Power Dressing

A neurologist, a financier, and a writer walk into the office — can you tell who's who? Free from the old constructs of their professions, these women redefine what it means to dress for success.

October 27, 2011 5:00 PM
Share

Power Suit

Name: Rula Jebreal

Age: 37

Job: Journalist; anchorwoman; author of novel-turned-film Miral.

Office Essentials: I tend to go for feminine but practical dresses.

Style Ethos: For TV, your look is as important as the preparation of each show. At 33, I was the youngest anchorwoman in Italy to have a political TV program. I wanted everyone to take me seriously, listen to the content, and not be distracted by my look. Since then, I've become more confident and traded black suits for light, delicate dresses.

Dress, $1,745, Dolce & Gabbana; (877) 70-DGUSA. Shoes, $590, Casadei; neimanmarcus.com for similar styles.

Power Suit

"I am mindful to wear business attire that trends as classic — think Ralph Lauren or Armani."

Name: Alia Varsano

Age: "30-something"

Job: Vice president, corporate development of Nourish Capital; board member of the nonprofit Indego Africa.

Office Essentials: A tailored pantsuit; a great pair of heels; an Indego Africa bracelet.

Style Ethos: My professional style at Nourish Capital is often conservative yet chic. My nonprofit work allows me to wear more relaxed pieces like jeans, a crisp white shirt, and colorful tie-dye scarves — the look is strong yet feminine.

Jacket, $2,200, top (with attached scarf), $1,640, pants, $990, Salvatore Ferragamo; (800) 628-8916 for stores. Necklace, $365, Theodora & Callum; theodoraandcallum.com. Rose-gold ring, $250, Elizabeth and James; nordstrom.com. Silver ring, $225, Elizabeth and James; bloomingdales.com.

Power Suit

"It's not unusual for me to be the youngest person in a meeting, so I try to dress professionally."

Name: Natalie Ravitz

Age: 31

Job: Director of communications for New York City's Department of Education.

Office Essentials: I love heels, but it's much easier to run around the classroom in flats. Cole Haan makes a great pair with Nike Air technology that I can fold up into my bag. A big tote bag is a must, and a narrow trenchcoat looks good with just about anything.

Style Ethos: I spent seven years working in the U.S. Senate, so my style is fairly formal. I find it disappointing when I see women going to work in tank tops and miniskirts. Certain clothes can leave the wrong impression about where you want to go professionally.

Shirt, $680, Marni; (212) 343-3912. Skirt, $792, No. 21; numeroventuno.com for stores. Ring, $155, Alexis Bittar; alexisbittar.com. Earrings, Ravitz's own.

Power Suit

"Feeling good in your clothes is a powerful component of your tool kit when you go to work."

Name: Abra Potkin

Age: 41

Job: Senior vice president of non-scripted programming at ABC Television.

Office Essentials: Tucker blouses by my sister Gaby Basora. Wearing them reminds me how fearless we all are when we are able to do the work that we truly love to do.

Style Ethos: I gravitate toward a strong but womanly silhouette. I am more creative and confident when I like what I'm wearing.

Skirt, $425, Tory Burch; toryburch.com. Silver-rim bangles, $50 each, Megan Odabash at Carleen Ligozio; (631) 204-1014. Half-plated bangles, $46 each, Megan Odabash at Hotham Jewels; (704) 366-3440. Tucker by Gaby Basora top, earrings & ring, Potkin's own.

Power Suit

"When I get dressed each day, I ask myself, 'How do you want to be portrayed?' I usually answer, 'Powerful.'"

Name: Angela Hunte Wisner

Age: "40 years young"

Job: Music producer; singer-songwriter (cowrote "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z, featuring Alicia Keys).

Office Essentials: A large tote filled with loads of tea and honey for my throat; a jacket or hoodie — recording studios are always cold; skinny jeans and heels; a wallet that can double as a clutch.

Style Ethos: My professional style is very colorful. It comes out in my music. Since the culture around me is ever-changing, I can never stick to just one look.

Coat, $2,395, Michael Kors; (866) 709-KORS for stores. Gold ring, $205, Shayan Afshar; shayanafshar.com. Acne jeans, top, shoes & all other jewelry, Hunte Wisner's own.

Power Suit

"I delight in wearing scrubs as much as I do in wearing blouses and skirts."

Name: Dr. Teena Shetty

Age: 37

Job: Neurologist at Hospital for Special Surgery; assistant professor of neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College; neurologist for the New York Mets and the New York Giants.

Office Essentials: I view the white coat as an opportunity rather than a constraint.

Style Ethos: In a hospital, it's easy to forget about how you look due to the issues that you're dealing with every day. But I hope the same professionalism is manifest in both my work and my wardrobe — dedication to detail, caring for others and myself, and openness to new ideas.

Top, $1,095, Sportmax; (212) 674-1817. Skirt, $1,475, Escada; (877) 206-4135. On Shetty's right wrist: Knotted bracelet, $288, Paige Novick at Etc. East; (770) 434-6360. On Shetty's left wrist: Tube cuff, $165, Giles & Brother; neimanmarcus.com for stores. All other jewelry, Shetty's own.

Power Suit

"The best words to describe my style are haute speed. I am constantly in motion."

Name: Aslaug Magnusdottir

Age: 43

Job: Cofounder and CEO of luxury e-commerce site Moda Operandi.

Office Essentials: My vintage Hermès Birkin; the perfect pair of sky-high heels that combines comfort with craftsmanship — Nicholas Kirkwood platforms are guaranteed to make a statement and feel as good as they look.

Style Ethos: I have learned to perfect the day-to-night look from 8 a.m. business meeting to 8 p.m. dinner date. While I work in the fashion industry and have to dress the part, I also have to be comfortable and look like the consummate businesswoman.

Dress, price upon request, Vionnet at Saks Fifth Avenue; (212) 753-7300. Shoes, price upon request, Vionnet; vionnet.com for stores. Collar, $175, Giles & Brother; neimanmarcus.com for stores. Cuff, $525, Vita Fede; vitafede.com.

Power Suit

"I keep my necklaces on a dress form with my mother's vintage cocktail dress so that I can see everything and be reminded every day of great style."

Name: Alexandra Lebenthal

Age: 47

Job: President and CEO of Lebenthal & Co.; author of The Recessionistas.

Office Essentials: Great heels! My vintage costume jewelry collection is one of the basics of my wardrobe as well.

Style Ethos: Because I work in the male-dominated and less creative world of finance, I want my style to show the opposite. I like to look crisp and put-together, but I always try to add something bold, whether it's a great piece of vintage jewelry or something printed.

Dress, $2,790, Oscar de la Renta at Bergdorf Goodman; (212) 753-7300. Shoes, $495, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti; (212) 460-5500. Watch, $2,550, Baume & Mercier; baume-et-mercier.com for stores. All other jewelry, Lebenthal's own.

Hair: Ryan Trygstad at The Wall Group. Makeup: Tina Turnbow for Dior Beauty at raybrownpro.com. Manicure: Gina Viviano at artistsbytimothypriano.com.

Restart Slideshow

Related Links