"I need a structured satchel. Women have busy lives, and we want to have our hands free, whether we're hailing a taxi or heading out with the children." $725; KateSpade.com
"I love layering things together. Each day, you have to choose where to draw the attention to: Is it a necklace day? A bracelet day?" $95 each; KateSpade.com
"Sunglasses can be the entry point to a designer brand." $530; LouisVuitton.com
"A smart buy stands out. The simplest thing, like a skinny belt, can be the missing jigsaw piece that helps an outfit sing."
Gucci, $470, select Gucci stores; 800-456-7663
"A trenchcoat is a good investment because it has longevity—I always divide price by number of wears. That's a much better value than something you only wear once." $745; KateSpade.com
"A little strap makes a heel more secure on the foot so when you're running around, you're not losing your shoes. These are cute, modern, supportive." $295; KateSpade.com
"Dresses are a working woman's best-kept secret. You don't have to coordinate tops to bottoms. It's all about the jewelry and shoes."
Diane von Furstenberg, $325, Saks Fifth Avenue; 877-612-7257
"I'm good about not snacking at my desk. But when I'm in Paris, it's an absolute disaster because there are so many wonderful things. The macaroons are almost too pretty to eat." Sucré, $20 for box of 15; ShopSucre.com
"Elsa Schiaparelli brought pink, my favorite color, into fashion." $85, Philadelphia Museum of Art; PhilaMuseumStore.org Last month's designer, Susana Monaco's favorite picks