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Dawn Brown
Executive vice president of brand development at Full Picture, a public relations company
"When I first started working in the fashion business, it felt so heady to be part of that world. But I definitely made my share of dubious style choices. The grunge period in particular—flowered dresses, leggings, slouchy sweaters—was not good to me. Since then I've learned that just because something is fashionable doesn't mean it's right for me. I've learned that matte jersey is not my friend. Neither are cargo pants. I spend most days in some version of a sleeveless sheath dress. I wear clothes that you put on, zip up, and forget about for the rest of the day. It's like my hair—after a Flock of Seagulls period in college and Dynasty-esque hair in the late '80s, I've been faithful to a neat bob. I get it blown out once a week, and that's that."

Signature style rule #4. Find a great salesperson whom you can trust—she can be an amazing resource. Salespeople get to know your taste and your body type. "For me, it's Doris at Barneys New York in Manhattan," says Brown. "I'm not an impulse shopper. I really shop only twice a year, so I tell her exactly what I'm looking for—a new jacket, a blouse I can wear for evening—and she keeps me focused. Without Doris's intervention, I can think of many pieces I would've bought and worn twice."


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