From our closets to his clothes racks

CANDID CLOSET

February 11, 1993|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

After a hard day at the office, the last thing Harvey E. Kettering II wants to look at is clothes.

Who can blame him? After all, he spends most of his waking hours surrounded by some 200,000 garments. That's life for the president and chief executive officer of Baltimore Goodwill Industries Inc. He says there's nothing he enjoys more than watching the profits from donated clothing help train the disabled.

Mr. Kettering stands by his merchandise, too. The 62-year-old has been known to jog around his Phoenix home in a warm-up suit he bought at Goodwill for $4.99.

You've been head of Baltimore Goodwill since 1965. Is ther anything you bought then that you still own?

I have a pair of square-dancing shoes that I bought from Goodwill in 1956. I became quite a fan of dancing. Back then square-dancing shoes and bowling shoes were almost the same -- black lace ups. I still have them in the closet.

Do you really shop where you work?

If I pick up something from Goodwill, it's when I'm out visiting the stores, not at the plant. My problem is my size. Goodwill is filled with smaller-sized contributors. I wear a 48 long, so I end up at big and tall men's shops.

What have been your most memorable Goodwill buys?

A tie I bought for a Fourth of July celebration. It had small flags all over it. And an unusual belt I got for a square-dancing outfit. It was brown leather with cowboys and horses cut out of it.

It would be every bit acceptable in Texas today.

How about your best bargain?

A jogging outfit. It was black with very pronounced yellow stripes. It looked new to me, and I only paid 4.99 for that.

Does your size make it tough to find clothes?

Not at the specialty shops. They cater to the odd-sized man. Is that what I am -- an odd-sized man? I also go to Kavanaugh's and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers.

What's the biggest hassle about getting dressed?

zTC Monday through Friday, I'm a 5 or 6 o'clock riser. I'll breakfast, read for an hour, all in my pajamas and bathrobe and fur-lined slippers. After two hours of that, I hate to jump into business attire.

How would you describe your style?

Conservative. I wear solid shirts -- usually white or yellow or blue. It's a rarity for me to come in in a pink shirt. If I do, the staff thinks I got dressed in the dark. Blue, red or brown ties, and suits vs. sports coats.

How do you put your own signature on your clothes?

I'm known to wear flat caps. They used to call them English caps. I started about 8 or 10 years ago. I have a half dozen, but I'd like to have more.

What's your funniest clothing story?

There was an occasion when I had my jogging pants on backward. I didn't realize it until I got home from my walk.

How did you feel then?

Stupid.

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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