He's never too busy to think about clothes

CANDID CLOSET

November 26, 1992|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

When it comes to fashion, Kenneth Coles isn't easy to please. He'll change his socks three times in one morning to find the perfect pair.

He's not a man with much spare time, either. As a secretary at the College of Notre Dame, a student at Morgan State University and a pastoral assistant at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, he's forever rushing to get to his next job.

But despite being on the go, Mr. Coles, 28, never leaves his Randallstown apartment without one final glance at his attire.

Some things in life, he says, you make time for.

The word around Notre Dame is you're known as Mr. GQ. Wha do you make of that?

I like to dress. I like clothes. And I take pride in what I wear. It takes me a long time -- usually an hour -- to get ready in the morning. I'm not as bad as I used to be. I used to try on two or three outfits. For work, I don't do that anymore.

Where does this GQ side of your personality come from?

I like modern style. I'm a musician. I play the piano and organ at the Bible Way Free Will Baptist Church, so there's something artistic in me. My father had a lot to do with me being neat. He was always saying, "Fix your clothes, fix your clothes." By junior high school, I wouldn't even wear jeans or tennis shoes. I wore dress pants.

Do you read many fashion magazines today?

I used to get GQ, but I didn't like it too much. Sometimes it's too conservative. I did get ideas there, though. Take a suit and how you hook it up with a shirt, tie and pocket square makes all the difference.

What separates your style from the rest?

I put colors together that others wouldn't think of. I have a pair of olive pants that I might wear with a white shirt and a tie with purple in it. Purple and green are not a common combination. Another thing is I have a lot of pieces that you don't see everyone else wearing. A couple of things I've had made for me.

What would you wear on a typical work day?

Probably a pair of pleated pants, a colorful silk shirt and a real flashy tie.

@4 What do you think you look particularly good in?

Double-breasted suits by Nino Cerruti. It's because of my build. I have a slim waist, broad shoulders and long legs.

Because of your schedule, do you take short cuts in the morning?

Yes. I try to make up my mind about what I'm going to wear the night before. Deciding what to put on is the time-consuming thing. A lot of times I'll try on a pair of socks and decide I don't like how they look with a suit.

What do you think is your signature?

I have this one particular shirt that everyone talks about. It's from a boutique in Indiana. It's silk and very colorful. It has shades of blue and salmon pink and yellow with geometric shapes and polka dots. Friends tell me they can see me a mile away in it.

If you could choose anybody in the world, with whom would you most like to shop?

Bobby Brown. I had a designer copy the button pattern on a shirt that he wore on the TV show "227" a couple years ago. He has nice ideas that I could tame a bit for every day. And I like his attitude. He's self-assured. You can see it in the way he wears his clothes.

Anything you wouldn't dare wear today?

I have this blazer that has bold gray and black stripes and big clown pockets. Whenever I look at it, I go, "Ughhh."

What do you long to own?

A mink coat. I think they're sharp and classy. I figure if you put on a coat like that, people are going to notice you.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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