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It’s true, in NYC the clothes really do make the man (thanks Mark Twain). From your first interview, to landing your dream job, and getting that promotion: success in New York City means you’ve got to look the part. You don’t have to look like you’re coming straight from The Sartorialist, but it never hurts to look your best.

Former stylist and fashion guru Amie Delisa Toole gives Ruthie Bird an insider’s tip on what it means to dress for success:

The saying, “dress for the job you want” holds true. For example, if you want to be successful at a large financial institution, you probably should ditch the jeans and t-shirt. You can’t assume people know you for your personality so you have to gain their respect and their interest through first impressions. You dress based on how you perceive yourself. If you want to be respected, dress to earn it.

Amie Delisa

When you land the job, you must pick up these wardrobe essentials: Men, you need to buy yourself some dress slacks/pants, a button up, a collared shirt, and a solid-colored polo shirt. Nice jeans for casual work days (no holes). Women, your dresses should be from the mid-thigh to the knee in length and skirts should range from the mid-thigh to knee. Men, you must wear a tie and make sure to have a blazer on hand. If you can, wear a suit. It’s essential for women to have black 3 – 3.5 inch heels, comfortable flats, and a few nice dress shoes too.

I always like to buy clothes in colors that can make multiple outfits. For instance, I bought a pair of black pants, a green skirt, and baby blue pants. I also bought a camel colored sweater, a pink sweater, and a white button down.  I can make at least 6 different outfits from that-perfect for those who want several looks and are on a budget.

The crossover: to change your workday outfit into something you can wear out at night too, play with color, prints, and patterns. Wear the dress that you want to go out in later with a blazer or cardigan over it for work. Or, bring a pair of heels to dress something up. Accessorize: a little sparkle goes a long way.

Amie, share your NYC Secrets with us! What’s your favorite restaurant?
I love Tartine, a BYOB French restaurant in the West Village. Also, B.Cafe is a great belgian restaurant with great dishes you can share-it also has amazing fries. My favorite place to shop is the J.Crew on the Upper East side. It has more of a boutique feel and items the other J.Crews don’t. New York is a magical place. Whether it’s stumbling upon a great view of the city, or watching the sun hit a building just right you can walk around this city and fall in love with it over and over again.

(Photographs by Scott Schuman and Christine Johnson).