suit up

Photos: Diego Uchitel

Actress Maria Bello, who stars with Hugh Jackman and Viola Davis in Prisoners, out this month, models the latest ways to change up the menswear-inspired look.

In a sharp silhouette and burnished gold (one of the season's hot trends), this is a supermodern riff on the structured jacket.

Jacket, Pants, $40; for stores. Earrings, Black envelope and blue diary, Blue leather clutch, Paul Smith; 646-613-3060.
check mates

Photos: Diego Uchitel

Leather pants and a detachable-collar white button-down make a glen plaid jacket less stuffy; the sexy double-breasted style is the perfect day-to-dinner piece.

Jacket, $149; Jones New York, White shirt, $40; for stores. Pants, $1,025, Theyskens' Theory; Lizard brooch, Sequin; 212-398-7363. Cuff links,

Photos: Diego Uchitel

Red Alert
"I feel so dynamic in this. A power suit doesn't have to be about houndstooth and a bad skirt."

Sure it's daring, but a tomato-red shirt is surprisingly wearable with a fiery suit. Mixing shades of red—like the bordeaux accents and cherry python shoes—keeps everything from getting too matchy.

Blazer, $458, Marc by Marc Jacobs; 800-695-8000. Pants, $298, Marc by Marc Jacobs; Blouse, $295, Sachin + Babi; Scarf, Necklace, Tommy Hilfiger; 212-223-1824. Ring, Shoes, Alexandre Birman, Liberte; 405-608-2727.
bright blue

Photos: Diego Uchitel

Feeling Blue
"This bright blue reminds me of the colors I saw when I was traveling through Morocco and Tunisia."

The details that make this retro-glam suit look fresh: a foulard tie print fabric in a feminine shape, a beaded top and artfully rolled pants.

Jacket, $495, and pants, $325; Top, Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue; 877-612-7257. Bracelet, Ring, Clutch, Shoes, Boutique 9,
boss tweed

Photos: Diego Uchitel

Boss Tweed
"When I first saw this suit I thought it looked a little Jackie O–ladies-who-lunch," says Maria. "But with the shoes and the wild hair, it turned out to be very sexy."

Jacket, $1,295, and skirt, $895; Top, $78; French Connection, Necklaces, Bracelets, Shoes, Stuart Weitzman; 212-750-2555.
tough enough

Photos: Diego Uchitel

Tough Enough
"This is a rock star jacket! But you could also pair it with a skirt and wear it to the office."

Motorcycle details and denim rev up proper blue tweed in this suit, a collaboration between 7 For All Mankind and Malhia Kent, a French mill that produces fabrics for the likes of Chanel and YSL. The result? Perfectly dressed-up denim that creative types can wear to work and after hours.

Jacket, $650, and pants, $395, 7 For All Mankind x Malhia Kent; Blouse, $225; Earrings,
beige suit

Photos: Diego Uchitel

There's Something About Maria
Vital stats
46, born in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Lives in Los Angeles with her 12-year-old son, Jackson.

Why you know her
She got our attention as Dr. Anna Del Amico on ER before film roles in The Cooler, A History of Violence and the Grown Ups franchise.

Fashion go-to
Maria says she's worn the same uniform since she was 15, though she's upgraded: Now instead of a button-down, Levi's and Nikes, she favors "very crisp Helmut Lang shirts, Paige jeans, and a gorgeous pair of Fiorentini + Baker boots."

Raised Catholic, she started saying the rosary after a recent health scare. "It's become my meditation—turns out I'm not an om girl, I'm a Hail Mary girl."

Secret weapon
Marula oil (it's from the seeds of the marula tree; women in rural Africa use it as a moisturizer). "I love the oil from the Leakey Collection. It makes everything smooth and doesn't clog my pores."

Her passion
We Advance, the organization she cofounded to advance the health and well-being of women in Haiti through free medical care, adult education and child outreach programs. "Haiti is a huge part of my life," says Maria, who is in the process of launching an educational Web site for women in Haiti that she hopes to replicate for other women's groups around the world.

Business and Pleasure

This perfectly fitted white suit proves covering up can be sexier than flashing a lot of skin—the stretch wool hugs curves and cinches the waist.

Jacket and skirt, Nina Ricci, Bergdorf Goodman; 212-753-7300. White gold and yellow gold bar necklaces, Monogrammed necklace, Beaded necklace, Clutch, Roger Vivier; 212-861-5371.

Next: 8 pretty, punk and posh ways to wear pink