Barbara Sharp Manekin is the busy mother of two children...

CANDID CLOSET

January 29, 1992

Barbara Sharp Manekin is the busy mother of two children ages 5 and 2 1/2 . She has a degree in fine arts and is working on her MBA at Loyola College. She enjoys volunteer work at the Baltimore Opera Company, Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Gallery, the Baltimore Zoo and The Cloisters. Her daily running schedule keeps her in shape for her ski trips. How would you describe your taste in clothing?

My clothes are rather conservative, from Chanel suits to a mix of something that is daring and humorous such as a leather bustier or a fun hat.

What's the newest thing in your closet?

A pair of hot pink crepe trousers.

What's the oldest thing in your closet?

A black Spanish shawl that I brought back from Spain. It is heavily embroidered and is about 100 years old.

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

A pair of black leather pants and my red cowboy boots.

What have you held on to for sentimental reasons?

There are two things: A black cocktail dress that my mother had in her trousseau which I had cut off to a small little camisole, and my first prom gown, which was on the cover of Seventeen magazine. I fell in love with it and my mother searched high and low for this multicolor taffeta.

What is your wardrobe weakness?

I wear too much black.

What's the most expensive item in your closet?

A Valentino black checked jacket and a Carolyne Roehm cocktail dress.

What's the least expensive item in your closet?

I have an old Christian Dior silk turban that I bought at a flea market for $2.

What's the wildest outfit you ever bought?

I have to say that it was a hot pink very revealing dress. Also, my black and white leopard skin ski pants and jacket.

What are your favorite accessories?

My absolute favorite is a black chenille belt. I also love scarves, jewelry and fun pins that can go at the neck which can give an outfit a clean sharp look. I love to wear gloves, a hot color to accent an outfit, and various hats.

Do you have any shopping tips to share?

Buy quality. Look for jackets and pants that are lined, because they will usually last longer. I prefer to buy well made items that I can augment with a belt. Look for sales of designer items, because if you invest in quality, you will wear them for many, many years. Don't just buy clothes for one occasion because they tend to be mistakes. I feel that if something looks flimsy on a hanger, it is not going to look good on a body. A tip for clothes maintenance -- if a button falls off, sew it back on the same day. Clothes should be repaired and cleaned before they go back into the closet.

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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