Tax time finds stylish CPA more tied up in his work


April 15, 1993|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

Accountant Harry Plack has something he wants you to know.

He doesn't own a pocket protector.

L "My last one wore out two months ago," he says with a laugh.

Jokes aside, Mr. Plack, director of Plack & Associates, says CPAs sometimes get a bad rap. They're not dull dressers. He offers himself as an example. While he favors conservative suits, he jazzes them up with one of his 150 ties.

During the past month, though, he says that being stylish has taken a back seat to being plain old busy. By today, he will have completed 100 tax returns, most of which came into his White Marsh office just weeks, or even days, ago.

What do you wear while doing tax returns?

Traditional suits, blues and grays, solids and pinstripes, from Brooks Brothers and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. I wear black wing-tips and black socks almost exclusively. But I like to get a little unusual with some of my ties. I like to show my individuality there. I'll wear reds and burgundies with unusual patterns -- geometrics, medallions and abstract designs.

What's the most you'll pay for a tie?

$40. When I started working, I could get a good tie for $12. Now more than $40 seems ridiculous.

Being an accountant, are you more careful about clothing costs?

No. I do it more as an investment. Every so often, I'll go through my closet and see what I need. I usually pick up four or five shirts, five to seven ties and one or two new suits a couple times a year.

Do you have good-luck attire for tough days?

For big meetings, I have certain outfits I like to wear. I have a couple of really good-looking blue suits that I'll wear with a white or blue tab collar shirt and a burgundy tie. You can't go wrong with something like that. I like things that are no-brainers when it comes to clothes.


I'm so doggoned busy that I don't have a lot of time in the morning to make decisions about what to wear. I start at 6 or 7.

Accountants as a rule aren't known as the flashiest dressers. Do you fit that mold?

I don't think I'm the most boring dresser the world. I'd call my style conservative but updated.

How do you think your profession affects your sense of style?

Typically I'm going to be my clients most trusted financial adviser. They have an image of who that is. They want somebody who gives off an air of conservatism. That controls what I wear to an extent.

People don't want you to come in in a Hawaiian shirt and sandals.

Do you dress very differently on the weekends?

I don't wear a suit seven days a week. I'll put on a plaid shirt or a striped button-down shirt and a pair of khakis. I have 10 pairs of khakis.

If you had the chance to take anyone to dinner, who would it be and what would you wear?

Bill Clinton. I'd wear that old standby blue suit, a blue tab collar and a burgundy tie.

What purchase do you most regret making?

I've got a very ugly plaid jacket. I bought it about five years ago, and I've worn it two or three times. When I bought it, I was thinking, "What a beautiful jacket." But it didn't work. My wife even said, "That's not quite you."

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

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