News & Politics

Clothes That Work: Kate Roberts

Seven women who always look professional talk about dressing for success—where they shop, what they’re buying, and outfits that go from office to cocktails

Roberts prefers vintage-she found this 1960s Yves Saint Laurent dress at Annie Creamcheese in Georgetown. Photograph by Matthew Worden.

Founder, YouthAIDS

Work look: “My wardrobe depends on the day of the week—I could be meeting with donors, traveling with YouthAIDS ambassador Ashley Judd to film a documentary, or visiting one of our 65 country programs. I prefer vintage suits or dresses for meetings—I recently bought a red Christian Dior dress from the ’60s—and for field trips I wear linens or cool, breezy dresses.”

Designers she wears to the office: Diane von Furstenberg and Chloé.

Her fashion staple: “A simple fitted black dress. I have one from Chanel that an old boyfriend bought for me. I’ll put a jacket over it for a meeting on the Hill during the day. Remove the jacket, add a pair of costume earrings, and I’m all set for evening.”

Where she shops: “Vintage stores—Meeps in Adams Morgan and Annie Creamcheese in Georgetown. I also like Muléh and Anthropologie.”

How to dress for a career in the nonprofit world: “Don’t overdo it—you want people to focus on your issues rather than the colorful print of your dress.”