Wanted: A work uniform that's both feminine and authoritative. Found: "An updated blazer that's softer, less crisp and structured," reports Lisa Axelson, senior vice president of design, Ann Taylor, right, from her midtown New York showroom. She wears the jacket ($228) with a print dress ($158). On the model, the single-button version ($268) looks beautifully nonchalant over a lilac petaled shell ($88) and handsome trousers ($128). For formal occasions, the jackets can also suit up with matching pants or a skirt. Pale neutrals like these, Axelson says, are terrific for seasonal transitions: "Wear them with black or dark denim now—when it's too soon to do light colors head-to-toe—then mix with similar tones later."
Necklace (on Axelson), Ann Taylor. Bangles (on model), Vicki Turbeville. Belt (on model), Ann Taylor.