A personal shopper's style helps plus-size customers

CANDID CLOSET

January 14, 1993|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,STAFF WRITER

Rose Jones is a friend to the full-figured woman.

As a personal shopper who wears a size 14, she helps give customers style and self-esteem.

"The size 14 is like an outcast. But these women are just as beautiful as the smaller-sized woman. I show them that," says Ms. Jones, 51, the assistant manager of August Max Woman in the Gallery at Harborplace.

In the five years that she's worked there, she's cultivated some distinguished clients, including doctors, ministers and TV personalities.

Shopping, though, has never been a problem for this pro.

"I find too many things for my pocketbook," she says.

What's in your wardrobe these days?

I have a lot of suits, a variety of blouses and just a few dresses. This year, I bought slacks and jackets. You can take a blazer and a skirt or slacks and change your wardrobe. As for color, I have a lot of beige. I'll do red. And I have the basics - black and brown.

What sets your style apart?

I had a lady come into the store today who told me I look great. I can't say what it is. I think it's something that God gave me since he knew I couldn't afford a lot of clothes. I don't put a lot of fuss into it, but if I'm going out, the bag and the shoes have to match. I'm told we've gotten away from that. But being of a mature age, I think that's the proper way to dress.

Do you think you're a perfectionist when it comes to dressing?

I don't think so, but that's what my son calls me.

Is there one part of your wardrobe you're most well-known for?

I like to look complete. I'm not big on costume jewelry, but I like pearls because they work with a lot of things. And I like a pin on the shoulder of a suit. That's a nice classic look.

What's new in your closet?

A 3/4 -length lightweight wool coat in black with purple.

And the oldest?

A suit I can no longer wear. It's that celery green color and has wonderful tailoring. I can put the jacket on, but I can't button it. I tell myself, 'One day I'll get back into it.' But I don't believe that anymore. I feel good at the size I am. I hold on to it for sentimental reasons. It was a gift from an old friend.

Do you have different wardrobes based on what the scale says?

I just have two. The first one is from my pre-40 days. Most of that I've given away. The second is the one I'm using now. I call it my mature wardrobe for the lady 50 and above.

Anything that lady wouldn't wear today?

A tank top, a bikini bathing suit and short shorts.

As a retailer, what tricks have you learned that you apply to your own clothes?

I keep an open mind about colors and styles. If someone told me five years ago that I'd be doing an orange blouse with a gray suit, I would have said, 'No way.' But I did it last year and got lots of compliments.

What do you wear on the week ends?

On my days off, I go for jeans, tennis shoes and sweaters or T-shirts. But if I'm going out of the house, I make sure my colors match and I'm coordinated.

Anything you hope to see in your closet one day?

A full-length mink coat. That's the one thing I'm missing. Years ago, I wasn't interested in them. But I'm of the age now where I could enjoy it.

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