Sally Lamar Nehlsen is the administrative secretary to...


April 17, 1991

Sally Lamar Nehlsen is the administrative secretary to Robert Pierce, the director of the Peabody Institute. She also is pursuing pursuing a certificate of music in voice at the Institute. Her fascination with colors and her creative themes often make her a kind, but vocal, critic of the wardrobes of her co-workers, who admit they have become more organized and conscious of what they wear because of her. Her other interests in life are the Baha'i faith, her two children and her new granddaughter.

How would you describe your taste in clothing?

First of all, I am a "Spring" and am very strict about having everything in my wardrobe be "my" color. I am equally as rigid in adhering to specific colors for each day of the work week. (Purple for Monday, gray for Tuesday, blue for Wednesday, brown for Thursday, etc.) On the weekends I wear whatever I want.

My closet is small, but it has two sections, so I have the suits on one side, arranged by the colors for each day of the week, and then in a certain order within each group; and the blouses in the other section are hung on matching hangers in rainbow order JTC and again organized within each color group. I stick with the same style of pumps and have them color-coded underneath the suits. For work I prefer tailored suits in solid colors, and colorful silk blouses in solid colors so I can add jewelry and scarfs. I also have a small costume closet filled with authentic native costumes, Dutch, German, Hawaiian, Japanese, Scottish, Western, etc.

In addition to my elaborate color scheme, I have adapted the practice of "themes" for the week. I may choose Ultrasuede suits and silk blouses; or wool suits and oxford shirts; or silk suits with scarves, etc. The possibilities are limitless, and I base my themes on either color, fabric, style, shoes, jewelry or costumes, etc.

What's the newest thing in your closet?

A lavender ultrasuede suit my mother sent me. She is also a spring and wears the same size, so naturally she always chooses the perfect ensembles for me.

What's the oldest thing in your closet?

A hand-crocheted two-piece dress that my husband's grandmother made for his mother in about 1940. It is still as beautiful as the day it was made, and I continue to wear it with pride.

Do you have a true "standby" that you wear to feel good ?

My navy blue Ultrasuede suit with matching pants. It is not only very comfortable and fashionable, but is good for traveling because it's easy to pack and doesn't wrinkle.

What have you held on to for sentimental reasons?

A Norwegian sweater I got for Christmas in 1955, when we were living in England. It has a few little moth holes in it, but it still fits and I still wear it.

What is your wardrobe weakness?

If I find a style I like ( suit, blouse, shoes, etc.) I have to purchase one in every color. This can be very expensive, but it can also be very useful when planning my themes for the week.

What's the most expensive item in your closet?

A jersey silk by Leonard of Paris, handed down by my mother. It is an original that cost over over $1,000. Coincidentally, the same dress was owned by Pat Nixon.

What's the least expensive item in your closet?

Surprisingly, it is also a Leonard. My mother picked up in a thrift shop for $1.50!

What's the wildest outfit you've ever bought?

My Easter ensemble: lavender wig, lavender bunny skirt, rabbit ears and tail, and bunny slippers, which I wore to work for Easter.

What are your favorite accessories?

My "real" pearl earrings and necklace, and my pearl ring and wedding ring which I wear every day. I also have some "cute" jewelry, and special things to adorn my costumes.

Do you have any shopping tips you'd like to share?

Have your colors done, and carry them with you at all times! Shop at the end of your season when everything is on sale. For example, since I am Spring, the most ideal time for me to shop is in April or May -- after the summer line has come out and the retailers are trying to unload their spring clothing.

Do you know some special dressers? Tell Sylvia Badger what makes them special. Write to Candid Closet, Evening Sun Fashion, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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