Is Your Closet Too Old?

Sometimes you really do need to dress for success. Case in point: fund raiser Emily Wakeling, whose job is persuading donors to write big checks. We help her polish her look for making the ask

Images loading...

Name: Emily Wakeling

Age: 36

Occupation: Fund raiser for nonprofit Catalyst Inc.

Old style: Boxy, masculine suits in drab colors; shapeless knits.

Lessons learned: Prints look lively and luxe; separates can be mixed and matched; heels are great with skirts, but so are flats.



Ditch The Gear: A knapsack is roomy and practical...for a hiking trail.

Retire The Suit: The boxy pinstripe, Emily’s own, epitomizes late-’80s workwear.



Help Separates Play Nicely: The rules are simple: stay in the same color family and vary the scale (small motif up top, larger on the bottom).

Hit Pause on pants: The skirt’s texture looks luxe; the colors are muted; the inverted pleats won’t add bulk.

Update Your Feet: The bootie is on trend and a lot edgier than a basic pump.


Far right: Tory Burch top, $325; and necklace, $495; sport-max silk double-slit skirt, $695; 212-674-1817. Wolford nylon-elastane blend tights, $47; Rachel Roy canvas and snake ankle booties, $325; Coach leather satchel, $458; Kara By Kara Ross gold-plated brass earrings, $115; Neiman Marcus.

Ari Michelson

Lunch with Colleagues/Workday Plus Evening Event

Lunch with colleagues:

Add spark to classic camel: This season’s neutral, with a sleek, close-to-the-body fit.

Don’t be so serious: Tuxedo-stripe skinnies, in casual fabric, are unexpected; nude shoes lengthen the legs.


Workday plus evening event:

Update your sheath: No more silhouettes that stand away from your body, please. Look for a below-the-knee, fitted shape in a fabric that moves with you (this one is a cotton-spandex blend).

Modernize your tote: The bowler design is newly hot—and more youthful than the briefcase you’ve always carried.


Far left: Pink Tartan cotton shirt, $275, and coat, $795; Paul And Joe wool blend pants, $195; 310-270-4620. The Limited faux-crocodile tote, $75; Kamalikulture patent leather heels, $99;

Left: Banana Republic color-block dress, $140; Wolford nylon-elastane blend tights, $47; Ivanka Trump faux-leather satchel, $175; Bevel plated-metal bracelet, $29; Dom By Dominique Cohen faux-baroque-pearl necklace, $42; Tila March suede pumps, $510;

Ari Michelson

Isaac Mizrahi suede pumps, $140; Nordstrom

Gisel Florez

Nanette Lepore cotton blazer, $498;


The Limited chiffon blouse, $50;

Gisel Florez

United Colors Of Benetton faux-leather briefcase, $129; 212-223-6250. 

Gisel Florez

Pink Tartan jacquard top, $295;

Gisel Florez

Board Meeting/Casual Friday

Board Meeting:

Opt for a bold blouse: This year’s signature shirt: square shape, elbow-length sleeve, graphic (nonfloral) print.

Pair one print with another: The delicate black-and-white print of the pencil skirt is so subtle, it can be mixed with the bolder print up top. The black side panels trim your hips.


Casual Friday:

Go graphic: This striking bag is also neutral, so you can wear it with anything, even mixed prints or
(why not?) a brightly colored shoe.

Shrink your sweater: The fitted silhouette is what looks new (so is the neck embellishment).

Crop your pants: Ankle length is in, best worn with heels and bare legs.


Far left: Marissa Webb tweed skirt, $780, and wool and silk blouse, $525; Brahmin hand-cut leather satchel, $375; Ann Taylor metal and glass-stone earrings, $40; Alexis Bittar gunmetal bracelet, $475; Nine West suede wedges, $89;


Left: Tommy Hilfiger cotton shirt, $89; 212-223-1824. Tory Burchsweater, $425;  Nanette Lepore pants, $298; Neiman Marcus. Gryson leather satchel, $625; Ann Taylor metal and glass-stone earrings, $40; ann‚Äč Tory Burch pumps, $350;

Ari Michelson

Coach Saffiano leather satchel, $498;

Gisel Florez

J.Crew wool blend skirt, $228;

Gisel Florez

The Limited polyester and satin blend blouse, $50;

Gisel Florez

Max Mara leather lace-up flats, $450; 212-879-6100. 


Click here for MORE great fashion ideas


Want MORE great fashion articles like this? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter!


Try MORE on your iPad - FREE. Find out how at

Gisel Florez

First Published Fri, 2013-10-11 14:27

Find this story at: