Question: Please recommend a dress to take the place of a two-piece suit as appropriate business attire. I wear a size 2. I'm especially interested in a dress that will be suitable to wear during a speech I have to give in September to colleagues in the insurance business. What color? What style?--H.H.
Answer: The coatdress illustrated here would be an excellent choice. Its classic lines will establish you as trustworthy. Its red color will incite your audience to listen. Its design, inspired by the late Coco Chanel, is becoming to every figure and is currently the rage with the just-plain-money set. It's from Albert Nipon Executive Dress and is available in sizes 2-14 for $152 at Bullocks Wilshire, Miss Wilshire Dresses. The fabric is a polyester crepe, so the side pleating is sure to stay pleated.
Q: I have been told not to wear knits to work. Is this advice sound?--A.P.
A: The person who told you not to wear knits is as dated as John Molloy's advice in his "Dress for Success" books. Molloy fostered the idea that knits, especially sweaters, would send you straight down the corporate ladder or get you blackballed from the social register. Forget it. First Lady Nancy Reagan's favorite daytime outfits are knits. Some of the most important women executives in America wear knitted dresses and suits to work on a daily basis. And right now the most fashionable fabric of the season--jersey--is a knit.