’re hunting for budget-friendly interview suits for women!

Obviously, we cover a Suit of the Week every week, and we have our regularly updated Guide to Interview Suits as well as our recent overview of brands of suits for women for every budget— but we haven’t specifically looked for a budget-friendly interview suit for women in a few years, so let’s round them up!

Readers, which are your favorite budget-friendly interview suits?

If you’re on the hunt for basic suiting for women, in addition to our major roundup of the best suits for women in every budget, we’ve also done roundups for suits if you’re petite, tall, plus-sized, or pregnant — as well as how to wear a suit in general.

Some of our main fashion articles that might be of interest include our Ultimate Guide to Business Casual, Wardrobe Essentials for Work, and The Corporette Guide to Comfortable Heels — all constantly updated! If you’re just starting out or on a budget, check out our Affordable Office Clothes roundup — and if you’re plus-sized, check out our Plus-Size Picks for Work.

Here’s our latest discussion on the top brands for affordable women’s suits, as well as our previous discussion on cheap interview suits, as well as our discussion of whether you can mix black separates to make a suit (noooooooo!).

What to Look For In an Interview Suit for Women

In general, if you’re hunting for an interview suit, keep an eye out for options with a) suiting separates b) available in a solid, dark, neutral color, c) that fit your budget.

By buying suiting separates you can get a better fit off the rack (such as by buying a size 10 pant and a size 12 blazer, and maybe even a petite skirt even if everything else is a regular size) — and you can make several outfits, particularly if there are two blazers, such as one that’s collarless and one that’s the traditional lapel+button.

Remember to dry clean all suit separates together! We’ve also done a guide to the best suiting alterations for women.

The Best Budget-Friendly Interview Suits for Women

Some of our favorite brands for affordable women’s suits include stores like Banana Republic Factory*†, J.Crew Factory*†, Mango*, and Express†, as well as widely available brands like Anne Klein Executive, Vince Camuto*, Calvin Klein*†, and Tahari ASL. For a vintage vibe, check Amazon seller Marycrafts*. (* = some plus sizes also, † = petites)

Banana Republic Factory (exact)

Anne Klein Executive

Vince Camuto (exact)

Calvin Klein (exact)


The Best Brands for Affordable Women’s Suiting

Some of our favorite brands for affordable women’s suits include stores like Banana Republic Factory*, J.Crew Factory*, Mango*, and Express, as well as widely available brands like Anne Klein Executive, Vince Camuto*, Calvin Klein*, and Tahari ASL.


I would not recommend a Marycrafts suit for a BigLaw interview or the like — but if you’re seriously in need of a dirt cheap interview suit for women, you should check out Amazon seller Marycrafts.

The clothes tend to have a bit of a vintage vibe, but you can usually get either a skirt suit or pant suit (both pieces!) for under $75.


I hesitate to recommend Express suiting, even for budget-friendly interview suits, because I tend to associate it with looks that are often too tight and too curve-hugging — but if you know that going in you can be wary when picking out a suit.

A major con to budget-friendly suit separates is that the pants can often feel frumpy (one of the reasons skirt suits can be easier!) so it’s a major pro that Express blazers pair with their Editor and Columnist pants, loved by readers and on our list of great washable pants for work.

If you’re a fan of their Editor/Columnist pants, do check out their matching blazers and other suiting options.

Sale to watch for: 50% off — you can probably expect to pay less than $165 for both pieces. They also offer short and long lengths, which is great if you’re shorter or taller!

Banana Republic Factory

BR’s outlet section has a lot of good finds for work, particularly on the more affordable, classic side of things (including a TON of washable suits!). Note that because these pieces may be produced just for the Factory Store it may mean that there are differences in fit and quality — so keep that in mind when ordering.

We frequently feature them in our Suit of the Week posts because they often branch into fun colors and prints. Selections include regular, petite, and tall sizes up to 20, as well as (occasionally) “curvy” fit pants. Their Sculpted suiting line is their most basic sort of interview suits.

Sale to watch for: 30% off. 

Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto, sold at Nordstrom, Macy’s, and other department stores, often makes really affordable, basic women’s suiting (sometimes in plus sizes, as well, although at the moment pickings look pretty scarce there).

The notched blazer we’ve pictured here has been around for many years, in a lot of different fabrics and colors — it’s about as classic as you can get.

Expect to pay around $200, unless you can find the brand on sale — that does happen but it seems to be at a time when they’re restocking so the sales are often down to lucky sizes.

(Note that Nordstrom has an excellent return policy, though!)

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein is another great option sold at department stores like Macy’s, and they come in petites. Because the brand is sold as separates, you can get the size you need.

The exact blazer we’ve pictured comes in black and charcoal (as well as an odd denim-like navy).

Macy’s has a ton of similar options from similar brands that offer separates like Kasper, T Tahari, and Calvin Klein.

J.Crew Factory

J.Crew’s factory outlet is a great source for workwear, particularly affordable wool suiting separates — inventory comes and goes, but when it’s in stock it’s pretty great.

Level Up: The Best Suits to Get For Slightly More Money

Mid-Range Suits for Women

Of course, we’d be remiss in this article without noting that Ann Taylor, J.Crew, and Banana Republic are options to consider if you’re on the hunt for budget-friendly interview suits for women — they can feel a bit pricier, but are great first suits if you like the fit.

For Ann Taylor, look for the tropical wool suiting or the all-season stretch — both will be great basics to take you from interviews to the first days on the job. Prices range from $98-$140 at Ann Taylor (with lots of different options for the fit of pants, as well as petite and tall sizes up to size 18).

Meanwhile, over at J.Crew, note that they have phased out their longstanding suiting collection of Super 120s wool in favor of “Italian stretch wool” and “bi-stretch cotton” — the wool will be better for interviews than cotton, which will wrinkle easier (but be better for hot summer workdays).

Some of our favorite mid-range suits for women (which sometimes have such frequent sales that they come down to the same range as our “budget” suits) include Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Talbots, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and Antonio Melani. (Talbots and J.Crew usually have plus sizes, and the others offer petites.)

Ann Taylor

Banana Republic



Brooks Brothers

Investment Women’s Suits for Interviews

If you’re open to making an investment in a suit, these are some of our favorite “investment suits” — expect to pay north of $500 for both pieces.

Investment suits, pictured above: pant / skirt / pant / skirt / pant

Readers, what are your favorite styles and brands for the affordable interview suit for women? What stores am I missing — have you found great budget-friendly interview suits at ASOS, Zara, Amazon, or any other stores? What do you look for in a suit for interviews? 

Stock photo via Deposit Photos / IgorVetushko.

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