melissa george

Photo: Robert Trachtenberg

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The Perfect Graphic Sheath
Melissa George
Actress and entrepreneur, 35

Why it's new: The little black dress gets an update in this universally flattering sheath with ingenious white insets that carve out a slimmer silhouette.

How she wears it: George, a Golden Globe–nominated actress (for HBO's In Treatment in 2009), has a successful alternate life as an entrepreneur: In 2008 she coinvented Style Snaps by HemmingMyWay, a clever adhesive snap that instantly shortens jeans or pants; the product is now sold in 21 countries. George is similarly inventive with this sheath, pairing it with a sharp white blazer for business meetings; for evening premieres, the dress needs little more than striking heels and jewelry. "It's a power dress," George says. "But it's not boring."

Why you should try it: The geometric details make a bolder statement—and can be even more slimming—than plain black. ("If you're trying to hide parts of your body, they magically disappear," George says.)

Adam's Tip: Regardless of your age, "the most sophisticated length for a dress is either an inch below or right above the knee."

Dress, Spiegel, $79; White Blazer, BCBG Max Azria, $228; for stores. Necklace, ABS Allen Schwartz, $250; Bracelet, Danielle Stevens, $42; Clutch, Christian Louboutin, $1,195;