A promotion has convinced me that I need to upgrade my professional wardrobe.  The problem? I have no sense of style.  I find most stuff I see in fashion magazines ridiculous.  Help!— Stephanie

Manolo says, much more difficult than developing the distinctively personal fashion style is developing the personal fashion style that is suitable for the place of employment.

For the example, the jet black, asymmetrical, knee-length leather jacket from Gareth Pugh you wore to your friend’s art opening (her primary medium is pudding … pudding and Etch A Sketch), might not work for your day job as the paralegal in the Law Offices of Stuffy, White and Bois.

Unaccountably, unless you are yourself the artist, or work from home as the blogger, as the Manolo does, clients, bosses and co-workers take the dim view of those who dress too far out of the ordinary. It is the sad truth that, in the world of working, the square nail that sticks out gets hammered down into the round hole.

Still, if one has the time and energy, one can develop the personal style that is exquisite and appropriate. Look closely at the peoples on the street, the clothes in the shops and the pictures in the magazines. Like anything worthwhile, learning how to dress with style is not easy.  Go slowly and invest in the quality pieces.

The Manolo says start with the shoes! Here is the Vino lizard-print pumps ($295, from Elizabeth and James.