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The Office
Kat Schaffer, 45; real estate broker, candidate for a master's in social work

A crisp trim and witty pockets give this dress (left, Vera Wang Lavender Label, $395) nine-to-five credibility; a dose of black seals the deal (White + Warren cardigan; DKNY tights; Manolo Blahnik flats). Businesslike extras include drop earrings (Ted Muehling) and a good-sized bag (Laundry by Shelli Segal).

The Office Party
When you enter the social whirl straight from work, you may clock 14 hours in the same dress: "I like soft fabrics," Kat says. "I have to be comfortable." Here (right) she's ditched the tights, traded the sweater for a silk and velvet wrap (Blanc de Chine), and acquired a spectacular beaded purse (Beavaldes). H. Stern earrings. Cole Haan T-straps.
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