For these power players, looking great is nonnegotiable. From businesslike jackets to sexy silhouettes, nine looks that pay big dividends.

Kacie Starr Triplett
St. Louis Alderwoman
She was called too naive, too ambitious, too impatient. But those labels didn't stop St. Louis's youngest elected official, an early Obama supporter, from getting elected.

Adam Says: "A wool camel coat is a foolproof investment: Buy once; wear over everything. Forever."

"This double-knit dress is worth every penny—the stretch fabric and color blocking instantly make you look a size smaller."

Kacie Says: Whether advocating for the homeless or helping to bring in $80 million to revitalize the city's downtown area, Triplett embraces a grown-up wardrobe of classic sheath dresses in vibrant colors. "As a public official, I don't make a lot of money, but I do believe in buying quality fabrics," she says. Triplett, who recently turned 30, wants to be taken seriously but still likes to dress her age. This affordable double-knit dress transitions from meetings to evenings out with friends; a camel overcoat is sleek and professional.

Deal Maker's Instinct
"I don't pretend to know all the answers, but I have some natural reflexes. I can be aggressive when the need arises. My community didn't elect me to be a wallflower."

Dress, Alfani; $89. Overcoat, Talbots; $399. Earrings, Melinda Maria. Ring, Kara by Kara Ross. Shoes, Manolo Blahnik.

Next: Pants that resist wrinkles and a dressed-up peacoat


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